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Written Question
Crown Prosecution Service and Police: Bureaucracy
Tuesday 24th May 2022

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Attorney General:

To ask the Attorney General, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of disclosure requirements on (a) police and (b) Crown Prosecution Service workloads.

Answered by Alex Chalk - Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)

Disclosure remains one of the most important and complex issues in the criminal justice system, and it is a priority for this Government to encourage improvements in disclosure practice in order to ensure the disclosure regime operates effectively, fairly, and justly. The first annual review of the operation of the Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure has just been completed and will be published imminently. That review involved close collaboration with policing, the CPS and others in the criminal justice system and has led to some important amendments to the guidelines which should aid front line policing, particularly in relation to the development of an annex on redaction.

The new approach of the Guidelines gives clear guidance on only providing relevant information to the CPS, for example by cutting footage from body worn video or only including relevant message chains not an entire phone image. In this way there is less to redact, thereby helping the burden felt by front line policing and the CPS.


Written Question
Import Duties: Belarus
Tuesday 29th March 2022

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to take steps to support UK businesses that are reliant on imported goods from Belarus and are at risk of insolvency as a result of the additional 35 per cent tariff on those goods.

Answered by Lucy Frazer - Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)

As part of our response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Lukashenko regime is being made to feel the economic consequences for its support for Putin. The UK is working with our international partners to prevent those who fail to respect the rules-based international order from reaping its benefits.

To that end, on 15 March, the government announced an additional 35 per cent tariff on certain goods of Russian and Belarusian origin. The decision to include Belarus in scope of this measure is to prevent circumvention of Russian-origin goods, and is in line with the evolving sanctions position.

When designing this policy, the government considered the sectoral impacts on the UK economy alongside our wider objectives. To help businesses adjust, the Department for International Trade has exempted goods that had left Belarus or Russia before the legislation entered into force on 25 March 2022. If UK businesses have any questions about trading with Ukraine, Russia or Belarus they can contact the government's Export Support Service.

We will continue to keep these measures under review.


Written Question
Special Educational Needs
Wednesday 9th February 2022

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Levelling Up White Paper published on 2 February 2022, if he will publish details of the provisions that will made available for pupils with special educational needs as a result of Kirklees having been included in an Educational Investment Area.

Answered by Will Quince - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

We are making over £100 million of funding available to support Education Investment Areas over the course of the Spending Review period. The Levelling Up White Paper, published on 2 February 2022, set out some of the support that will be available to schools in these areas.

In these new Education Investment Areas, the department will offer retention payments to help schools keep the best teachers in the highest priority subjects.

To drive up standards rapidly, schools in these areas that have been judged less than Good in successive Ofsted inspections could be moved into strong multi-academy trusts, to attract more support and the best teachers. This will be subject to a consultation in the spring.

Our Schools White Paper will set out further details on the funding available to Education Investment Areas, as well our plans to make a wider programme of support available to a priority subset of these areas.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review will set out our plan to improve provision for children with SEND across England. It will be published in the first 3 months of 2022.


Written Question
Planning Permission
Friday 18th June 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of clauses 105 and 106 of the Environment Bill on outstanding planning applications with proposed development sites that include a variety of species and natural habitats.

Answered by Christopher Pincher - Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)

These clauses in the Environment Bill support the Government's increased ambitions for nature and to deliver on our world leading target of halting species decline by 2030. The clauses reflect the importance of furthering the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity and will enable the Secretary of State to introduce regulations which amend the Habitats Regulations as they apply in England. This will provide greater legal certainty and make environmental processes clearer, to help improve the condition of our most important habitats. The Secretary of State may only make regulations under these clauses if they are satisfied that the regulations do not reduce the level of environmental protection provided by the Habitats Regulations. These changes complement MHCLG's commitment to encourage biodiversity net gain through the planning system, as set out in our Planning for the Future White Paper.


Written Question
Sports: Coronavirus
Thursday 15th April 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Gov.uk page Coronavirus (COVID-19): Organised events guidance for local authorities, what the basis is for the decision to prohibit the attendance of spectators at grassroots and amateur sports games during Step 2 of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Sports and physical activity are crucial for our mental and physical health.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The government has introduced a step approach to the return of outdoor and indoor sport areas across England.

Outdoor grassroots sport and outdoor organised team and sports participation events have been allowed to resume from Step 1b (29 March), but spectators are not permitted at sporting events taking place on private land at Step 1b, with the exception of adults only where they are needed to supervise under-18s that they have a responsibility for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities participating in an organised sporting event or activity. These adults should maintain social distance and not mix with other households.

This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space (e.g. a park) at Step 1b or Step 2 (12 April), in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed events), or events that are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. a major marathon), should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May).


Written Question
Social Services: Finance
Wednesday 24th February 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made towards ensuring that persons needing care should not be forced to sell their home to pay for it.

Answered by Helen Whately - Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)

We are committed to bringing forward a proposal for social care this year to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. The reform of social care and its funding arrangements are complex areas and a range of options are being considered.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
Monday 8th February 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that Post Offices (a) have the capacity to achieve and (b) are achieving the timely processing of covid-19 vaccination letters.

Answered by Paul Scully - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

As the UK’s designated postal operator, Royal Mail is responsible for the last mile delivery of NHS vaccination letters. The Government is working closely with Royal Mail to ensure that these letters are prioritised. As a private company, Royal Mail is responsible for its day-to-day operations.


Written Question
Bookmakers: Additional Restrictions Grant
Monday 11th January 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether on-course bookmakers are eligible for Additional Restrictions Grant funding; and whether guidance on eligibility requirements has been provided to local authorities.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

The Chancellor announced on 5 January another £4.5 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. This includes one-off top up grants to be delivered by local authorities for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, worth up to £9,000 per property, to help them through to the spring. A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses. Local authorities will receive the funding for these one-off grants next week, and we encourage them to make payments to businesses as soon as possible.

All local authorities in England will receive a top-up worth a total of £500m to their allocation from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which has already provided local authorities with £1.1 billion. This funding will ensure that local authorities can make discretionary grants to businesses which are not eligible for the LRSG (Closed) but which are nonetheless experiencing a severe impact on their business due to the national lockdown.

Eligibility for the one-off grants, as well as the existing LRSG (Closed) grants, is automatic. Businesses should contact their local authorities for more information on how to receive these grants, and in some cases they will need to provide additional information to their LAs.

Local authorities will run application schemes for the ARG, including for the £500m top-up, and will have significant discretion when it comes to deciding which businesses receive payments. Businesses should contact their local authorities for more information.

ARG guidance for LAs was first published on 3rd November 2019 and is updated regularly: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities


Written Question
Sports: Coronavirus
Monday 11th January 2021

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support is available to (a) on-course bookmakers and (b) other businesses that are unable to work as a result of restrictions on sporting events but have not been ordered to close during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Nigel Huddleston - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

The Chancellor announced on 5 January another £4.5 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. This includes one-off top up grants to be delivered by local authorities for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, worth up to £9,000 per property, to help them through to the spring. A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses. Local authorities will receive the funding for these one-off grants next week, and we encourage them to make payments to businesses as soon as possible.

All local authorities in England will receive a top-up worth a total of £500m to their allocation from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which has already provided local authorities with £1.1 billion. This funding will ensure that local authorities can make discretionary grants to businesses which are not eligible for the LRSG (Closed) but which are nonetheless experiencing a severe impact on their business due to the national lockdown.

Eligibility for the one-off grants, as well as the existing LRSG (Closed) grants, is automatic. Businesses should contact their local authorities for more information on how to receive these grants, and in some cases they will need to provide additional information to their LAs.

Local authorities will run application schemes for the ARG, including for the £500m top-up, and will have significant discretion when it comes to deciding which businesses receive payments. Businesses should contact their local authorities for more information.

ARG guidance for LAs was first published on 3rd November 2019 and is updated regularly: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities


Written Question
Planning Permission
Tuesday 6th October 2020

Asked by: Mark Eastwood (Conservative - Dewsbury)

Question to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities:

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Planning for the Future White Paper, what steps he is taking to secure broad public engagement at the planning application stage of the proposed new planning system.

Answered by Christopher Pincher - Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)

The planning reforms set out in the Planning for the Future White Paper will make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for local people to engage with the planning system. The best way to bring forward new, significant development is by improving community engagement and input at an earlier stage in the planning process. At the plan making stage, people will have the opportunity to comment on local plans and deciding where proposed development should go. This will give certainty to local communities that development will be in the areas best identified for growth. There will still be the opportunity for people to comment on planning applications where these are still required.