Mark Pritchard Portrait

Mark Pritchard

Conservative - The Wrekin

Select Committees
Panel of Chairs (since January 2020)
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (since July 2020)
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 18th Dec 2017
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
28th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Panel of Chairs
3rd Dec 2012 - 3rd May 2017
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
International Development Committee
5th Nov 2012 - 4th Nov 2013
Transport Committee
14th Jul 2008 - 6th May 2010
Welsh Affairs Committee
17th Dec 2007 - 6th May 2010
Work and Pensions Committee
23rd Oct 2006 - 14th Jul 2008
Environmental Audit Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 18th Dec 2007


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 249 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 251
Speeches
Monday 19th July 2021
Cervical Screening

Hon. Members will be aware that social distancing is no longer in operation. I remind hon. Members that Mr Speaker …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Copyright and Intellectual Property: Protection
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 18th October 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: FuseMetrix Group Ltd
Address of donor: Bell House, Seebeck Place, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8FR
Amount of …
EDM signed
Tuesday 20th March 2018
CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TELFORD
That this House expresses concern about the scale of child sexual exploitation in Telford; notes that, in 2015-16, Telford had …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Mark Pritchard has voted in 252 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

20 May 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Mark Pritchard voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 345 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 352
View All Mark Pritchard 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
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(14 debate interactions)
Jeremy Quin (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(8 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(15 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Mark Pritchard's debates

The Wrekin 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Cervical screening needs to be every year.

This is because women are dying, mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters and sisters are dying.

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.


Latest EDMs signed by Mark Pritchard

15th March 2018
Mark Pritchard signed this EDM on Tuesday 20th March 2018

CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN TELFORD

Tabled by: Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
That this House expresses concern about the scale of child sexual exploitation in Telford; notes that, in 2015-16, Telford had the highest number of child sexual offences recorded, per head of population, in each of the 317 community safety partnerships in England and Wales; recognises the horrific abuse and suffering …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Mar 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Conservative: 16
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
26th April 2016
Mark Pritchard signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 26th April 2016

COMMUNITY PHARMACIES

Tabled by: Alan Meale (Labour - Mansfield)
That this House is concerned about the planned £170 million cut to the Community Pharmacy Budget in England scheduled for October 2016, which could lead to the forced closure of up to 3,000 pharmacies and place the remaining pharmacies, GPs and A&E departments under ever greater pressure; believes the Government …
18 signatures
(Most recent: 9 May 2016)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 11
Independent: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Conservative: 1
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Mark Pritchard's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Pritchard, 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 Pritchard has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Mark Pritchard has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Mark Pritchard has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Mark Pritchard has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


134 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
2 Other Department Questions
19th May 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on what steps the Church of England is taking to support the diocese of (a) Hereford and (b) Lichfield; and what plans the Church of England has to support dioceses with large rural parishes.

Diocesan resourcing of mission and ministry is supported by congregational giving, historic investments and other income. Additional support is provided from national funds generated by the investments of the Church Commissioners and distributed by the Archbishops' Council.

The Diocese of Hereford has received:

  • £1.172m of Lowest Income Communities Funding over 2020-22 to support mission and ministry in areas of low economic activity.
  • £113k of Strategic Ministry Funding to help fund curates costs.
  • £120k in 2020 to support work on congregational giving.
  • £525k of Strategic Development Funding was awarded in 2017 towards a 5-year project supporting missioners in six parishes in the Diocese, including 3 of its market towns, focusing on reaching children and young people. More details can be found here.

The Diocese of Lichfield has received:

  • £6.23m of Lowest Income Communities Funding over 2020-22 to support mission and ministry in areas of low economic activity.
  • £850k to support diocesan finances in the light of the impact Covid-19.
  • £1.690m of Strategic Development Funding in 2019 for a 6-year project to support ministry and mission in Telford, focusing strongly on social engagement and reaching children and young people. More details can be found here.

Through the Government's Culture Recovery Fund, parishes and cathedrals of the two dioceses have also received:

  • Lichfield: 14 grants to parishes, totalling £379,141, and two grants to Lichfield Cathedral, totalling £152,900
  • Hereford: 12 grants to parishes, totalling £304,678, and two grants to Hereford Cathedral, totalling £284,400

Rural parishes make up around 60% of the Church of England's footprint with approximately 10,000 buildings. These parishes serve about 17% of the population, with 91% of rural churches being listed. These rural churches are an important community asset as they are often the only public building left in their community and serve multiple purposes in addition to being a place of worship.

The Association of Festival Churches (The Association of Festival Churches) was recently formed with the express purpose of supporting mostly rural churches to expand community use of their church buildings, working with pre-existing specialist resources such as the Arthur Rank Centre to provide targeted guidance and advice for rural churches.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on central London parishes of the congestion charge being levied on Sundays.

I am aware of the pressure the extension of the congestion charge is placing on all who worship in those London parishes that are located within the boundary of the charge, and who must travel to them from outside that boundary. Though the Church Commissioners have not made formal representations, I am aware that approaches have been made to the Mayor of London by Churches Together in Westminster including St Martin-in-the-Fields and St James's, Piccadilly, alongside other denominations and faiths. Concern has been raised about the knock-on impact on social action project work carried out by many central London places of worship, which may see a fall in donations as a result of fewer regular worshippers or visitors.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
20th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Social Mobility Commission report, Navigating the labyrinth, published in May 2021, what steps he plans to take to support career progression in the civil service.

The Civil Service must harness the broadest range of talent across every part of the UK.

Our plans for government reform and modernisation, which we will set out soon, will show how we will continue to do this by increasing opportunity and supporting career progression for all.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to counter threats posed by the use by foreign governments and other entities of commercially available cyber intrusion and other surveillance technology against UK citizens, companies and government departments.

The cyber threat landscape and tools commercially available to hostile actors are diverse, but the UK is clear that it will not tolerate malicious cyber activity and will react robustly and proportionately to the threat using the full spectrum of HMG capabilities at our disposal.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Centre for the Protection of Critical National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides ongoing advice and guidance for Government departments, Critical National Infrastructure, businesses, organisations and the general public.

Working closely with industry partners and experts through campaigns like ‘Industry 100’, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Aware, they produce guidance and support that sets out protective measures that can be taken to protect against a range of threats and threat actors, including espionage and cyber-attacks.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that commercial spyware and surveillance technology is not used by foreign governments against UK nationals.

The cyber threat landscape and tools commercially available to hostile actors are diverse, but the UK is clear that it will not tolerate malicious cyber activity and will react robustly and proportionately to the threat using the full spectrum of HMG capabilities at our disposal.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Centre for the Protection of Critical National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides ongoing advice and guidance for Government departments, Critical National Infrastructure, businesses, organisations and the general public.

Working closely with industry partners and experts through campaigns like ‘Industry 100’, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Aware, they produce guidance and support that sets out protective measures that can be taken to protect against a range of threats and threat actors, including espionage and cyber-attacks.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to support the music industry through (a) improving copyright and intellectual property protection and (b) making industry representations on matters including the Credits Due campaign.

Government policy in this area has long been underpinned by the desire to maintain robust copyright and intellectual property protection. The copyright, and wider intellectual property, frameworks are kept under constant review to ensure they remain fit for purpose and that any changes to these are driven by evidence.

For example, the Government recently responded to recommendations from the DCMS Select Committee following its inquiry into music streaming. The response sets out the imminent launch of a package of stakeholder engagement and research aimed at better understanding and resolving some of the issues identified within the music streaming environment. The IPO and DCMS will work closely with partners on the music industry’s “Credits Due” initiative to develop options for a minimum data standard.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's strategy is on increasing its oil and gas reserves and storage capacity.

The UK benefits from having access to highly diverse sources of gas supply to ensure households, businesses and heavy industry get the energy they need.

Gas storage is not a component of overall winter supply. GB gas storage stock levels are currently comparable to previous years ahead of the winter months and storage is expected to continue its role as a source of system flexibility. BEIS is continuing to explore the future of the gas storage landscape through the UK Hydrogen Strategy, which considers the role of hydrogen storage in greater detail and whether further regulation or support mechanisms are needed to maximise its potential.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government's Heat and Buildings strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the costs of low carbon heating are sustainable for people in (a) Shropshire and (b) other rural areas.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course. This will include information on the Government’s approach to the transition to low carbon heating through a comprehensive policy package comprising targeted regulatory, market-based and public investment measures.

In transitioning to low carbon heat, it will be important that future costs are allocated in a way that is fair to all consumers and incentivises them to use cost-effective low-carbon technologies.

As announced in the Energy White Paper last December, we will shortly issue a call for evidence on affordability and fairness in the energy market which will explore these issues further. This will include looking at policy costs placed on gas and electricity prices and gathering evidence on the extent to which these act as a significant barrier to the deployment of low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps.

In order to ease consumer costs, the Government has also been providing financial support through schemes such as the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. In addition, from April 2022, the Clean Heat Grant will provide support to households switching to low carbon heating.

In respect of rural homes in particular, we recognise that many homes in rural areas that are not connected to the gas grid use high-carbon heating systems such as oil so decarbonising this stock will be vital to meet our net zero ambitions. The recently launched Home Upgrade Grant, backed by an initial £150 million of funding will support energy efficiency upgrades and low carbon heating for low-income households living off the gas grid in England, including in Shropshire.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with his US counterpart on ensuring that UK students can participate in the NASA International Internship Program.

In the light of our growing international programme of space collaborations, it would be timely for us to consider the opportunities this programme might offer within funding constraints. I shall instruct officials at the UK Space Agency to discuss this with their counterparts at NASA.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when hairdressers and barbers will be able to open as part of the easing of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As stated in the Roadmap for Recovery, the Government anticipates that close proximity businesses such as hairdressers and barbers will be opened as part of Phase 3 in July, should the science confirm that it is safe to do so.

Hairdressers and other beauty businesses still remain closed in the current phase because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher due to the indoor environment and closer physical contact. This also applies to mobile hairdressers.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leads the non-essential Retail Taskforce. Part of this taskforce is focussed on salons and non-clinical therapy. We are working with the sector to develop guidance on safer ways for them to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so. The guidance will be published in June.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department plans to establish a cultural export office.

This government recognises the importance of the UK’s creative and cultural industries, not only to the economy and international reputation of the United Kingdom, but also to the wellbeing and enrichment of its people. We support our world leading creative industries across the UK through a range of export support programmes, including the successful Music Export Growth Scheme and International Showcase Fund.

Creative SMEs in England can also access the Internationalisation Fund which provides matching grants for export support including attendance at trade shows. The Department of International Trade is setting up new trade and investment hubs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North-East to boost trade and investment and level up the country. The offices will include teams of export and investment specialists who can provide businesses with expert support and advice.

The Department for International Trade has also set up a new Export Support Service where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe by accessing cross-government information and support all in one place.

All of this support is featured in the new Creative Industries Export Campaign. This was launched on 20 September, and will encourage both new exporters and companies wanting to look at new export markets to take advantage of the new opportunities available to the UK as an independent trading nation.

DCMS continue to work closely with the Department of International Trade, the Creative Industries Trade and Investment Board (CITIB) and sector representatives to consider what more can be done to help the creative and cultural industries adapt to new arrangements in the EU and take advantage of the opportunities that the UK’s new global position offers.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to reform the governance of oversight and due diligence of the Gambling Commission in response to the collapse of Football Index.

The Secretary of State has appointed Malcolm Sheehan QC to lead the independent review of the Football Index gambling product. He will provide an independent expert account of the actions taken by the Gambling Commission and other relevant regulatory bodies, and consider the lessons to be learnt for the future. As outlined in my Written Ministerial Statement of 7 June, the independent review is expected to provide a report for publication in the summer. The statement can be found at: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-06-07/hcws63 and the scope and terms of reference for the review are available on gov.uk.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that Shropshire plays a role in supporting the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham 2022 will be the biggest sporting event ever held in the West Midlands and it provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the very best of the region to the rest of the world. These Games will be about far more than 11 days of sport and will create significant opportunities including job creation, community and sports facilities, an exciting cultural programme and a timely boost to businesses and tourism for the whole of the West Midlands. An additional £24 million investment to create a Business and Tourism Programme will ensure we maximise the economic opportunities hosting the Games provides for the region and the UK.

Birmingham 2022 is providing a boost for jobs and businesses across the UK, with a total procurement spend of around £350 million. The Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee, which is responsible for the operational delivery of the Games, held a webinar in November 2020 with the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce to highlight how Shropshire businesses can take advantage of the opportunities the Games will provide, including bidding for potential contracts. There will also be many other activities and opportunities open to the residents of Shropshire, including the volunteering programme which launched on 1 June 2021 and is seeking over 13,000 volunteers to help deliver the Games.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in high street betting shops in Shropshire; and what assessment he plans to make of that level of employment for the gambling review.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. The Review’s objectives include examining whether changes are needed to the system of gambling regulation to reflect changes to the gambling landscape, to make sure customers are suitably protected wherever they are gambling, and to ensure that there is an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land based industries.

The Gambling Commission requires gambling operators to have effective procedures in place for customers who choose to self-exclude. More information is available at: https://gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/LCCP/Licence-conditions-and-codes-of-practice.pdf (Section 3.5). In March 2020, the Commission made it mandatory for online operators to participate in GAMSTOP, the national online self-exclusion scheme, which allows customers to self-exclude from all licensed online gambling at once.

The government recognises the value of a responsible industry which protects players, provides employment and pays taxes. It does not hold information on the number of people employed in high street betting shops in Shropshire.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to work with the gambling and gaming sector on extending self-exclusion provisions for problem gamblers as part of the gambling review.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. The Review’s objectives include examining whether changes are needed to the system of gambling regulation to reflect changes to the gambling landscape, to make sure customers are suitably protected wherever they are gambling, and to ensure that there is an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land based industries.

The Gambling Commission requires gambling operators to have effective procedures in place for customers who choose to self-exclude. More information is available at: https://gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/LCCP/Licence-conditions-and-codes-of-practice.pdf (Section 3.5). In March 2020, the Commission made it mandatory for online operators to participate in GAMSTOP, the national online self-exclusion scheme, which allows customers to self-exclude from all licensed online gambling at once.

The government recognises the value of a responsible industry which protects players, provides employment and pays taxes. It does not hold information on the number of people employed in high street betting shops in Shropshire.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the Angling Trust report entitled When We Fish Again; and what his timetable is for enabling the sport of angling to commence again.

It is vital that people continue to be active during the Covid-19 outbreak to support their physical and mental health


On 11 May, Government published updated guidance on lockdown measures, including updates on how people can remain active. From Wednesday 13 May, people are allowed to go outside more than once a day for exercise as long as they are following social distancing guidelines, alone, with members of their household, or with one person from outside of their household. People must still only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless they are exercising with their household.

All outdoor sports and physical activities are now permitted, without time limit, including angling, with the exception of swimming in an open-air swimming pool. This does not apply to individuals’ private swimming pools within their own homes.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will hold discussions with representatives of Royal Parks on (a) extending cycle routes, (b) upgrading cycle route markings and (c) enforcing cycling restrictions on pedestrian only areas of the Royal Parks during the covid-19 outbreak.

Day to day operational management of The Royal Parks is matter for The Royal Parks charity. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to you to respond to your questions.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps with the Royal Parks to introduce designated areas for jogging that are separate from pedestrian areas in those parks in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Day to day operational management of The Royal Parks is matter for The Royal Parks charity. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to you to respond to your questions.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to improve (a) mobile phone and (b) broadband coverage in (i) The Wrekin constituency and (ii) Shropshire; and what the timeframe is for improving that coverage.

The Government announced in-principle support in October 2019 for the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal. The proposal would share investment costs between the mobile network operators and government and increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the United Kingdom to 95% by 2025. It will be underpinned by a legally binding coverage commitment from each operator.

The Government's in-principle support is subject to detailed negotiations. While this is not yet a done deal, the Prime Minister has made improvements to rural mobile coverage part of his first 100 days pledge. I will continue to work with the sector to make that happen, but I will also explore all possible options to meet our mobile coverage ambitions, including rural roaming.

The exact site deployment plans and timescales will be managed by the MNOs themselves in order for them to best deliver the agreed coverage outcomes. So until the operators’ final radio planning exercise is complete, neither the Government nor the operators will know the precise location or number of new or upgraded masts. However, the operators will be consulting with local communities as the SRN rolls out across the UK.

According to Thinkbroadband, currently, 93.7% of Shropshire has access to superfast broadband - up from 5% in 2011. This improvement is thanks to the investment that both the government and Shropshire County council have made towards superfast rollout in Shropshire, including parts of Wrekin.

Taking into account the Council’s current contracts with British Telecommunications plc (BT) and Airband Community Internet Ltd, together with additional commercial commitments, Shropshire County Council expect 97% of premises in the Council area will have access to superfast broadband by 2021.

The Wrekin constituency currently has 97% of premises with access to superfast speeds, up from 72% in 2011.

Our Voucher scheme through the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme is available to all rural areas in the UK and there are a number of providers who have been very active in utilising this and our previous voucher schemes in Shropshire, for example SWS Broadband who are headquartered in Shrewsbury.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has held with Public Health England on the need for personal protective equipment provision for teaching staff at schools in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and stakeholders on our approach and guidance throughout the Department’s COVID-19 response. We have worked with PHE to devise a hierarchy of controls for all education settings which, when implemented, will create an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This includes measures such as ensuring that anyone with symptoms does not attend their education settings, cleaning hands regularly, good respiratory hygiene, regular cleaning of touched surfaces, minimising contact and mixing and, where needed, use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The majority of staff in schools and nurseries will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 meters from others. Our guidance sets out clearly the limited circumstances in which PPE is required in educational settings, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has held with representatives of the universities sector on reopening residential accommodation for students who return to the UK from abroad and who will need to provide a UK residential address in order to comply with the requirement to quarantine for 14 days.

We are in discussions with Universities UK and other sector representatives on a regular basis to ensure that international higher education students are welcomed to the UK and we expect international students to be supported upon arrival by their chosen university during these unprecedented times.

We welcome the actions of Universities UK, who have set out principles for the sector to consider as it prepares for the autumn term, including encouraging higher education providers to think about how to support students during the self-isolation period.

The department has also published guidance to support providers in making decisions on re-opening campuses and buildings to students and staff ahead of the academic year 2020/21. Further information on this guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

International students who are considering studying at a UK higher education provider from September 2020 should contact their chosen university to find out how they are adapting to the COVID-19 outbreak, including how international students can prepare themselves for an autumn start.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children of key workers have attended school in (a) Shropshire and (b) Telford and Wrekin since 23 March 2020 or the most recent period for which figures are available.

On Monday 21 April, national data on pupil attendance in educational establishments between Monday 23 March and Friday 17 April was published, and is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings.

The data indicates that 84,000 children attended school on Friday 17 April, of which 62,000 were classed as children of critical workers.

The data is collected from individual schools and the published figures include estimates for non-response. Equivalent estimates have not been made at local authority level.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote apprenticeships in (a) The Wrekin constituency and (b) Shropshire.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. This year, 2019-20, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is over £2.5 billion; double what was spent in 2010.

Since May 2010 there have been 4,392,000 apprenticeship starts in England. Of these 35,260 apprenticeships starts have been in Shropshire unitary authority, with 18,090 in The Wrekin parliamentary constituency.

From August 2020 all starts will be on the new apprenticeship standards which are replacing frameworks. These are designed and driven by industry to create apprenticeships that are high-quality, providing employers in Shropshire and across England, with the skills they need. Over 510 standards have already been approved for delivery to apprentices.

We are working hard to encourage take up of our apprenticeship programme. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign launched in January, targeting groups to widen participation in apprenticeships. Our 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) took place in February. Nearly 900 events were held across the country, aiming to change perceptions of apprenticeships.

To ensure that young people hear about all the education and employment options available to them, in January 2018 we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships. We offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, ASK reached over 300,000 students.

We are working with Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Local Authorities, to develop a sub-regional Apprenticeship Ambassador Network for the Shropshire area. This will also include a Young Ambassador Network. We are working closely with CapGemini and West Midlands NHS Partnership Trust to develop their apprenticeship programmes and recruitment in the local area. We are also supporting an apprenticeship and skills event in March where employers and colleges from the Shropshire/Telford/Hereford areas will be promoting apprenticeships.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support steps being taken by the UK wine-making sector to become resilient against climate change.

Adapting to current and predicted changes to our climate is vital across the economy. Through our statutory framework under the Climate Change Act 2008, Defra works across government to promote climate adaptation and the nation’s resilience to a changing climate. The Act requires us to prepare, on a five-yearly cycle, a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), followed by a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), setting out actions to address the risks identified in the CCRA. To inform our third adaptation cycle, on 16 June the Climate Change Committee (CCC) published a new UK Climate Risk Independent Assessment (CRIA). It offers a detailed and up to date insight into the growing risks and opportunities to the UK from climate change and includes a technical chapter on the natural environment and natural resources, including coverage of opportunities for new crops and viniculture. It will inform our third UK CCRA, due for publication in January 2022.

The wine sector is excellent example of how our agriculture sector is already adapting to meet the demands of climate change and through this helping to build resilience in our rural landscapes and economies. One indication of this is the willingness of some famous champagne houses to invest in UK vineyards.

We work closely with the £18.7 million Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) UK Climate Resilience Programme, supported by UK Research & Innovation and the Met Office. This programme includes a project looking specifically at the risks and opportunities associated with climate change in the UK wine sector. A link to the project can be found here: crews-uk-characterising-and-adapting-to-climate-risks-in-the-uk-wine-sector-climate-resilience-in-the-uk-wine-sector/

A recent report produced by the South Downs National Park Authority indicates that 0.4% of land is currently dedicated to viticulture in the South Downs but that up to as much as 34% could be suitable for growing vines. This demonstrates significant scope to increase grape production both in the south and further north in the UK.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change remain one of this Government’s key objectives.

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 new funding is available to farmers in England to help them to introduce crime prevention measures to help reduce rural crime.

Defra’s new Farming Investment Fund is intended to help farmers improve their business performance rather than support crime prevention measures. The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will provide smaller grants grant to allow farmers to buy items from a set list of equipment and technology. The Farming Transformation Fund will support larger or more complicated investments. Defra will publish full eligibility guidance in the coming months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with West Mercia Police and Crime and Commissioner on steps to reduce (a) vehicle theft, (b) livestock theft and (c) other rural crime.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Environment Secretary has not recently met the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

We recognise that there can be particular challenges in responding to rural crime. In particular, we are aware that dog attacks on livestock are a serious and growing concern to rural communities, police forces and farmers. To address this, we recently set out in “Our Action Plan for Animal Welfare”, published on 12 May, that we will legislate to ensure that new powers are available to the police so they can respond to the most serious incidents of livestock worrying.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to expand community garden kitchens in urban areas to increase food sustainability.

Defra has committed in the 25 Year Environment Plan to introduce stronger new standards for green infrastructure and to support local authorities to assess local provision against these new standards. This includes greenspace such as community gardens. The Framework of Green Infrastructure Standards will help all local authorities, developers and communities to improve provision in their area.

Later this year, the Government will produce a Food Strategy White Paper. This will support the development of a food system that is sustainable, resilient and affordable, and provide a response to Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the food system, which is due to be published this summer.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of amending The Hedgerow Regulations 1997 to strengthen protections for mature hedgerows of less than 30 years of age.

Under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 a hedgerow is deemed ‘important’, and is protected, if it is at least 30 years old. Although there is local variation, research has indicated that, nationally, over 70% of hedgerows in England and Wales are 'important' according to the criteria in the Regulations.

The Regulations therefore play a valuable role in providing statutory protection for a large proportion of hedgerows in the countryside, with the risk of removal now extremely low compared with when the Regulations came into effect. We consider that the current level of statutory protection remains appropriate and have no plans to amend the Regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Shropshire Council on improving flood defences in (a) Albrighton and (b) Shifnal.

Officers from the Environment Agency have been working in partnership with Shropshire Council along with the National Flood Forum, Albrighton Community Flood Action Group and Shifnal Community Flood Action Group to come up with measures that will manage flood risk locally. This work is ongoing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to support the World Food Programme distribute overseas aid to Yemen.

The UK provided £65 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) last financial year (2019/20), to help support the delivery of life-saving food assistance in Yemen. This funding provided 3 million cash transfers and vouchers to vulnerable Yemenis to enable them to buy food and household essentials. In addition to our food security support, we also provided funding to WFP’s logistics operation, which helped to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian assistance into Yemen.

We are continuing to support WFP in the delivery of emergency aid this financial year (2020/21) through our new £160 million funding commitment to Yemen. This includes funding for WFP, through which we expect to provide support to at least 300,000 vulnerable people each month, to help them buy food and household essentials.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress the St Kitts and Nevis Government has made in reforming its financial sector; and what support her Department is providing to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to regulate the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

The UK does not have a bilateral development programme in St. Kitts and Nevis as it is a high income country and therefore not eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA). However, we are providing technical support through the International Monetary Fund Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) to St. Kitts and Nevis to strengthen financial stress testing frameworks for the insurance sector. CARTAC is also helping to strengthen financial sector regulation and supervision by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank over the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund in helping countries agree trade agreements with the European Union.

The Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund) was launched by the UK Government in 2009 to help Caribbean countries and businesses implement and take advantage of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and support the region’s own economic integration initiative. DFID published an evaluation report in October 2015 at the end of the project, which found that it performed relatively well, particularly in relation to activities relating to the implementation of the EPA.

The UK has now signed the CARIFORUM-UK EPA with 13 CARIFORUM States, providing assurance to businesses, consumers and investors on the continuity of trade arrangements at the end of the transition period. Building on the recommendations from the CARTFund evaluation, DFID continues to deliver economic development objectives in the Caribbean including the UK Trade Partnerships Programme, which will support CARIFORUM States to implement and maximise the benefits of the CARIFORUM-UK EPA.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the increased use of micro-mobility vehicles and e-scooters, if he will include a new category in the STATS19 data system to record personal injuries and accidents caused by electric scooters and other micro-mobility vehicles on public highways and pedestrian areas.

Since July 2020 I have held four e-scooter roundtable meetings with groups representing the interests of disabled people, including those with sight loss. The most recent roundtable was have held on 7 June 2021. Local areas involved in the trials gave presentations on what they are doing to address the concerns of disabled people in trial areas.

We have instructed all local authorities participating in trials to engage throughout the trial period with these groups in their local areas to ensure their concerns are being heard and, where possible, mitigated.

E-scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act. As such it is illegal to use an e-scooter in spaces which are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders. This includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes. The law is very clear and there are existing penalties for improper use. Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of e-scooters is an operational matter the police.

The STATS19 data collection system has recently been reviewed. As part of this review, it is proposed that a new category of ‘powered personal transporter device’ – including, but not exclusive to, e-scooters – is added to the list of available vehicle types in STATS19. Stakeholder feedback on the review recommendations is currently being analysed and is scheduled for publication alongside the next road casualty statistics later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to protect (a) pedestrians and (b) disabled people from (i) micro scooters and (ii) other types of electric vehicles used on pedestrian walkways.

Since July 2020 I have held four e-scooter roundtable meetings with groups representing the interests of disabled people, including those with sight loss. The most recent roundtable was have held on 7 June 2021. Local areas involved in the trials gave presentations on what they are doing to address the concerns of disabled people in trial areas.

We have instructed all local authorities participating in trials to engage throughout the trial period with these groups in their local areas to ensure their concerns are being heard and, where possible, mitigated.

E-scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act. As such it is illegal to use an e-scooter in spaces which are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders. This includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes. The law is very clear and there are existing penalties for improper use. Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of e-scooters is an operational matter the police.

The STATS19 data collection system has recently been reviewed. As part of this review, it is proposed that a new category of ‘powered personal transporter device’ – including, but not exclusive to, e-scooters – is added to the list of available vehicle types in STATS19. Stakeholder feedback on the review recommendations is currently being analysed and is scheduled for publication alongside the next road casualty statistics later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had recent discussions with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association on ensuring that bikes are parked in docking stations to prevent them being parked at random on pavements and in pedestrian areas.

The Department has regular discussions with its statutory advisors, the Disabled Person’s Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), on the transport needs of disabled people. I last met with the organisations mentioned in the question on 18th March 2021.

The Department has previously discussed this matter with stakeholders including local authorities and representatives from groups representing visually impaired people. Local authorities already have powers to deal with hire bicycles if they are causing an obstruction or nuisance.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to prevent the import of modified (a) e-scooters, (b) micro scooters and (c) e-bikes that are capable of being driven at speeds in excess of the permitted speed limit for public roads in the UK.

In the UK, e-scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act and are subject to laws requiring them to be built and used safely, meaning that users need to have insurance, driving licences, number plates, and helmets. The law was not drafted with e-scooters in mind, and in practice users of e-scooters will find it a challenge to comply with these legal requirements. Offences relating to driving standards and speeding also apply. Ministers from the Department have written to micromobility retailers, and will do so again, reminding them of the law regarding the sale of e-scooters. It is in everyone’s interest that consumers can make properly informed decisions when buying these products about regulation and guidance being provided to retailers.

Electric cycles which can offer power assistance at speeds exceeding 15.5 mph, do not, in the Department’s opinion, comply with the relevant Regulations and therefore would also be considered to be a motor vehicle.

The law is very clear and there are existing penalties for improper use. Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of motor vehicles is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers of police in conjunction with local policing plans. They decide what offences may be appropriate in individual cases, taking into account the circumstances.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish data for road traffic accidents involving e-scooters, electric bikes and electric skateboards on (a) public highways and (b) pavements in the last 12 months or the most recent period for which that data is available.

Data on personal injury road accidents is collected via the STATS19 system of accidents reported by the police.

Electric scooters and other micromobility vehicles are not currently one of the designated vehicle types collected in STATS19, and as such they would be classed as ‘other’ and can only be identified using a free text field in the STATS19 database.

Data for 2020 are currently being collated and validated. Subject to the data recorded in the free text field being of sufficient quality, we intend to publish data on e-scooters and other vehicle types which can be reliably identified from the free text field alongside the annual Reported Road Casualties Great Britain statistics publication in September 2021.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with Network Rail on the potential merits of making available land for community garden kitchens in urban areas.

Network Rail run over 100 community schemes across Britain as part of their ‘Community Rail’ programme. They invite voluntary groups to transform disused railway land in their area including old platforms, land adjoining stations, and land underneath viaducts. Network Rail keep volunteers safe and make sure that all community schemes coordinate with and complement the existing railway operation.

Network Rail are always happy and open to discussing new ideas for local communities. My right honourable friend can contact Network Rail’s public affairs office at publicaffairs@networkrail.co.uk.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support the use of electric mopeds and motorbikes by delivery companies in urban areas.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) provides grants for plug-in cars, vans, lorries, taxis and motorcycles, as well as funding to support charge point infrastructure at homes, workplaces, on residential streets and across the wider roads network.

Through the plug-in motorcycle grant (PIMG), zero emission mopeds and motorcycles are eligible for a grant of 20% up to £1,500. UK delivery companies and their riders are able to take advantage of this grant. Since the scheme launched in 2016, over 2,600 PIMG-eligible motorcycles have been registered in the UK.

Last year, the Government announced £582m to support consumer grants, including extending the PIMG to 2022-23.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce noise pollution from motorised delivery vehicles in urban areas.

In 2015 the Department for Transport worked with other Government departments, the Freight Transport Association (now Logistics UK), and the Noise Abatement Society to produce guidance on good practice for quiet deliveries. The published guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quiet-deliveries-demonstration-scheme.

Regulations governing the maximum sound level of goods vehicles are harmonised at an international level and require new vehicles to demonstrate compliance before being placed on the market. Reductions in the maximum sound limit will apply to new vehicles being registered from July 2022 with a further reduction planned for July 2026.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Trasnport, if he will introduce compulsory traffic calming measures and hazard signs outside all (a) early years education settings and (b) schools to reduce the risk of injury and death to children.

Local authorities are responsible for roads in their area and are free to make their own decisions about the design of the streets they manage.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what contingency planning his Department has undertaken to avoid future disruption to air routes from volcanic activity.

The UK is prepared to deal with a significant Icelandic volcanic eruption. Since 2010, the Department for Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), NATS and industry have developed a bespoke response guidance, which is regularly exercised and updated.

We are confident that contingency plans developed by the government and the aviation industry, alongside actions taken by the Icelandic authorities, will reduce significantly the level of disruption arising from a similar eruption to that in 2010. Volcanic activity across Iceland is kept under constant scrutiny and the contingency plans can be deployed quickly if required.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he Department is taking to prohibit adults from using e-scooters on the public highway while carrying (a) infants and (b) other passengers.

It is illegal for e-scooters to be used on public roads other than as part of government approved e-scooter trials, which were launched last summer and will run in a number of areas across most of 2021. Only rental e-scooters can be used in trial areas, and they can only be ridden by a single person. The police in local areas across the country have a range of sanctions at their disposal to enforce illegal e-scooter use, including on the spot fines and placing points on any licence held by the user.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with (a) Uber Eats and (b) other mobile delivery companies on ensuring that their delivery drivers and vehicles (i) are roadworthy, (ii) hold comprehensive and public liability insurance, (iii) have undertaken driver standards training, (iv) do not undertake deliveries using pavements or other pedestrian only areas and (v) are equipped with adequate lights for night time deliveries.

The safety of anyone driving on our roads is a priority, and that includes those who drive for work. Employers have a duty to manage the risks of their work activities, and employees have a responsibility to drive safely; both are expected to take these responsibilities seriously. Anyone using a bicycle or moped on the highway has a responsibility to ensure that their driving and vehicle meets specific standards that comply with the law in the interests of their own safety and that of other road users and risk prosecution if they do not.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will consult (a) Uber and (b) other electric bicycle operators on the effect on visually impaired people of indiscriminate parking of bicycles on pavements.

Local authorities already have powers to deal with hire bicycles if they are causing an obstruction or nuisance on pavements or elsewhere, and are also able to introduce local byelaws as appropriate. The Department continues to monitor the impacts of bike hire schemes through regular engagement with stakeholders including organisations representing disabled people, local authorities and the scheme operators.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Royal National Institute of Blind People and (b) other sight loss charities on the risks of bicycles being parked on pavements.

Local authorities already have powers to deal with bicycles if they are causing an obstruction on pavements or elsewhere, and are also able to introduce local byelaws as appropriate to deal with this. The Department continues to engage on this and other issues with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), which provides expert independent advice on the transport needs of disabled people.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to expand the UK's network of hydrogen refuelling stations.

The UK is particularly well placed to be a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell powered transportation due to our high-quality engineering and manufacturing capability in relevant supply chains creating opportunities for investment and jobs. The Government’s £23m Hydrogen for Transport Programme is increasing the uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles and delivering new refuelling stations and upgrading some existing stations, as well as deploying hundreds of new hydrogen vehicles. We have consulted on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans by 2035 or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. As part of our consultation on bringing forward the end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, Government is considering what further measures are required to support the uptake of zero emission vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with the National Federation of the Blind of the UK and and the Royal National Institute of Blind People on the use of e-scooters on pedestrian walkways.

I will soon be hosting an accessibility roundtable with stakeholders on e-scooters, and the National Federation of the Blind of the UK and the Royal National Institute of Blind People have both been invited to it. Trials of e-scooters will be starting soon, looking to gather evidence of the impacts of e-scooters for their users and other road users, including those with disabilities.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring forward a scheme to ensure a minimum driving standard requirement for delivery drivers who use mopeds.

Riders of mopeds have to complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before they ride a moped on the road. This training makes sure motorcyclists can ride safely on their own and ensures a minimum standard is met.

Moped riders, like other road users, are required to comply with road traffic law and may be fined, given penalty points on their licence or disqualified from driving if they disobey the legal requirements. If they do not adopt a responsible attitude or if their use of the highway creates an unsafe environment or causes nuisance, they may be committing a number of offences.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with representatives from (a) Deliveroo, (b) UberEats and (c) other online food ordering and delivery companies to ensure that (i) bicycles and (ii) mopeds used to deliver food meet minimum road safety requirements.

Employers have a duty to manage the risks of their work activities and employees have a responsibility to drive safely. Anyone using a bicycle or moped on the highway has a responsibility to ensure that their vehicle meets specific standards that comply with the law in the interests of their own safety and that of other road users.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with representatives from major hot food delivery companies on reducing the use of petrol and diesel vehicles for customer deliveries.

My Ministerial colleagues and I regularly meet stakeholders to discuss our ambitions for greener road transport.

The Government is investing?around?£2.5bn??with grants available for ultra-low emission vehicles, as well?as funding?to support charge point infrastructure at homes,?workplaces,?on residential streets?and across the wider roads network. This includes motorcycles and mopeds, which are often used for hot food deliveries, and which are eligible for the plug-in motorcycle grant (PIMG). The grant, which was introduced in 2017, is worth up to £1,500 to reduce the upfront cost and support the early market for these vehicles. Since its launch, over 1,900 motorbikes and mopeds have been supported by the grant scheme. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) was extended on 1 April 2020 to include eligible PIMG electric motorcycles. The scheme provides a rebate of £350 towards the cost of installing an electric vehicle chargepoint.

The Government specifically wants to target the decarbonisation of last mile deliveries in our urban areas. Since February 2018 the Department has supported the uptake of e-cargo bikes through a £2 million grant programme to help achieve this.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to keep passengers on public transport who have travelled to the UK from overseas separate from all other passengers on public transport as part of the Government's 14 day quarantine policy.

The Government is encouraging passengers arriving into the UK to use their own private transport or to arrange with friends or family to collect them from the airport, port or station. If they have no other option, passengers are advised to follow the “Safer travel guidance for passengers” when taking public transport, which recommends wearing a face covering if they can, and keeping a 2m distance from others where possible.

The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what scientific advice he received from Public Health England on the public health benefits of quarantining passengers who arrive at UK airports.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given to the hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth on 20 May 2020, PQ UIN 43656.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve the provision of bus services serving The Wrekin constituency.

The bus market outside London is deregulated and decisions regarding service provision are primarily a commercial matter for bus operators. However, the Bus Services Act 2017 provides the tools local authorities need to improve local bus services and increase passenger numbers.

The Government provided £90,742 for Telford and Wrekin Council during 2018/19, to support vulnerable services.

In addition, we have announced a further £30 million for less commercial services. Telford and Wrekin Council has been allocated £77,984 which will be available from April 2020 if the funding requirements are met. This is from the £220 million Better Deal for Bus Users package to transform bus services. The Government’s ambition is to secure a long term, sustained improvement in bus services underpinned by a National Bus Strategy for England which will be accompanied by a long-term funding settlement.

On 11 February 2020, the Prime Minister announced there will be £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London which may benefit bus services serving The Wrekin.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the potential effect of the gambling review on the employment of women in retail betting shops.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with Cabinet colleagues to discuss a range of policy issues and topics.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support homeless people who require a fixed address to access public services.

If a Universal Credit claimant doesn't have a permanent address, there are a number of options available to them. They can use a 'care of' address, like the address of a family member or trusted friend. There is also the option of using a hostel address if the claimant is staying there, or in exceptional circumstances, the claimant can use their local jobcentre address.

There are varied and complex reasons behind a person’s homelessness and that is why it is DWP’s priority to ensure homeless people get the appropriate support they need to move into work so they can succeed and move on with their lives. This support includes help for people to make a Universal Credit claim and to access the Jobcentre Plus employment offer, with priority access to the Work and Health Programme. Jobcentres in England are required to offer a voluntary referral to claimants who may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority of the claimant’s choice.

The Department is committed to tackling homelessness and is supporting the manifesto commitment to end the blight of rough sleeping by the end of the next Parliament. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has worked closely with local authorities and the sector to offer vulnerable people safe accommodation and support. The ‘Protect Programme’, provides targeted support to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities from Covid-19, and builds on the success of the still ongoing ‘Everyone In’ campaign - by September it had supported over 29,000 vulnerable people; with over 10,000 in emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 moved on into settled accommodation.

The Next Steps Accommodation Programme makes available the financial resources needed to support local authorities and their partners to prevent people from returning to the streets.

Alongside this funding, the Government is also making available the expertise from MHCLG’s Rough Sleeping Initiative and Homelessness Advice and Support Adviser Teams to help coproduce accommodation provision and related support services.

For the most up to date information relating to the Government’s response to homelessness and rough sleeping please refer to the following link

https://www.gov.uk/housing-local-and-community/homelessness-rough-sleeping

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he plans to have with representatives of the emergency services on (a) proposals for an agreed national standard for decibel levels for sirens on emergency vehicles and (b) the noise pollution impact of those sirens on (i) pedestrians, (ii) cyclists, (iii) other road users and (iv) residential areas.

There are currently no discussions planned.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with representatives of the emergency services on (a) proposals for an agreed national standard for decibel levels for sirens on emergency vehicles and (b) the noise pollution impact of those sirens on (i) pedestrians, (ii) cyclists, (iii) other road users and (iv) residential areas.

No such discussions have been held.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has given on introducing stab proof vests for West Midlands Ambulance Service crews.

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is piloting stab proof vests involving 22 volunteers at the Willenhall Hub, who will be regularly surveyed to understand the challenges and benefits of using this extra protection. The Trust expects the pilot to start in September.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to assess the effect of urban noise pollution on health outcomes in line with World Health Organisation recommendations.

Following the publication of the World Health Organization Environmental Noise Guidelines in 2018, the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits Noise Subject Group (IGCB(N)) was convened to consider any necessary updates to relevant government guidance. The IGCB(N) is a cross Government group led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that provides analysis and advice relating to the quantification and valuation of noise impacts. Its membership includes health economists from the Department and noise and public health experts from Public Health England. The outcome from the IGCB(N) review will inform any updated government assessment of the effect of noise pollution on health outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on distributing surplus vaccines to Commonwealth countries.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has regular with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs to discuss the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine distribution.

In February, the Government announced that the majority of United Kingdom surplus doses will be shared with COVAX.  As of 4 March, COVAX has delivered over 10 million doses to 16 countries, 14 of which are among the 92 most vulnerable countries eligible for support via the Advance Market Commitment which the UK has provided £548 million to support.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the human rights implications of introducing a 14 day quarantine period for UK and EU citizens arriving in the UK.

On 8 June new rules for international travellers were introduced in order to reduce the risk of new COVID-19 cases from abroad.

A legal Memorandum on Compatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights and EU Charter was completed for the regulations, which fall under The Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984. The analysis considered that the self isolation measure is a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate public health aims of the policy to control and reduce the domestic incidence of COVID-19.

The regulations remain under constant review to ensure that the border measures remain balanced, measured and proportionate to the public health response.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether UK citizens who have received a positive covid-19 antibody test result will be subject to the 14 day quarantine rule on returning to the UK.

Requiring international arrivals to the United Kingdom to self-isolate for 14 days is designed to keep the COVID-19 transmission rate down, reduce cases being brought in from abroad and prevent a devastating second wave.

Before considering whether antibody testing could ever be used to lessen or exempt specific individuals from self-isolation measures, we first need to improve our understanding of how the immune system responds to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new disease and the science around ‘immunity’ to the virus remains uncertain. There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have been proven to have had the virus are immune. We do not know, for example, how long an antibody response to the virus lasts nor whether having antibodies means one does not transmit the virus to others.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has held with Public Health England on reducing the two metre social distancing rule to one metre in line with World Health Organisation guidance.

The Government maintains that, wherever possible, two metre social distancing should continue to be adhered to. The Government collaborates closely with Public Health England to ensure guidance on two metre social distancing is kept up to date as the regulations change in light of latest medical and scientific evidence.

In easing the lockdown, the Government accepts that maintaining two metre social distancing may be difficult in certain circumstances and will be issuing updated workplace guidance to address that and, subject to legislation, is mandating the use of face coverings on public transport from 15 June.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps with the hospitality industry to prohibit smoking outside restaurants and food outlets.

The Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 made it illegal to smoke in public enclosed or substantially enclosed areas and workplaces. Should a business in the hospitality industry wish to introduce their own non-smoking policy for outside space which is not captured under the Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006, they are able to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to allow local councils to prohibit smoking outside (a) restaurants and (b) other food outlets.

The Government has a track record of reducing the harm caused by tobacco. The United Kingdom is a world leader and has been rated the best in Europe on tobacco control by independent experts.

The Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 made it illegal to smoke in public enclosed or substantially enclosed areas and workplaces. Local authorities retain overall responsibility for the enforcement of the smokefree legislation and retain the power to make by-laws.

We support development and implementation of smoke-free policies locally in and around public premises. We believe local authorities are best placed to make decisions about the local populations which they serve.


Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress his Department has made on research into the treatment of mitochondrial disease.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) supports three Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) and two Clinical Research Facilities that are carrying out research on mitochondrial disease. This includes a project from the NIHR BRC in Great Ormond Street on novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for mitochondrial disorders.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including mitochondrial disease; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to maintain the level of out of hours GP cover in The Wrekin constituency.

Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has advised that it is undertaking a number of steps to maintain the level of out of hours (OOH) general practitioner (GP) cover in the region. The CCG provide a GP out of hours service, which is part of an Integrated Urgent Care Service that is commissioned jointly across the 16 CCGs of the West Midlands. The OOH GP service is covered by a combination of full-time GPs, as well as local GPs that provide OOH cover on a sessional basis. Extended access appointments and enhanced access appointments are also available to ensure patients have the care they need, at the right place and the right time.

NHS England and NHS Improvement, working with stakeholders, are undertaking a national review of access to general practice services. The main objectives of the review are to consider how to improve access to general practice services both in hours and at evenings and weekends, to reduce the variations in patient experiences around the country, and to reduce the inequalities in access for specific groups in society.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to improve children's dental health to reduce the number of children admitted to hospital for dental extractions.

The Government is committed to improving oral health, particularly of deprived children. Children’s oral health is now better than it has ever been, with over 75% of five-year olds in England now decay free.

Latest data from the NHS Outcomes Framework shows that the number of tooth extractions due to decay for children admitted as inpatients to hospital, aged 10 years and under has dropped from to 424.6 in 2017/18 to 409.4 in 2018/19 (a decrease of 3.6%).

The Government’s Green Paper, ‘Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s’, published in July, committed to consulting on options for rolling out a national school toothbrushing scheme in more pre-school settings and primary schools, and to consulting on the role water companies can play to support a water fluoridation initiative in England. Both of these proposals will aim to improve the oral health of the most deprived children in all areas of the country and help to reduce the number of children needing tooth extractions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the Government of Burkina Faso to tackle regional terrorism.

The UK is concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso. On 11 June, I spoke with the Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso. I gave my condolences for the Solhan attack on 4 June (the deadliest attack to take place in Burkina Faso since 2015) and discussed UK support to regional stability in the Sahel. Following presidential elections in Burkina Faso in 2020, I welcomed President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré's commitment to peace and development during his second term in office. I have since discussed regional insecurity and its impact on Burkina Faso with him in January this year. The UK Government is providing security assistance to the wider region. Through our deployment to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), our deployment of Chinook helicopters to the French counter-terrorism mission Barkhane, and our programmatic support for stabilisation and conflict resolution, the UK is committed to building long-term peace and stability in the Sahel. We also provide humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable in the region, including to some of those affected by conflict in Burkina Faso.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government's position is on the Cyprus issue; and if he will publish the outputs of his recent visit to Northern Cyprus.

The UK remains committed to supporting the UN process to reach a Cyprus Settlement. On 27-29 April, in support of the efforts led by the UN Secretary General to find common ground on a way forward to resolve the Cyprus Issue, the Foreign Secretary represented the UK as a Guarantor Power at informal UN talks in Geneva.

At the meeting, the Foreign Secretary continued to urge all sides to demonstrate flexibility and compromise to find a solution to the Cyprus Issue within the UN Security Council parameters. This followed UK engagement with the parties ahead of the talks, including the Foreign Secretary's visit to the island on 4 February where he met President Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Tatar and the UN. Ahead of the talks, during my visit to Cyprus (7-9 April), I reiterated this message and the UK's support for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his policy is on Cyprus and the UK's continuing commitment to UN Resolutions 789 and 550.

The UK is a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the existing parameters as set out in relevant Security Council Resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992).

A Cyprus Settlement remains key to resolving wider tensions in the region. We are supportive of the UN Secretary General's efforts and the proposal of the informal meeting between the parties ("5+UN"). The UK stands ready to engage with any meetings in support of the settlement process.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what additional support the Government is giving to the Government of Mozambique in response to recent terrorist attacks in that country.

The UK is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in northern Mozambique, and the increasing attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism, including recent reports of horrific beheadings of civilians in Cabo Delgado province. On 10 November, The Foreign Secretary and I publicly condemned the recent attacks.

We are working with the Government of Mozambique to address the root drivers of conflict and instability in northern Mozambique, including through engagement with the Government of Mozambique's regional development authority in Cabo Delgado, and by providing targeted technical assistance under the framework of a Defence Memorandum of Understanding. I spoke to Foreign Minister Macamo on 23 July, noting Mozambique's efforts to address the causes of instability through the creation of the Integrated Department for the Development of Northern Mozambique (ADIN), and to encourage a holistic approach to tackling the insurgency.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish the number of reported incidents of sonic induced illnesses suffered by UK diplomatic staff serving overseas for the period from 1 September 2017 to 30 September 2020.

The FCDO is not aware of such a phenomenon affecting any of its staff worldwide.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what travel will be classed as essential under the terms of his Department's covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice.

Since 17 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential travel globally due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

Whether travel is essential or not is a personal decision. Travellers may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person. Only individuals can make an informed decision based on the risks.

Current Her Majesty's Government guidance also states that members of the public should not stay overnight away from their own home, except for in a limited set of circumstances, such as for work purposes.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of China on that Government's introduction of new national security laws in Hong Kong.

We are deeply concerned by China's plan to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. The Foreign Secretary has made two joint statements with international partners, and made a clear statement to Parliament on 2 June. Senior Officials have raised our concerns directly with the acting Chief Executive in Hong Kong, the Chinese Ambassador in London and the Chinese authorities in Beijing. The Chinese Government is well aware of our serious concern, and we will continue to raise this issue at senior levels with the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking in response to the recent increase in violence and killings in South Sudan's Jonglei state.

The UK Government is concerned by recent increases in intercommunal violence in South Sudan's Jonglei state, which has seen hundreds killed and injured and shocking reports of sexual violence. On 21 May I raised my concern publicly at the death of three humanitarian workers caught up in the violence in Jonglei, and urged the Government of South Sudan to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice. Our UK Ambassador in Juba has been following up with government and community leaders to urge restraint, and encourage provision of security and participation in peace dialogues. The UK is also providing funding for peacebuilding programmes in South Sudan to seek to address the underlying drivers of conflict.

The violence in Jonglei and other parts of South Sudan underlines that, despite the 2018 Peace Agreement and reductions in overall political conflict, many South Sudanese continue to live with terrible violence. South Sudan's best chance of a more stable and prosperous future remains the full implementation of the Peace Agreement. The UK, through our Embassy in Juba, the UK Special Envoy, and with our international partners, continues to press for progress. Most recently the UK Ambassador in Juba met South Sudan's Foreign Minister on 25 May to stress our concerns and urge progress. The UK also recently supported the renewal of the UN Arms Embargo on South Sudan to 31 May 2021, which will help to stem the flow of weapons while the conflict remains.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the equity of process of recent elections in Benin.

The UK Government notes the outcome of local elections in Benin on 17 May. Participation was low and only one opposition party took part, despite the provisional ruling of the African Court of Human and People's Rights that the Government of Benin should take steps to avoid the exclusion of opposition parties. These concerns stand in contrast to the fact that Benin was one of the first nations in West Africa to deliver free and fair elections, in the 1990s. Elections are the responsibility of the Government of Benin, all political parties and the Beninese people. The UK remains committed to peaceful, free and credible elections, in line with international law, the importance of maintaining political space and an inclusive democratic process.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on what date the Political, Free Trade and Partnership Agreement between the UK and Ukraine will be signed.

The text of the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement between the UK and Ukraine is close to being finalised. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will then discuss with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrangements to initial and sign the agreement, taking into account the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the Government has provided to the Falkland Islands to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK Government is firmly committed to supporting the Falkland Islands and all of the Overseas Territories in dealing with Covid-19. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development are leading a cross-Whitehall effort to provide bespoke support to the Territories. For the Falkland Islands specifically, the UK has procured and transported medical supplies, ventilators and oxygen generation facilities, as well as the necessary equipment to develop an on-island testing capability. This has been supported by facilitating access to UK medical expertise through Public Health England. To support the Falkland civilian population and the British military base on the islands, a military clinical team of six personnel has also been sent to the main hospital on the islands.

I am in regular contact with the political leaders of the Falkland Islands to understand the impact the virus is having on both public health and the economy, to ensure they are receiving support from the UK where needed.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the amount of funding allocated by his Department to UK human rights organisations and what the (a) subject and (b) campaign category for each of those allocations.

The FCO allocated £17.66m to its human rights, democracy and the rules based international system programme work in financial year 2019-2020. Projects included efforts to combat modern slavery; defending the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief; supporting the right of human rights defenders to carry out their work; promoting the development and strengthening of democracy; opposing the death penalty and the use of torture; gender equality; and defending the right to freedom of the media and freedom of expression. Programme funding allocations for financial year 2020-2021 are yet to be confirmed.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to update his Department's Covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for the Republic of Ireland.

The Foreign Commonwealth Office is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people. This advice does not affect travel between Northern Ireland and Ireland or intra-UK travel. British nationals in the UK should continue to follow government guidance on staying alert and safe during coronavirus, and those in Ireland should comply with the advice of local authorities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to update his covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for France.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to update his Department's Covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for Spain.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to update his Department's Covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for Denmark.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to update his Department's Covid-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice for Sweden.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide due to the unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions currently in place in response to the global pandemic.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping all our travel advice under constant review to ensure it reflects the latest situation on the ground and our assessment of risk to British people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will hold discussions with his Russian counterpart on that country's policy of borderization of the Kareli Municipality in Georgia.

The UK has raised concerns about the recent reports of Russian forces and the de-facto authorities in the breakaway region of South Ossetia working to create "borders" within the Kareli Municipality in Georgia. Through our Embassy in Tbilisi and in statements at the Council of Europe and the OSCE we have been clear that such actions must stop.

The UK is unwavering in our support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Cameroonian counterpart on a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Cameroon.

The British Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. We continue to maintain a spotlight on the crisis and raise our concerns at the highest levels, including with the Government of Cameroon, at the United Nations (UN) and with international partners. At a UN security Council briefing session on 6 December, the UK welcomed the National Dialogue that took place in Cameroon from 30 September – 4 October. The latter was called by the government and is an initial step to bring parties together. During a visit to Cameroon in September the FCO’s Permanent Under-Secretary urged the government to ensure the National Dialogue was comprehensive and inclusive. It is imperative that the Government of Cameroon now engages in inclusive discussions about the root causes of the crisis and follows up on all the recommendations made at the National Dialogue. Supporting security, stability and good governance in Africa is a foreign policy priority and we urge all sides to engage in efforts to bring peace to the North-West and South-West regions. The UK has shared experiences with the Government of Cameroon on conflict resolution and remains ready to support.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The immediate focus for the UK Government’s economic and fiscal strategy is on ensuring that it continues to support workers and businesses as the UK recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both borrowing and debt will rise this year, the costs of servicing this debt are affordable and sustainable. The Government will set out further details on its plans for a sustainable and balanced fiscal policy as the economic and fiscal outlook becomes clearer.

In relation to establishing a sovereign wealth fund, the Government remains open to the introduction of new financing instruments but would need to be satisfied that they would meet value-for-money criteria and would be consistent with wider fiscal objectives. The Government continues to monitor the case for new financing instruments and will keep this under review.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to establish a crypto currency reserve bank in the UK.

The government has no plans to establish a crypto currency reserve bank.

The Treasury and the Bank of England are continuing analytical work to evaluate the possible opportunities and risks associated with a UK central bank digital currency, and of central bank digital currency initiatives being undertaken elsewhere. The Bank of England published a discussion paper on a possible UK central bank digital currency alongside the Budget in March 2020, which closed for responses on 12 June. The Treasury and Bank of England are considering next steps.

The government is also considering how it can support innovation and mitigate risks posed by cryptoassets. The Treasury recently launched a consultation looking at the broader regulatory approach to cryptoassets, including new challenges from so-called ‘stablecoins’. It closes for responses on 21 March.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of cash only proprietors in the retail sector in order to increase revenues for the public purse.

The Government’s view is that it remains the choice of individual retailers as to whether to accept any form of payment method, including cash, card or other digital payments.

The Government recognises the importance of cash to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK. That is why Government committed at March Budget 2020 to bring forward legislation to protect access to cash for those who need it. To inform the development of this legislation, the Government published a Call for Evidence on 15 October seeking views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an economic assessment of the potential merits of establishing a UK digital currency reserve bank.

The government set out at Budget that the UK will continue to take a leading role in exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and the wide-ranging opportunities and challenges they could bring.

The Bank of England’s discussion paper on a possible UK central bank digital currency was published at the time of the Budget and closed for responses on 12 June.

HM Treasury and the Bank of England are now working together to consider next steps.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has plans to liberalise the UK banking sector and increase competition from non-UK banks.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK financial services sector delivers choice and value for customers and to that end has taken significant action to ensure effective competition in UK banking markets. This includes: providing the financial services regulators with competition objectives, and a new Payments Systems Regulator to ensure fair and equal access to payments systems; reducing barriers to entry for new market entrants; initiatives to make it easier for customers to switch between bank account providers; and continued support for non-traditional providers, including the UK’s fintech sector.

It is also important that the UK maintains a prudential regulation regime that supports financial stability and economic growth as well as competition amongst firms. The Government will continue to prioritise the implementation of global regulatory standards, such as the Basel III standards, to maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading financial services centre.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure supermarket supply chains do not support modern slavery through third party suppliers.

Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires businesses, including supermarkets, with a turnover of £36m or more to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery. The Home Office’s statutory guidance on producing modern slavery statements suggests that statements should include the risk assessment and due diligence organisations undertook to prevent and tackle modern slavery. The Government encourages companies to report transparently about how they are identifying and mitigating modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains, and to use their modern slavery statements to demonstrate year on year progress.

To enhance the impact of transparency and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government announced an ambitious package of changes to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses and has committed to introduce financial penalties for those that fail to meet their obligations to publish statements under section 54. To further enhance transparency, in March 2021, the Government launched a digital registry for modern slavery statements to make statements available in one place. The registry will make it easier for investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise the action being taken by different organisations and monitor progress.

The Government is currently reviewing its Modern Slavery Strategy and will consider whether there are further opportunities to enhance our approach to transparency in supply chains.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to expand the powers of police community support officers to be able to impose fines for minor traffic violations.

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 allows chief officers of police to designate their staff with powers they consider necessary in their force areas. It also enables chief officers to designate PCSOs directly with the necessary traffic powers that constables have to deal with low level motoring offences. How these powers are designated is an operational matter for chief officers in conjunction with local policing plans.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many drivers were summonsed for driving (a) without insurance and (b) without a valid MOT using evidence from ANPR technology in England and Wales in the latest 12 month period for which figures are available.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of vehicle insurance offences and vehicle test offences that resulted in court action.

The latest published data can be found in the accompanying table FPN_03 of ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales

Information on whether or not evidence from ANPR technology was used to detect these offences is not collected by the Home Office.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers in England and Wales were (a) cautioned, (b) reprimanded and (c) dismissed for being members of proscribed religious or political organisations in 2018-19.

The Home Office collects and publishes information annually on the outcome of misconduct proceedings and criminal investigations involving officers, including the number of officers that have been dismissed following proceedings. However, information on a) the number of police officers issued with a police caution and b) the circumstances that led to a case being brought is not collected centrally by the Home Office

The data on the outcomes following misconduct proceedings, which covers cases in the year ending March 2019, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-30-september-2019.

The College of Policing publish data annually relating to those who have been dismissed from policing and placed on the Police Barred List. There are no categories specifically on extremist material or being members of proscribed organisations but, between April 2018 and March 2019, 17 officers were dismissed under the category of ‘notifiable association’. This data is available here:
https://www.college.police.uk/News/College-news/Documents/Barred_List_2019.pdf.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers in England and Wales were (a) cautioned, (b) reprimanded and (c) dismissed for viewing political or religious extremist material online in 2018-19.

The Home Office collects and publishes information annually on the outcome of misconduct proceedings and criminal investigations involving officers, including the number of officers that have been dismissed following proceedings. However, information on a) the number of police officers issued with a police caution and b) the circumstances that led to a case being brought is not collected centrally by the Home Office

The data on the outcomes following misconduct proceedings, which covers cases in the year ending March 2019, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-30-september-2019.

The College of Policing publish data annually relating to those who have been dismissed from policing and placed on the Police Barred List. There are no categories specifically on extremist material or being members of proscribed organisations but, between April 2018 and March 2019, 17 officers were dismissed under the category of ‘notifiable association’. This data is available here:
https://www.college.police.uk/News/College-news/Documents/Barred_List_2019.pdf.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the number of (a) UK nationals and (b) non-UK nationals who have been issued with fines for not complying with the requirement to quarantine upon entering the UK; and if she will publish the number of fines issued for each day that the quarantine requirement has been in place.

Information on the number of fixed penalty notices that have been issued by the police in England and Wales in relation to a breach of the COVID-19 health regulations are published by the National Police Chiefs Council on a fortnightly basis.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of passengers entering the UK who cannot provide a residential address and will need to be provided with accommodation by the Government in order to comply with quarantine restrictions in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

We don’t have an assessment of this data. However, we expect numbers to be very low. Passenger numbers in total have decreased by a significant amount and a very small proportion of those who do arrive in the UK will require Government provided accommodation. To ensure we have the resources in place to deal with this, we have setup a flexible accommodation booking service to ensure we can meet any arising demand.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of enforcement officers required to visit residential addresses to check that people who have returned to the UK from overseas are complying with quarantine requirements in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

New measures being introduced from 8 June will require all passengers arriving in the UK, who do not fall under a specified exemption, to self-isolate for 14 days to reduce cases of COVID-19 being brought in from abroad and to help prevent a devastating second wave of the disease.

These passengers, who will be required to complete a locator form up to 48 hours before their arrival in the UK, could be contacted throughout this 14-day period via an assurance service that will randomly sample and contact non-exempted arrivals to ensure compliance. They will ensure that people understand the restrictions as well as how to recognise symptoms, and what to do if they are experiencing them. Calls will also include an assurance check as to whether individuals are complying with restrictions.

Where there is reason to suspect that an individual is not complying, details will be passed to the relevant police force who will consider enforcement action. Police will continue to take the 4 ‘E’s approach of engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce. Given the high levels of compliance we have seen to our measures to date, we expect that the majority of people would do the right thing and abide by these measures.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has held with the Scottish Government on the 14 day quarantine policy for travellers returning to the UK.

As public health matters are devolved, we have been working closely with the Devolved Administrations, including colleagues in Scotland, to build a four nations approach. This has included meetings to establish the measures to be introduced and their operation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, if she will publish the number of passengers that arrived at UK airports from abroad (a) from 11 May 2020 to 18 May 2020 and (b) from 19 May 2020 to 26 May 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on passenger arrivals to the UK in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of arrivals can be found in the admissions tables. Information on passenger arrivals up to the end of June 2020 will be published in the August 2020 release.

In addition, the Home Office published Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020, which includes information on the impact of COVID-19 on passenger arrivals.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme to allow the recruitment of seasonal labour for work in the non-edible horticulture sector.

The Government has committed to continue the Seasonal Workers Pilot and in our election manifesto we set out plans to increase the scheme to 10,000 places following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Details will be set out in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to support the armed forces of (a) Mali, (b) Chad, (c) Mauritania, (d) Niger and (e) Burkina Faso in preventing attacks by militants.

The UK provides a range of support for partner forces in the Sahel, focused on increasing their capacity and resilience, and preventing conflict, violent extremism and instability across the region.

In Mali, we have provided assistance through the funding of a small number of professional development courses for Malian personnel. However, following the coup in June 2021, we have adjusted this limited support to focus on broader stabilisation programmes such as reducing community-level violence, improving the conditions for political settlement, enhancing the understanding of International Humanitarian Law and improving the effectiveness of stabilisation efforts.

In Chad, the UK’s capacity building programme is delivered through the Multi National Joint Task Force, supporting operations against violent extremists in the Lake Chad Basin. The programme is primarily designed to tackle the threat from Improved Explosive Devices, but also provides training on operational planning and strategic communications.

The UK is not currently providing assistance to the Mauritanian armed forces, but has previously worked with them on maritime security, specifically improving their capability to protect their Exclusive Economic Zone.

In Niger and Burkina Faso, we have supported places on a small number of professional development courses. We have also helped the regional counter terrorism force, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, to improve its strategic communications capacity as a way of building trust with local populations.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the timetable for publication of the Land Industrial Strategy.

Work is ongoing on the Land Industrial Strategy within the Department before further engagement with industry over the summer months to refine the strategy ahead of publication.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the Land Industrial Strategy; and if he will publish what engagement the British Army has had with the private sector on the design of that strategy.

We have welcomed the evidence provided by the private sector in support of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS). This evidence has helped shape the design of the DSIS, which I was pleased to announce on 23 March.

We are now developing the Land Industrial Strategy over the coming year. The team will consult with the private sector in maturing its design.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to announce the location of the headquarters of the Special Operations Brigade.

Following the Secretary of State's announcement to the House on 22 March of the creation of the Special Operations Brigade built around the four battalions of the new Ranger Regiment, the Army will now undertake a period of refinement and testing its future structures and capabilities. Once the conclusions from this work have been endorsed by Ministers then we will be in a position to provide more detail.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with the recent escalation of Taliban activity, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) the size of the UK's military presence in Afghanistan as part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission and (b) its rules of engagement.

The UK's contribution to the non-combat NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan is kept under regular review to ensure it remains suited to the needs of the mission. For operational and personnel security reasons we do not comment on specific rules of engagement.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will hold discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders on improving the treatment of mortgage applications submitted by armed forces personnel.

There are no plans to discuss this matter with the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Most major banking institutions are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and, as such, should treat mortgage applications from Service personnel in accordance with its principles. Defence Officials regularly meet representatives from the Financial Services sector and can discuss issues regarding Service personnel accessing financial products should they arise. Mortgages tailored to those Serving in the Armed Forces are available from several mortgage providers. These make special allowance for the unique circumstances of Service personnel, as it is recognised these can sometimes impede the ability to access a conventional mortgage. Support is also available via the Forces Help To Buy Scheme, extended until December 2022.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will improve security at (a) Army Reserve centres and (b) cadet organisations that house weapons for small arms training or drill practice.

Physical security is being improved at Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) locations by the Army through the delivery of Project Aintree; a rolling programme of upgrades to armouries and ammunition stores to ensure they are compliant with Home Office legislation and the MOD's security policy.

The Army's security assurance regime includes all RFCA units, and all staff receive mandated security training in respect to weapons and ammunition. As part of the continuous improvement process, the Army is developing a security education video which is focused on improving the security culture of Cadet adult volunteers.

In 2019, following a review of Cadet weapon security, the MODs Directorate of Security & Resilience directed the Army relocate its holdings of Cadet s1 and s5 weapons[1] to reduce its risk exposure whilst physical security upgrades continue to be implemented.

[1] As defined in the Firearms Act 1968

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish a list of the (a) number and (b) types of small arms and light weapons that went missing from his Department's establishments and facilities in 2018-19.

The following table lists the number and type of Small Arms and Light Weapons recorded as missing from Defence Establishments and Facilities during 2018-19:

Number and Type of Small Arms and Light Weapons missing from Defence Establishments and Facilities during 2018-19

2018

(a) Number

(b) Type

1

Standard Issue Service Rifle (SA80)

Lost - British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada

1

Standard Issue Service Rifle (SA80)

Lost - In deep water during exercise in Wales

2

.303 Lee Enfield Bolt Action Rifle (Deactivated)

Stolen - Reserve Centre

2019

(a) Number

(b) Type

4

Cadet Drill Purpose Rifle

Stolen - Merseyside Cadet Facility

4

Cadet Small Bore Target Rifle

Stolen - Merseyside Cadet Facility

1

General Purpose Machine Gun (with blank firing barrel)

Lost - At sea in bad weather

4

WW1-era Rifles (Deactivated)

Stolen - Reserve Centre

This information was previously released by my Department in response to Freedom of Information Requests (2018/10985, 2019/01322, 2019/12854 and 2020/07549) and is publicly available on the Gov.UK website.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with the Diocese of Lichfield on lost revenues resulting from the closure of places of worship during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Church Commissioners and National Church Institutions are in discussions with dioceses during this challenging period, including on the evolving financial impact. A series of structured interviews have been held with every diocese, including with the Diocese of Lichfield at the beginning of May. Though too early for detailed conclusions, it was clear that the financial challenges will be significant.

The Church announced a national package of financial support for dioceses on 27 March, providing funds to support liquidity in dioceses where this was needed, with a further announcement following on 14 May. See: https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland.org/update-financial-support-for-dioceses-and-cathedrals-in-light-of-the-coronavirus?e=fbaf3379f3 We are continuing to consider how best dioceses can be further supported in terms of both immediate needs, and in strengthening their long-term missional health and financial sustainability

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support he is providing to the Government of Mozambique to tackle jihadists in north eastern Mozambique.

Through the British High Commission in Maputo, the UK is in regular contact with the Government of Mozambique and has discussed support in tackling the growing terrorist insurgency in North East Mozambique; centred on the Cabo Delgado region. The problem requires a cross Government response, including tackling the underlying issues which foster the conditions of such an insurgency. Whilst some Defence activity has been paused during the current Covid19 movement restrictions, we anticipate increasing our engagements once restrictions are lifted, facilitated by a defence cooperation Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in May 2019.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will offer additional defence support to his Georgian counterpart in respect of the continued borderization of that country's sovereign territory by Russia.

The UK remains concerned by the political and human rights situation in the Georgian breakaway regions and is unwavering in support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

We were disturbed by recent reports of Russian forces and the de-facto authorities in the breakaway region of South Ossetia working to create "borders" within Georgia. Through the British Embassy in Tbilisi and in statements at the Council of Europe and the OSCE we have been clear that such actions must stop.

We remain completely committed to our bilateral defence relationship with Georgia, and fully support Georgia's NATO aspirations. We will continue to support the Georgian MOD to enhance their capabilities to assure a better level of security and resilience to defend their own state.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to allow housing associations to increase their property portfolio by diversifying their streams of private capital funding.

In recent years, we have seen increasing levels of total investment by housing associations in new supply across a range of tenures (£13.7 billion in 2019-20, up 13 per cent on the previous year). We are keen to see new players in this market, and for housing associations to explore new funding streams to support the supply of new affordable homes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to increase the importance of Neighbourhood Plans in the Planning Bill.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear about the important role that neighbourhood plans play in our plan-led system and neighbourhood plans continue to have real statutory weight in planning decisions. The Government is committed to retaining neighbourhood planning as an important part of the reformed planning system, and we will set out our decisions on the proposed way forward.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to allow the extension of existing residential properties for enabling family members to move in for social care purposes.

Under the householder permitted development rights (set out in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) homeowners are already able to add extensions to their properties to create additional living space.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to remove potential conflicts of interest where a local authority owns land which is subject to a planning application and/or is directly or indirectly a residential developer.

There are already safeguards in place to ensure that decisions on local authorities’ own applications for planning permission are taken properly. Applications cannot be decided by a committee or officer responsible for the management of any land or buildings to which the application relates. They must be determined under the same legal principles as any other planning application and publicised in the same way. In reaching their decisions, authorities must take into account the views of statutory consultees and relevant objections by local residents.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to announce his decision on the Telford Town Deal Board Investment Plan submission to his Department.

I can confirm the Department has received Telford’s Town Investment Plan. My officials are conducting the assessment process for the proposals, and I look forward to making an announcement in due course.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is (a) subject to Freedom of Information requests or (b) protected under the GDPR.

All recorded information held by MHCLG as a public authority is eligible for disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In some instances a FOI request may be refused if the information requested falls under one of Act’s exemptions, including that for personal data


Local authorities are responsible for the delivery of grants to businesses, and therefore details of individual grant awards would need to be directed to local authorities. Under guidance for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, local authorities are required to set out the scope of their discretionary grant scheme on their website, providing clear guidance on which types of business are being prioritised.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will undertake a review of sentencing guidelines for defendants convicted of sexual offences against minors.

Sentencing guidelines are developed by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, which is independent of Parliament and Government.

The Sentencing Council recently consulted on revisions to its child sexual offences sentencing guidelines, which set out the approach courts should take when sentencing cases where no sexual activity takes places or the targeted child does not exist, for instance in police sting operations, as well as a new guideline for the offence of sexual communication with a child. The Council is currently analysing responses to the consultation, and it is anticipated that revised versions of the guidelines will be published next year.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of automatic custodial sentences for people convicted of sexual offences against children.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides for a range of sexual offences, including specific sexual offences committed against children. The sentences available to the courts for offences against children are significant, and reflect the seriousness of the offending. Several of these offences, such as rape, already carry a discretionary life sentence.

Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the independent courts, taking into account the circumstances of the offence and the offender, and relevant sentencing guidelines. We currently have no plans to change the penalties available for these offences in statute.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the tariffs of custodial sentences for people convicted of committing sexual offences against children.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides for a range of sexual offences, including specific sexual offences committed against children. The sentences available to the courts for offences against children are significant, and reflect the seriousness of the offending. Several of these offences, such as rape, already carry a discretionary life sentence.

Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the independent courts, taking into account the circumstances of the offence and the offender, and relevant sentencing guidelines. We currently have no plans to change the penalties available for these offences in statute.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of discretionary life sentences for people that have been convicted of the rape of minors.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides for a range of sexual offences, including specific sexual offences committed against children. The sentences available to the courts for offences against children are significant, and reflect the seriousness of the offending. Several of these offences, such as rape, already carry a discretionary life sentence.

Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the independent courts, taking into account the circumstances of the offence and the offender, and relevant sentencing guidelines. We currently have no plans to change the penalties available for these offences in statute.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)