Luke Pollard Portrait

Luke Pollard

Labour (Co-op) - Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Jan 2020 - 29th Nov 2021
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)
30th Jul 2018 - 7th Jan 2020
Transport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 29th Oct 2018


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 245 Noes - 309
Speeches
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Ukraine

Russia’s actions are deliberate, not accidental, and they are against a clear strategy and sequence. The threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty …

Written Answers
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Neuromuscular Disorders: Health Services
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure Integrated …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 7th May 2019
FAIR PAY FOR THE ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY'S MERCHANT SEAFARERS
That this House recognises the strategic significance to the UK of the near 2000 merchant seafarers employed on the Royal …
Bills
Wednesday 19th June 2019
Nuclear Submarine Recycling (Reporting) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th July 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Chris Rumfitt
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …
EDM signed
Wednesday 8th December 2021
Recognising the service of House of Commons staff member Will Conway
That this House wholeheartedly thanks Will Conway for his 28 years of service as a member of House of Commons …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Luke Pollard has voted in 320 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Luke Pollard Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Victoria Prentis (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(93 debate interactions)
George Eustice (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(43 debate interactions)
Robert Goodwill (Conservative)
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(7 debate contributions)
Home Office
(3 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Luke Pollard's debates

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport signature proportion
Petitions with most Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.

Many missing microchipped pets are never reunited as it’s optional to scan & check microchip registration. It’s time veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues checked pet & keeper match on the original database at a pets 1st consultation or yearly checkup. It’s their only chance to get home

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.'

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.


Latest EDMs signed by Luke Pollard

6th December 2021
Luke Pollard signed this EDM on Wednesday 8th December 2021

Recognising the service of House of Commons staff member Will Conway

Tabled by: Charlotte Nichols (Labour - Warrington North)
That this House wholeheartedly thanks Will Conway for his 28 years of service as a member of House of Commons staff; offers gratitude for his over two decades of service as the Branch Secretary of the GMB Union representing House of Commons staff; thanks him for his support and assistance …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 12
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
18th March 2021
Luke Pollard signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 18th March 2021

Agriculture

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 158), dated 15 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 16 February 2021, be annulled.
10 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Green Party: 1
View All Luke Pollard's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Luke Pollard, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Luke Pollard has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Luke Pollard has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Luke Pollard


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Government to prepare a strategy for recycling out-of-service Royal Navy nuclear submarines and to report annually on progress, to consult on extending decommissioning powers in Part 1 of the Energy Act 2004 to include the recycling of Royal Navy nuclear submarines, and to publish estimates of the taxpayer liability associated with such submarines; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th June 2019
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons (No Debate)
Date TBA

Luke Pollard has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


752 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
14 Other Department Questions
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the joint Maritime UK and Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group's Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto, published in September 2021.

We appreciate Maritime UK and the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group's detailed and insightful Coastal Powerhouse manifesto and we recognise the value of the recommendations made. We welcome the continuous engagement of the sector as we are progressing with our levelling up agenda. In this respect, we share the view expressed on the need to continue the strong partnership that exists between Government and key stakeholder groups.

Britain's maritime sector is inextricably linked to our island's rich history - to the exploration, free trade and global exchange which laid the foundations for modern Britain. Our maritime sector, our ports, harbours and coastal towns are extremely important to recovery from the pandemic.

As the Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto has highlighted, there are a number of areas where action must be taken to catalyse investment, level-up coastal communities and capitalise on the potential of the UK's coastal regions. That is why we are working with local leaders to ensure every region including coastal areas, cities and towns will recover from COVID-19 and ultimately level-up. The Levelling Up White Paper will set out ambitious policies to improve living standards, increase opportunity, and grow the private sector in every part of the United Kingdom, from Aberdeen to Aylesbury, Belfast to Brecon.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how much was spent on the seal mascot for COP26.

The seal mascot is owned by Glasgow City Council. The seal is an existing mascot that has been in use since the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. The cost of the COP26 uniform came from the volunteering programme budget; this will be laid out along with other costs for COP26 after the event.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support he is giving to leaseholders who are unable to sell their properties without a valid EWS1 form, despite that form not being legally required for the sale of the property.

An independent expert statement in July this year was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required by lenders on buildings under 18 metres. The Government strongly supports this position and made this clear in its written statement of 21 July.

In the small minority of cases under 18 metres where concerns are identified via an up to date statutory fire risk assessment, and risk management and mitigation is not an option, leaseholders will be able to access a financing scheme, where costs will not exceed £50 a month. This commitment offers assurance to lenders concerned about financial risk.

Government remains committed to working with lenders to support a more proportionate approach to mortgage lending on blocks of flats.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support he is giving to leaseholders who own properties in buildings which are under the 18m threshold for financial support from the Building Safety Fund.

Building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders and we are introducing new measures that will legally require building owners to prove they have tried all routes to cover costs. The fire risk is lower in buildings under 18 metres and costly remediation work is usually not needed. Where fire risks are identified, they should always be managed proportionately. The Secretary of State is looking closely at this issue to make sure everything is being done to support leaseholders. Further detail on the support offer for leaseholders in residential buildings of 11-18 metres will be released when all options have been fully considered.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if local authorities will provide housing assistance to leaseholders at risk of (a) bankruptcy or (b) homelessness as a result of capital costs of removing and replacing unsafe non-ACM cladding systems not met by the Building Safety Fund.

This Government has committed £5.1 billion of grant funding through the Building Safety Fund for the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding on residential buildings over 18 metres. The Secretary of State is looking closely at this issue to make sure everything is being done to support leaseholders. Further detail on the support for leaseholders with unsafe cladding in residential buildings of 11 - 18 metres will be released when all options have been fully considered. We continue to examine what more can be done to protect and support leaseholders.

Government funding does not absolve building owners of their responsibility to ensure that buildings are safe. All routes to meet costs, for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work should be explored. The Building Safety Bill also contains measures to protect leaseholders by providing a legal requirement for building owners to prove they have tried all routes to cover the cost of essential safety works, along with evidence that this has been done. If this does not happen, leaseholders will be able to challenge these costs in the courts.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places duties on local housing authorities to take reasonable steps to try to prevent and relieve a person's homelessness. Local authorities must work with people at risk of losing their homes to develop personalised housing plans, tailored to focus on the needs and circumstances of the household.

We have provided local authorities with £310 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant this year to support those at risk of homelessness. Local authorities may use homelessness funding flexibly in line with local need.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will provide any financial support to leaseholders who own properties in buildings which are under the 18 metre threshold with unsafe cladding.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 56598 on 25 October 2021.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the Commission has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in the Houses of Parliament.

In total, there are 21 documented items made of ivory or containing ivory that are owned by the Houses of Parliament.

There are 18 accessioned objects documented within the Parliamentary Heritage Collections. Of these 12 are small objects from the Parliamentary Art Collection made between the 17th and 19th centuries. The remaining six are items of 19th century historic furniture or fabric which contain small amounts of ivory decoration.

There are two accessioned items documented in the Parliamentary Archives which contain ivory. These are a Book of Common Prayer containing decorative ivory crosses and a set of ink stamps with ivory handles. There are no accessioned items documented in either the House of Lords Library or House of Commons Library made of, or containing, ivory.

A non-accessioned First World War book of remembrance in the House of Lords includes an ivory Tudor rose in the binding. There may be other non-accessioned items containing ivory in the Houses that have not yet been identified.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending licences for trail hunting on land owned by the Church; and if he will make a statement.

In 2020 the Church Commissioners reviewed their policy on trail hunting and suspended any directly issued licences which previously permitted trail hunting. Where trail hunting continues to take place across Commissioners’ tenanted land (and which is beyond our direct control owing to the tenant’s security of tenure) we are seeking to assist farm tenants with the regularisation of any informal trail hunting arrangements.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to appoint a Minister to oversee preparations for the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

I am ultimately responsible for leading the G7 Presidency and discussions with other G7 leaders. There are no current plans for a separate Ministerial appointment.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a meeting of the covid-19 operations ministerial committee was scheduled for 12 September 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Covid-19 Operations Committee.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a meeting of the Covid-19 Operations Ministerial committee was scheduled for 12 September 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what estimate she has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by her office.

The Attorney General’s Office has not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned or collated by the Department.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department, or by any institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons he travelled to Cornwall by air rather than by train to attend the G7 summit.

I am responding on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office. Ministers are required to make essential visits across the country for official government business. The security authorities allow for a wide variety of transport in order for this to be done safely and efficiently.

The Prime Minister set out the target for the G7 Summit to be sustainable and carbon neutral. The Summit has now received independent ISO20121 certification, the highest international standard for sustainable event management.

The Summit Carbon Management Plan includes offsetting all Leaders’ travel, investing in sustainability projects in developing countries which are independently verified by the Gold Standard Impact Registry. The plan is being updated as we continue to assess the full output from the Summit.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a train had been booked for his travel to Cornwall for the G7.

I am responding on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office. Ministers are required to make essential visits across the country for official government business. The security authorities allow for a wide variety of transport in order for this to be done safely and efficiently.

The Prime Minister set out the target for the G7 Summit to be sustainable and carbon neutral. The Summit has now received independent ISO20121 certification, the highest international standard for sustainable event management.

The Summit Carbon Management Plan includes offsetting all Leaders’ travel, investing in sustainability projects in developing countries which are independently verified by the Gold Standard Impact Registry. The plan is being updated as we continue to assess the full output from the Summit.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the education of school children in St Ives of the decision to host the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

We are working with community partners, including the police, St Ives Town Council and Cornwall Council, to minimise local disruption in and around St Ives.

The G7 Summit presents a huge opportunity for the local area, supporting local businesses and creating a lasting legacy. We are looking at ways that we can engage local schoolchildren as a part of that legacy, using the Summit to educate and inspire.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much additional funding he has allocated to (a) Cornwall County Council, (b) Devon and Cornwall Police and (c) the NHS in Cornwall in response to the decision to host the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

The Cabinet Office is working closely with local partners to agree their roles and plans to support the Summit. Details will be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021 on travel (a) to, (b) from and (c) within the South West during that period.

Further to the answer given to PQ143093, there will be some limited local transport disruption as a result of essential security measures.

We are discussing necessary health and safety measures for delegates with G7 partners and others.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many members of the UK’s team in the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU in December 2020 were subject specialists in fisheries.

Further to the answer given to PQ48377, negotiations with the EU were led by Task Force Europe, a small central unit led by the Chief Negotiator Lord Frost. By December, there were 38 civil servants working in this team. Negotiations were a cross-departmental effort and accordingly involved a larger number of staff overall, including subject specialists in all key negotiating areas.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he will take to ensure that everyone will be able to vote in the local council elections in May 2021; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing postal voting capacity.

The UK Government is of the view that it would not be appropriate to impose an all-postal vote for the local and mayoral elections in England, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales, in May 2021. All-postal voting increases fraud risks, and removes choice from voters who wish to cast their vote in person.

Postal voting on demand already allows any registered elector to apply for a vote by post.

The Government is working with the electoral administrators and Public Health England to identify and resolve challenges involved in delivering the May 2021 elections, including ensuring polling stations are safe and covid-secure places to vote. People will be able participate in the polls safely, and in a way of their choice, whether by post, proxy or in-person.

This work is outlined in my recent letter to Electoral Returning Officers, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-chloe-smith-mp-to-returning-officers

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Ministers he consulted on those outdoor activities that are exempt from the rule of six covid-19 regulations.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many primary schools were closed on 12 December 2019 and used as polling stations.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many children could not attend their school on 12 December 2019 as a result of their school building being used as a polling station.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Government Minister has responsibility for hunger.

This issue cuts across multiple departmental responsibilities, as is the case for many complex concerns, and therefore engages various Ministers including in DHSC and DWP.

Details of Ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on implementing proposals to introduce a Home shipbuilding credit guarantee scheme to support the development of UK shipbuilding.

The Department has consulted upon the reintroduction of a Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme as a potential contribution to a refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy. The case for the scheme is currently under consideration and a final decision will be announced in due course.

The Government already offers a range of financial support instruments to businesses through the British Business Bank and through UK Export Finance.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is not aware of any items of ivory owned by or collated by the Department.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency on his proposals for Net Zero Plus.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change as we work to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In setting our carbon emission ambitions, we take advice from the Climate Change Committee, an independent, statutory body which provides expert advice to Government on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Adapting to, as well as mitigating, the inevitable changes in our climate is vital. That is why, we are taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

We work closely with Defra on net zero and support their work on adaptation. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State engages regularly with his DEFRA counterpart, including through the Climate Action Committees.

The Environment Agency plays an important role in helping to achieve net zero, for example, as part of the Nature for Climate Fund, it is planting over 850,000 trees, providing carbon savings that will help us to achieve our carbon budgets, while also helping to improve flood resilience and air quality and provide habitat for wildlife.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of employment and investment in the South West of the Met Office locating part of its new super-computer overseas.

The location of the new Met Office supercomputer is subject to an ongoing procurement exercise. The Met Office Statement of Requirements stated that at least 50% of the solutions capability must be in the UK. The Met Office left the Prime Bidders to propose locations and work with their supply chains on suitable bids. While the procurement is ongoing the integrity of the process must be maintained, in strict accordance with Government procurement rules. It is not possible to comment further at this stage due to the commercial sensitivity of the procurement process. Nevertheless, the capability sustained by the new supercomputer will support many high tech and skilled jobs through Met Office staff, suppliers and partners, primarily in the South West related to the Met Office Headquarters in Exeter.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had discussions with the Met Office on its plan to locate part of its new super-computer abroad.

The location of the new Met Office supercomputer is subject to an ongoing procurement exercise. The Met Office Statement of Requirements stated that at least 50% of the solutions capability must be in the UK. The Met Office left the Prime Bidders to propose locations and work with their supply chains on suitable bids. While the procurement is ongoing the integrity of the process must be maintained, in strict accordance with Government procurement rules. It is not possible to comment further at this stage due to the commercial sensitivity of the procurement process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the three-month expiry date on the Green House Grant scheme vouchers.

Homeowners are able to request, at any time before their Green Homes Grant voucher has expired, an extension to their voucher. Several factors such as winter weather conditions, COVID-19 and Christmas may have an impact on the speed at which certain measures may be installed. In order to take account of this, we have instructed the scheme administrator to, on request, extend vouchers by an additional 3 months, or until 31 March 2021 (whichever is earlier).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce legislative proposals to require all households to have smart meters by June 2021.

Smart meters are replacing traditional gas and electricity meters in Great Britain as part of an essential infrastructure upgrade to make the energy system more efficient and flexible, enabling the cost-effective delivery of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy suppliers are required by licence conditions to take all reasonable steps to install smart meters in homes and small businesses. This obligation will expire at the end of June 2021 and will be replaced with a new four-year policy framework from 1 July 2021 with fixed annual installation targets for energy suppliers to drive the consistent, long-term investment needed to ensure that everyone can benefit from smart meters.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the chemical industry on potential chemicals stockpiling before the end of the transition period.

Ministers and officials are engaging regularly with representatives across the chemicals industry on all areas relating to the end of the transition period.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what advice he has given to local authorities on providing financial support for fox hunts from covid-19 funding schemes during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government put forward an unprecedented package of support, including loan schemes, grant funding and wage packages, to help as many individuals and business as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This support package included the?Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) which was provided via local authorities to support small businesses and businesses in some of the sectors?hardest hit by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Government also created a Local Authority Discretionary Grants Scheme to ensure that local authorities could use their knowledge and discretion to direct funds to businesses not covered by the SBGF or the RHLGF. In recognition that economic need varied across the country, government set some national criteria for this fund but allowed local authorities to determine which cases to support within those criteria.

The guidance provided to local authorities on all three of these schemes are available on gov.uk. No specific advice in respect of fox hunts was provided to local authorities as part of the guidance around these schemes.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to expand the powers of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to include workers employed by umbrella bodies in enforcing the provisions of the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

We have already made significant progress in improving the rights of agency workers, in particular by increasing the information they receive about pay rates, including when they are employed by umbrella companies.

The Government has committed to expand the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to include umbrella companies. In the Queen’s Speech we announced our intention to bring forward an Employment Bill. We will bring forward detailed proposals on future legislation in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what differences were identified between physiotherapists and sport therapists which led to the Government issuing guidance for those businesses to reopen on separate dates as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Close contact services – which includes sports and massage therapy – in England, except Leicester, were able to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the £2 billion of funding to help homeowners and landlords make their homes more energy-efficient in 2020-21 announced in the Chancellor's Plan for Jobs does not include water efficiency measures.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the range of measures will be announced in the coming days, before the full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the evidential basis is for the decision to delay the reopening of sports therapists in England; and what comparative assessment he has made between that evidence and that used by the devolved Administrations to reopen sports therapists in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We’ve now provided close contact services, including sports therapists in England except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the Government’s COVID-secure guidelines.

We need to be confident services are able to reopen in a COVID-secure way for the staff and customers. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and our guidance has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Hairdressers were the initial phase of safely reopening close contact services, and we are now assured that the necessary steps can be taken to reopen the rest of the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on allergen labelling for (a) toothpaste and (b) other non food items that can contain milk protein.

The Government has no plans to bring forward legislative proposals on allergen labelling for toothpaste and other non-food items that contain milk protein.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by her Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations she has received on including measures to tackle incel culture online in the Online Harms Bill.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders and have received representations on a variety of issues, including online incel culture. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support the Government is providing to help ensure that museum curatorial staff are able to continue scientific work during the period of new national covid-19 lockdown from 5 November 2020.

Museums and galleries have been ordered to close under the national restrictions. In line with the regulations, curatorial staff are still able to undertake their work on site where it is not reasonably possible for them to do so from home.

Museums and galleries have made their workplaces Covid secure, in line with the guidance produced by the National Museums Directors’ Council with support from DCMS.

The Government has provided substantial financial support for museums through the Culture Recovery Fund, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and other measures, which will help museums, and other cultural organisations, continue their important work.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to provide additional financial support for outdoor archery clubs during the period of new national covid-19 lockdown restrictions from 5 November 2020.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. On 22 October, the Government announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Sep 2020
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress he has made in appointing another company to replace Huawei as a 5G supplier.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the mobile network operators to appoint suppliers to replace Huawei in their 5G networks. This will be based on their specific commercial and technical requirements.

The Government’s work on telecoms security will ensure that security and resilience are also primary considerations for operators as they make those decisions.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the length of time it will take to remove Huawei from the UK 5G network.

The Government has set out a clear timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027. To go further and faster beyond a 2027 target would add considerable - and unnecessary - further costs and delays. And the shorter we make the timetable for removal, the greater the risk of actual disruption to mobile telecoms networks.

Not all operators use Huawei. For those operators that do use Huawei, individual pathways to comply with the 2027 deadline will be a commercial decision for the individual operators.

The forthcoming Telecommunications (Security) Bill will provide the powers to place this timetable on a clear legal footing. In the meantime Ministers and senior officials are working with affected operators to ensure long term compliance.

30th Sep 2020
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to create a nationwide 5G network.

The Government is committed to the delivery of world-class digital infrastructure, including 5G, across the UK. Our ambition is for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027.

All four mobile network operators have launched 5G networks, with 5G services now available in over 100 towns and cities across the UK. Whilst the vast majority of investment in 5G will be made by industry, the department is funding the research and trials of 5G networks through the £200m 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme which invests in targeted projects across the UK to build the commercial case for 5G.

The Government is also committed to reducing the barriers to the deployment of mobile infrastructure. As part of this, the Government has announced that, subject to a technical consultation, it intends to take forward reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. The Government also intends to consult on whether changes to the Electronic Communications Code are needed to support these aims.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of loot boxes in computer games.

On 8 June 2020 in its response to the DCMS Select Committee Immersive and Addictive Technologies inquiry, the government announced its intention to run a call for evidence on loot boxes. This will launch shortly and will seek detailed information on the impact of loot boxes on players, particularly children and young people.

The government takes concerns around potential harms from loot boxes very seriously and stands ready to take action should the outcomes of the call for evidence support taking a new approach to ensure users are better protected.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of transmission of covid-19 between individuals in (a) professional and (b) amateur choirs that requires them to be dealt with differently in guidance.

DCMS has always been clear that the Performing Arts guidance would be updated on the basis of the latest science and public health context.

The PERFORM study (published 20 August) has indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create the risk of transmission. As a result of these findings we have updated the Performing Arts guidance to confirm that non-professionals can now engage in all activities, including singing, wind and brass and confirmed that where non-professional groups plan to meet, there are no set limits on the numbers who can be involved when taking place outside and/or in a Covid-secure venue. This is in line with rules on meeting people outside your household for clubs and groups and gatherings in Covid-secure venues.

Organisations must ensure that they carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and that individuals are socially distanced at all times. Organisations will want to minimise risk as far as possible and the Performing Arts guidance sets out a number of mitigations that should be considered to minimise risk including operating outside where possible, limiting the numbers involved in and duration of activity and considering how ventilation can be improved.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he expects to issue guidance on when amateur choirs can (a) rehearse together and (b) perform in person as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

DCMS has always been clear that the Performing Arts guidance would be updated on the basis of the latest science and public health context.

The PERFORM study (published 20 August) has indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create the risk of transmission. As a result of these findings we have updated the Performing Arts guidance to confirm that non-professionals can now engage in all activities, including singing, wind and brass and confirmed that where non-professional groups plan to meet, there are no set limits on the numbers who can be involved when taking place outside and/or in a Covid-secure venue. This is in line with rules on meeting people outside your household for clubs and groups and gatherings in Covid-secure venues.

Organisations must ensure that they carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and that individuals are socially distanced at all times. Organisations will want to minimise risk as far as possible and the Performing Arts guidance sets out a number of mitigations that should be considered to minimise risk including operating outside where possible, limiting the numbers involved in and duration of activity and considering how ventilation can be improved.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the inclusion of sustainability in The National Standard for early years learning and childcare providers in Scotland, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including sustainability in the inspection criteria for early year settings.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in the Department for Education or institutions owned or managed by the government.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the appropriate and equitable level of funding via the central school services block for local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10631 on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what assessment his Department has made of the appropriate and equitable level of funding via the central school services block for local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10631 on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools are required to include the teaching of RE in the education recovery plans of pupils that have lost learning during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Religious education (RE) is not an optional subject for state funded schools. They must teach RE to all pupils throughout all Key Stages up to age 18. Teaching a broad and balanced curriculum is important to the academic, social, and personal development of young people. These requirements have not changed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department is working with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a range of short, medium, and long term options to ensure all young people recover their education over the term of this Government.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the most recently published School Workforce Census, how many schools with an outstanding Ofsted rating reported zero hours of religious education teaching in year 11; and if he will make a statement.

In November 2019, 2,958 state funded secondary schools returned full curriculum information to the Department via the School Workforce Census. This represents 86% of all state funded secondary schools in England.

Of these 2,958 schools, 984 reported no teaching of religious education (RE) or philosophy teaching to Year 11 pupils during the week of the workforce census. One school reported teaching RE or philosophy in mixed year groups, which may include Year 11 pupils.

Of the 984 schools, 144 were judged outstanding in their last Ofsted full inspection. The last full inspection may have been several years prior to 2019. It is therefore not possible to draw any meaningful correlation between information about teaching time on these subjects during the census week and a school’s Ofsted rating.

The information above is based on the number of hours of dedicated RE or philosophy teaching recorded by each school for Year 11 pupils. It is possible that other general teaching within the school may include elements of RE, ethics, or philosophy.

State funded schools in England have a duty to teach RE to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other maintained schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for RE.

Any concerns that a school may not be complying with the requirement to teach RE should, in the first instance, be raised via the school’s complaints procedure. If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be escalated to the Department’s School Complaints Unit.

20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to improve ventilation in schools.

In 2018, the Department published Building Bulletin 101, which is guidance for school design on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. This guidance sets out the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines and Air Quality Standards Regulation 2010 for indoor air quality.

The Department has worked closely with other Government departments, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector, to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and continue to be the right measures to take. Current evidence suggests that the way to control COVID-19 is the same, even with the new variants. These measures create a safer environment for children, young people, and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. PHE keeps all these controls under review, based on the latest evidence. Schools therefore need to continue to implement these controls to the fullest extent. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

The Department's guidance signposts further advice from the Health and Safety Executive on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to provide asymptomatic testing in early years settings, in line with the current roll-out in primary schools.

The Department is continuing to work closely with colleagues across Government and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early years sector.

The Department is rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools with deliveries of test kits which started from the week commencing 18 January 2021.

The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools-based nursery, and maintained nursery school staff home lateral flow device test kits for twice weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in education settings by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

Community testing programmes are currently being rolled out across the country. They are led by local authorities and provide asymptomatic testing through testing sites based in the local community. This testing is primarily focused on those who have to leave home to work during lockdown, with local authorities able to focus on the right people in their areas and decide how the testing is best delivered.

Early years staff, as critical workers, continue to have priority access to Department of Health and Social Care led symptomatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing via the online portal: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.

The Department is having ongoing discussions about providing testing via the education testing programme as well as encouraging local authorities to consider prioritising appropriate testing for staff in private, voluntary and independent settings and childminders via the Community Testing Programme, which is being rolled out to all local authorities.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to reduce bureaucracy in the adoption system, since his speech for National Adoption Week on 14 October 2020.

In his speech during National Adoption Week my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, reaffirmed his commitment to finding a stable, loving home for all children. Since then, this government has continued to support the development of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs), which are designed to improve adopter recruitment, speed up matching and improve adoption support. There are now 30 RAAs covering 141 local authorities.

In the same week that the Secretary of State for Education gave his speech, the RAA and sector led national recruitment campaign, #youcanadopt, launched its Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) specific outreach work, including piloting a triage service for BAME prospective adopters. By encouraging people of all backgrounds to come forward to adopt, and supporting them through that process, we aim to reduce waiting times for BAME children, who normally wait the longest to be found a new adoptive family.

In December 2020, Krish Kandiah was announced as the new chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB). Krish will work with the ASGLB to provide leadership to the sector and improve services for children and families.

On 15 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Education announced that funding for the Adoption Support Fund will continue for the next financial year ensuring that adopted children and families will continue to receive much needed support until March 2022. We are working closely with adoption stakeholders, including regional and voluntary adoption agencies, to identify delays and barriers in accessing the Adoption Support Fund and actions needed to overcome these: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/education-secretary-launches-review-of-childrens-social-care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to improve access to the Child’s Adoption Fund since his speech for National Adoption Week on 14 October 2020.

In his speech during National Adoption Week my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, reaffirmed his commitment to finding a stable, loving home for all children. Since then, this government has continued to support the development of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs), which are designed to improve adopter recruitment, speed up matching and improve adoption support. There are now 30 RAAs covering 141 local authorities.

In the same week that the Secretary of State for Education gave his speech, the RAA and sector led national recruitment campaign, #youcanadopt, launched its Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) specific outreach work, including piloting a triage service for BAME prospective adopters. By encouraging people of all backgrounds to come forward to adopt, and supporting them through that process, we aim to reduce waiting times for BAME children, who normally wait the longest to be found a new adoptive family.

In December 2020, Krish Kandiah was announced as the new chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB). Krish will work with the ASGLB to provide leadership to the sector and improve services for children and families.

On 15 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Education announced that funding for the Adoption Support Fund will continue for the next financial year ensuring that adopted children and families will continue to receive much needed support until March 2022. We are working closely with adoption stakeholders, including regional and voluntary adoption agencies, to identify delays and barriers in accessing the Adoption Support Fund and actions needed to overcome these: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/education-secretary-launches-review-of-childrens-social-care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has allocated additional funding to ensure the financial viability of English language schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice he is giving to English language schools at risk of closure which are not eligible for covid-19 financial support.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of English language schools at risk of closure as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools providing care before and after the start of the school day on reopening as the covid-19 restrictions are eased.

As of 4 July, providers offering before or after-school care and other out-of-school activities to children have been able to open, both on or away from school premises, with protective measures in place.

The department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and so does not routinely collect data on the number of providers in operation. However, newly established REACT teams, comprising education and social care staff from both this department and Ofsted, are working closely with local authorities and will be a valuable source of intelligence on the sufficiency of wraparound care places in local areas.

We are also encouraging schools to resume their breakfast and after-school club provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term; and, as part of our guidance to schools on full opening, have provided them with guidance to support them in reopening this valuable provision, which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#wraparound-provision-and-extra-curricular-activity.

Schools should also be working closely with any external wraparound providers which their pupils may use, to ensure as far as possible, children can be kept in a group with other children from the same bubble they are in during the school day; and we have published further updated guidance for providers who run before and after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings for children on the protective measures that should be put in place from the start of the autumn term, to ensure they are operating as safely as possible when all children return to school. This guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to academy schools on after-school provision during the covid-19 outbreak following their reopening in September 2020.

We have published guidance for schools to outline the protective measures they should have in place to minimise the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 when all children return to school in the autumn term. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The guidance highlights that schools should work to resume any breakfast and after-school provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term. Additionally, the guidance highlights that schools should work closely with any external wraparound providers which their pupils may use, to ensure as far as possible, that children can be kept in a group with other children from the same bubble they are in during the school day.

Schools can also consult the guidance produced for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children, as much of this will be useful in planning extra-curricular provision. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to publish on the provision of Religious Education in the curriculum after the full reopening of schools during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to publish on the provision of Religious Education teaching for pupils who choose not to opt for that subject as an examination subject at Key Stage Four after the full reopening of schools during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that all pupils receive their entitlement to religious education after schools are reopened as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure gender balance on school governing bodies.

It is the responsibility of governing boards, members (in academy trusts) and religious authorities (in schools designated with a religious character) to appoint governors and trustees. The Department is clear in the Governance Handbook that boards, when appointing new governors or trustees, should focus on the skills, experience, characteristics and diversity the board needs to be effective and to provide a sufficient range of perspectives to enable robust decision making.

Governing boards are responsible for compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and for ensuring that schools and trusts comply with all applicable aspects of discrimination law and this includes compliance with the public sector equality duty.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has issued new guidance to schools and multi-academy trusts on the (a) design and (b) layout of (i) building, (ii) rebuilding and (iii) refurbishment projects as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has not issued such guidance to schools and multi-academy trusts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, to help nurseries and schools to plan, prepare and adapt existing spaces for the return of more children, the Department published a range of detailed guidance on how to implement protective measures. The guidance can be found at the following GOV.UK link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

This includes the main protective measures guidance, which can be found directly here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the recent finding by Surfers Against Sewage that there has been an increase of 87.6 per cent in sewage discharge notifications over the last 12 months.

The Environment Agency (EA) does not have access to the Surfers Against Sewage notification dataset and therefore cannot comment on the accuracy of spill notifications made by Water and Sewerage Companies (WaSCs) to third party organisations. We expect that, as this data is provided in near real time to Surfers Against Sewage, there will have been limited opportunity for WaSCs to quality assure the raw data to confirm that all the alerts have resulted in spills.

The number of Event Duration Monitors has increased substantially over the last few years to cover over 80% of overflows, and will provide complete coverage by 2023. For that reason, the number of spill notifications has gone up. However, the Government has been clear that the number of spills is unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are therefore the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his departments consultation entitled Water industry: government’s strategic policy statement for Ofwat, which closed on 15 October 2021, if he will take steps to consult with hon. Members before the publication of the strategic policy statement.

A draft of the Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat (SPS) was published for consultation on 22 July 2021. The consultation was open to the public until 15 October 2021. The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) provided a response to the consultation. I gave oral evidence to the EAC's Water Quality in Rivers inquiry on 15 September 2021, where the SPS was discussed. A draft of the strategic policy statement will be laid in Parliament in the New Year for a 40 day period, where it will then directly inform the Price Review process, including Ofwat’s draft methodology due to be published in summer 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the Exchequer has received in fines from water companies since 2010.

In the period from 2010 to date, the Treasury has received about £143 million from imposed fines on water companies. These have been the result of Environment Agency prosecutions and Ofwat enforcement investigations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring water companies to review their business plans in the control period to increase investment in reducing raw sewage

I have been clear that the current level of sewage discharges is unacceptable.

Water companies are committed in the current 5-year business planning period to a significant programme of improvements to monitoring and management of sewer overflows. Water company investment in this area currently totals £3.1 billion, including £1.9 billion of investment in the Thames Tideway Tunnel and £1.2 billion elsewhere delivering over 800 improvement schemes in response to Event Duration Monitoring insights. Water companies must also certify to Ofwat each year that they have the funding, management resources and systems and controls in place to fulfil their regulated activities, including to meet their environmental obligations and should be investing accordingly in order to fulfil their regulatory requirements.

Companies have also already re-opened their business plans as part of our efforts to build back greener from the pandemic. Ofwat approved a draft package of over £2.7 billion and as part of this new package of investment, companies committed an additional £144 million to help eliminate the harm caused by Storm Overflows and trial the creation of two bathing rivers.

The Government has made tackling this a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from Storm Overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Government will take the necessary action to ensure that water companies perform against existing, and new, statutory obligations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that water in English rivers, lakes and seas does not pose a serious risk to human health.

Improving water quality is a Government priority and we are taking significant action in this area for people and nature. The Environment Act sets a duty on the Government to publish a storm overflow discharge reduction plan by September 2022. This plan will address reducing the adverse impacts on public health of sewage discharges from storm overflows.

Where rivers are designated as Bathing Waters, the Environment Agency monitors water quality and classifies bathing waters in line with the health protective standards of the Bathing Water Regulations (2013) and publishes an annual classification of Poor, Sufficient, Good or Excellent. It must also exercise its pollution control powers to achieve at least Sufficient status. Currently there is one river with designated Bathing Water Status, the River Wharfe at Ilkley. This was monitored for the first time during the 2021 Bathing Water Season (15th May - 30th September). The classification result will be published in January 2022.

The Environment Agency publishes a profile for each designated Bathing Water on its Swimfo website (https://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/), which provides water quality testing results, the annual classification and information on pollution sources affecting each Bathing Water.

The Environment Agency and the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) have published Swim Healthy guidance on Gov.UK

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/swim-healthy-leaflet).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the financial impact on small and local business of rivers, lakes and seas being unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.

The Government has not made an assessment of the impact on riverside SMEs of local sewage pollution.

However, the Government has been clear that the water industry’s levels of sewage discharges from storm overflows are unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act. The provisions in the Environment Act place a duty on the water industry to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts caused by storm overflows. These include adverse impacts on public health.

The Government will publish a report before 1 September 2022 on the actions necessary, including the costs and benefits of the elimination of storm overflows. The report will consider a range of benefits, including those to business.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of requirements under the Environment Act 2021 on the customers water bills.

Defra published an impact assessment on 20 March 2020 (Environment Act 2021 publications - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliament) setting out the cost / benefit assessment of the Environment Act 2021 measures as were laid out in the then-draft Bill introduced in January 2020.

Several provisions in the Act will, however, be commenced by Regulations and detailed impact assessments will be undertaken as part of the development of those Regulations. These will include consideration of the impacts on customers.

The Defra-led Storm Overflows Taskforce has published a Storm Overflows Evidence Project on the costs, benefits and feasibility of different options for eliminating harm from storm overflows. The independent research conducted by Stantec presents a detailed overview of potential approaches that will act as an important evidence base for Government action. This is the first comprehensive analysis of its kind and the Government will take account of its findings in future impact assessments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much raw sewage has been discharged into chalk streams in the last 12 months.

The Environment Agency does not hold the data for the volume of sewage released by storm overflows.

Working with water companies, the Environment Agency has concluded a programme to install Event Duration Monitors (EDM) on the vast majority of storm overflows, just over 80% of overflows in England, by the end of 2020. These monitors provide a robust and consistent way of monitoring how often and for how long storm overflows are used but do not measures volume. By the end of 2023, the remaining number will be monitored.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timescale is for water companies to publish information on progressive reduction of raw sewage discharges under the Environment Act 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the requirements in the Environment Act 2021 for water companies to reduce the impact of sewage discharges from storm overflows and show a reduction in sewage overspills, (a) in what format and (b) with what frequency will data on progressive reduction in sewage discharges from combined sewer overflows.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what baseline his Department will use to determine progressive reductions in sewage discharges from combined sewer overflows.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has conducted or commissioned research on levels of public support for (a) action to stop raw sewage discharge and (b) potential increases in water bills arising from that action.

As part of the Storm Overflows Evidence Project commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce, the consultants undertook a public attitudes survey on the issue of sewage discharges. This independent research project assessed the potential impact on rivers of reducing storm overflows and the related costs. The report, conducted by Stantec, has now been published on gov.uk and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/storm-overflows-evidence-project. The report is the first assessment of its kind ever conducted. The Government, together with the Storm Overflows Taskforce, will take account of its findings in future impact assessments.

Ofwat, the independent economic regulator, is responsible for ensuring that water companies charge fair prices and deliver quality services through the Price Review. As part of this process, water companies must engage with their customers and obtain broad customer support when developing their plans and making decisions around future investments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will release the minutes of the meeting between Coller Capital and Lord Goldsmith on 24 May 2021.

As published in Defra’s transparency data for April-June 2021, Lord Goldsmith met Coller Capital and Lord Sarfraz on 24 May to discuss sustainable, plant-based protein and the alignment of agricultural finance with climate and nature. We do not routinely publish the minutes of meetings.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has for phasing out Avgas 100.

Tetraethyllead (TEL) is a chemical used in AVGAS 100 and is listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as a substance of very high concern (SVHC). This places certain obligations on companies or individuals that use or place TEL on the market in GB.

SVHC identification is the first step in the Authorisation process, which is used to control the use of substances with specific hazards. Once a substance has been identified as an SVHC, it can then be prioritised for inclusion in Annex 14 of UK REACH (the authorisation list). In its recent draft recommendation on substances that are a priority for adding to Annex 14, the HSE concluded whilst no action should be taken at present, it might be appropriate to revisit the regulatory approach to tetraethyllead when technical evaluations of potential alternatives for use in aviation fuel are completed.

The Department for Transport is working to encourage industry to transfer to cleaner aviation fuels as soon as possible. In December 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport asked officials to explore ways to encourage the aviation sector to use UL91 fuel, an unleaded aviation fuel which it is believed a significant proportion of the piston engine aviation fleet can use.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason AVGAS 100 was not placed on the very high concern substance list.

The aviation fuel AVGAS 100 is not listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) because it is a mixture of substances. One of these substances is tetraethyllead (TEL), which is listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as an SVHC. This places certain obligations on companies or individuals that use or place TEL on the market in GB. This includes its use in aviation fuel.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 2 July 2021 to Question 22019 on Animal Products: Imports and 17 November 2021 to Question 68441 on Polar Bears, in what capacity the four polar bear trophies were imported in 2019 and 2020 if they were not issued with a licence.

No polar bear hunting trophies were imported under CITES in 2019 or 2020. The reply I gave to the hon. Member on 2 July 2021, PQ 22019, was based on inaccurately reported data which conflated information on commercial and hunting trophy trade in polar bear parts. We will publish a correction to PQ 22019.

CITES permits can be issued for a range of purposes, for example commercial, scientific or personal use. Four polar bear items were imported for commercial purposes, with permits, in 2019 and 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what steps he is taking to reduce response times to letters sent to his Department from hon. Members.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to him by an hon. Member since January 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what the (a) target and (b) monthly average response time is for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, how many letters from hon. Members are awaiting responses from Ministers in his Department as of 15 November 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what his Department's target date is for the hon. Member for Cambridge to receive a reply to his letter dated 1 September 2021.

A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 17 November 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has in place to support the UK fishing industry in the event that the EU activate provisions of Article 506 in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement applying tariffs to British fish exports.

Our approach to fisheries licensing under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments. Technical discussions continue with the European Commission and French administration to determine whether there is further information available that would support vessels to qualify for a licence. Vessels that provide the required evidence will receive a licence.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment of 20 October 2021, Official Report, Column 843, if he will publish the methodology used in calculating that ending sewage outflows would cost up to £660 billion.

The figures referred to were from draft findings of the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, which was commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce (made up of a range of active stakeholders in this sector). The final report considers a wide range of policies and scenarios with their respective cost and impact on customer bills, including the upper bound figure of £600 billion to separate the combined sewer network. This research was an independent report, conducted by Stantec, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/storm-overflows-evidence-project

The report contains detailed methodology of how it arrived at its initial conclusions and the government will consider its findings carefully, alongside other recommendations from the Storm Overflows Taskforce.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Cambridge on Inshore Vessel Monitoring dated 1 September 2021.

A reply will be sent to the hon Member in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent advertising of dogs for sale through (a) Snapchat and (b) Instagram stories where content is temporarily held online.

This Government takes the issue of low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies very seriously. Significant steps have already been taken to improve and update the laws on dog breeding in England to crack down on unscrupulous breeders who breed dogs purely for financial greed at the expense of animal welfare.

My department supports the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) which was created to combat growing concerns about the irresponsible advertising of pets for sale, rehoming and exchange, including through social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. We have backed a set of Minimum Standards that PAAG developed which several of the UK’s largest classified websites have agreed to meet. Meanwhile my department maintains a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of pets. This includes providing clear signposting on where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase. The campaign provides a list of red flags for buyers to look out for when searching for a pet online. More information can be found here: https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs and/or who breeds three or more litters in a twelve-month period needs to have a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards, including provisions to protect dogs from being bred from too often or at an early age, which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences. Any licensee advertising dogs for sale will need to include their licence number in the advert and specify the local authority who issued the licence. Additional requirements placed on advertisements include that the age of the dog for sale must be displayed along with a recognisable photograph.

We banned the commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England from 6 April 2020. This ban aims to disrupt the low-welfare trade that supports puppy farming by preventing pet shops, pet dealers and other commercial outlets from selling these animals in England unless they themselves have bred them. It means anyone looking to get a puppy must buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.

Furthermore, the Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and one of our key reforms in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare is to end this abhorrent, cruel practice and low-welfare pet imports. We continue to maintain a close working relationship with the animal welfare sector, enforcement agencies and Governments across the four nations regarding the regulation of dog breeding and pet sales. This will allow us to explore a more consistent approach to addressing any cross-border issues associated with illegal or low-welfare supply.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by, or collated in this Department, or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ban trail hunting and remove exemptions from the Hunting Act 2004 that have been used as a cover for illegal hunting, in response to the judgment of 15 October 2021 in the case of R v Mark Hankinson.

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act, and completely bans hare coursing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of prohibiting trail hunting on land owned by his Department to prevent its use as a cover for illegal hunting, following the judgment in the case of R v Mark Hankinson; and if he will make a statement.

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act, and completely bans hare coursing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many licences he has issued for the import of hunting trophies of polar bears in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

No licences have been issued for the import of hunting trophies of polar bears in 2019, 2020 or 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2021 to Question 64729, on Rivers: Sewage, what the hourly pay for staff in the Digital Engagement and Creative Content team is; and how many hours it took to produce the video.

The information is not available in the form requested. Individual staff costs cannot be easily identified to provide a precise figure for the production of that specific video alongside their other creative content commitments that day.

The video was produced alongside other creative content commitments that day. It is not possible to break down the exact production hours.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost was of producing the video, published 26 October 2021 used to promote the Government's proposed new sewage and rivers policy.

The video published 26 October 2021 was made in-house by the Defra group communications Digital Engagement and Creative Content team and did not incur a cost.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' oral contribution on 20 October 2021, Official Report, c. 843, whether he will publish the assessment behind the cost range of ending raw sewage discharges into rivers as cited by the Minister during that debate.

The age of our Victorian sewerage system means a complete elimination of discharges from storm overflows would be extremely challenging and initial assessments suggest it could cost over £150 billion according to the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce. The full research report will be published shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has issued to Ofwat on accelerating the ending of routine discharge of raw sewage into English rivers by water companies.

Earlier this year the Government consulted on a set of strategic priorities for Ofwat, the independent economic regulator for the water industry. The draft strategic policy statement (SPS) sets out the direction from the Government that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows". This is the first time any government has set out this expectation for water companies to prioritise their reliance on storm overflows to discharge sewage. The SPS strongly influences investment decisions and is one of the Government's key tools in driving action from water companies. The Government expects to publish the final SPS in early 2022.

Government has also announced that it will put the direction set out in the SPS on a statutory footing with a new duty on water companies to progressively reduce impacts of sewage discharges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects water companies to end the routine discharge of raw sewage into English rivers.

Eliminating harm from storm overflows is a Government priority, but we know that it will involve significant change and take time to achieve. The age of our Victorian sewerage system means a complete elimination of discharges from storm overflows would be extremely challenging and require full separation of pipes across the country, alongside other additional infrastructure. Initial assessments suggest this would cost over £150 billion according to the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce. The full research report will be published shortly.

However, this does not mean that things cannot improve significantly. We are continuing to work with the industry to make sure that storm overflows are properly controlled and to reduce the harm caused by their discharges. This Government has been clear that the current failure of water companies to reduce adequately sewage discharges is unacceptable.

Between 2020 and 2025 water companies will invest £7.1 billion to protect and improve the environment. This includes the £5.2 billion invested through the Water Industry National Environment Programme. Of this, £3.1 billion will be invested in in storm overflow improvements.

However, we have made it crystal clear to water companies that they must take further action to significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows as a priority. Our draft Strategic Policy Statement to Ofwat sets out for the first time that we expect water companies to take the steps required to "significantly reduce…. storm overflows." We have also announced that we will put that instruction on a statutory footing with a new duty on water companies to progressively reduce the impact of sewage discharges.

Our Environment Bill also includes the following new duties directly on water companies to:

  • publish statutory Drainage and Sewerage Management Plans, for the first time, setting out how they will reduce overflows, as well as detailing other improvements, and provides the power for government to direct companies if these plans are inadequate;
  • monitor water quality up and downstream of areas potentially affected by discharges;
  • publish data on storm overflow operation on an annual basis;
  • publish near real time information - within one hour- on the operation of storm overflows.

We will not hesitate to use our powers to hold companies to account. Earlier this year Southern Water was handed a record-breaking £90 million fine, and Thames Water was fined £4 million and £2.3 million for separate incidents.

New amendments have been tabled that place duties on the Government to publish a plan by September 2022 to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows and reduce their impact. There is also a duty to report to Parliament on progress on implementing the plan. We will also produce a report outlining further evidence regarding elimination of Storm Overflows by September 2022. We expect this to drive action to tackle this issue in a shorter timeframe.

Truly reducing harm from storm overflows will require a collaborative approach between many actors. To this end, in August 2020 I established the Storm Overflows Taskforce to bring together key stakeholders from the water industry, regulators, and environmental NGOs, with a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows. The Taskforce has already taken steps to improve monitoring and transparency and has commissioned research to gather evidence on the costs, benefits and feasibility of different options.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the maximum number of dogs that a professional dog walker should walk at any one time.

Professional dog walkers should comply with all relevant legislation, including the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and others. They should also comply with any relevant local authority requirements, not walk more dogs at any one time than their insurance policy allows, and ensure that the dogs are kept under control at all times.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which includes in its members the UK’s most significant animal welfare organisations, has published guidance to assist professional dog walkers in ensuring the welfare of animals in their care. Their guidance has formed the basis for guidance owned and issued by several local authorities and recommends that no more than four dogs are walked at any one time.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on increases in aluminium prices and the effect of those increases on the food industry.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. These include extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains.

Additionally, David Lewis has been appointed to co-chair the new Supply Chain Advisory Group and the new Industry Taskforce, providing a link between business and government to identify causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues. He has been appointed until the end of the year.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response. Our high degree of food security is built on access to a range of sources, including robust supply chains domestically, and from a diverse range of other stable countries.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the British pie industry on shortages of aluminium for pie foil casings.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. These include extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains, including those for food packaging.

British pie manufacturers have not raised concerns with Defra about aluminium packaging availability for pie foil casings, but we are aware of issues raised more generally by the food and drink industry due to packaging shortages. We will continue those conversations to explore further impacts and discuss potential solutions.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has set an emissions reductions plan.

On 19 October, the Government's Net Zero Strategy was published, setting the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors. The Natural Resources, Waste and Fluorinated-Gases (F-Gases) chapter covers Defra related sectors and their emission reductions including agriculture, peat and tree planting.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what emissions reductions his Department’s (a) existing and (b) proposed policies deliver in the (i) fourth, (ii) fifth and (iii) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

The Natural Resources, Waste and Fluorinated-Gases (F-Gases) chapter collates wide-ranging commitments, incorporating nature-based solutions into our approach to reach net zero, ensuring the pathway delivers multiple benefits for climate, biodiversity, and people. This brings together and builds on commitments and policies made in the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Agriculture Act and the Environment Act. We have committed to support the agriculture sector to reduce emissions, restore huge swathes of peat, create vast woodlands, and take action to reduce harmful waste and gases.

Table 8 in the technical annex of the Net Zero Strategy sets out sector emissions in future carbon budgets compared with current emissions levels.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the likely date of exhaustion of sewage treatment chemical stockpiles in the event that they are not replenished.

There is currently an adequate supply of water and wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. A temporary Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) was introduced to enable water and wastewater treatment sites to apply to the Environment Agency (EA) to reduce chemical dosing levels and mitigate any delays resulting the shortage of haulier drivers. This will expire at the end of the year unless the EA chooses to extend it. It has not been necessary for any wastewater companies to use the RPS.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that Ofwat’s strategic decisions align with the Government’s 25 year environment plan.

The Government has consulted on the draft strategic policy statement (SPS) for Ofwat, the independent economic regulator. Government expects to publish the final strategic policy statement in early 2022.

The draft SPS includes a strategic priority on ‘Protecting and enhancing the environment’:

  • Ofwat should drive water companies to be more ambitious in their environmental planning and delivery to contribute towards the priorities set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Ofwat should drive water companies to improve their day to day environmental performance to enhance quality of the water environment.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the context of the Environment Agency permitting the removal of the third stage of sewage treatment in the event that the appropriate chemicals are not available as a result of supply chain challenges or the lorry driver shortages, if he will take steps to ensure that people in England do not experience environmental and public health ill-effects from that activity.

A temporary Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) was introduced to enable water and wastewater treatment sites to apply to the Environment Agency (EA) to reduce chemical dosing levels and mitigate any delays resulting from the shortage of haulier drivers. This will expire at the end of the year unless the EA chooses to extend it. It has not been necessary for any water or wastewater company to use the RPS.

Any company planning to make use of this short-term measure must first agree its use with the EA, which will thoroughly check compliance. The EA will continue to monitor discharges and water quality as normal. Compliance with permit limits will also continue to be assessed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the projected emissions resulting from waste are over the (a) fourth, (b) fifth and (c) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

Sectoral emissions for Waste and F-gases over forthcoming carbon budget periods are set out in Table 8 of the technical annex to the net zero strategy. These are: Carbon Budget (CB) 4 24-27 MtCO2e; Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 17-20 MtCO2e and CB6 12-15 MtCO2e.

n.b. NDC is the midpoint of CB5

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with industry representatives on the potential merits of strengthening Parliamentary oversight of Ofwat and its performance.

The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with industry representatives on strengthening Parliamentary oversight of Ofwat and its performance.

Ofwat is directly accountable to Parliament for the performance of its functions and duties through the Water Industry Act 1991.

In the National Infrastructure Strategy published in November 2020, the Government committed to produce a cross-sectoral review of economic regulation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the projected resulting emissions for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use are over the period of the (a) fourth, (b) fifth and (c) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government’s Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

Sectoral emissions for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) over forthcoming carbon budget periods are set out in Table 8 of the technical annex to the Net Zero Strategy. These are Carbon Budget (CB) 4; 51-57 MtCO2e; Nationally Determined Contribution 44-52 MtCo2e and CB6 38-48 MtCO2e.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of using military drivers to deliver sewage treatment chemicals that are stuck in transit as a result of driver shortages.

There is currently an adequate supply of water and wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. The Government and industry have worked together to put in place effective mitigations to increase driver numbers. It has not been necessary to use military drivers to transport wastewater treatment chemicals.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing extra funds to water companies for the purposes of mitigating the risks posed by the sewage treatment chemical supply challenges.

There is currently no disruption to the supply of water, its treatment, or the treatment of wastewater.

The Government continues to work closely with water companies and regulators to reduce the likelihood and mitigate any future supply challenges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential to stockpile sewage treatment chemicals at regional centres in an emergency.

There is currently an adequate supply of wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. Water companies have robust plans in place to deal with a variety of emergencies that may arise. Companies retain stockpiles of critical chemicals as a contingency measure.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to prioritise the distribution of sewage treatment chemicals to waste water treatment works in England.

There is currently no disruption to the supply of chemicals used in the treatment of wastewater.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to announce a water demand target.

Protecting our water resources remains a priority for this government, which is why we are working to support the delivery of the ambitions set out in the Environment Agency’s national framework to reduce personal water consumption to 110 litres per person per day by 2050, without affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of water used by households.

We are also considering the potential for a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply under the target framework set out in the Environment Bill, alongside other target options which we intend to consult on in early 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that water company employees are safeguarded from being ascribed fault for incidents occurring as a result of the shortage of sewage treatment chemicals.

There is no shortage of sewage treatment chemicals, and precautionary mitigation measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of any such shortage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many powers have been (a) implemented or commenced and (b) used by prosecuting authorities under the Ivory Act 2018.

Once commenced, the Ivory Act will introduce one of the toughest bans on elephant ivory sales in the world by banning the dealing in items made of or containing elephant ivory, regardless of their age, unless they fall within one of the narrow and carefully defined exemptions.


We plan to implement the Ivory Act this winter and for the ban to come into force in spring 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Ministerial departmental office (a) has been and (b) is currently covered by CCTV cameras.

It is not Government policy to comment on security procedures in Government buildings.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of mandating the display of the Unified Water Label at the point of sale of terminal water fittings.

The Government published a Written Ministerial Statement on Reducing Demand for Water on 1 July 2021, which announced plans to introduce a mandatory water efficiency label to inform consumers and encourage the purchase of more water efficient products for both domestic and business use. We are currently exploring options for the label, including the potential to achieve energy savings, as well as further water savings.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish his proposals for a catch and release pilot for blue fin tuna.

A catch, tag and release (CHART) programme to conduct scientific research into Atlantic Bluefin Tuna abundance in English waters will run from 16 August until 14 November 2021.

Details of the programme were published on the website of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) on 23 April 2021: CHART Programme for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna - CEFAS.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 14214 on Climate Change and Ecology, whether the Government plans to declare a climate and ecological emergency.

This Government was the first of any major economy to set a net zero target in law, building on the legal framework to prevent and adapt to the effects of climate change in the Climate Change Act. The Environment Bill now requires a new, historic legally binding target to be set to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Defence on their proposals to release untreated radioactive rainwater from HM Naval Base Devonport into the river Tamar.

The Environment Agency (EA) was in discussions with HM Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport on their proposals for the disposal of rainwater containing tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) between December 2020 and June 2021. At that point HMNB Devonport formally submitted an application to vary its Approval for the receipt and disposal of radioactive waste.

At present this low level contaminated rainwater passes through the effluent treatment plant operated by the neighbouring nuclear site, Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd. HMNB Devonport now wants to release the rainwater directly into the River Tamar/Hamoaze. This would result in a very minor increase in dose to the public – equal to less than five minutes of the average annual background radiation dose in the UK. The total dose from all pathways and sources of radiation from the Dockyard was less than 0.005 mSv in 2019, which was less than 0.5 percent of the dose limit. Overall this is a very low level of radioactivity that will be discharged to the environment. The environmental impact of the tritium discharge is therefore minimal.

Discussions included the EA giving pre-application advice to the dockyard to ensure that the application would contain sufficient information to allow the EA to assess the application in a timely manner. The EA consulted with the public until 27 July about this application and will now work to determine the application. The consultation can be found here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/nuclear/application-to-vary-the-radioactive-substances-app/

The radioactive substances provisions of the Environmental Permitting Regulations do not apply to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). However, there is a Memorandum of Understanding between the EA and the MoD which provides for equivalent administrative arrangements. The Approval held by the MoD for HMNB Devonport is the equivalent of a Permit that would be held by a civilian operator.

The EA will continue to monitor pollution in the River Tamar/Hamoaze and the potential impact of the HMNB discharge if the application is approved.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has had with representatives of organisations (a) in favour of and (b) opposed to the Government's proposed ban on trophy hunting in the last 24 months.

The Government made a manifesto commitment to ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals, and Ministers and officials have engaged with a range of stakeholders throughout policy development on this issue. This, together with the outcomes of the recent consultation and call for evidence, will inform our next steps. Our approach on hunting trophies will be comprehensive, robust and effective and will deliver the change we promised to help protect thousands of species worldwide. We will set out our plans soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on (a) the Government's proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and (b) proposed locations for HPMAs.

On 8 June 2021, the Government published its response to the Benyon Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). The Government accepted the central recommendation to take forward pilot sites with the purpose of biodiversity recovery.

The response to the Benyon Review was agreed across Government. Defra officials met with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) during the Benyon Review and when preparing the Government response. The response states that HPMAs will be outside of routine defence exercise areas, and the selection of sites will consider the ability of an activity or sector to adapt to the location of a HPMA.

The Government is developing ecological, social and economic criteria for HPMA identification to create a list of potential sites this year, followed by a consultation and designation of sites in 2022. Defra will engage the MoD and other Government departments on the potential list of sites when it becomes available.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has declared a climate and ecological emergency.

The UK has adopted some of the most ambitious climate change and environment policies and commitments in the world.

Our Nationally Determined Contribution to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 is the most ambitious in the world. We became the first major economy to set a net zero target in law in 2019. We have doubled our International Climate Finance, and are investing nearly a third of it in nature-based solutions to climate change. We are leading coalitions of ambitious countries to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030, to redirect land use subsidies globally to support sustainability and renewal, and to breaking the link between commodity production and illegal deforestation.

Among numerous world-first interventions, the Environment Bill is being amended to create a duty to set a historic target on species abundance for 2030, aiming to halt the decline in nature.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to issue a consultation on the future management structure for national landscapes.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to merge and centralise the management of national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the increase in funding for national landscapes proposed in the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with Cabinet colleagues on each of the 27 proposals in the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposals of the Landscapes review published in September 2019 on (a) the planning system, (b) a night under the stars in a national landscape for every child, (c) increasing the ethnic diversity of visitors to national landscapes, (d) landscapes that cater for and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, (e) expanding volunteering in national landscapes, (f) sustainable tourism, (g) joining up national trails with national landscapes, (h) expanding open access rights in national landscapes, (i) affordable homes in national landscapes, (j) public transport, (k) a city park competition, (l) a better designations process, (m) reformed governance and (n) more funding and a new financial model.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond in full to the 27 proposals of the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding allocation he plans to make to Dartmoor under the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme for (a) 2022-23 and (b) 2023-24.

The funding allocation for Dartmoor National Park Authority under the Farming in Protected Landscape programme for 2022-23 and 23-24 has not yet been confirmed. Future allocation figures will follow the next Spending Review announcement.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the EU Commission and the French Government on the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when restrictions on the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states will be lifted.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what restrictions apply to the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons from EU member states to the UK.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure the cross-Channel free movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not Government policy to comment on security procedures in Government buildings.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any official business has been conducted on private email addresses within the (a) Environment Agency, (b) Rural Payments Agency and (c) other agencies or public bodies that support his Department; and what mechanisms are in place within each agency to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his departmental IT systems routinely allow officials, advisers and ministers to access private email accounts from their office desktop computers and department-issue laptop computers and mobile phone devices.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

It is Government policy not to comment on specific technical security controls; however, the incidental personal use of private email accounts from departmental systems is subject to our Acceptable Use policy, in spare time.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many imports of hunting trophies from (a) African Lion, Panthera leo, (b) Tiger, Panthera tigris, (c) African elephant, Loxodonta africana, (d) Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, and (e) Polar bear, Ursus maritimus were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in the UK in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018, (d) 2019, and (d) 2020.

The table below illustrates how many imports of hunting trophies from African Lion, Panthera leo, Tiger, Panthera tigris, African elephant, Loxodonta africana, Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, and Polar bear, Ursus maritimus were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in the UK in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

African Lion, Panthera leo

4

9

6

5

4

Tiger, Panthera tigris

0

0

0

0

0

African elephant, Loxodonta africana

7

6

6

2

3

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus

0

0

0

0

0

Polar bear, Ursus maritimus

1

3

1

3

1

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many imports of hunting trophies from species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded in the UK in 2020.

12 imports of hunting trophies from species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded in the UK in 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) R (ranched animal), (b) D (Captive-bred animal),(c) C (Bred in captivity) and (d) F (Born in captivity) hunting trophies were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) entering the UK in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018, (d) 2019, and (e) 2020.

The table below illustrates how many R (ranched animal), D (Captive-bred animal), C (Bred in captivity) and F (Born in captivity) hunting trophies were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) entering the UK in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

R (ranched animal)

0

0

0

0

0

D (Captive-bred animal)

0

0

0

0

0

C (Bred in captivity)

3

4

6

3

3

F (Born in captivity)

0

0

0

0

0

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to fisheries patrol vessels patrolling English waters, how many hours were those vessels deployed for in each month of 2021; what was the total cost of those deployments; and how many at-sea inspections took place (a) inside and (b) outside 12 nautical miles of (i) EU fishing vessels and (ii) UK fishing vessels.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for how many hours were at-sea fisheries patrols deployed in English waters in each month of 2021; and what was the total cost of those deployments.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to EU fishing vessels licensed by the Government to fish in UK waters, how many have been inspected (a) inside and (b) outside 12 nautical miles in the English sea area in each month of 2021.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to EU fishing vessels licensed to fish in UK waters, how many kilograms of each non-quota stock have been caught in each month from January to May 2021 inclusive.

Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK and the EU have committed to sharing the information necessary to implement the fisheries heading, including data on access to fish non-quota stocks in each party's waters. The written record for the 2021 fisheries consultations with the EU sets out the detailed data that will be exchanged.

We are working with the Commission to agree this exchange as soon as possible. The UK and the EU have both committed to agreeing what catch data should be exchanged in the longer term to support sustainable management by 31 July 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has direct access to real-time data from the EU fishing vessel monitoring data systems for EU fishing vessels licensed by the Government to fish in UK waters.

It is a legal requirement for all registered fishing vessels over 12 meters in length present within UK waters, including EU vessels, to be fitted with a Vessel Monitoring System satellite tracking system. Data from this system is relayed via the flag member states providing the UK Fisheries Authorities with live positional data.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10641 on Ivory, how much funding has been allocated to the awareness raising campaign for the ownership, sale and donation of ivory items.

The awareness raising campaign for the commencement of the Ivory Act will include information about the implementation of the ban, the exemptions, and how individuals and businesses can ensure they comply with the law. A budgetary provision of up to £30,000 has been made.

Defra will also be providing guidance on a number of matters to assist with compliance with the Act. Views on several specific matters to be included in that guidance were sought in the consultation on implementing the Ivory Act that closed on 4 May.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will lift the restrictions on universal metering outside water stressed areas.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory water efficiency label for all water-using products.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timetable is for publishing the results of his Department's consultation on measures to reduce personal water use that closed in October 2019.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has referred any Freedom of Information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling, in the last two years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date the Government declared a climate and ecological emergency.

The House of Commons voted for a motion on 1 May 2019 to declare an environment and climate emergency.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June to Question 1390 on Environment Agency: Finance, whether she has had discussions with trade union representatives on Environment Agency funding and enforcement capacity.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary has not engaged directly with the Environment Agency’s (EA) recognised trade unions. The EA has an established infrastructure in place to ensure it engages on a regular basis with its collective recognised trade unions (GMB, Unison, Unite and Prospect). The EA provides regular updates on finance and funding impacts as well as engaging on changes to ways of working, policies and impacts to its staff.

The EA will always seek to deliver the best outcomes for people and the environment and prioritise its enforcement work in line with the funding available, focusing on the cases that pose the greatest threat, risk and harm to the environment and communities.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of ivory items (a) owned and (b) collated in (i) Government Departments and (ii) other Government owned or managed institutions.

The Department has not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by, or collated in, Government departments, or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on providing guidance to local authorities on the allocation to wholesale food distributors of funding under the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has had no recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding guidance to local authorities on the allocation of funding to wholesale food distributors.

The Government will ensure that local authorities have the guidance they need to deliver the additional £1.5 billion business rates support package once primary legislation is passed, in line with the announcement on 25 March. As with other business rates reliefs, officials will work closely with local government on the development of the relief scheme and guidance for local authorities will be published in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support fishers who are experiencing losses over the (a) short, (b) medium and (c) longer term.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the seafood sector receives the support it needs to build resilience, recover from the pandemic and adapt to new trading conditions as an independent coastal state. This is why we have announced a range of support to the sector aimed at addressing short, medium, and long-term funding needs. The funding package of up to £23 million, which earlier this year was used to deliver temporary support schemes to seafood businesses affected by Covid-19 and new trading conditions, demonstrates the Government's ability to act decisively and address short-term funding needs where necessary.

£32.7 million has been made available to support the seafood sector this financial year. This meets the Government's manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector and enables each of the four administrations of the UK to deliver their own domestic funding schemes The new domestic funding scheme in England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and initially focuses on helping businesses adapt to new conditions and opportunities arising from leaving the EU and supporting their on-going recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

The Prime Minister has announced that an additional £100 million will be made available across the UK for transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities. It will be used to invest in: modernising and expanding infrastructure; the science and data needed to ensure a sustainable sector; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills and expertise required for a thriving and prosperous industry. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement on EU negotiations: 24 December 2020, to whom the £100 million funding for the British fishing fleet has been allocated.

The Government has announced that £100 million will be made available across the UK for the best transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities.

Options for the funding are currently being explored, but key areas for investment are likely to be infrastructure projects that support the development and modernisation of ports, harbours, and landing sites across the UK; the development and roll out of science and innovation across the catching and processing sectors; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the right skills, capacity, and expertise, alongside initiatives to encourage new entrants into the sector. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's consultation on Implementing the Ivory Act, which closed on 4 May 2021, if he will take steps to help ensure that members of the public can securely donate or surrender items of ivory that they own.

The Ivory Act will not affect the ownership of ivory items and as such we have no plans for a government surrender scheme at this time. We recognise that, for some low value items, owners may decide it is not cost-effective to register them for sale. This will be a decision for individual owners. Such items may of course be gifted, donated or bequeathed rather than discarded. We will explain to owners what options are available to them as part of our awareness raising campaign.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the potential effect of the reported shortfall in available freight delivery drivers on the (a) supply and (b) cost of supply of food to the (i) hospitality and (ii) convenience retail sectors.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary has discussed with the Secretary of State for Transport the logistical challenges for the food industry caused by a shortfall of lorry drivers. These discussions focused on a potential time-limited exemption from the points-based immigration system to enable UK employers to continue to recruit EU/EEA Heavy Goods Vehicles drivers.

Officials from the two departments continue to meet regularly to discuss the issue of driver shortfalls and the potential impact on the UK food supply chain. Intelligence from the industry, gathered from ongoing engagement with the sectors of the food chain, forms part of these discussions. Some acute problems have been identified, particularly in wholesale distribution.

Solutions that are being discussed include: extending driver delivery hours; the Department for Transport’s Large Goods Vehicles apprenticeship scheme; the Department for Work and Pensions’ action to encourage more job seekers into the profession; and increased Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency testing capacity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of restarting international quota swaps between producer organisations, in addition to providing direct financial support, on the British fishing fleet.

Exchanges of quota within the UK are available as normal.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for exchanges of quota both at annual negotiations and in-year via a mechanism developed by the Specialised Committee on Fisheries. The UK and EU have also agreed to establish transfers on an interim basis before the in-year mechanism is developed.

No recent assessment has been made in relation to the effect of introducing an international quota exchange mechanism between the UK and EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to make it his policy that fishing quota swaps will continue to be available between producer organisations.

Exchanges of quota within the UK are available as normal.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for exchanges of quota both at annual negotiations and in-year via a mechanism developed by the Specialised Committee on Fisheries. The UK and EU have also agreed to establish transfers on an interim basis before the in-year mechanism is developed.

No recent assessment has been made in relation to the effect of introducing an international quota exchange mechanism between the UK and EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Departments consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies, which closed on 25 February 2021, what plans he has to include the trophies of (a) lions, (b) tigers, (c) cheetahs and (d) other big cats bred in captivity in a future ban on import and export of those trophies.

The Government takes the conservation of endangered species very seriously, which is why we are banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered species, as set out in the Government’s manifesto.

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the publication of the Government response to the consultation and call for evidence. However, our approach will be comprehensive, robust and effective and will deliver the change we promised to help protect thousands of species worldwide.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential market effect of small quotas on demersal fisheries that rely on catching prawns to make trips commercially viable.

The UK’s approach in annual negotiations has been to seek solutions that are sustainable, and which support our fishing industries and local communities. Following the ICES advice for zero catches for quota stocks taken within mixed fisheries would, if applied, close economically important UK fisheries and have a significant impact on the associated coastal communities such as the Irish Sea Nephrops fishery where whiting is an unavoidable bycatch. In this situation, a total allowable catch (TAC) has been set at a level to allow a bycatch of whiting which seeks to prevent closing the Nephrops fishery while still allowing whiting to recover.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of pet theft on the welfare of the animals that have been stolen.

This Government is committed to ensuring the welfare of animals and will act to protect them further in all circumstances. The Government's Pet Theft Taskforce has been set up to gather evidence to understand the factors that may be contributing to any rise in pets being stolen and will consider the issue from end to end, with the impact on the welfare of the animals being fully considered as one aspect.

In addition, the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 (the Act) was granted Royal Assent on the 29 April 2021. This realises the Government's manifesto commitment to increase the sentences available to our courts for cases of animal cruelty. The Act will come into force on the 29 June 2021 providing one of the toughest sanctions in Europe and strengthening the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare.

The Act's new maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine will apply to animal cruelty offences, including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in the process of stealing it.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to ban (a) the routine use of antibiotics and (b) all preventative use of antibiotics in groups of animals from January 2022 in line with Regulation (EU) 2019/6 and Regulation (EU) 2019/4.

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations are committed to reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics in animals, and this includes routine preventative use.

The UK played a significant role during the negotiations on EU Regulations 2019/4 (medicated feed) and 2019/6 (veterinary medicinal products) and many changes in the EU law on veterinary medicines and medicated feed are desirable from a UK policy perspective. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate is currently in the process of amending and supplementing the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 as they have an effect in Great Britain. This involves consideration of provisions corresponding or similar to those in the EU regulations referred to, as proscribed in the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021.

Any changes to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 will be subject to formal public consultation to allow stakeholders to give their views on the proposed changes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on his Department's assessment of the (a) animal welfare and (b) environmental standards that apply in Australia.

All levels of my department, including the Secretary of State and I, have regular discussions with our colleagues at DIT on the UK’s approach to different trade negotiations, including the ongoing negotiations with Australia. Discussions cover a range of issues including animal welfare and environmental considerations.

Our discussions are grounded in our commitment that the Government will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards in our trade deals, including with Australia. We have laid our negotiating objectives setting this out before the House and we will uphold these. Moreover, we have retained in law our existing standards of protection across these areas and our deal with Australia will not alter these.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice his Department has provided to the Department for International Trade on the methodology for the assessment of whether the measures in trade agreements negotiated before the requirements of section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 come into force are consistent with minimising antibiotic use in animals.

In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high animal welfare, environmental protection and food standards.

Prior to negotiations commencing, the Government will publish a scoping assessment of the broad impacts of new FTAs. Following the conclusion of all negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will feed into this where appropriate.

This commitment is in addition to the usual parliamentary scrutiny process under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRaG) which will ensure the House has sufficient time to scrutinise the detail of any deal.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice his Department has provided to the Department for International Trade on the methodology for the assessment of whether the measures in trade agreements negotiated before the requirements of section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 come into force are consistent with the maintenance of UK levels of statutory protection for (a) human, animal or plant life or health, (b) animal welfare and (c) the environment.

In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high animal welfare, environmental protection and food standards.

Prior to negotiations commencing, the Government will publish a scoping assessment of the broad impacts of new FTAs. Following the conclusion of all negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will feed into this where appropriate.

This commitment is in addition to the usual parliamentary scrutiny process under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRaG) which will ensure the House has sufficient time to scrutinise the detail of any deal.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, further to plans announced in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, what animal cruelty offences could be penalised with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

As set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare and as part of an effort to promote high welfare standards, we want to ensure that proportional, targeted, transparent and consistent penalties are available to complement other existing sanctions; such as warnings, improvement notices and prosecution already established by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and other animal welfare related legislation.

Penalty Notices (PNs) would cover a wide range of offences included in the Animal Health Act, Animal Welfare Act and the parts of the European Communities Act covered by the Withdrawal Act. For the worst cases of harm and suffering experienced by animals – criminal prosecutions would still be the correct course of action. In other cases, PNs would be the proportionate response.

An example of where Penalty Notices (PNs) could be used is in the case of overstocking in laying hens, which impacts the welfare of hens. Criminal prosecution is often disproportionate, so beyond an improvement notice - this offence is often unchallenged. In such an example, PNs could be used as an effective deterrent.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the post-rabies vaccination wait time from the three to 12 weeks before which a puppy can enter the UK, to further reduce puppy smuggling.

The Government takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importations of pets very seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to animals and puts the health of pets and people in the United Kingdom at risk.

On 12 May 2021 the Government published its Action Plan for Animal Welfare (APAW). This is a wide-reaching and ambitious plan to set out our current and future work on animal welfare and conservation.

The Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and one of our key reforms in the plan is to end the abhorrent, cruel practice of puppy smuggling and low-welfare pet imports.

We are planning to bring in powers which enable us to that will allow us to prohibit the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs into Great Britain that have been subject to low welfare practices. This could include increasing the minimum age that dogs can be non-commercially moved or commercially imported into Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he will publish the findings of the consultation on the compulsory microchipping of cats.

The Consultation on Cat and Dog Microchipping and Scanning in England received over 33,000 responses. We are currently analysing these and will publish our findings later this year alongside our proposed actions.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Animal Sentience Committee announced in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will be independent of Government.

The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill creates an expert committee, the Animal Sentience Committee. The Animal Sentience Committee will have the power to scrutinise individual Ministerial policy formulation and implementation decisions. The Committee will set its own priorities and be supported by a secretariat. The Committee can publish reports on how Ministers have paid ‘all due regard’ to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings, alongside other considerations. Ministers will need to respond to these reports within three months by means of a written statement to Parliament.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects the Pet Theft Task Force to report their findings.

The Government launched the Pet Theft Taskforce on 8 May 2021 and the taskforce expects to report its findings this summer. The taskforce’s terms of reference were published when it was launched and are available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference detail the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the membership of the Pet Theft Task Force.

The Government recognises the emotional trauma which the theft of a much-loved pet can cause, and the impact the issue is having on pet owners and families. As with all other crime, we believe that pet theft must be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.

The Government launched the pet theft taskforce on 8 May 2021. As part of that launch the taskforce’s terms of reference were published and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference lay out the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives, or remit, and outcomes.

Membership of the Pet Theft Taskforce (Ministers) comprises the Lord Chancellor, Home Secretary, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. This group steers, and is informed by, the Pet Theft Taskforce (Officials) comprising officials from the three departments along with operational partners.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the remit and terms of reference of the Pet Theft Task Force announced on 8 May 2021.

The Government recognises the emotional trauma which the theft of a much-loved pet can cause, and the impact the issue is having on pet owners and families. As with all other crime, we believe that pet theft must be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.

The Government launched the pet theft taskforce on 8 May 2021. As part of that launch the taskforce’s terms of reference were published and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference lay out the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives, or remit, and outcomes.

Membership of the Pet Theft Taskforce (Ministers) comprises the Lord Chancellor, Home Secretary, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. This group steers, and is informed by, the Pet Theft Taskforce (Officials) comprising officials from the three departments along with operational partners.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reductions in funding allocated to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2021-22 on its ability to undertake enforcement work.

For enforcement, monitoring and incident response, the Environment Agency (EA) receives the majority of its funding via Grant in Aid from the Government.

The funding directly allocated for enforcement has not reduced for the year 2021/22.

The EA will always seek to deliver the best outcomes for people and the environment and prioritise its enforcement work in line with the funding available, focusing on the cases that pose the greatest threat, risk and harm to the environment and communities.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the volume of crops that went unpicked in fields in 2020.

Defra produces annual estimates of horticultural crop production. These estimates include tonnage, value and imports/exports which allow the Government to monitor productivity and competitiveness within the industry, including supply and self-sufficiency. The latest data we have is 2019. These are available on gov.uk

There are a number of reasons why crops may be unharvested, for example weather, pest and disease or drop in demand. No estimates are made for the tonnage of crops left unharvested. As a result, no data is available to answer this question.

We have regular contact with stakeholders to understand live issues as they develop.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to provide funding to mitigate changes in the level of income of the Environment Agency in the fiscal year 2021-22.

The Environment Agency’s budget for 2021-22 has now been delegated and there are no current plans to provide additional funding.

The Environment Agency is every year exposed to some credit risk, and we note the Agency was successful in achieving its expected income collection in 2020-21.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what revenue the Environment Agency received from permit fees in the financial year 2020-21.

The Environment Agency (EA) billed £346 million of permit and licence income in 2019/20.

In 2020/21 the EA billed £365 million of permit and licence income.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what revenue the Environment Agency received from permit fees in the financial year 2019-20.

The Environment Agency (EA) billed £346 million of permit and licence income in 2019/20.

In 2020/21 the EA billed £365 million of permit and licence income.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permit fees were paid to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2020-21.

In 2019/20 the Environment Agency (EA) issued approximately 80,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

In 2020/21 the EA issued approximately 78,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permit fees were paid to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2019-20.

In 2019/20 the Environment Agency (EA) issued approximately 80,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

In 2020/21 the EA issued approximately 78,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultation meetings relating to the Comprehensive Spending Review his Department (a) has held and (b) plans to hold with the Environment Agency.

Departmental budgets for future years beyond 2021-22 will be set by HM Treasury (HMT) through the Spending Review later this year. HMT will set out further details, including the envelopes for the Spending Review, in due course.

Defra’s Spending Review proposals will be developed in line with the outcomes we seek to achieve over the next Spending Review period. We will work closely together with our arm’s length bodies, including the Environment Agency, in developing our Spending Review plans.

Prior to Ministerial submission, Defra’s response to the Spending Review will also be approved by the department’s Executive Committee, of which the Environment Agency CEO is a member.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support limiting industrial activities with the greatest environmental impact taking place in international waters.

The UK is a global leader on marine protection. Through leading the Global Ocean Alliance and co-chairing the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the UK is championing a target under the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 30% of the global ocean in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures by 2030 (‘the 30by30 target’).

The UK believes that the whole ocean should be sustainably managed to allow both the marine environment and sustainable marine economies to thrive. In line with this, we support a global network of MPAs that includes both highly protected sites and those that deliver conservation outcomes alongside sustainable economic activities (i.e. the sustainable use of resources).

The UK also supports the conclusion of negotiations on a new implementing Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (‘BBNJ Agreement’). This will have provisions that allow for the creation of MPAs in international waters, a key mechanism to deliver the ‘30by30’ target. The UK is in favour of a strong obligation on Parties to the BBNJ Agreement to work within relevant bodies to deliver measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

As part of our work to ensure the sustainable use of the ocean, the UK has agreed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep sea ecosystems, and strong and enforceable environmental standards have been developed by the International Seabed Authority and are in place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications per job available were received through the Pick for Britain scheme.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform which advertised the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official and industry-led guidance.

The ‘Jobs’ page on the Pick for Britain website had a significant number of hits after its launch on 17 April, but this does not indicate the number of job seekers with an interest in taking up these roles.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, applications, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of British workers who were recruited to agricultural jobs via of the Pick for Britain campaign, or the number of applications that were received through the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many British workers were recruited to agricultural jobs via the Pick for Britain scheme.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform which advertised the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official and industry-led guidance.

The ‘Jobs’ page on the Pick for Britain website had a significant number of hits after its launch on 17 April, but this does not indicate the number of job seekers with an interest in taking up these roles.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, applications, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of British workers who were recruited to agricultural jobs via of the Pick for Britain campaign, or the number of applications that were received through the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of officials employed by his Department receive remuneration as a result of working for an organisation or company outside of government.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions.

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board, any outside employment as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of UK supermarkets on increasing their purchasing of UK-caught fish.

Evidence shows that UK consumers prefer a relatively narrow range of species which limits the market for UK caught seafood. As a result, we are working in partnership with industry and retailers to build greater consumer awareness of the wide range of species that can be found in UK waters, with the aim of increasing domestic consumption of seafood.

One example is the ‘Sea for Yourself’ campaign run by Defra and Seafish in 2020, as part of which we secured a retail partnership with Morrisons and campaign branding featured on 60,000 fish boxes in Morrisons UK stores.

We are strongly committed to encouraging consumers to buy and eat more locally caught fish and shellfish from UK waters.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many workers in total were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total budget was of the Pick for Britain campaign; and how much in funding (a) industry stakeholders and (b) the Government contributed to that total budget.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what total investment industry stakeholders have contributed to the Pick for Britain campaign.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) levels of light pollution across the UK and (b) effect that pollution has on (i) people and (ii) wildlife.

a) Defra’s last major review of light pollution was the January 2014 publication of a policy update on artificial light in the environment. Since then we have worked with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework policies include consideration of the impact of light pollution on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation.

Defra has also contributed to the development of the MHCLG Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution published in November 2019.

b) (i) Public Health England carried out a study in 2016 for the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Society of Light and Lighting, which included an assessment of light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights on health. The study concluded that some LED streetlight luminaires emitted more blue light than was necessary, but that there was no evidence of direct adverse health effects on people.

(ii) Defra has published or contributed to a range of assessments of the impact of artificial light on insects, and wider biodiversity, as well as global and national assessments of the drivers of biodiversity loss more generally.

There have been a number of externally funded studies which have highlighted potential impacts of artificial light pollution on insects and invertebrates, which Defra keeps under review, for example, with our academic partners on the National Pollinator Strategy for England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to help (a) ensure that crops are picked and (b) reduce crop wastage in 2021.

Defra is working closely with industry and other Government departments to understand labour supply and demand, and to help our world-leading growers access the labour they need to ensure our crops are picked and not wasted.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot has been expanded for one year, with 30,000 visas granted for workers to come to the UK, from EU or non-EU countries, for a period of up to six months to pick and package fruit and vegetables on our farms.

In 2021 and beyond, food and farming businesses will continue to be able to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status – almost 4.8 million EU citizens and their families have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and the application deadline is 30 June 2021. EU nationals who have settled status can continue to travel to the UK to do seasonal work in 2021.

The Government is encouraging the horticulture sector to make employment more attractive to UK domestic workers through offering training, careers options, wage increases and to invest in automation technology.

To help with these efforts, Defra will build on the success of last year’s domestic recruitment campaign and work with industry and DWP to raise awareness of career opportunities within the horticulture sector to help attract domestic workers, and we will explore the potential for automation to meet future labour demands of the sector.

Defra is leading a Government review of automation in horticulture to understand what is required to accelerate the development and uptake of automation technologies in both the edible and ornamental sectors, in England, with the view to reducing the sector’s long-term dependency on seasonal migrant labour. The review’s final report will be published in the summer of 2021 and inform a range of policy decisions regarding automation and seasonal labour from 2022 onwards.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Pick for Britain campaign on the agriculture sector.

The 'Pick for Britain' campaign was launched in April 2020 in response to the emerging risks that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the UK's food supply chain. It was a joint initiative between Defra and industry stakeholders, aimed at promoting picking roles to British workers, particularly those unemployed or on furlough.

This campaign, alongside other measures introduced by Defra, helped to ensure that British growers had access to the labour they needed last year. The harvest was brought home without issue in extraordinary circumstances, and with unprecedented interest from UK workers. We know the 'Pick for Britain' website was central to this uptake in interest - it received around 2 million unique page views following its launch, and recruiters featured on the site received significant numbers of enquiries about roles as a result. We are not able to share specific information about jobs, vacancies or recruitment, as this information is commercially sensitive and not held by Defra.

Defra has collected feedback and lessons from stakeholders and partners to the 'Pick for Britain' campaign, and will use this to inform future work to promote domestic recruitment across the horticulture sectors.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much (a) funding and (b) other resources he allocated to the Pick for Britain campaign.

Last year’s ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign was launched in April 2020 in response to the emerging risks that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the UK’s food supply chain. It was a joint initiative between Defra and industry stakeholders, aimed at promoting horticultural picking roles to British workers, particularly those unemployed or on furlough.

Defra secured co-investment from our industry project partners to deliver the campaign. This ensured that the wide-reaching campaign had a relatively small cost for the Government. Approximately £29,800 was spent by Defra on the ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the reclassification of coastal waters as Class A waters from Class B waters was explicitly requested by Government Ministers or reclassified as a result of a routine review.

Defra has worked at pace with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over the past few months to explore the potential for re-classification of harvesting areas on a seasonal basis where supported by the testing data, to enable more businesses to export live bivalve molluscs to the EU from Class A waters. Existing procedures allow local authorities and harvesters to request a review of shellfish waters. The FSA has additionally revised its procedures so that it will proactively consider seasonal classifications. The outcome of this review was reflected in the classifications listing published on 31 March 2021 on the FSA’s website at:

https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/classification-list-1-april-2021_0.pdf.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which coastal waters have been re-designated as Class A waters from Class B waters.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently undertaken a review of E.coli testing data for Class B shellfish harvesting areas in England and Wales, which identified eleven new areas that meet the requirements for seasonal Class A classification for at least five months of the year. This includes shellfish waters in Kent, Essex, Dorset, Cornwall and Northumberland. Further details of the locations of these waters can be found on the FSA’s website at:

https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/classification-list-1-april-2021_0.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179538 on Seals, what (a) funding and (b) other Government resources have been allocated to the Give Seals Space campaign.

The Seal Alliance received a grant of £75,700 from Defra’s £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund which has been used to support the ‘Give Seals Space’ campaign.

Government officials have also been working with the Seal Alliance to help increase the reach of this government-backed campaign to ensure the impact of human disturbance on these vulnerable marine mammals is minimised.

Further information on the campaign can be found on the Seal Alliance website.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of officials employed by his Department receive remuneration as a result of working for an organisation or company outside of government.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions.

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board, any outside employment as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs on the effect on ambulance, flood and other emergency service response times in rural areas with inadequate 4G coverage of delays to the roll out of the Emergency Services Network.

The emergency services currently use the Airwave system which is not run on 4G. This will eventually be replaced by the Emergency Services Network when it is safe to do so. The Home Office is responsible for roll-out of the Emergency Services Network.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect on ambulance, flood and other emergency response times of the time taken to roll out the Emergency Services Network in rural areas with poor 4G coverage.

The emergency services currently use the Airwave system which is not run on 4G. This will eventually be replaced by the Emergency Services Network when it is safe to do so. The Home Office is responsible for roll-out of the Emergency Services Network.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of horses being allowed by their owners to stray.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. It is an offence to cause any animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for its welfare. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines, as required by the 2006 Act. That includes ensuring the animal has a suitable environment to live in and is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 introduced more flexible options for the management of fly-grazing, straying or abandoned horses which present numerous difficulties for landowners, the public and the horses themselves. The 2015 Act allows landowners and occupiers to seize and, if necessary, remove horses unlawfully left on their land and take them immediately to a place of safety. In all cases, the person seizing the horse must notify the local police force within 24 hours of doing so, and if the horses' owners can be identified, the person must also notify them. If no owner can be identified within four working days, landowners, occupiers and local authorities may then decide what to do with the horses, including rehoming, either privately or via charities, or offering them for sale.

The Government considers that the relevant legislation and guidance in place provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting equine welfare and addressing the issue of straying horses. We remain committed to working with enforcement agencies and other interested parties to ensure issues of horse abandonments or neglect are effectively addressed.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risks posed by stray horses.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. It is an offence to cause any animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for its welfare. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines, as required by the 2006 Act. That includes ensuring the animal has a suitable environment to live in and is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 introduced more flexible options for the management of fly-grazing, straying or abandoned horses which present numerous difficulties for landowners, the public and the horses themselves. The 2015 Act allows landowners and occupiers to seize and, if necessary, remove horses unlawfully left on their land and take them immediately to a place of safety. In all cases, the person seizing the horse must notify the local police force within 24 hours of doing so, and if the horses' owners can be identified, the person must also notify them. If no owner can be identified within four working days, landowners, occupiers and local authorities may then decide what to do with the horses, including rehoming, either privately or via charities, or offering them for sale.

The Government considers that the relevant legislation and guidance in place provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting equine welfare and addressing the issue of straying horses. We remain committed to working with enforcement agencies and other interested parties to ensure issues of horse abandonments or neglect are effectively addressed.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the Environment Agency's impact assessment of the Sevington Inland Border Facility in Ashford, Kent.

We do not intend to publish the impact assessment. The Environment Agency has consulted the Department for Transport (DfT) and concluded that disclosure of information relating to the construction, design, layout and operation of the Sevington Inland Border Facility is confidential and would adversely affect both public safety and commercial confidentiality.

The Environment Agency is a statutory consultee for this DfT project and has provided advice relating to the environmental sensitivities, such as flood risk and risk of pollution to surface and groundwater. The Environment Agency’s advice to the DfT was taken into consideration during the development process and the Environment Agency is confident that the site has been designed and is being operated in line with it.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 March 2021 to Question 167317, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) accuracy of the population level assessments of porpoise and dolphins upon which the assessments he refers to in his Answer are made.

The UK Government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which provides essential observer data on incidents of cetacean (dolphins, porpoises and whales) bycatch. Information on bycatch rates, broken down by gear type and area are publicly available:

2011 – 2016:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18535&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

2017 & 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=19943&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), which annually reports upon threats facing cetaceans through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals:

2011-2017: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=17835&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

& 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20101&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description)

As of 1 April 2021, we let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 March 2021 given to Question 167317, which 10 fisheries have had the highest rates of (a) dolphin, (b) porpoise and (c) whale bycatch in each year since 2010 to date.

The UK Government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which provides essential observer data on incidents of cetacean (dolphins, porpoises and whales) bycatch. Information on bycatch rates, broken down by gear type and area are publicly available:

2011 – 2016:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18535&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

2017 & 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=19943&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), which annually reports upon threats facing cetaceans through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals:

2011-2017: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=17835&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

& 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20101&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description)

As of 1 April 2021, we let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the date beyond 5 April 2021 on which Avian flu restrictions end for farmers and smallholders.

The rules of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in England have been amended. The part requiring all birds to be housed was revoked at 23:59 on the 31 March 2021.

All other biosecurity measures set out in the AIPZ remain a legal requirement until further notice. Bird gatherings also remain prohibited.

Similar steps have been taken in Scotland and Wales.

Our disease control and prevention decisions are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice and can be found on the gov.uk link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of trail hunting on privately-owned land; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has not made any assessment of the extent of trail hunting on privately owned land. The Hunting Act 2004 bans hunting of wild mammals with dogs, except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act.

This Government will not amend the Hunting Act. Trail hunting should not involve the pursuit of a live mammal, and if hounds do pick up the scent of a live fox during a trail hunt, it is the responsibility of the hunt staff to control the hounds and if necessary to stop them.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce a personal water consumption target for consumers based on (a) the amount abstracted for supply or (b) per capita consumption.

Protecting our water resources is a priority for this Government, which is why we have proposed setting a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply in our Environment Bill. This could encompass household use, non-household use and leakage.

As the 2017 Abstraction plan is currently being refreshed, we do not think it is appropriate to set a target on wider abstraction. Water companies are already making changes (both voluntary and at the request of the Environment Agency) to their abstraction licences in order to benefit the environment.

The 2019 Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, is expected to be published this Spring. The consultation included a call for evidence on setting an ambitious target for personal water consumption, known as per capita consumption (PCC). We sought views on the policy options required to support a personal water consumption target. This included the labelling of water-using products, and the future role of metering.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the results of his Department's Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation that concluded in October 2019.

Whilst good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we paused work in this area due to the Covid-19 pandemic and end of the transition period. We have recently recommenced our efficiency work and are committed to publishing the Government response this spring, which sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Protecting our water resources remains a priority for this Government, which is why we have proposed setting a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply in our Environment Bill. This could encompass household use, non-household use and leakage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory water efficiency label on all water consuming products.

Defra is committed to publishing the Government response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, this spring. The response sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will remove restrictions to permit water companies to roll out universal water metering to areas beyond those designated as areas of serious water stress.

Defra is committed to publishing the Government response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, this spring. The response sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure seals are protected.

Both native grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and common seal (Phoca vitulina) species are protected in the UK under relevant wildlife legislation. Please refer to the following link for details:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protected-marine-species/seals

In addition, recent Government amendments to the Fisheries Act 2020 offer stronger protection for seals. The amendments prevent the intentional or reckless killing of seals in English, Welsh and Northern Irish waters as a result of commercial fishing.

Together with Seal Alliance we launched a new government-backed campaign ‘Give Seals Space’ on 2 April to reduce the impact that human disturbance can have on these vulnerable marine mammals.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to use the arbitration mechanism in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement to resolve issues exporting live bivalve molluscs to European markets.

Defra is working to find a resolution on this issue and we have been discussing with the EU and key partners. We have offered to provide reasonable additional reassurances to demonstrate shellfish health, on the understanding that the Commission recognises the existing high standards and history of UK-EU trade.

Until we get this issue resolved, we will do all we can to help businesses adapt to the new trading conditions and access alternative markets.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement is still awaiting ratification by the European Parliament.

The Agreement contains robust mechanisms that can be used by both parties to ensure that the trade and cooperation arrangements are implemented effectively. As a matter of course we will be monitoring such implementation and will use such mechanisms where appropriate.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason his Department drafted the fisheries support scheme conditions to exclude sail-powered fisheries from being eligible for financial support.

The Government is delivering support to catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses affected by the impact of Covid-19 or new trading conditions via the Seafood Response Fund.

In order to ensure that funding is targeted only at businesses which are dependent on fishing as their main source of income, the criteria for the scheme specify that all beneficiaries must have at least £10,000 in seafood catch sales. In order to verify that businesses meet the criteria and that the scheme represents value for money for the taxpayer, we must rely on a combination of sales data, vessel licensing data and reference data for calculating average fixed costs for that class of vessel.

Businesses, including sail-powered fisheries businesses, whose vessel is not licensed or registered for the commercial activity of fisheries, and for whom we do not hold sales data to demonstrate they meet the sales threshold, are not eligible for the scheme. Such businesses, however, may still be eligible for wider Government support for organisations impacted by Covid-19.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £100 million fund for fishing industry upgrades, whether his Department plans to make allocations to the nations of the UK based on the Barnet formula or national share of fishing opportunities.

We will make an announcement on the £100 million fund shortly. The money will modernise and rejuvenate the industry, support economic growth for our coastal communities and strengthen the long-term sustainability of the sector. It is our intention to ensure the sector benefits from this investment in all parts of the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to adopt the concept of Net Zero Plus as advocated by the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

The Secretary of State has regular, productive conversations with Sir James Bevan, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, about a range of operational and policy issues. This includes net zero. Sir James’ speech on More than Net Zero reflects the government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Both mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet this goal and government is taking action to deliver on this. This is why mitigating and adapting to climate change is one of the ten goals in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Mitigation and adaptation are also both embedded into other goals, such as air quality and thriving plants and wildlife.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst we continue to reduce our contribution to climate change, we are also taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

Our second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) (a five-yearly requirement under the UK Climate Change Act 2008) was published in 2018 setting out how we will address climate change risks in the following five years. It follows from the second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local government.

The UK co-convened December’s Climate Ambition Summit to galvanise global action towards a resilient, net zero emissions future. Alongside our updated Nationally Determined Contribution, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing our first Adaptation Communication. The Adaptation Communication sets out what we are doing to prepare for the effects of climate change at home and support those facing impacts overseas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency on his proposals for Net Zero Plus.

The Secretary of State has regular, productive conversations with Sir James Bevan, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, about a range of operational and policy issues. This includes net zero. Sir James’ speech on More than Net Zero reflects the government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Both mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet this goal and government is taking action to deliver on this. This is why mitigating and adapting to climate change is one of the ten goals in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Mitigation and adaptation are also both embedded into other goals, such as air quality and thriving plants and wildlife.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst we continue to reduce our contribution to climate change, we are also taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

Our second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) (a five-yearly requirement under the UK Climate Change Act 2008) was published in 2018 setting out how we will address climate change risks in the following five years. It follows from the second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local government.

The UK co-convened December’s Climate Ambition Summit to galvanise global action towards a resilient, net zero emissions future. Alongside our updated Nationally Determined Contribution, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing our first Adaptation Communication. The Adaptation Communication sets out what we are doing to prepare for the effects of climate change at home and support those facing impacts overseas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the continued enforcement of restrictions on chickens and other birds in response to avian flu concerns.

Effective animal disease control is one of Defra's key priorities.

In response to the increasing risk of avian influenza incursion into poultry and other captive birds in GB, Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) were put in place in each of the GB administrations on the 11 November 2020. These require people who keep birds to ensure they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place. In response to a further increase in the risk additional measures requiring all the birds to be housed indoors came into force across GB on the 14 December 2020. Following a reduction in the risk of avian influenza incursion in both wild and kept birds to medium, the 31 March 2021 will be the last day birds in GB will be required to be housed as part of the AIPZ, however the AIPZs will remain in force across GB and all other biosecurity measures set out in the AIPZs will remain a legal requirement until further notice. Biosecurity guidance and a biosecurity self-assessment checklist to assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.

Local Authorities have the responsibility to ensure compliance with the AIPZ and other avian influenza controls. We have established an enforcement working group with representatives from local authorities, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and GB policy leads. This Group has met regularly throughout the current avian influenza outbreak to share knowledge and expertise.

Defra Ministers and officials talk regularly to representative organisations. We post the latest advice, key messages and situational updates on our gov.uk guidance page, social media channels, issue national, local and trade press releases and have a rolling gov.uk news story. The UK's Chief Veterinary Officer and others have given media interviews to raise awareness of the disease control measures that have come into force.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at what stage of development is the Catch App catch monitoring system.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) led catch recording application currently remains in a ‘public beta’ phase, which includes a rollout of the service to the fishing sector. During this phase the MMO has published information, advice and guidance to provide support to all users. Current figures indicate over 80% of the active under 10 metre fleet have adopted the new recording method with over 80,000 catch records successfully submitted.

The MMO remains committed to continuous improvement based on feedback from stakeholders to improve the app’s functionality and since launching the app this feedback has helped inform additional system improvements. This has included increasing the number of ports available within the app and the ability to record weights of fish lower than 1kg.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of bycatch on populations of (a) porpoises, (b) dolphins, (c) whales and (d) other sensitive species.

The UK government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which helps to protect sensitive marine species and to monitor and reduce any potential fisheries impacts on these species. The UK has an additional observer programme which collects data on fisheries catch and bycatch for scientific advice and management.

The government also funds Clean Catch UK which is a collaborative research programme dedicated to better monitoring, reducing, and, where possible, eliminating the bycatch of sensitive marine species in UK fisheries.

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which conducts research on threats facing cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and whales) through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals. We are about to let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

These programmes all contribute to the assessment of bycatch on populations of sensitive marine species.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many UK vessels are permitted to fish using fly-shooting fishing gear.

From a total of 5,331 UK licensed fishing vessels, during 2021 so far 19 UK vessels have landed fish using Scottish seine gear (also known as fly-shooting gear).

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support he will make available to Plymouth fishing fleets to implement new measures to reduce porpoise and dolphin bycatch.

The Government funds Clean Catch UK which is a collaborative research programme dedicated to better monitoring, reducing, and, where possible, eliminating bycatch of sensitive species in UK fisheries. We are taking a risk-based approach to implementing this, focussing on fisheries which experience the highest rates of bycatch in the first instance.

Clean Catch UK is supported by a National Steering Group which provides advice to Defra on bycatch monitoring and mitigation. We would encourage representatives from Plymouth fishing fleets to engage in this group and to use the resources which can be found at https://www.cleancatchuk.com/.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of fishing with fly-shooting fishing gear in UK waters.

Defra is considering the potential effects of fly-shooting fishing gear used by vessels in UK waters. Discussions with industry are taking place and any assessment of these activities will be based on evidence.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to section 1(4) of the Fisheries Act 2020, what funding he has allocated from the public purse to deliver the (a) ecosystem objective on sensitive species bycatch and (b) Cetacean Bycatch Plan of Action.

This year we have spent £1,195,226 on activities which support more effective bycatch monitoring and mitigation, with a further £1,414,330 allocated for next year. These activities include projects and monitoring programmes which support delivery of the ecosystem objective on sensitive species bycatch and the Cetacean Bycatch Plan of Action.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many EU vessels are permitted to fish in UK waters with fly-shooting fishing gear.

From a total of 1,643 EU-27 vessels licensed to fish in UK waters, 25 EU vessels have Scottish seine gear (also known as fly-shooting gear) listed on the public EC fleet register. However, as vessels are not required to have a Scottish seine permit, there may be more vessels that use this type of gear in UK waters.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many trucks carrying fresh seafood products to the EU left Great Britain in each month from January 2020 to February 2021.

Data on the number of lorries exporting seafood from the UK is not collected: freight flow data cannot be fully broken down by commodities carried for all routes of UK exports. We are, however, monitoring the number of vehicles who designate in their application for a Kent Access Permit (KAP), that they are transporting prioritised goods such as single loads of live and fresh seafood for human consumption, mixed consignments are not in scope for prioritisation. This only indicates the volumes travelling via the short straights. Although there are caveats to this data, primarily that all those transporting live or fresh seafood for human consumption have confirmed this in their application for a KAP, data indicates that there have been a higher weekly volume of vehicles transporting live or fresh seafood for human consumption from the UK in February than there was in January 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the ecosystem objective under section 1(4) of the Fisheries Act 2020, what target is in place to minimise and eliminate bycatch of (i) porpoises, (ii) dolphins, (iii) whales and (iv) other sensitive species; what the timeframe is for meeting that target; and what steps the Government plans to take to reduce that bycatch.

We will set out policies that will help to achieve this objective in the Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS, which is a UK-wide policy document.

The JFS will be published 24 months after the Fisheries Act received Royal Assent, in late 2022. We have also included provisions to report on the JFS policies every 3 years, and to review the JFS at least every 6 years, therefore ensuring the policies within it continue to deliver the objectives within the Fisheries Act.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hours of at sea surveillance for fisheries protection was deployed in English waters in January and February 2021; and what did the sea surveillance cost.

In January and February 2021, the Marine Management Organisation deployed 3372 hours of at-sea surveillance.

The total cost of surface surveillance was £1,111,977 in January and £1,050,472 in February.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of non-quota stocks were caught by EU vessels in England’s exclusive economic zone waters by species in each year between 2000 and 2020.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of non-quota stocks, by species, were caught by EU fishing vessels in England’s territorial waters in each year between 2000 to 2020.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of fish were caught in England’s EEZ waters by EU vessels in (a) January and (b) February 2021.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to include the growing of bioenergy feedstocks such as woodland and energy crops as recognised activities for farmers and landowners under the Environment Land Management Scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has made a commitment to develop and publish a new cross-government Biomass Strategy by 2022. Defra is working closely with BEIS on this. The strategy will consider how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to best contribute to our net zero target. There is evidence and widespread acceptance that biomass, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, has a key role to play in achieving net zero. We are looking carefully at how to ensure any potential future policy to increase the supply of domestically sourced biomass, such as woody biomass or energy crops such as miscanthus, minimises any potential impacts on food security and the environment, as well as taking advantage of any co-benefits. We will also consider whether our future schemes that pay farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions can play a role in supporting the delivery of the strategy.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many at sea inspections his Department conducted on (a) British and (b) overseas fishing boats in each month in 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 5 February 2021, PQ UIN 145144.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Environment Land Management scheme pilots will feed directly into his Department’s preparation of a Biomass Strategy.

The pilots for schemes that reward environmental land management will build on the excellent work of our ongoing 'Tests and Trials', which involve around 3000 farmers and land managers across England.

The pilots will assemble the concepts explored in the tests and trials into fully functioning prototype schemes, and work with farmers to see what works and what doesn't, fixing problems as we go. The pilots will run for three years, with applications opening in the spring and the first pilot, of the Sustainable Farming Incentive, commencing in October.

We report the evidence and learning from tests and trials in real time to inform the pilots and wider Defra policy. Evidence from the pilots will start to come through during 2022.

The Government has made a commitment to develop and publish a new cross-government Biomass Strategy by 2022. Defra is working closely with BEIS on this. The strategy will consider how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to best contribute to our net zero target. We are looking carefully at how to ensure any push to biomass minimises impacts on food security and the environment.

The Government will set out more details of its thinking in the forthcoming Energy White Paper and issue a call for evidence. This will be used to inform the Biomass Strategy development in the context of net zero.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to use powers contained in the Environment Bill to set a recycling target for critical minerals.

In line with our Resources and Waste Strategy, published in December 2018, we are taking steps to move from a linear economy to a more circular economy. This includes by seeking new legislative powers under the landmark Environment Bill that will enable us to: drive design for durability, reparability and recyclability of products such as electronics; require provision of information on products such as material content, including Critical Raw Materials (CRMs); and put in place extended producer responsibility schemes. We are also working with BEIS to utilise our repatriated EU powers to introduce eco-design measures relating to energy-using products. Our planned review of, and subsequent consultation on, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, and the Batteries Regulations, will also provide an opportunity for consideration of the management of critical minerals. At this stage there are no plans to use the powers in the Environment Bill, or other powers, to set specific recycling targets for critical minerals.

In addition, in November 2020 we announced 5 new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres as part of £30 million of Government investment. Two of these relate to CRMs and metals – the UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals, and the UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Metal. These will explore how reusing waste materials could deliver environmental benefits and boost the UK economy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2021 to Question 158199, how many of the 97.9 full time equivalent staff recruited on fixed term or temporary appointment to work on EU exit preparation work will leave his Department in each month of 2021-22.

The breakdown of the 97.99 full-time equivalent recruited on fixed term or temporary appointments and working on EU exit preparation work leaving the department in 2021/22 is shown below.

Month

FTE

April 2021

4.70

May 2021

7.60

June 2021

5.35

July 2021

5.85

August 2021

8.10

September 2021

12.05

October 2021

10.70

November 2021

9.45

December 2021

4.70

January 2022

8.95

February 2022

10.15

March 2022

10.39

Grand Total

97.99

This is based on “planned termination dates” as at 31 January 2021. Contracts can be extended, or appointments converted to permanent contracts (subject to the appropriate recruitment processes).

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many on land inspections his Department conducted on (a) British and (b) EU fishing boats in (i) January 2021 and (ii) February 2021.

During January and February 2021, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) carried out no at sea inspections. The total number of shore-based inspections carried out during January and February 2021 by the MMO was 31. This can be broken down as follows:

January

February

Shore based inspections carried out on British fishing boats by MMO

24

4

Shore based inspection carried out on EU fishing boats by MMO

0

3

COVID-19 safety measures introduced in response to high rates of infection impacted the ability to conduct physical inspections of vessels both at sea and on shore during January and February 2021. However, inspections were carried out on quaysides with social distancing measures in place and an increased at sea enforcement presence remained in place for January and February 2021 to deter illegal activity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many at sea inspections his Department conducted on (a) British and (b) overseas fishing boats in February 2021.

During January and February 2021, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) carried out no at sea inspections. The total number of shore-based inspections carried out during January and February 2021 by the MMO was 31. This can be broken down as follows:

January

February

Shore based inspections carried out on British fishing boats by MMO

24

4

Shore based inspection carried out on EU fishing boats by MMO

0

3

COVID-19 safety measures introduced in response to high rates of infection impacted the ability to conduct physical inspections of vessels both at sea and on shore during January and February 2021. However, inspections were carried out on quaysides with social distancing measures in place and an increased at sea enforcement presence remained in place for January and February 2021 to deter illegal activity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many landings by EU vessels into a UK port occurred in (a) January 2021 and (b) February 2021.

Based on data held by the Marine Management Organisation, the number of landings by EU vessels into a UK port was 40 for January 2021 and 32 for February 2021. There were no landings by EU vessels into an English port in January and three in February.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of additional full-time equivalent employees employed by his Department who were temporarily allocated to EU Exit preparation work in the areas of (a) fisheries, (b) farming and (c) chemicals will leave his Department in 2021-22.

Since April 2018, 176.9 were recruited as full time equivalent on fixed term or temporary appointment to work on EU exit preparation work. 97.9 will leave the department in 2021-22.

Defra is unable to provide information on how many of the 176.9 recruited work in the areas of (a) fisheries, (b) farming and (c) chemicals as this information is not recorded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, by how many full-time equivalent employees his departmental payroll has reduced since the conclusion of the EU Exit trade deal.

The departmental full-time equivalent in Defra has increased by 91.55 since the conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, during the period 31 December 2020 to 31 January 2021. The reason for the increase is that the department is still dealing with the outcomes of the EU exit trade negotiations, UK borders, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many additional full-time equivalent employees employed by his Department who were temporarily allocated to EU Exit preparation work in the areas of (a) fisheries, (b) farming and (c) chemicals have been redeployed in his Department to date; and how many of those staff will be redeployed in 2021-22.

Defra does not centrally record redeployments within the department or detail on the work areas where redeployment has occurred. We would have to contact the respective business areas for such information. This would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many licences were issued for (a) breeding dogs, (b) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats, (c) providing or arranging for the provision of boarding for dogs in kennels, (d) providing or arranging for the provision of day care for dogs, (e) hiring out horses, (f) selling animals as pets and (g) keeping or training animals for exhibition under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The table below provides data for the various activities as provided by local authorities, as required under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. Data held for animal boarding is not separated into catteries and kennelling or day care:

Active licences issued/renewed*

Pet selling

Dog breeding

Animal boarding

Riding schools

Exhibiting animals

2018/19

338

321

1,842

167

64

2019/20

539

561

2,401

185

539

*according to records submitted by local authorities – 64 returns in 2018/19 and 82 returns in 2019/20.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans for some of the £100 million investment fund for fishing to be used to decommission fishing boats.

The Government has committed to providing £100 million of investment to rejuvenate the industry and coastal communities across the UK.

There are no plans to have a decommissioning scheme. Previous schemes have been fraught with difficulties and have created unintended consequences.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of fishing boats that will be decommissioned in 2021 as a result of the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

The decision to decommission a fishing vessel is one for the owner.

There are no plans for a publicly funded decommissioning scheme in England.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many zoo licence holders his department planned to support through the creation of the £100 million Zoo Animals Fund.

The fund has been a lifeline for many zoos and has been accessible to all zoos and aquaria which need funds to care for their animals, as evidenced by the success of small, medium and large zoos in securing grant funding. Only one application to the Zoo Animals Fund has been rejected on the basis that the business in question was ineligible as it did not have the necessary licence or exemption. The Zoo Animals Fund has been created to provide for zoos which, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals. The fund’s purpose is to ensure that animals’ needs continue to be met, and if zoos are closing, downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support in these circumstances. We have extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

Beyond the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Zoos and aquaria are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to recent reports by 24 zoos to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums that they were at high or medium risk of closure in 2021, what support his Department plans to provide to those zoos.

The fund has been a lifeline for many zoos and has been accessible to all zoos and aquaria which need funds to care for their animals, as evidenced by the success of small, medium and large zoos in securing grant funding. Only one application to the Zoo Animals Fund has been rejected on the basis that the business in question was ineligible as it did not have the necessary licence or exemption. The Zoo Animals Fund has been created to provide for zoos which, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals. The fund’s purpose is to ensure that animals’ needs continue to be met, and if zoos are closing, downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support in these circumstances. We have extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

Beyond the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Zoos and aquaria are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons some zoos and aquaria have not been able to access funding from the Zoo Animals Fund.

The fund has been a lifeline for many zoos and has been accessible to all zoos and aquaria which need funds to care for their animals, as evidenced by the success of small, medium and large zoos in securing grant funding. Only one application to the Zoo Animals Fund has been rejected on the basis that the business in question was ineligible as it did not have the necessary licence or exemption. The Zoo Animals Fund has been created to provide for zoos which, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals. The fund’s purpose is to ensure that animals’ needs continue to be met, and if zoos are closing, downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support in these circumstances. We have extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

Beyond the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Zoos and aquaria are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the basis is for his categorisation of rough shooting as a form of exercise in the context of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Under the National Lockdown: Stay at Home, individuals must only leave their homes where they have a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes where reasonably necessary for exercise. This should be limited to once a day. This includes but is not limited to running, cycling, walking, and swimming. When deciding how to exercise, individuals should consider if their chosen activity and location will enable them to stay local and minimise their time away from home and risk of interacting with others. Individuals should only leave their homes to go shooting or partake in other outdoor licensed physical activity where they are confident that the activity they are engaging in can count as exercise and meets social contact rules (set out here in the gov.uk guidance). Individuals must also ensure that relevant regulatory and licensing requirements are met, and permission has been given by the landowner or manager. Organised shoots and other forms of organised sport or outdoor licensed physical activity are not permitted, save for disabled sport.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings his Department has held with HM Treasury regarding funding for zoo licence holders in 2021.

We have ongoing communication with HM Treasury about the funding being provided for zoo licence holders.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on zoos and aquaria in the event that those venues are not open to visitors over Easter 2021 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

I am aware of the pressure that the current coronavirus restrictions are placing on the zoo sector and I know that Easter is a key time of year for zoos and aquaria to welcome visitors. The Government has not yet announced how and when the current coronavirus restrictions applying to zoos and aquaria will be eased. We keep the Zoo Animals Fund constantly under review to ensure that it is meeting its aims. We have recently extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

In addition to the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period. Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has for remaining £95 million funds in the Zoo Animals Fund.

I am aware of the pressure that the current coronavirus restrictions are placing on the zoo sector and I know that Easter is a key time of year for zoos and aquaria to welcome visitors. The Government has not yet announced how and when the current coronavirus restrictions applying to zoos and aquaria will be eased. We keep the Zoo Animals Fund constantly under review to ensure that it is meeting its aims. We have recently extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

In addition to the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period. Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has for supporting (a) zoos, (b) aquariums and (c) safari parks in the 2021-22 financial year.

I am aware of the pressure that the current coronavirus restrictions are placing on the zoo sector and I know that Easter is a key time of year for zoos and aquaria to welcome visitors. The Government has not yet announced how and when the current coronavirus restrictions applying to zoos and aquaria will be eased. We keep the Zoo Animals Fund constantly under review to ensure that it is meeting its aims. We have recently extended the application deadline for the Zoo Animals Fund to 26 February 2021 and urge any zoos in need of support to put in an application.

In addition to the Zoo Animals Fund, the Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos and aquaria, through this period. Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of ivory items auctioned or traded in the UK in each year since 2018; and what steps he is taking to commence all provisions of the Ivory Act 2018.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items auctioned or traded in the UK since 2018. The government is committed to bringing the world leading Ivory Act into force as soon as practicable. We are required to consult on certain, specific matters that will be set out in the secondary legislation and in guidance. These include the commencement arrangements for the ban, implementation of the exemptions, and the information required and fees for registrations of exempt items. We plan to publish this consultation shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a blue carbon strategy for the UK.

The Government recognises the important role that blue carbon habitats, such as saltmarsh and seagrass meadows, can play to prevent biodiversity loss and support adaptation and resilience to climate change, alongside carbon sequestration benefits. Some uncertainty remains in quantifying the magnitude and direction of change in blue carbon stores and fluxes for all marine habitats, and we therefore continue to gather evidence to improve assessments.

Marine nature-based solutions, including the protection and restoration of blue carbon habitats, are central to a range of Defra policy areas and will contribute towards achieving the Government’s vision for ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse ocean and seas’. The existing UK Marine Strategy is vital in achieving this vision and provides the framework for assessing and taking measures to achieve and maintain Good Environmental Status in our seas.

We already have 38% of UK waters in Marine Protected Areas, covering the majority of saltmarsh and seagrass habitat, and our focus is now on ensuring these are effectively protected. We have stated our intention to pilot Highly Protected Marine Areas in Secretary of State waters and we look forward to publishing the Government's response to Richard Benyon's review in due course, including how HPMAs can enhance the protection of blue carbon habitats. A number of coastal habitat restoration initiatives are also underway, including the Restoring Meadow, Marsh and Reef (ReMeMaRe) initiative which was initiated by the Defra group to restore our estuarine and coastal habitats to benefit people and nature.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to require crews of foreign fishing boats landing their catches in English ports to show negative covid-19 tests.

Fishers, regardless of nationality, are currently exempt from pre-departure testing ahead of landing into an English port. We have no plans to remove that exemption. The Government is continuously reviewing our testing regime and will make changes based on recommendations from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many inspections his Department conducted on (a) British fishing boats and (b) overseas fishing boats in (i) each month in 2020 and (ii) January 2021.

During the period 1 January 2020 to 31 January 2021, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) conducted 122 inspections of non-UK vessels at sea and 176 inspections of UK vessels at sea. The following table provides a breakdown of this total per month:

Month:

UK

Non-UK

Jan 2020

49

23

Feb 2020

16

11

Mar 2020

17

13

Apr 2020

0

0

May 2020

0

0

Jun 2020

3

0

Jul 2020

10

8

Aug 2020

17

9

Sep 2020

16

13

Oct 2020

24

14

Nov 2020

32

16

Dec 2020

20

15

Jan 2021

0

0

Covid-19 safety measures introduced in response to high rates of infection impacted the ability to conduct physical at sea inspections during January 2021. The larger proportion of at sea inspections on UK vessels in comparison to non-UK vessels during 2020 is also reflective of a safety first, phased-in approach to safety measures, as boarding English speaking vessels was initially deemed easier for implementing and explaining Covid-19 protocols in response to the first national lockdown. However, an increased at sea enforcement presence remained in place throughout 2020 and in January 2021 to deter illegal activity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to implement the Ivory Act 2018.

The Government is committed to bringing the world leading Ivory Act into force as soon as practicable. We are required to consult on certain, specific matters that will be set out in the secondary legislation and in guidance. These include the commencement arrangements for the ban, implementation of the exemptions, and the information required and fees for registrations of exempt items. We plan to publish this consultation shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the economic viability of the UK's distant water fleet.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement primarily secures fishing opportunities in UK-EU waters, so predominantly relates to sectors of the UK fleet that fish more local waters.

Our new framework agreements with Norway and the Faroe Islands provide for annual negotiations on access to fishing opportunities in those distant waters. Those negotiations are underway.

We will continue to work with the distant water sector so that it can take advantage of future opportunities.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs, whether hunting is considered as exercise under the covid-19 lockdown restrictions announced in January 2021.

There are no exemptions to the lockdown restrictions in place for organised hunting or shooting. You must only leave the home where you have a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes where reasonably necessary for exercise. As a private individual, you may leave your home to shoot where you are confident this counts towards your daily exercise and is compliant with social contact rules (see further detail on exercise here on gov.uk).

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household, but should maintain social distancing under current Covid-19 guidelines and not share any equipment

When deciding how to exercise, you should consider if your chosen activity and location will enable you to minimise your time away from home and risk of interacting with others.

You must also ensure that relevant regulatory and licensing requirements are met, and permission has been given by the landowner or manager. Organised shooting or hunting is not permitted during the National Lockdown.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assumptions his Department has used on the level of rents for agricultural land as Basic Payment Scheme payments are phased out.

Rent prices could fall for tenant farmers as Direct Payments are removed. There is evidence that Direct Payments inflate farm rent prices, meaning some of the payment supports the income of the landowner, not the tenant farmer.

Academic evidence suggests that an average of 20 to 25 cents per euro paid to tenants across the EU goes to the landlord, though the land market conditions in England give reason to believe the figure could be different here. A combination of high demand for farmland, varied rental agreements and re-directed Direct Payment spend means that any fall in rents is difficult to estimate with certainty. Additionally, it's likely there would be large regional and local variations linked to considerable differences in demand and supply of land across the country.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 138067 on Fisheries, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement’s content on fishing on the ability of the Government to require fish caught under a British quota to be landed in a British port.

Reservation No 13 of the Services and Investment chapter in the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement allows the UK to set landing requirements for vessels flying its flag. A consultation on how to strengthen the economic link licence condition in England closed in November and officials are working on the Government’s response which we will publish shortly. Fisheries is a devolved matter and so any changes to the economic link arising from the consultation will only apply to the English fleet.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what exemptions to the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown restrictions are in place for rough shooting.

There are no exemptions to the current lockdown restrictions in place for shooting.

You must only leave the home where you have a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse includes where reasonably necessary for exercise or for work.

As a private individual, you may leave your home to shoot where you are confident this counts towards your daily exercise and is compliant with social contact rules (see further detail on exercise here on gov.uk). Where it is reasonably necessary for work (whether acting in a professional capacity or as an employee), you may also leave home to engage in shooting, subject to Covid-secure guidelines. You must also ensure that relevant regulatory and licensing requirements are met, and permission has been given by the landowner or manager.

Organised shooting is not permitted during the National Lockdown.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities will be eligible to apply for support from the £100 million fisheries support fund.

The Prime Minister has announced proposals to support UK fishing communities with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. We will provide more detail in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the (a) number, (b) geographical breakdown of callers and (c) issues of concern relating to calls made to his Department’s Brexit helplines on (i) fishing, (ii) Catch App and (iii) export certificates.

To support industry with the new requirements introduced following the end of the Transition Period, Defra has introduced contact centres to directly support businesses. The two main services managed by the department are Export Health Certificates, led by the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA), and Catch Certificates, led by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

APHA does not hold a breakdown of calls received relating to queries about seafood exports specifically. The information requested is therefore not available.

For Catch Certificates, a 24/7 helpline has been introduced to support exporters in obtaining a digital catch certificate. There have been 273 calls to this helpline since 1 January 2021 and no geographical location of the caller is recorded. 204 of these calls relate to the categories requested:

  1. 201 were recorded as calls relating to the fishing industry
  2. No calls recorded the MMO "Catch App" as the reason for the call
  3. 3 calls were identified as being in relation to export health certificates

179 of the calls received were to assist users in applying for digital catch certificates. The reason for the calls are set out below:

Topic

Volume

Queries about the Catch Certificate service

99

Catch Certificate system registration or account management issue

16

Queries relating to failed validation checks on the Catch Certificate online system

15

Assisted digital support for the Catch Certificate online system

8

Other Catch Certificate queries

41

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the capacity of waste handling and treatment operators to deal with the (a) scale and (b) complexity of (i) clinical and (ii) other waste generated by used covid-19 (A) protection, (B) vaccination and (C) testing products.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with colleagues across government, including DHSC and PHE, and the waste sector to ensure that waste arising as a result of COVID-19 protection, testing, and vaccination is managed and disposed of safely.

Clinical waste and offensive waste are legally defined in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Other than general waste and any packaging waste, waste from Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and the testing process is classified as non-hazardous healthcare offensive and chemical waste ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-tests-waste-codes/waste-codes-for-mass-testing-with-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-devices). DHSC has confirmed that this waste does not present any increased risk compared with, for example, personal care waste. Assessments of the chemicals used in LFD tests have been made by DHSC and have confirmed that this waste should not be classified as 'clinical waste' and does not need to be managed as such. Waste management operations should continue to follow appropriate guidance for hygiene and health and safety practices.

Householders undertaking home COVID-19 testing using a LFD test kit should dispose of the LFD test kit, in its packaging, in their residual waste bin, in a similar fashion to home pregnancy test kits.

Where a number of tests are being undertaken at the same place (e.g. mass population testing sites, workplaces etc.), LFD wastes should be segregated in accordance with DHSC guidance above, to ensure efficient and safe management of this waste. This waste must be collected from the testing location by an appropriately licensed waste carrier, such as those providing washroom services, or a general waste contractor. This waste must then be either taken directly to a municipal waste incinerator temporarily permitted to accept this waste by the Environment Agency under a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23: Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator); or to a waste transfer facility that has demonstrated to the Environment Agency that they can store these wastes in a safe and controlled manner, and have been granted a temporary formal local enforcement position to safely store and then transfer these wastes to municipal waste incinerators.

Vaccination waste will be managed within existing healthcare waste management systems. Clinical waste handling remains a devolved matter under the respective health bodies. In addition, a four nation cross government working group maintains active monitoring of the waste flows being generated and resilience measures have been put in place to support NHS Test and Trace, the vaccination programmes and PPE waste flows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether used covid lateral flow test kits must be treated as clinical waste.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with colleagues across government, including DHSC and PHE, and the waste sector to ensure that waste arising as a result of COVID-19 protection, testing, and vaccination is managed and disposed of safely.

Clinical waste and offensive waste are legally defined in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Other than general waste and any packaging waste, waste from Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and the testing process is classified as non-hazardous healthcare offensive and chemical waste ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-tests-waste-codes/waste-codes-for-mass-testing-with-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-devices). DHSC has confirmed that this waste does not present any increased risk compared with, for example, personal care waste. Assessments of the chemicals used in LFD tests have been made by DHSC and have confirmed that this waste should not be classified as 'clinical waste' and does not need to be managed as such. Waste management operations should continue to follow appropriate guidance for hygiene and health and safety practices.

Householders undertaking home COVID-19 testing using a LFD test kit should dispose of the LFD test kit, in its packaging, in their residual waste bin, in a similar fashion to home pregnancy test kits.

Where a number of tests are being undertaken at the same place (e.g. mass population testing sites, workplaces etc.), LFD wastes should be segregated in accordance with DHSC guidance above, to ensure efficient and safe management of this waste. This waste must be collected from the testing location by an appropriately licensed waste carrier, such as those providing washroom services, or a general waste contractor. This waste must then be either taken directly to a municipal waste incinerator temporarily permitted to accept this waste by the Environment Agency under a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23: Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator); or to a waste transfer facility that has demonstrated to the Environment Agency that they can store these wastes in a safe and controlled manner, and have been granted a temporary formal local enforcement position to safely store and then transfer these wastes to municipal waste incinerators.

Vaccination waste will be managed within existing healthcare waste management systems. Clinical waste handling remains a devolved matter under the respective health bodies. In addition, a four nation cross government working group maintains active monitoring of the waste flows being generated and resilience measures have been put in place to support NHS Test and Trace, the vaccination programmes and PPE waste flows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the (a) waste handling and (b) treatment requirements are for (a) used covid-19 lateral flow test kits and (b) used pregnancy test kits.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with colleagues across government, including DHSC and PHE, and the waste sector to ensure that waste arising as a result of COVID-19 protection, testing, and vaccination is managed and disposed of safely.

Clinical waste and offensive waste are legally defined in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Other than general waste and any packaging waste, waste from Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and the testing process is classified as non-hazardous healthcare offensive and chemical waste ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-tests-waste-codes/waste-codes-for-mass-testing-with-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-devices). DHSC has confirmed that this waste does not present any increased risk compared with, for example, personal care waste. Assessments of the chemicals used in LFD tests have been made by DHSC and have confirmed that this waste should not be classified as 'clinical waste' and does not need to be managed as such. Waste management operations should continue to follow appropriate guidance for hygiene and health and safety practices.

Householders undertaking home COVID-19 testing using a LFD test kit should dispose of the LFD test kit, in its packaging, in their residual waste bin, in a similar fashion to home pregnancy test kits.

Where a number of tests are being undertaken at the same place (e.g. mass population testing sites, workplaces etc.), LFD wastes should be segregated in accordance with DHSC guidance above, to ensure efficient and safe management of this waste. This waste must be collected from the testing location by an appropriately licensed waste carrier, such as those providing washroom services, or a general waste contractor. This waste must then be either taken directly to a municipal waste incinerator temporarily permitted to accept this waste by the Environment Agency under a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23: Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator); or to a waste transfer facility that has demonstrated to the Environment Agency that they can store these wastes in a safe and controlled manner, and have been granted a temporary formal local enforcement position to safely store and then transfer these wastes to municipal waste incinerators.

Vaccination waste will be managed within existing healthcare waste management systems. Clinical waste handling remains a devolved matter under the respective health bodies. In addition, a four nation cross government working group maintains active monitoring of the waste flows being generated and resilience measures have been put in place to support NHS Test and Trace, the vaccination programmes and PPE waste flows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding has been set aside to pay compensation to fish exporters due to difficulties in exporting shellfish since 1 January 2021.

The UK seafood sector, already adversely affected by the impacts of Covid-19, will receive Government funding of up to £23 million for businesses adjusting to new requirements where they have experienced a verifiable loss due to failures in the EU export processes.

The funding is in addition to the £100 million investment the Prime Minister announced on 24 December to rejuvenate the industry and coastal communities across the UK, and on top of the £32 million that will replace EU funding this year.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date his Department agreed to establish a compensation scheme for exporters of shellfish.

The UK seafood sector, already adversely affected by the impacts of Covid-19, will receive Government funding of up to £23 million for businesses adjusting to new requirements where they have experienced a verifiable loss due to failures in the EU export processes.

The funding is in addition to the £100 million investment the Prime Minister announced on 24 December to rejuvenate the industry and coastal communities across the UK, and on top of the £32 million that will replace EU funding this year.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the Government response to his Department’s consultation on landing more fish in British ports.

Officials are working on the government’s response to the consultation to strengthen the economic link condition in England which we will publish shortly.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) scientific and (b) other evidence his Department used when classifying used covid-19 lateral flow test kits as specialised clinical waste.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with colleagues across government, including DHSC and PHE, and the waste sector to ensure that waste arising as a result of COVID-19 protection, testing, and vaccination is managed and disposed of safely.

Clinical waste and offensive waste are legally defined in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Other than general waste and any packaging waste, waste from Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and the testing process is classified as non-hazardous healthcare offensive and chemical waste ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-tests-waste-codes/waste-codes-for-mass-testing-with-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-devices). DHSC has confirmed that this waste does not present any increased risk compared with, for example, personal care waste. Assessments of the chemicals used in LFD tests have been made by DHSC and have confirmed that this waste should not be classified as 'clinical waste' and does not need to be managed as such. Waste management operations should continue to follow appropriate guidance for hygiene and health and safety practices.

Householders undertaking home COVID-19 testing using a LFD test kit should dispose of the LFD test kit, in its packaging, in their residual waste bin, in a similar fashion to home pregnancy test kits.

Where a number of tests are being undertaken at the same place (e.g. mass population testing sites, workplaces etc.), LFD wastes should be segregated in accordance with DHSC guidance above, to ensure efficient and safe management of this waste. This waste must be collected from the testing location by an appropriately licensed waste carrier, such as those providing washroom services, or a general waste contractor. This waste must then be either taken directly to a municipal waste incinerator temporarily permitted to accept this waste by the Environment Agency under a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23: Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator); or to a waste transfer facility that has demonstrated to the Environment Agency that they can store these wastes in a safe and controlled manner, and have been granted a temporary formal local enforcement position to safely store and then transfer these wastes to municipal waste incinerators.

Vaccination waste will be managed within existing healthcare waste management systems. Clinical waste handling remains a devolved matter under the respective health bodies. In addition, a four nation cross government working group maintains active monitoring of the waste flows being generated and resilience measures have been put in place to support NHS Test and Trace, the vaccination programmes and PPE waste flows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the capacity of local authorities to manage the (a) scale and (b) complexity of (i) clinical and (ii) other waste generated by used covid-19 (A) protection, (B) vaccination and (C) testing products.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with colleagues across government, including DHSC and PHE, and the waste sector to ensure that waste arising as a result of COVID-19 protection, testing, and vaccination is managed and disposed of safely.

Clinical waste and offensive waste are legally defined in The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. Other than general waste and any packaging waste, waste from Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs) and the testing process is classified as non-hazardous healthcare offensive and chemical waste ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-lateral-flow-tests-waste-codes/waste-codes-for-mass-testing-with-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-devices). DHSC has confirmed that this waste does not present any increased risk compared with, for example, personal care waste. Assessments of the chemicals used in LFD tests have been made by DHSC and have confirmed that this waste should not be classified as 'clinical waste' and does not need to be managed as such. Waste management operations should continue to follow appropriate guidance for hygiene and health and safety practices.

Householders undertaking home COVID-19 testing using a LFD test kit should dispose of the LFD test kit, in its packaging, in their residual waste bin, in a similar fashion to home pregnancy test kits.

Where a number of tests are being undertaken at the same place (e.g. mass population testing sites, workplaces etc.), LFD wastes should be segregated in accordance with DHSC guidance above, to ensure efficient and safe management of this waste. This waste must be collected from the testing location by an appropriately licensed waste carrier, such as those providing washroom services, or a general waste contractor. This waste must then be either taken directly to a municipal waste incinerator temporarily permitted to accept this waste by the Environment Agency under a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23: Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator); or to a waste transfer facility that has demonstrated to the Environment Agency that they can store these wastes in a safe and controlled manner, and have been granted a temporary formal local enforcement position to safely store and then transfer these wastes to municipal waste incinerators.

Vaccination waste will be managed within existing healthcare waste management systems. Clinical waste handling remains a devolved matter under the respective health bodies. In addition, a four nation cross government working group maintains active monitoring of the waste flows being generated and resilience measures have been put in place to support NHS Test and Trace, the vaccination programmes and PPE waste flows.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the compensation for the fishing sector announced by the Prime Minister on 13 January 2021 will be part of the £100 million funding package for fishing.

The UK seafood sector, already adversely affected by the impacts of Covid-19, will receive Government funding of up to £23 million for businesses adjusting to new requirements where they have experienced a verifiable loss due to failures in the EU export processes.

The funding is in addition to the £100 million investment the Prime Minister announced on 24 December to rejuvenate the industry and coastal communities across the UK, and on top of the £32 million that will replace EU funding this year.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to announce details of the £100 million funding package for fishing.

The Prime Minister has announced proposals to support UK fishing communities with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. We will provide more detail in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what percentage of the £100 million in fisheries support funding is (a) grants and (b) loans.

The Prime Minister has announced proposals to support UK fishing communities with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. We will provide more detail in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much of the £100 million fisheries support fund will be allocated to (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) EU member states.

The Prime Minister has announced proposals to support UK fishing communities with a £100 million programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry. We will provide more detail in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many UK lorries containing fish or shellfish have been denied entry to the EU since 1 January 2021.

We are aware that TRACES – the EU’s customs system has recorded three consignments of fish or shellfish denied entry to the EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the proportion of additional quota transferred from EU member states that can only be caught by fishing boats owned or operated by companies of EU member states.

No assessment has been made on the matter raised.

In October and November 2020, Defra consulted on how we would allocate this additional quota at both the UK and English level. We are currently analysing the responses and will publish the government response and policy in the near future.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the animal welfare sector's capacity to deliver essential services.

The animal welfare sector does excellent work, often on a voluntary basis, protecting animals against cruelty and ensuring that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. I am acutely aware that the coronavirus pandemic, and specifically the measures put in place to control the spread of the virus, continue to affect individuals, businesses and charities caring for animals.

The sector has kept us regularly updated of the developing situation, sharing their surveys particularly with respect to the rescue and rehoming of companion animals, and sharing information on cruelty investigations. Information recently provided by the RSPCA indicates a drop in the number of allegations of cruelty and poor welfare.

It has been encouraging to see the sector working collaboratively to safeguard the welfare of animals in their care in the face of financial hardship and uncertainty. The sector continues to keep us informed of the status of the emergency grants schemes they have established to support numerous smaller organisations. These include ADCH's Coronavirus Emergency Fund and the Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund established by the Pet Plan Charitable Trust (PPCT) together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council.

In addition, we have maintained a regular dialogue with the pet industry, local authorities and the veterinary sector who have all been affected. The Government is helping businesses and charities cope in these strained times whilst remaining completely focussed on managing and eradicating the virus. Organisations can apply for the full range of COVID-19 support measures that the government has made available to businesses and charities. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

The Charity Commission has also issued comprehensive guidance on running a charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector This includes advice for Trustees on managing financial difficulties with respect to use of reserves, restricted funds and provisions to help businesses continue operating and avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty.

In addition to this, we have worked closely with the animal welfare sector through the Canine and Feline Sector Group and National Equine Welfare Council to agree and update guidance to animal rescue and rehoming organisations, and other animal charities and businesses. This has enabled them to undertake core operations as far as possible, whilst maintaining compliance with the social distancing rules and need for hygiene precautions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Defra remains committed to continued engagement with the sector to understand the longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, monitor the animal welfare implications of this and offer appropriate advice.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to establish a financial assistance package for animal welfare organisations.

The animal welfare sector does excellent work, often on a voluntary basis, protecting animals against cruelty and ensuring that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. I am acutely aware that the coronavirus pandemic, and specifically the measures put in place to control the spread of the virus, continue to affect individuals, businesses and charities caring for animals.

The sector has kept us regularly updated of the developing situation, sharing their surveys particularly with respect to the rescue and rehoming of companion animals, and sharing information on cruelty investigations. Information recently provided by the RSPCA indicates a drop in the number of allegations of cruelty and poor welfare.

It has been encouraging to see the sector working collaboratively to safeguard the welfare of animals in their care in the face of financial hardship and uncertainty. The sector continues to keep us informed of the status of the emergency grants schemes they have established to support numerous smaller organisations. These include ADCH's Coronavirus Emergency Fund and the Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund established by the Pet Plan Charitable Trust (PPCT) together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council.

In addition, we have maintained a regular dialogue with the pet industry, local authorities and the veterinary sector who have all been affected. The Government is helping businesses and charities cope in these strained times whilst remaining completely focussed on managing and eradicating the virus. Organisations can apply for the full range of COVID-19 support measures that the government has made available to businesses and charities. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

The Charity Commission has also issued comprehensive guidance on running a charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector This includes advice for Trustees on managing financial difficulties with respect to use of reserves, restricted funds and provisions to help businesses continue operating and avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty.

In addition to this, we have worked closely with the animal welfare sector through the Canine and Feline Sector Group and National Equine Welfare Council to agree and update guidance to animal rescue and rehoming organisations, and other animal charities and businesses. This has enabled them to undertake core operations as far as possible, whilst maintaining compliance with the social distancing rules and need for hygiene precautions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Defra remains committed to continued engagement with the sector to understand the longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, monitor the animal welfare implications of this and offer appropriate advice.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has commissioned any research on levels of animal cruelty during the covid-19 outbreak.

The animal welfare sector does excellent work, often on a voluntary basis, protecting animals against cruelty and ensuring that unwanted and abandoned animals in the UK are offered the opportunity of a forever home. I am acutely aware that the coronavirus pandemic, and specifically the measures put in place to control the spread of the virus, continue to affect individuals, businesses and charities caring for animals.

The sector has kept us regularly updated of the developing situation, sharing their surveys particularly with respect to the rescue and rehoming of companion animals, and sharing information on cruelty investigations. Information recently provided by the RSPCA indicates a drop in the number of allegations of cruelty and poor welfare.

It has been encouraging to see the sector working collaboratively to safeguard the welfare of animals in their care in the face of financial hardship and uncertainty. The sector continues to keep us informed of the status of the emergency grants schemes they have established to support numerous smaller organisations. These include ADCH's Coronavirus Emergency Fund and the Covid-19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund established by the Pet Plan Charitable Trust (PPCT) together with World Horse Welfare and the National Equine Welfare Council.

In addition, we have maintained a regular dialogue with the pet industry, local authorities and the veterinary sector who have all been affected. The Government is helping businesses and charities cope in these strained times whilst remaining completely focussed on managing and eradicating the virus. Organisations can apply for the full range of COVID-19 support measures that the government has made available to businesses and charities. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

The Charity Commission has also issued comprehensive guidance on running a charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector This includes advice for Trustees on managing financial difficulties with respect to use of reserves, restricted funds and provisions to help businesses continue operating and avoid insolvency during this period of economic uncertainty.

In addition to this, we have worked closely with the animal welfare sector through the Canine and Feline Sector Group and National Equine Welfare Council to agree and update guidance to animal rescue and rehoming organisations, and other animal charities and businesses. This has enabled them to undertake core operations as far as possible, whilst maintaining compliance with the social distancing rules and need for hygiene precautions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Defra remains committed to continued engagement with the sector to understand the longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, monitor the animal welfare implications of this and offer appropriate advice.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the (a) EU and (b) Norway about continued access for UK distant water fishing boats to distant waters.

Fisheries negotiations as part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement covered access to EU waters for UK vessels. We have agreed with the EU there will be an adjustment period whereby both sides will continue to have reciprocal access to each other's waters at a level commensurate to their share of fishing opportunities.

Bilateral negotiations between the UK and Norway for access to each other's waters in 2021 will begin shortly. UK distant waters fishing boats have access to fishing opportunities in the waters around Svalbard as a result of negotiations between the UK and Norway.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the total additional annual cost to pet and assistance dog owners of obtaining documents for travel from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

My department has not made an estimate of the total additional annual cost of this documentation for pet travel from Great Britain to the EU or Northern Ireland. The relevant Animal Health Certificate template forms can be downloaded by vets at no cost. The cost of completing and certifying pet travel documentation, including Animal Health Certificates, is set by individual veterinary practices.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the (a) UK’s applications to the European Commission for part-one listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme and (b) formal correspondence from the Commission regarding those applications.

Defra’s initial application to be listed as a Part 1 listed third country for pet travel was submitted to the EU Commission in 2019. This application was updated, but not materially changed in February 2020. We will continue to seek Part 1 listed status, and in light of this we are not planning at this time to publish our applications or the European Commission’s responses.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to requirements for travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January 20201, whether his Department has made an assessment of other countries that have introduced an internal passport for assistance dog owners travelling within their own country.

We are not aware of any countries which have introduced an internal passport for assistance dogs. Under the legal framework of the EU Pet Travel Regulations, there are no derogations for assistance dogs. These regulations will apply in Northern Ireland by virtue of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Introducing an internal passport for pet travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is not possible within the terms of the EU Pet Travel Regulations. Assistance dog owners should prepare their animal for travel to Northern Ireland as per the requirements laid out on GOV.UK.

Recognising that these changes will take time to adjust to, the UK Government is working with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on an appropriate approach towards enforcement that takes this into account.

We are proactively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders on the impacts on dog movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. We will continue to work closely with assistance dog organisations to share the latest advice and guidance (in accessible formats) with their members on pet travel requirements.

There will be no changes to the entrance requirements for pets or assistance dogs entering Great Britain from Northern Ireland. Assistance dogs or pets travelling via this route do not need any documentation or health preparation to enter Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has carried out an equality impact assessment on the changes to pet travel rules for assistance dog owners after the transition period.

Under the legal framework of the EU Pet Travel Regulations, there are no derogations for assistance dogs. Assistance dog owners should prepare their animal for travel to Northern Ireland as per the requirements laid out on GOV.UK. My department has not carried out an equality impact assessment on the changes to the pet travel rules which apply to movements out of Great Britain. These changes stem from decisions made by the EU, and we continue to press the EU commission to secure Part 1 listed third country status. This status would mean similar health and documentary requirements for EU travel to those required before the end of the transition period.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has received on the compatibility of requirements for documents for assistance dog owners to travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the rights of citizens to move freely within the Common Travel Area.

The health and documentary requirements for pet travel to the EU and Northern Ireland are set out under the EU Pet Travel Regulations. Under the legal framework of the EU Pet Travel Regulations, there are no derogations for assistance dogs. Assistance dog owners should prepare their animal for travel to Northern Ireland as per the requirements laid out on GOV.UK.

Recognising that these changes will take time to adjust to, the UK Government is working with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on an appropriate approach towards enforcement that takes this into account.

We are proactively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders on the impacts on dog movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. We will continue to work closely with assistance dog organisations to share the latest advice and guidance (in accessible formats) with their members on pet travel requirements.

There will be no changes to the entrance requirements for pets or assistance dogs entering Great Britain from Northern Ireland. Assistance dogs or pets travelling via this route do not need any documentation or health preparation to enter Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has of the effectiveness of the regulation of treatment costs in the veterinary industry.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulator for the veterinary profession. It provides general advice to members on fees in its Code of Conduct: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/setting-standards/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/supporting-guidance/practice-information-and-fees/.

The fees are generally set by the market between the vet and the client, but the RCVS could intervene if individual vets charged prices which were so disproportionate that they amounted to disgraceful professional conduct.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has in place to safeguard the welfare of horses in transit due for export in the event of delays at the border after 1 January 2021.

Defra is working closely with operational partners, industry groups and transporters to minimise any potential animal welfare risks and to encourage thorough planning of journeys.

Comprehensive guidance on the new requirements for all authorised GB transporters of live animals has been provided. The EU no longer recognises GB authorised transporters as of 1 January and so all GB authorised animal transporters now need to apply for EU documentation. We have been working closely with the equine sector to ensure that they understand all the new requirements.

A Journey Log, approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is required for unregistered horses travelling on journeys exceeding 8 hours from, to and through Great Britain. If the proposed journey is not realistic, the APHA will not approve the Journey Log.

Animal transporters have a legal duty to protect the welfare of the animals in their care and have been reminded of their legal responsibilities. Transporters should have contingency plans in place to ensure that animal welfare is not compromised, even in the event of disruption to the journey. These plans must include identifying control posts and emergency lairage facilities which can be used to provide animals with appropriate rest periods, using alternative routes or delaying the journey until delays have subsided.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of new EU trading relations on the ease with which horses can be imported and exported from 1 January 2021.

New requirements for the importation and exportation of horses and other equines have been set out on GOV.UK (see below links) and have been frequently communicated to maximise the preparedness of horse owners, keepers, and transporters.

The equine industry will need to adapt to the new rules, but the Government has worked closely with industry representatives to help it prepare for the coming changes to facilitate the continued movement of equines into and out of the UK.

Requirements for exporting horses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-horses-and-ponies-special-rules

Requirements for importing horses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-horses-and-ponies-from-1-january-2021

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to communicate to horse owners the new rules on importing and exporting horses after the transition period.

The Government has used a range of channels to communicate the detail of the new arrangements for importing and exporting horses between the UK and the EU after the transition period. The specific requirements are set out on dedicated GOV.UK pages at the links below. The information on these pages has been communicated to horse owners through press announcements, social media, and engagement of industry representatives who have assisted in promoting the information among their members. We will continue to support horse owners and businesses in understanding and acting on the information now that the transition period has ended.

Requirements for exporting horses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-horses-and-ponies-special-rules

Requirements for importing horses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-horses-and-ponies-from-1-january-2021

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Transport on the welfare of horses in the event that their travel is delayed by queues at the border after 1 January 2021.

My Department liaises with the Department for Transport on the welfare of animals as part of traffic management discussions in the event that their travel is delayed by queues at the border now that the transition period has ended. Equines are not covered under the prioritisation of goods contingency, as set out in the relevant legislation [HCVs in Kent (No.3) Order 2019]. Advice has been given, and will continue to be given, to the industry for those transporting equines not to travel through Kent; and where they do travel, to use a vehicle less than 7.5 tons which will enable them to use the Brock contraflow in the event of significant traffic disruption. Where a vehicle over 7.5 tons ignores that advice and does join the Brock queue and where any delay occurs that results in animal welfare issues, then in these extreme and individual circumstances it would be an operational matter for Kent Police to allow them to be extracted and to join the contra-flow.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made on the (a) UK’s application for listed status under the EU’s pet travel scheme and (b) process of pet travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

The European Commission has now responded to clarify its decision on listing the UK as a third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

On 3 December 2020 the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of the EU voted in favour of giving the UK Part 2 listed status for the purposes of non-commercial pet travel after the transition period. This listed status has been formally adopted by the EU.

Part 2 listed status means similar health requirements to travel to the EU as to now, but new documentation will be required for pets and assistance dogs.

We are disappointed not to become a Part 1 listed third country. We are clear we meet all the requirements for this and have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity. Our disease risk will also not change after the transition period and so we will continue to press the EU Commission on securing Part 1 listed status.

The health and documentary requirements will also apply for movements of pets and assistance dogs from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. However, recognising that these changes will take time to adjust to, the UK Government is working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on an enforcement approach that takes this challenge into account. This approach will be implemented in a way which supports pet owners and assistance dog users while the Government pursues a permanent solution.

There will be no changes to the current pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain and we will continue to accept EU pet passports.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many grants have been distributed under the Property Flood Resilience Scheme since November 2019.

Following the unprecedented flooding in November 2019 and the storms which followed in winter 2019/2020, government announced Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants of up to £5,000 in affected areas to help eligible homes, charities and businesses become more flood resilient.

The repair grants apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more severely flooded properties.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants are administered by eligible local authorities, with Defra reimbursing local authorities for grants paid for eligible properties. The most recent figures (held by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) show that over 47 district or unitary councils with over 7000 properties are eligible in England for the November 2019 and February 2020 PFR repair schemes.

In recognition of the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, both the 2019 and 2020 schemes have been extended by 9 months to give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

Local authorities on the November scheme now have until 31 December 2021 to recover their costs whilst local authorities on the February scheme have until 1 July 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications for grants under the Property Flood Resilience Scheme remain outstanding.

Following the unprecedented flooding in November 2019 and the storms which followed in winter 2019/2020, government announced Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants of up to £5,000 in affected areas to help eligible homes, charities and businesses become more flood resilient.

The repair grants apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more severely flooded properties.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants are administered by eligible local authorities, with Defra reimbursing local authorities for grants paid for eligible properties. The most recent figures (held by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) show that over 47 district or unitary councils with over 7000 properties are eligible in England for the November 2019 and February 2020 PFR repair schemes.

In recognition of the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, both the 2019 and 2020 schemes have been extended by 9 months to give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

Local authorities on the November scheme now have until 31 December 2021 to recover their costs whilst local authorities on the February scheme have until 1 July 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding has been allocated to the Property Flood Resilience Scheme.

Following the unprecedented flooding in November 2019 and the storms which followed in winter 2019/2020, government announced Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants of up to £5,000 in affected areas to help eligible homes, charities and businesses become more flood resilient.

The repair grants apply to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more severely flooded properties.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grants are administered by eligible local authorities, with Defra reimbursing local authorities for grants paid for eligible properties. The most recent figures (held by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) show that over 47 district or unitary councils with over 7000 properties are eligible in England for the November 2019 and February 2020 PFR repair schemes.

In recognition of the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, both the 2019 and 2020 schemes have been extended by 9 months to give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

Local authorities on the November scheme now have until 31 December 2021 to recover their costs whilst local authorities on the February scheme have until 1 July 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of transparency in relation to treatment costs in the veterinary industry.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulator for the veterinary profession. It provides general advice to members on fees in its Code of Conduct: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/setting-standards/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/supporting-guidance/practice-information-and-fees/.

The fees are generally set by the market between the vet and the client, but the RCVS could intervene if individual vets charged prices which were so disproportionate that they amounted to disgraceful professional conduct.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support is available to SMEs when they are applying to the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

Applications for the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme ran from Wednesday 29 April to Monday 11 May 2020. The Scheme has now closed to bids.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation process took place prior to the establishment of the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme was part of a wider emergency funding package to support the seafood sector through the impact of market closures as a result of Covid-19. This funding package was delivered at speed to support the industry given the emergency circumstances and no formal consultation was conducted.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure eligible businesses are aware of the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

Applications for the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme ran from Wednesday 29 April to Monday 11 May 2020. The Scheme has now closed to bids with 20 successful applications for funding.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many SMEs turning over less than £10 million in revenue have received support from the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

The Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme provided funding to a total of 20 projects that demonstrated the potential to deliver significant collective benefits for the seafood industry in England. We did not assess and do not hold information on the turnover of applicants to the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme.

A list of the successful bids is available on GOV.UK at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892089/DSSS_Approved_Projects_12.06.2020.csv/preview

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce levels of antisocial behaviour involving the use of spray paint.

Addressing visible signs of crime and anti-social behaviour such as graffiti helps to improve public perceptions of local environmental quality.

In 2018 we almost doubled the maximum fixed penalty that local authorities can issue for offences related to graffiti to £150 and increased the default to £100. Councils retain the income from these fixed penalty notices, which can be spent on their functions relating to keeping land and highways clear of litter and refuse, and enforcement against graffiti offences.

For more serious offences, such as racist or otherwise abusive graffiti, prosecution is more suitable. In our recently published guidance on enforcement against littering and related offences, we made clear that any enforcement action must be proportionate and in the public interest.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced a range of flexible tools and powers that the police, local authorities and other local agencies can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour, including Community Protection Notices (CPNs). It is a criminal offence if a person does not comply with a CPN, for which they can receive a fine upon conviction. Instead of prosecuting, a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 can be issued.

These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances as those who work within, and for, local communities will be best placed to understand what is driving the behaviour in question, the impact that it is having, and to determine the most appropriate response.

Defra has not made any assessment of the potential correlation between the pricing of spray paint and the level of antisocial behaviour involving its use.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential correlation between the pricing of spray paint and the level of antisocial behaviour involving the use of spray paint.

Addressing visible signs of crime and anti-social behaviour such as graffiti helps to improve public perceptions of local environmental quality.

In 2018 we almost doubled the maximum fixed penalty that local authorities can issue for offences related to graffiti to £150 and increased the default to £100. Councils retain the income from these fixed penalty notices, which can be spent on their functions relating to keeping land and highways clear of litter and refuse, and enforcement against graffiti offences.

For more serious offences, such as racist or otherwise abusive graffiti, prosecution is more suitable. In our recently published guidance on enforcement against littering and related offences, we made clear that any enforcement action must be proportionate and in the public interest.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced a range of flexible tools and powers that the police, local authorities and other local agencies can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour, including Community Protection Notices (CPNs). It is a criminal offence if a person does not comply with a CPN, for which they can receive a fine upon conviction. Instead of prosecuting, a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 can be issued.

These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances as those who work within, and for, local communities will be best placed to understand what is driving the behaviour in question, the impact that it is having, and to determine the most appropriate response.

Defra has not made any assessment of the potential correlation between the pricing of spray paint and the level of antisocial behaviour involving its use.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
What recent assessment the Government has made of the preparedness of (a) manufacturers and (b) importers for UK REACH requirements to complete Downstream User Import Notifications by October 2021.

The Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) provision is intended to ensure continuity of supply chains and provide time for businesses to comply with their new obligations as an importer under UK REACH. The measure will apply only to existing GB downstream users or distributors under EU REACH who were, at any time in the two-year period before 1 January 2021, already a downstream user or distributor under EU REACH established in GB in relation to a substance (and who did not have an EU REACH registration).

We are also ensuring continuity through the transitional provisions enabling GB based manufacturers to carry over their existing EU held registrations ‘Grandfathered’ into UK REACH. This will give them automatic access to the GB market. Businesses benefitting from this will have 120 days from 1 January 2021 to provide some basic information about the registered chemical.

In September, we announced an extension to the deadline for the submission of DUINs from 180 to 300 days from 1 January 2021. As a result, GB downstream users will have the opportunity to assess how existing EU REACH registrants, that have been Grandfathered into the UK REACH system, have met the 120-day deadline and use it to inform their own process. This decision was taken following engagement with stakeholders to identify practical ideas on how we could help the industry make the transition from EU REACH to UK REACH.

We have published detailed guidance for chemical businesses so they know what actions they need to take. We have also been carrying out an extensive programme of business readiness activity, exploiting all of our networks across Government, trade associations and business representative organisations, to engage the hardest to reach areas of the sector on their new obligations and the steps they need to take to prepare. This includes direct correspondence sent to over 80,000 stakeholders within the chemicals industry and Defra policy officials speaking at over 450 stakeholder events over the last 18 months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of car tyres discarded in British coastal waters in each of the last three years.

The UK collects data on the quantity and type of marine litter in our waters, including data on seafloor litter, floating litter and beach litter, following methods agreed through the OSPAR Convention’s monitoring and assessment programmes. This includes data on tyres. Data are available up to 2017 through the Marine Online Assessment Tool which supports the updated UK Marine Strategy Part 1 published in 2019: https://moat.cefas.co.uk/.

A Defra funded study concluded that particles released from vehicle tyres during use could be a significant and previously unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment. However, it would be challenging to specifically calculate the amount of microplastic emitted from discarded car tyres in British coastal waters due to ocean currents which can move marine plastic litter and microplastics far beyond their point of entry into the marine environment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with car tyre producers on extended producer responsibility for car tyres.

As set out in the Government’s December 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy, we are committed to reforming the four existing producer responsibility schemes and to considering the introduction of extended producer responsibility to five new material streams, including tyres. Consideration of the five new streams is scheduled to take us up to 2025. Ministers have had no such recent conversations with car tyre producers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the amount of micro-plastics emitted from discarded car tyres in Britain’s coastal waters.

The UK collects data on the quantity and type of marine litter in our waters, including data on seafloor litter, floating litter and beach litter, following methods agreed through the OSPAR Convention’s monitoring and assessment programmes. This includes data on tyres. Data are available up to 2017 through the Marine Online Assessment Tool which supports the updated UK Marine Strategy Part 1 published in 2019: https://moat.cefas.co.uk/.

A Defra funded study concluded that particles released from vehicle tyres during use could be a significant and previously unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment. However, it would be challenging to specifically calculate the amount of microplastic emitted from discarded car tyres in British coastal waters due to ocean currents which can move marine plastic litter and microplastics far beyond their point of entry into the marine environment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to reply to the letter from fisheries leaders dated 30 October 2020 on concerns relating to catch certificates in preparations for operation from 1 January 2021.

A reply was sent to fisheries leaders, in response to their letter dated 30 October 2020, on 25 November 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the completion of UK REACH registration dossiers for grandfathered EU REACH registrations, whether a Letter of Access already paid for by a UK registrant for an EU REACH registration will remain valid or the UK registrant pays for a new Letter of Access with the data-owning EU27 registrant when a UK-based registrant or the UK authority is unable to access or get copies of the full study reports as already submitted for EU-REACH registrations.

UK REACH retains the 'one substance, one registration' principle and allows for the sharing of data between companies with the aim of reducing cost and the need for further animal testing. A Letter of Access (LoA) can offer one way for a business to obtain the information it needs to complete the grandfathering of the registration in question. However, LoAs are commercial arrangements negotiated by industry and as such the range of potential uses for the information is dependent on the scope and wording agreed by the relevant businesses.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to implement the £500-million Blue Planet Fund to restore marine ecosystems that the Prime Minister committed to at the UN High-Level summit on biodiversity; what the scope is of projects the Blue Planet Fund will support; how those projects are to be selected; and how that funding is planned to be distributed.

The Blue Planet Fund is being designed and delivered jointly by Defra and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The Fund will be resourced through the UK Aid budget and will help eligible countries and UK Overseas Territories reduce poverty and protect and sustainably manage their marine resources. It will build on other UK initiatives which aim to protect and manage the marine environment, such as the Blue Belt Programme and Commonwealth Marine Economies programme. The Fund focuses on tackling the key human-generated threats to the ocean including climate change, marine pollution and overfishing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the UK Competent Authority will continue to have access to the EU-REACH dossiers, including data on chemical substances, after the 31 of December 2020; and what steps he has taken to ensure the availability of relevant data to support companies wishing to trade in chemicals with EU member states in the event that the transition period ends without the UK reached an agreement on future relations with the EU.

The UK proposed a data-sharing mechanism as part of a chemicals annex for a UK-EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We believe that this would be in the interest of UK and EU businesses but to date the EU has not engaged with us on this.

If the EU is not prepared to agree this, we will ensure that the Health and Safety Executive as the UK Agency will be able to carry out its regulatory functions under UK REACH. UK companies that have already registered a chemical with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will be “grandfathered” into the UK system with no break in their legal access to the market. Those registrants would then have 120 days to provide UK authorities with some initial information. They must then fully register by supplying complete dossiers within two, four or six years from 28 October 2021.

GB-based companies that trade in the EU will need to continue to ensure that they meet EU REACH requirements from 1 January 2021. ECHA has provided guidance on this which can be found here. This guidance will need to be followed by GB businesses that trade in the EU regardless of the outcome of negotiations on a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We remain committed to supporting businesses following the end of the transition period.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effects of UK-REACH implementation on UK businesses.

Defra has carried out an assessment of the effects of UK REACH for businesses. We will continue to support businesses through the transition through our range of transitional measures and seek to minimise cost and burden on industry as far as possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to issue further guidance to business on the changes to chemicals regulation after 31 December 2020.

Updated guidance on UK REACH was published on the Health and Safety Executive’s website on 26 October 2020 and will be regularly reviewed. This complements the existing guidance on biocides, classification, labelling and packaging (CLP), prior informed consent (PIC) for export and import of hazardous chemicals and plant protection products (PPP). This will provide businesses with the information they need to enact their new obligations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the import and export of (a) wild animals and (b) wild animal products to help prevent a future zoonotic pandemic.

We are clear that poorly managed and illegal wildlife trade (IWT) poses threats to animal health and welfare, diminishes our biodiversity, undermines governance, and can result in serious public health issues. However, well managed, sustainable trade can contribute to biodiversity conservation and livelihoods, and can help meet the nutritional needs of local and rural communities in developing nations.

The UK Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling both unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and pressing for significantly higher standards in live animal markets around the world. We are actively considering the many complex issues around the global trade in wildlife, including its relationship to Covid-19 and will support swift policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what inter-country policy negotiations have taken place in advance of the November G20 meeting on tackling the root causes of the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will use that meeting to promote the benefits of a global ban on the trade of non-essential wildlife and wildlife products to help prevent a future zoonotic pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with a stark reminder of what happens when our relationship with nature breaks down. We know that ecological damage, the illegal wildlife trade and consequent increased human-wildlife interactions increases the risk of zoonosis. As such, the UK is committed to supporting calls for countries to agree, apply and enforce strong controls and the highest standards of biosecurity to minimise the risk of disease transmission, including the prohibition of certain species or practices where appropriate.

The UK has actively participated in discussions as part of this year's G20 and will continue to be at the forefront of the debate on how we can tackle the key drivers of zoonotic disease emergence both at the G20, and other international forums. The UK is committed to the adoption of ambitious goals and targets to address global biodiversity loss at CBD COP-15.

In addition, at UNGA in September the UK signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. This pledge includes commitments to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and integrate a One Health approach into all relevant policies. Nature is a key theme for the UK-hosted COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential role of the G20 meeting in November and COP15 and COP26 in 2021 in bringing forward proposals for a global ban in the trade of wild animals and wild animal products.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with a stark reminder of what happens when our relationship with nature breaks down. We know that ecological damage, the illegal wildlife trade and consequent increased human-wildlife interactions increases the risk of zoonosis. As such, the UK is committed to supporting calls for countries to agree, apply and enforce strong controls and the highest standards of biosecurity to minimise the risk of disease transmission, including the prohibition of certain species or practices where appropriate.

The UK has actively participated in discussions as part of this year's G20 and will continue to be at the forefront of the debate on how we can tackle the key drivers of zoonotic disease emergence both at the G20, and other international forums. The UK is committed to the adoption of ambitious goals and targets to address global biodiversity loss at CBD COP-15.

In addition, at UNGA in September the UK signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. This pledge includes commitments to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and integrate a One Health approach into all relevant policies. Nature is a key theme for the UK-hosted COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to make representations to participants at the G20 meeting in November 2020 on creating an inter-country trade ban on legally imported (a) wildlife and (b) wildlife products during the covid-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with a stark reminder of what happens when our relationship with nature breaks down. We know that ecological damage, the illegal wildlife trade and consequent increased human-wildlife interactions increases the risk of zoonosis. As such, the UK is committed to supporting calls for countries to agree, apply and enforce strong controls and the highest standards of biosecurity to minimise the risk of disease transmission, including the prohibition of certain species or practices where appropriate.

The UK has actively participated in discussions as part of this year's G20 and will continue to be at the forefront of the debate on how we can tackle the key drivers of zoonotic disease emergence both at the G20, and other international forums. The UK is committed to the adoption of ambitious goals and targets to address global biodiversity loss at CBD COP-15.

In addition, at UNGA in September the UK signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. This pledge includes commitments to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and integrate a One Health approach into all relevant policies. Nature is a key theme for the UK-hosted COP26 in November 2021 in Glasgow.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department plans to issue to boat owners on access (a) to local marinas for leisure use and (b) for boat owners to attend their craft for maintenance purposes during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and whether public slipways can be used for launching (i) motor boats, (ii) kayaks, (iii) paddleboards and (iv) other craft during the lockdown period.

To determine what is and is not permitted during this period of tighter restrictions to slow the spread of the virus and bring down the R number, individuals and businesses, including marinas, should consult the relevant coronavirus regulations and associated guidance on the GOV.UK website to determine what is and is not permitted. Navigation authorities have in many instances also published guidance for their waterways on their websites. Non-essential travel is not permitted anywhere in England at this time, including on waterways. The regulations around essential travel do include some exemptions however boat maintenance is not one of these. It is permitted within the regulations for an individual or company to employ someone to visit their boat to undertake maintenance works.

We fully recognise the importance of sports and physical activity for physical and mental health and well-being. These are a vital weapon against coronavirus, which is why we have ensured that people can get out and exercise. People can exercise outdoors in a public place alone, with the people they live with (or their support or childcare bubble) or with one person from another household and observing social distancing requirements. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in each month of 2019.

Data for the number of dogs entering Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in each month of 2019 can be found below.

January – 23,504

February – 14,046

March – 21,969

April – 21,124

May – 20,221

June – 25,676

July – 31,398

August – 51,208

September – 36,712

October – 27,826

November – 13,707

December – 21,013

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information supplied by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency from data provided by third parties, and as such is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in 2019 via (a) Eurotunnel, (b) the Port of Dover and (c) other UK ports which holds records of entry.

The number of dogs imported under the Pet Travel Scheme in 2019 was as follows:

Eurotunnel – 174,395

The Port of Dover – 59,415

Other sea ports – 59,415

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

The information provided is a true reflection of the information that Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has access to. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as APHA can only rely on the information that has been input into the pets returns by a third party.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on banning the use of disposable barbecues in public spaces.

The Government has no plans for additional legislative proposals to introduce a seasonal ban on the use of disposable barbecues. Current 'Byelaw' legislation allows for local authorities to restrict and enforce the use of disposable barbecues in parks and public spaces. There are existing powers in legislation which can be used by authorities to regulate and prohibit the lighting of fires on Access Land in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and National Parks.

The Government is working with AONBs, National Park Authorities; and other Government departments to educate users about travelling to and spending time outdoors safely in green spaces and in the wider countryside. This includes an updated Countryside Code which advises not to have barbecues or fires. This guidance is available at the following links:

Green space access: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely

The Countryside Code: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the summary of responses to the consultation on the review of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011 (as amended) published by his department in June 2017, what his timescale is for publication of the findings of the Post Implementation Review of that Order.

After the Transition Period, we will have new opportunities to manage our pet travel rules and we intend to use this opportunity to review our current requirements and legislation, including the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011 (as amended). The Post Implementation Review of the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals Order 2011 (as amended) should be published after the Transition Period.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the safe use of disposable barbeques in (a) public spaces, (b) the countryside, (c) national parks and (d) parks and green open spaces in urban areas.

Fire prevention is a matter for the Home Office while Defra is responsible for measures relating to wildfire mitigation across our natural landscapes.

I can confirm that the Government has not issued advice to local authorities on the use of disposable barbecues.

The Government is working with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Park Authorities and the National Fire Chiefs Council to educate users about travelling to and spending time outdoors safely in green spaces and in the wider countryside. This includes an updated Countryside Code which advises not to have barbeques or fires.

This guidance is available at the following links:

Green space access: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely

The Countryside Code: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code/the-countryside-code

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the compulsory microchipping of cats; and when he plans for those regulations to come into effect.

The Government is committed to improving the welfare of cats and has a manifesto commitment to introduce compulsory microchipping of cats. In October 2019 Defra published a call for evidence on compulsory microchipping for cats, which attracted over 3,000 responses. We will be publishing a summary of the responses alongside the launch of a public consultation shortly.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many organisations (a) his Department has asked to sign and (b) have signed non-disclosure agreements in relation to the Environment Bill.

No non-disclosure agreements have been signed in relation to the Environment Bill other than by those contracted by the Government to undertake work on the long-term implementation of Bill policies. No non-disclosure agreements have been signed which relate to the drafting of Environment Bill legislation or amendments. Defra has asked two contractors to sign non-disclosure agreements as part of their contracts to undertake work in relation to long-term work on implementation of policies introduced by the Environment Bill. Both of those contractors who have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements have done so. These are standard non-disclosure agreements for any company or individual carrying out work for the Government.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation (a) his Department and (b) Natural England have carried out with Dartmoor commoner farmers on the decision of Natural England to remove sheep from upland areas in Dartmoor.

There has been no decision by any part of Government to remove sheep from upland areas on Dartmoor.

Okehampton Common is part of the North Dartmoor Site of Special Scientific Interest and Dartmoor Special Area of Conservation, and subject to an agreement for making environmental improvements. Surveys in 2018 and 2019 showed current grazing levels are impacting the special habitats. Natural England is currently working with the commoners on Okehampton Common to explore potential adjustments to grazing levels to reverse the damage and meet the environmental outcomes required by the scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish a response to the consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies that closed in February 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the publication of the Government response to the recent consultation and call for evidence on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies. However, we are continuing to work on this important area and we will publish a response as soon as we are able to do so.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99) issued on 27 September 2020 has been communicated to the EU.

As the fishing vessel licence condition, issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessel owners on 27 September 2020, impacted the domestic fleet only, this was not communicated to the EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to extend the single use plastic ban to include plastic in sanitary products.

Plastic has an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences. We regularly meet with producers, including of sanitary products, to discuss the sustainability of their products, and will continue to do so to innovate and find sustainable and practical solutions to the impact of sanitary products on the environment.

We are seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products, which for some products may be more appropriate than a ban. This includes powers to introduce ecodesign requirements and to require retailers to charge for single-use plastic items. These measures alongside others within the Bill, form a package of powers that will help incentivise and shift the market towards more reusable alternatives.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £100m allocated for zoos and aquariums in response to covid-19 outbreak, whether he plans to (a) ringfence the remainder of that funding or (b) reform the eligibility criteria to ensure that funding supports its intended purpose.

The objective of the Zoo Animals Fund is to provide for operators who, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animal collections between now and the start of the next season. The eligibility criteria have been set to ensure the funding reaches those zoos in most need. ZAF grant payments to zoos begin when they reach their final 12 weeks of financial reserves. Zoos can though, apply at any time before reaching this 12 week point to help with their business planning. If zoos are downsizing or rehoming their collection the fund can also provide support for this to ensure the animals’ welfare. We are monitoring uptake of the Zoo Animals Fund and remain in discussion with zoos about how the scheme is working. The Zoo Animals Fund applies in relation to financial difficulties arising until the end of 2020/21, after which the new zoos peak visitor season starts and viable zoos should be able to cover their costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020, what the reasons are for altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what definition of on landing his Department plans to use for enforcement purposes.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what assessment has he made of the availability of fish weighing scales for use by fishermen in all English harbours and landing areas.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what assessment has he made of the availability of mobile phone signal or access to W-Fi in all English fishing harbours and landing areas.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what consultation he conducted with the fishing industry before implementing that change.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, iwith reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what guidance his Department has issued to fishers about that requirement.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the fishing license condition issued to non-sector under 10 metre vessels affecting Cat A (91/99) and Cat A limited (94/99), effective from 27 September 2020 and altering the requirement to submit a catch record from before landing to on landing, what assessment has he made of the change in burden on fishers as a results of that alteration; what assessment he has made of the health and safety implications for fishermen and other fish quay users of that alteration; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that alteration of catch quality.

Currently, more than 58,650 catch records have been submitted using the new catch recording service for under-10m vessels. To date 79% of vessel owners or skippers have signed up to use the app in England and the Isle of Man, and in Wales uptake is 82%.

On 27 September 2020 the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) altered the licensing requirement for under-10 metre commercial fishing skippers to submit a catch record before landing. The alteration is a result of feedback from the catching sector and is designed to support fishermen who have expressed concerns about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. The change will enable them to complete this part of their catch record submission on landing if they choose.

The condition says the record must be submitted before removal from point of landing to point of sale. It now allows fishermen to weigh their catch on board their vessel or on shore, ensure connectivity (or phone signal) to submit their record and get assistance from others if needed. Different ports provide different facilities, with some offering provision of scales while others do not. Fishermen are at liberty to purchase scales to assist them should they wish to do so to ensure accuracy.

In case of connectivity problems, the catch app has been designed to be used offline to ensure no fishermen are disadvantaged by landing into ports with poor internet connections. Fishermen can complete and authorise submission of their catch record even if there is no signal where they are. It is then cached on their device to be submitted automatically once the fisherman is in an area with better connectivity.

The alteration to the submission deadline was made in response to feedback from fishermen that was gathered through engagement during the development and user-testing of the app and website, the roll-out of the service and ongoing use of the app. MMO officers in coastal locations are engaging with fishermen on the issue to supplement guidance. It is an optional way of working for fishermen introduced in response to concerns from some about estimating weights or weighing on board their vessel. Fishermen are under no obligation to land their catch before submitting their record and can continue to submit the required data via the app or website before removing the fish from their vessels as they have been doing to date.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with manufacturers of sanitary products on reducing the plastic content of those products.

The UK collects data on the quantity and type of marine litter in our waters, including data on seafloor litter, floating litter and beach litter, following methods agreed through the OSPAR Convention’s monitoring and assessment programmes. This includes data on sanitary products. Data are available through the Marine Online Assessment Tool: https://moat.cefas.co.uk/

Cotton buds are recorded as a sanitary product and feature as a top ten item recorded on some UK beaches. Since 1 October this year there has been a ban on the supply of plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in England, with exemptions in place to ensure disabled people and those with medical conditions that require straws can continue to access them.

We are seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products, including powers to introduce ecodesign requirements and to require retailers to charge for single-use plastic items.

Plastic does, however, have an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences. We regularly meet with producers, including of sanitary products, to discuss the overall sustainability of their products, and will continue to do so.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the contribution of sanitary products to plastic pollution in UK waters.

The UK collects data on the quantity and type of marine litter in our waters, including data on seafloor litter, floating litter and beach litter, following methods agreed through the OSPAR Convention’s monitoring and assessment programmes. This includes data on sanitary products. Data are available through the Marine Online Assessment Tool: https://moat.cefas.co.uk/

Cotton buds are recorded as a sanitary product and feature as a top ten item recorded on some UK beaches. Since 1 October this year there has been a ban on the supply of plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers in England, with exemptions in place to ensure disabled people and those with medical conditions that require straws can continue to access them.

We are seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products, including powers to introduce ecodesign requirements and to require retailers to charge for single-use plastic items.

Plastic does, however, have an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences. We regularly meet with producers, including of sanitary products, to discuss the overall sustainability of their products, and will continue to do so.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times his Department has issued guidance to individual Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities since 2010.

Defra issued guidance notes to the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) in March 2011 describing how they should make a contribution to sustainable development and implement their statutory duties using evidence-based marine management and risk-based enforcement. Guidance was issued on annual planning and reporting obligations including success criteria and high-level objectives so that all IFCA’s annual plans and annual reports have a common framework against which IFCAs can demonstrate performance.

To be exact, IFCAs have been issued with the following guidance which is published on GOV.UK:

- Guidance on the byelaw making powers and general offence under Part 6, Chapter 1, Sections 155 to 164 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

- Guidance to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities on their contribution to the achievement of sustainable development given in accordance with section 153 (4) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

- Guidance to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities on Annual Planning and Reporting given in accordance with section 177 and section 178 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

- Guidance to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities on evidence based marine management given in accordance with section 153 (3) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

- Guidance to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities on monitoring and evaluation, and measuring performance given in accordance with section 153 (3) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

- Guidance to Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities on the establishment of a common enforcement framework given in accordance with section 153 (3) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the UK applied to the EU for third country status on fisheries.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 September 2020 to Question 90242.

[https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-15/90242]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of registered buyers with an ESR number submitted sales note data electronically in accordance with EU regulations in 2019.

For sales notes submitted in 2019, 63 merchants would have been required to submit these electronically as they had a turnover of 200,000 Euros for the financial year 2017/18. Of these, 91% submitted electronically, 1% by paper, and 8% using a combination of both methods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the 19 September 2013 European Commission pilot infraction letter to his Department and subsequent correspondence, whether the UK has tackled to the satisfaction of the Commission the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales.

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential for European Commission infraction of the UK for the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales identified in the 19 September 2013 Commission pilot infraction letter and in subsequent correspondence.

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) inside the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels within the Marine Management Organisation's (i) south east and (ii) east marine districts.

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2018 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020