Mark Menzies Portrait

Mark Menzies

Independent - Fylde

16,611 (35.6%) majority - 2019 General Election

First elected: 6th May 2010


International Trade Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 26th Apr 2023
Committees on Arms Export Controls
6th Jul 2020 - 26th Apr 2023
Animal (Penalty Notices) Bill
1st Dec 2021 - 8th Dec 2021
Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill (Joint)
19th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Finance Committee (Commons)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 18th Dec 2017
Regulatory Reform
16th Jan 2017 - 3rd May 2017
Finance Committee (Commons)
19th Dec 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Transport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Scottish Affairs Committee
14th Jul 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Protection of Charities Bill (Joint Committee)
6th Nov 2014 - 3rd Feb 2015
Scottish Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 29th Nov 2010


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Mark Menzies has voted in 714 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Mark Menzies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Menzies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
View All Mark Menzies 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(11 debate interactions)
Alister Jack (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Scotland
(8 debate interactions)
Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Defence
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(19 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Trade Bill 2019-21
(1,262 words contributed)
Nuclear Energy (Financing) Act 2022
(264 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Mark Menzies's debates

Fylde 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).

Mark Menzies has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Mark Menzies

5th July 2022
Mark Menzies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 5th July 2022

The contribution of the co-operative movement in the UK economy

Tabled by: Mark Hendrick (Labour (Co-op) - Preston)
That this House recognises the vital contribution of the UK co-operative movement to the economy; further notes that co-operatives in the UK operate across a wide range of sectors, all guided by the values and principles of co-operation that include concern for community and member economic participation; recognises the importance …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Oct 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 8
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Green Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
19th May 2022
Mark Menzies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 19th May 2022

Iain MacNeil's global voyage

Tabled by: Angus Brendan MacNeil (Independent - Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
That this House notes that from the time of the great Magellan Expedition of 1518-1521, the first to circumnavigate the world, that mankind has always been fascinated with nautical circumnavigations of the world; warmly congratulates Iain MacNeil from the Hebridean Island of Barra, following in those footsteps by completing the …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jun 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 9
Independent: 2
Labour: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Mark Menzies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Menzies, 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.


Mark Menzies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Mark Menzies

Wednesday 18th October 2023

1 Bill introduced by Mark Menzies


A Bill to require the Secretary of State to permit local authorities to vary restrictions on Sunday trading on a temporary basis; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th July 2011

Latest 50 Written Questions

(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
1 Other Department Questions
6th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on tackling problem gambling among women.

We carried out a wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act 2005 and recently published a white paper.

Our proposals will benefit anyone who is experiencing or at risk of harm, very much including women.

We are working hard with the Gambling Commission and others to implement them as soon as possible.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to support the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman investigate the backlog of cases that are awaiting review.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of the Government and reports directly to Parliament. The Ombudsman has informed ministers that he has already written to the hon. Member on this matter.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people who are exempt from wearing face coverings are able to use (a) shops and (b) indoor public facilities during the November 2020 covid-19 restrictions.

Social distancing, and other non pharmaceutical interventions, mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19 including for those exempt from wearing a face covering. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

7th May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she is taking to support the UK nuclear industry to increase exports.

The UK has extensive expertise across the nuclear life cycle, from new build, fuel to decommissioning and waste management.

The Department recognises the export potential offered by a growing global market and is working closely with other government departments, our overseas network, and industry to offer a full range of support for UK civil nuclear exports across markets including Japan, France, Central Europe and Ukraine.

This includes UK Export Finance, who can consider a range of options to support overseas sales, including loan guarantees for foreign buyers, working capital, insurance, and bond support products to assist UK suppliers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will have discussions with energy companies on improving (a) communication with (i) businesses and (ii) households about disruption as a result of energy projects and (b) access to compensation for losses related to such projects.

The Government engages regularly with energy companies and is committed to delivering the energy infrastructure needed for net zero and energy security, while ensuring that individuals are fairly compensated and brought into the process.

To install infrastructure, network operators often need access to private land and appropriate compensation, covering both the value of land and any losses, must be paid to the landowner. The Government recognises that where compensation cannot be agreed, then challenging this via the Upper Tribunal can be expensive for landowners. Government has established a Taskforce to explore Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, to help un-block these disputes.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to issue Local Authorities with guidance on making payments through the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding.

The Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) is due to be launched later this month, and local authorities will be provided with guidance ahead of this. The Government will also be hosting webinars ahead of the scheme launch to provide additional information to Local Authorities on the role they will play in delivering the EBSS AF.

18th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his planned timetable is for payments to begin under the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding in England.

Applications for the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding (EBSS AF) are expected to open later in January and will remain open until the end of April. Those who are eligible for the EBSS AF will need to submit a short form via the government's GOV.UK pages, and their details will be shared with local authorities across England, Scotland, and Wales who will deliver the one-off, non-repayable support this winter. The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant local authority.

18th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of steps taken to help extend the Energy Bills Support Scheme to households without a direct relationship with their energy supplier.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding is being provided to around 900,000 households without a direct relationship with a domestic electricity supplier. This will be a payment of £400 per eligible household. The application will be open on or by Monday 27th February, with a dedicated customer helpline available to assist customers without online access. Further details will be published shortly.

22nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support households who pay their energy bills through an intermediary during this winter fuel crisis.

Energy suppliers are delivering the Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) to households with a domestic electricity contract in monthly instalments over six months from October. The Energy Prices Act 2022 includes provisions to require landlords and other intermediaries to pass this to end users.

Alternative Funding will provide a £400 discount off energy bills for the small percentage of households who are not reached through the main EBSS fund, including those who do not have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier. Further details on eligibility, timescales and method of delivery will be announced shortly.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to (a) review and (b) implement the findings of the consultation on the technical proposals for the Energy Bills Support Scheme which closed on 11 April 2022; and how his Department will ensure payment of that support to people who pay their energy bills through third parties.

The Energy Bills Support Scheme consultation closed on 23 May. Responses are being analysed and the government response will be published in the summer.

There will be different considerations for consumers depending on their circumstances.

All domestic electricity customers who have a direct relationship with a licensed electricity supplier will be automatically eligible for this Scheme.

The Government continues to work with consumer groups and suppliers on the delivery of the scheme to domestic electricity customers and is exploring options for other ways in which customers who do not have a domestic electricity contract might receive similar support.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what policy framework his Department plans to implement to support the development of modular reactors to ensure that nuclear energy is part of a low-carbon hydrogen production mix.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution included a commitment of up to £385 million for an Advanced Nuclear Fund to develop a domestic Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design and to demonstrate innovative Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR) by the early 2030s. Both of these reactor technologies have the potential to produce low carbon hydrogen using electricity and/or heat via increasingly efficient electrolysis, or in the case of AMRs via higher temperature additional production routes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the production of green hydrogen from nuclear energy.

In the Hydrogen Strategy, the Government noted that both existing and future nuclear technologies have the potential to provide low-carbon hydrogen. The Government consulted in 2021 on a range of policies to support low-carbon hydrogen production and will publish relevant responses in 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will commit to using UK fuel for reactors in the UK and provide certainty to organisations through the nuclear supply chain.

The UK is a world leader in the nuclear fuel cycle, and this is testament to the highly skilled workforce currently employed at the Springfields and Capenhurst sites, and the wider UK supply chain. Earlier this month, I visited Springfields to see first-hand the important work taking place, including at the Oxide Fuels Complex.

The Government recognises the importance of continued commercial operation of such facilities to deliver low carbon energy. In the recent Spending Review we confirmed up to £75 million, to be used alongside sector co-investment, to preserve and develop the UK’s nuclear fuel production capability. With this funding we will move a programme forward to address all our fuel-related priorities, helping to develop the UK fuel supply chain to power the reactors of today and advanced nuclear in the future.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of nuclear energy in (a) improving the UK’s energy security and (b) achieving net zero; and what steps he plans to take to raise awareness of that contribution.

Analysis published by BEIS with the Energy White Paper (EWP) [1] in 2020 shows that, alongside significant amounts of wind and solar, a stable, low-cost electricity system to meet net zero will also require other forms of low-carbon power, including nuclear, to complement the intermittency of those technologies.

As outlined in the Net Zero Strategy[2] published in October 2021, we need to continue to deploy all known low-carbon technologies at scale over the next decade to ensure optionality is maintained, whilst developing new options to mitigate delivery risk and reduce costs. The Government has confirmed that it aims to reach a Final Investment Decision on at least one large-scale nuclear project this Parliament and recently announced £210m for Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactor design. We will also publish a roadmap for new nuclear in 2022. It will focus on what is needed to support the deployment of further new nuclear in the UK. I was proud to host an event about nuclear energy in the UK Pavilion at COP26 and my officials are working with industry to build on that momentum.

[1] https://www.govuk/government/publications/energy-white-paper-powering-our-net-zero-future.

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the UK’s energy dependency on foreign states.

Great Britain has one of the most reliable electricity systems in the world. It benefits from a diverse electricity mix, which contributes to security of supply by ensuring no dependence on any single market participant for the power consumed.

Interconnection with overseas markets forms an important part of Great Britain’s electricity mix. However, the majority of power consumed in this country is still domestically produced.

Around half of Great Britain’s annual gas demand is met through domestic production and most imports come from close proximity suppliers such as Norway.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure sufficient provision of skilled alternative heat source technologies engineers to help facilitate the move away from gas boilers to new technologies, such as ground or air source heat pumps.

The Government is working closely with industry and the education sector to ensure that high-quality training is available for heat pump installers. This includes training for new heating engineers, and for existing heating engineers who do not yet have heat pump training.

As part of the Green Homes Grant Skills Competition, the Government awarded more than £6 million to support training for tradespeople delivering green home energy improvements, including heat pump installations.

We are also supporting the industry-led development of new heat pump upskilling courses for existing heating engineers. By the end of 2021, we expect industry to have the capacity to upskill thousands of heating installers per year to work on heat pumps.

Furthermore, BEIS together with the Department for Education is also working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to ensure that apprenticeships and T-Levels contain high quality heat pump training. Additionally, we are working with the Association of Colleges to ensure that further education providers are aware of future needs for heat pump installer skills, and to understand barriers to providing relevant training so that they can be better addressed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to create opportunities for young people in (a) the nuclear sector and (b) the wider green energy industry.

BEIS is a member of the industry-led Nuclear Skills Strategic Group (NSSG), which brings together employers, government, regulators, and trades unions to address the skills challenge and drives major skills developments in the nuclear sector. The NSSG has developed a long-term Nuclear Skills Strategic Plan which incorporates a variety of activities, including those to recruit more young people in the nuclear sector. As part of the Strategic Plan, the following are expected to be delivered.

  • Offer work experience placements for students in schools, further education, and higher education through industry collaboration.
  • Recruit 2,000 new starts every year through local apprenticeships.
  • Increase diversity, with expectation that female workforce should increase from 22%, to 40% by 2030.

We continue to engage and support as the plan is delivered.

We are determined to seize the once-in-a-generation economic opportunities of the net zero transition, delivering a green industrial revolution, by creating new business opportunities and supporting up to 2 million green jobs by 2030 across all regions of the UK. In order to ensure we have the skilled workforce to deliver net zero and our Ten Point Plan, we have launched the Green Jobs Taskforce, working in partnership with business, skills providers, and unions to advise on how we can deliver the green jobs of the future.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help businesses in the construction sector tackle (a) supply chain issues and (b) the resulting increased costs.

The Government is aware that a range of building materials are in short supply nationally. This is driven by demand and increased global competition to secure supplies.

In light of this, and in view of more local disruptions in the supply of some products, the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force has established a Product Availability Working Group, comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force continues to monitor the supply and demand of products, and identify those in short supply.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK nuclear fuel needs are filled by UK produced fuels.

The UK is a world leader in the nuclear fuel cycle. As we transition from the needs of the current nuclear fleet, we are carefully considering with operators, fuel producers and the R&D community how best to meet the needs of future nuclear power stations, including opportunities provided by small and advanced modular reactors.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for the (a) tourism and (b) hospitality sectors during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

This Department and our colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are in regular contact with HM Treasury colleagues to discuss the impact of support measures on the tourism and hospitality sectors.

We recognise the difficulties faced by businesses in these sectors and will continue to engage with stakeholders and across Government to assess how we can most effectively support them.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses seeking to hire new employees during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to both protecting existing jobs as well as supporting job creation to ensure we build back better after this crisis. At the heart of these plans is a £30 billion investment in jobs. In his Summer Economic Update, the Chancellor – as part of his Plan for Jobs - announced a £3 billion investment in green infrastructure to create thousands of green jobs, a cut to Stamp Duty to support an industry that employs almost 750,000 people, a £2 billion investment in the Kickstart scheme to get our youth into work, as well as doubling the number of work coaches and tripling the number of traineeships.

Our investment includes:

  • Construction Talent Retention Scheme – Supports the redeployment of workers at risk of redundancy to opportunities across the UK.
  • Green Jobs Challenge Fund – The Government will invest up to £40 million in a Green Jobs Challenge Fund for environmental charities and public authorities to create and protect 5,000 jobs in England.
  • Kickstart Scheme - Provides funding to create new job placements for those aged 16-24 on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers National Minimum Wage, NICs and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance he has issued to (a) businesses and (b) service providers on making social distancing measures accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

The Government has published guidance on safer working for a range of working environments, available on GOV.UK. The guidance does not change employers’ obligations to make reasonable adjustments for those with disabilities.

Our guidance also does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-19 secure for their employees, visitors and customers. We expect all businesses to approach reopening in a sensible way, taking account of the Government’s guidance and discussing with neighbouring businesses and their local authorities where applicable.

2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of differences in the (a) licensing and (b) regulation of (i) short-term holiday lets and (ii) other providers of accommodation on (A) hotels, (B) bed and breakfasts and (C) other accommodation providers.

On 19 February 2024, the government announced a mandatory national registration scheme for short-term lets.

The scheme aims to preserve the benefits of short-term lets, as well as tackling the challenges they present in a proportionate way. The evidence collected through the call for evidence in 2022 and public consultation held in 2023 suggests that a form of registration rather than a licensing model is the optimum form of regulation in this sector in England.

Our aim is to make the scheme as light touch, low cost and simple as possible. The registration scheme is focussed on short-term lets, and therefore the register will not affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs. We will be examining the impact of the scheme on the sector through an impact assessment. Further details of the register will be set out in the government’s response to the consultation.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that reforms to the Electronic Communications Code enable tenants in properties in Fylde to access full fibre broadband.

My department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision across the UK. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

This consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. The consultation response will be published in due course and we will bring legislation forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act gained Royal Assent in March 2021. This Act aims to address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has requested a new connection, but the landlord has not responded to requests for access rights.

The Act inserts a new Part 4A to the Electronic Communication Code, which provides a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain code rights to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. This only applies where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator

  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord

  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access

My department has also recently launched a consultation, which seeks views on the terms that will accompany the interim Code rights provided to operators who have successfully applied for an order made under Part 4A of the Electronic Communications Code. This consultation closes on Wednesday 4 August. Responses will be considered and the consultation response will be published in due course.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the need to reform the Electronic Communications Code to enable people in Fylde constituency to access full fibre broadband.

My department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision across the UK. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

This consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. The consultation response will be published in due course and we will bring legislation forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act gained Royal Assent in March 2021. This Act aims to address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has requested a new connection, but the landlord has not responded to requests for access rights.

The Act inserts a new Part 4A to the Electronic Communication Code, which provides a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain code rights to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. This only applies where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator

  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord

  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access

My department has also recently launched a consultation, which seeks views on the terms that will accompany the interim Code rights provided to operators who have successfully applied for an order made under Part 4A of the Electronic Communications Code. This consultation closes on Wednesday 4 August. Responses will be considered and the consultation response will be published in due course.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) promote the UK as a tourist destination abroad and (b) attract more foreign visitors to (i) smaller towns and (ii) coastal areas.

We are currently working with VisitBritain, VisitEngland and local partners to champion England’s diverse tourism offer through the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. Last year the Government spent £19 million on domestic marketing activity, such as the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, and much more is planned for this year. The Government will work with VisitBritain to welcome back international visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

More broadly, the Tourism Recovery Plan will set out a long-term framework for how the Government will work with the sector to build back better from the pandemic and develop a more sustainable, innovative, and data-driven tourism industry, including in coastal areas. The Levelling Up Fund, the 83 Towns Deals and the City and Growth Deals in Scotland and Wales show that the Government is investing in tourism infrastructure across the Union, helping towns and coastal areas further develop their tourism offers.

In recent years, the £45m Discover England Fund has supported the development of multiple internationally marketed tourism products in Lancashire, such as VisitBritain’s Gateway Partnership with Manchester Airport.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve home broadband connections for people in (a) rural and (b) semi-rural locations who are continuing to work from home.

  • DCMS are working tirelessly to improve home broadband connections. £2.6bn public funding is committed to subsidising the roll-out of broadband infrastructure in harder-to-reach areas through the government's Superfast Broadband programme. The original programme target of 95% was achieved and we have continued beyond this to greater than 96%.

  • Over 96.6% of UK premises have access to superfast (30Mbps) broadband, with 5.3 million additional homes and businesses in both rural and semi-rural areas having superfast broadband available for the first time thanks to the government’s investment in the Superfast programme. (Source: ThinkBroadband)

  • Blackpool has recently completed an LFFN project, which has enabled the development of a full fibre broadband network throughout Blackpool comprising the re-use of existing Blackpool network assets, the build of an additional 20.678km underground duct infrastructure and the installation of 54.5km of fibre optic cables. The project has enabled business and consumers across the authority access to Gigabit services as part of the deployment of the network.

  • The Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme, launched in May 2019 acting as the first step towards piloting the “Outside-In” approach identified in the FTIR. The programme was set up to trial the LFFN PSBU delivery mechanism, to provide gigabit capable connectivity to public sector buildings (Hubs), along with vouchers to eligible residential and business premises in rural and remote areas. The RGC programme is combining both demand and supply-side interventions.

  • The programme focused on targeting Hubs located within the Final 10% & 20% of least commercially viable areas across the UK identified through DCMS modelling (This was originally only the F10%, however this was altered to the F20% following the Year 2 business case submission to HMT in March 2020).

  • The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was a pilot which has enabled us to test different approaches to stimulate the broadband market and to support the installation of gigabit-capable broadband to homes and businesses; it has been very successful and we're going to build on this success with a new voucher in April, while also taking the opportunity to refine our approach to ensure that we focus support on the hardest to reach premises.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department took to ensure that the distribution of the £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund was as wide and as fair as possible.

Each Arms Length Body, Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute, is responsible for delivering the Fund. They were chosen due to their long established grant delivery role, their expertise and understanding of the sectors in which they operate.

They are overseen by the independent Culture Recovery Board, chaired by Sir Damon Buffini. The board has an advisory role in the delivery of the larger grants, makes final decisions on the repayable finance applications, and provides assurance that the criteria is being used consistently across each part of the Fund.

As well as financial and cultural significance criteria, applications are also considered against balancing criteria, including ensuring a geographical spread of successful applicants

2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the reasons for trends in the number of new children’s residential homes that have been established in Lancashire.

It is the decision of children’s homes providers to decide on the location and type of building that they wish to use to accommodate children in care. As part of Ofsted’s registration process, children’s homes providers are required to undertake a location assessment, which must show the steps that have been taken to ensure the location is safe and promotes positive opportunities for children. The department recognises the need to ensure there are the right children’s homes in the right places.

As announced in the Spring Budget 2023, the department is continuing to invest in the children’s homes market to provide high quality, safe homes for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in all nine regions of England.

In addition to taking forward the recommendations made by the Care Review and the Competition and Markets Authority, the department is also developing proposals on what more can be done to combat profiteering, bring down costs and create a more sustainable market for residential placements.

The department is developing options regarding the planning of children’s homes and thanks Fylde Council colleagues for their continued engagement in this process.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help improve the digital skills of older people.

The government recognises that digital skills are important for adults of all ages, and the department is committed to improving their level of digital skills to support active participation in society.

From August 2020, the department introduced a digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications free of charge. The new entitlement mirrors the existing legal entitlements for English and mathematics. This puts essential digital skills on an equal footing in the adult education system, as the third essential skill adults need for work, life and further learning.


The department introduced new Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQs) at entry level and level 1 from August 2020, funded under the digital entitlement. EDSQs are based on the national standards for essential digital skills and are designed to meet the diverse needs of adults with no or low digital skills, reflecting different learning needs, motivations and starting points.

To further enhance the essential digital skills offer for adults, from August 2023, the department introduced new digital Functional Skills qualifications (FSQs), which have replaced FSQs in Information and Communication Technology. Digital FSQs have standardised content and assessment, providing a benchmark of digital skills for employers. These are based on subject content for digital FSQs the department published in October 2021.

The government recognises that formal qualifications are not necessary for everyone. That is why the department also fund community learning and other non-regulated learning, such as building confidence in essential digital skills, through the Adult Education Budget. Many local authorities and other further education providers are already delivering these courses that help equip adults with the essential digital skills they need for work, life and further learning.

Of course, older people may also be looking to progress beyond essential digital skills, potentially through a desire to retrain or upskill. Through the department’s wider skills reforms, the department is continuing to ensure learners, whatever their age, can train, retrain and upskill towards better jobs, better wellbeing and better options for the future.

More information about essential digital skills and other government funded training opportunities can be found here: https://www.skillsforcareers.education.gov.uk/pages/skills-for-life.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Education)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the role that academy trusts in improving (a) educational standards and (b) school facilities.

High quality academy trusts have been a key vehicle in improving educational standards. They have facilitated better collaboration, directed resources to where they are needed most, and enabled the best leaders to support a greater number of schools. As of 1 April, over 50% of all state-funded schools are academies.

As of December 2023, 90% of schools were rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compared to 68% in 2010. There is also evidence that high quality trusts have improved underperforming schools via the sponsored academies programme. Departmental analysis has demonstrated that, on average, sponsored schools improve more quickly than equivalent local authority maintained schools. More than seven out of ten sponsored academies which were found to be underperforming as a local authority maintained school in their previous inspection now have a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating.

Academy trusts work with their school’s day to day to meet their responsibilities to keep buildings safe, well maintained and compliant with relevant regulations. The department supports them by providing significant capital funding, rebuilding programmes and support and guidance.

The department has allocated £17 billion to improve the condition of the school estate since 2015, including £1.8 billion for the 2024/25 financial year. This is informed by consistent data on the condition of the school estate. In addition, the School Rebuilding Programme is transforming buildings at over 500 schools across England.

The department also provides extensive guidance to help academy trusts and other responsible bodies to maintain their estates safely and effectively, such as through Good Estate Management for Schools. The department has also published a new estate management competency framework, which sets out the skills and knowledge needed in different roles to manage school estates.

Where there are serious issues with buildings that cannot be managed independently by responsible bodies, the department provides additional advice and support on a case by case basis.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) schools with a large intake of military families are adequately provisioned and (b) school roll audits are carried out termly rather than annually in those schools.

State-funded schools in England that are attended by children and young people from military families (known as service children) receive additional funding in the form of the service pupil premium (SPP). This funding is currently worth £320 per annum for each pupil who is recorded as a service child at the time of the autumn school census, or who has had service child status at any point in the last six years.

Schools have flexibility over how they use the SPP to support the pastoral and academic needs that service children may have as a result of growing up in a military household. These can include needs relating to the impact of moving schools frequently during their primary and secondary education.

Schools are required in each termly school census to record information about the number of service children on roll. However, allocations of SPP funding for each financial year only draw on data from the autumn school census return. This ’lagged’ approach to funding gives schools certainty over their budgets, as they know the number of pupils for which they will receive funding in the year. Therefore, when pupil numbers fall, schools have time to respond before this starts to impact their budgets.

The department has allocated £246 million in growth and falling rolls funding to local authorities in the 2022/23 financial year. This is an increase of £12 million over the amount allocated for 2021/22. Growth funding can be used by local authorities to support schools with managing a significant growth in pupil numbers or a short-term decrease in pupil numbers, where those places are forecast to be required in future years.

The responsibility for how growth and falling rolls funding is allocated rests with local authorities. If an academy or maintained school takes on significant numbers of additional pupils because of a growing population in the area, then local authorities can provide funding from the growth pot they hold locally.

Furthermore, schools in which more than 6% of pupils joined at a non-typical date through the school year at any point in the last three years also attract funding through the mobility factor in the national funding formula. For years 1 to 11, this means the first census when the pupil was in the school was a Spring or Summer census. For the reception year, the first census is the Summer census. This year, the department allocated £44 million to local authorities through this factor. Local authorities allocate the funding they receive to schools through their local funding formula.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has issued guidance to local authorities on placements at independent schools for refugees who have arrived under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The department is currently working at pace to develop the methodology and mechanism for the allocation of funding for the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. This education funding for children and young people will be distributed to local authorities. If the funding is used for a school place, it will be for state-funded schools only.

In general, there’s nothing that would stop a local authority from providing funding to an independent school, but this would be a decision for the individual local authority to make.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities issued guidance in March this year advising families how to apply for a school place in England. The Department for Education shared this via The Education Hub blog in April.

The Boarding Schools Association and the Independent Schools Council speak regularly to the Department for Education and the Home Office on matters relating to Ukraine and Russia.

We are grateful to those independent schools that have come forward to offer places and encourage independent schools to contact local authorities that are seeking to place children.

As school places are co-ordinated locally, schools should inform their local authorities that they are willing to offer places to Ukrainian students. It is for independent schools to determine their own criteria for creating scholarship schemes and putting local arrangements for administration in place.

2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an estimate of the financial cost to farmers of flooding in the last 12 months.

In March, Defra published its forecasts of Farm Business Income, a measure of profit, for 2023/24. These forecasts reflect changes to price, crop area and yield in 2023, but not the impact of more recent weather events. The results of the 2023/24 Farm Business Survey will be published in autumn 2024.

The recent ‘Balance Sheet Analysis’ publication highlights that average liquidity in the sector has been consistently improving over the latest five years of data and reached a 10-year high in 2022/23. This indicates that farm businesses have been keeping back funds in recent profitable years to help sustain the business in less profitable periods.

It is too early to make definitive conclusions on the impact of more recent weather events on farm profitability. We have no reliable forecasts of yields, largely as spring planting is still underway. Additionally, for many farmers any financial impact that arises will not be felt until later in 2024/25. On this basis we continue to work closely with stakeholders to enhance our monitoring of the wet weather and its impact on farms.

In April, Defra opened the Farming Recovery Fund to offset the financial cost to some of the most impacted farm businesses by providing grants of up to £25,000 for uninsurable flood damage.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will have discussions with the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero on minimising the impact of of new energy projects on local (a) environments, (b) wildlife and (c) rural livelihoods.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of issues, and Cabinet discussions are considered confidential.

Robbie Moore
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 steps his Department is taking to work with supermarket retailers to help ensure that elderly or disabled residents remain able to access (a) home delivery slots and (b) good quality produce with a suitable shelf life.

Central and local government have worked in partnership with supermarkets to enable vulnerable individuals to access prioritised supermarket delivery slots until 21 June, which has facilitated millions of deliveries. Defra continues to hold regular conversations with major supermarkets to raise awareness of issues related to food access for elderly and disabled people, including the availability of supermarket deliveries.

There are a number of options open to elderly or disabled individuals who want support to access food. Vulnerable individuals can contact their local authority, or request support from an NHS volunteer responder in gaining access to food, prescriptions and other essential items by calling the phone line or visiting the Royal Voluntary Service website.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, with a food industry that is well versed in dealing with scenarios that can impact food supply. We remain in regular contact with the food industry and suppliers, who hold the expertise, capability and levers to ensure that all consumers continue to have access to a wide range of food products when they shop.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that products of animal or plant origin receive the correct certification in a timely manner from (a) vets, or (b) The Animal and Plant Health Authority to prevent unnecessary delays in exporting.

Export Health Certificates (EHC) for products of animal origin are authorised by Official Veterinarians (OVs) acting on behalf of the Competent Authority; the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Certificates are generated through the Export Health Certificates online service, managed by APHA. Phytosanitary certificates for plants and plant products are authorised by APHA inspectors.

Prior to the end of the transition period, APHA stress tested its services in order to prepare for an increase in demand of animal and plants products. As a result, mitigations, including the recruitment of additional Plant Health and Seeds Inspectors, were put in place to ensure there was sufficient capacity to accommodate an expected increase in phytosanitary certification. In addition, APHA officials facilitated an increase in EHC certification through targeted training of OVs and the creation of a Certifying Support Officer function to support OVs.

APHA regular monitors all its activities related to transition and looks to improve its services provided to exporters and other stakeholders continually.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to prevent inland flooding in the North West.

Across the North West (NW), investment from the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils from April 2015 to March 2021 will better protect approximately 42,000 properties against inland and coastal flooding by April 2021. Around 5,000 of these will be better protected this financial year. Included in this programme was the £21 million investment at Lytham (Lancashire) that benefits 2,300 homes.

The EA carries out maintenance of critical flood defences and rivers that pose the greatest risk to communities. 600 miles of open channels are managed across the NW. For example, in Cumbria and Lancashire, 13 miles of culverts are regularly inspected to ensure water can flow freely.

The EA is investing approximately £4 million in natural flood management across the NW. This is in addition to further investment in natural flood management by the NW Regional Flood Coastal Committee’s local levy.

Planning, responding and recovering from flooding is a key aspect of the EA’s work in the NW. The EA works closely with all five local resilience forums to deliver a coordinated local response to flooding - ensuring they have a large number of trained and capable staff, temporary defences, pumps and other key equipment. They also help many local community groups develop emergency plans.

The EA warns and informs the public about flood risk. Across the NW, 147,669 properties at risk receive flood warnings. By March 2022 all properties at high risk of flooding from main rivers or the sea will be able to receive a flood warning.

The EA also works closely with local planning authorities to help ensure local plans appropriately account for current and future flood risk. The EA comments on strategically significant individual planning applications to ensure flood risk is appropriately accounted for in decision making. They also regulate work in or near main rivers to ensure that it doesn’t increase flood risk or cause environmental damage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to prevent future inland flooding.

The Government’s recently published FCERM Policy Statement and the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy set out the long term plans for managing inland flooding in England. In addition, at the March 2020 budget the Government announced a further £5.2 billion funding in flood defences in England over six years from April 2021. This will help deliver 2,000 schemes to better protect 336,000 properties and 550km of transport infrastructure from inland and coastal flooding by March 2027.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to enable farm owners and landowners to take more effective action in preventing inland flooding.

Many farmers and landowners are already taking actions to help manage flood risks – both risks to their own land and risks to surrounding areas. Government provides financial incentives for some of these activities within Countryside Stewardship and, through the Catchment Sensitive Farming advice programme, we have piloted including flood risk management within integrated advice to farmers.

The Government policy statement on flood and coastal erosion risk management, published in July 2020, explains our plans to do more to harness the opportunities rural landscapes bring to increase resilience for people living and working in rural areas and further downstream.

We will ensure our countryside is resilient to flooding so that our sustainable food industry can flourish, and our farming and agricultural sectors can thrive. To achieve this, risk management authorities will work with landowners to maximise good land and soil management and to implement natural flood management solutions.

We will join up actions for water, floods, the environment and farming to ensure actions that promote good soil and land management, water storage for farm use, and the restoration of peat, moors and other land are naturally designed to support flood risk management.

A key element of this will be the Environmental Land Management scheme, founded on the principle of public money for public goods. Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering a range of public goods as set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, including: a reduction in and protection from environmental hazards such as flooding.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has issued to local highways authorities on the criteria for the implementation of new road safety measures; and what flexibility those authorities have to act in response to multiple fatal incidents.

Local authorities have a range of road safety measures available to them and they are best placed to make decisions on implementation.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of using low-carbon aircraft to support regional airports.

Airlines determine the routes they operate based on their own assessment of whether routes are commercially viable.

The Budget confirmed that the Government’s support for the development of new low and zero carbon emission aircraft in the UK will continue with an additional £975m of funding between 2025 and 2030.

In addition, the Government is supporting the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) by introducing a SAF Mandate from 1 January 2025 and the consultation on revenue certainty options to support investment in a UK SAF production industry.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd May 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Northern Rail's performance on the South Fylde Line.

I recognise the importance of a reliable train service for the people and businesses of Blackpool. The department closely monitors the performance of Northern Trains and other operators and holds them to account for any performance issues under their control.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of introducing public service obligation routes for air travel on regional connectivity.

Existing policy to support domestic connectivity provide public service obligations (PSOs) to protect routes into London that are in danger of being lost. The Government jointly funds three routes from Newquay, Dundee and Derry/Londonderry. In addition, 17 PSOs operate entirely in Scotland connecting the Highlands and Islands, funded by the Scottish Government.

The Department continues to consider how PSOs, alongside other policy measures, could help to meet regional connectivity, union connectivity and levelling-up objectives.

3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people currently waiting more than the estimated 10 week turnaround for the renewal of their driving licence.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

On 4 February, there were 178,926 driving licence renewal applications that had taken ten weeks or more. The vast majority of these are applications where a medical condition must be investigated before a licence can be issued to ensure the required medical standards are met. In December, the Department for Health and Social Care asked the DVLA to stop sending medical questionnaires (excluding vocational applications) to NHS doctors in December and January to allow the NHS to focus all efforts on the vaccination booster programme. While referrals to doctors have now resumed, this has had an impact on turnaround times. It is important to note that the large majority of these drivers will be able to continue driving under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act while they are waiting for their application to be processed.