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
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Monday 12th April 2021
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

I rise to join my constituents and people throughout the country, the Commonwealth, and around the world in mourning the …

Written Answers
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Gardens: Community Relations
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with Network Rail on the potential merits …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th April 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Until 31 March 2021, consultant offering general advice to the Consumer Credit Association (CCA); a client of Mark Pritchard Advisory …
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 219 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)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(14 debate interactions)
Jeremy Quin (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(6 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(11 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(7 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).

Petitions with highest The Wrekin signature proportion
Petitions with most The Wrekin signatures
Petition Open
399
of 350,479 signatures (0.11%)
Petition Open
398
of 314,013 signatures (0.13%)
Petition Open
269
of 345,465 signatures (0.08%)
Mark Pritchard has not participated in any petition debates

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


101 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
1 Other Department Questions
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
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
Paymaster General
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
Paymaster General
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of additional redundancies that will potentially occur in the leisure and hospitality sectors as a result of the Government's 14 day quarantine policy for people arriving in the UK in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

We remain in regular contact with stakeholders, including UKHospitality, UKInbound and the Association of British Travel Agents, to closely monitor COVID-19’s economic impact on the leisure and hospitality sectors. No estimate has been made by my Department of the number of potential redundancies as a result of a 14 day quarantine.

We appreciate that the quarantine measures will present difficulties for these sectors. The quarantine policy will be reviewed regularly and the first review will take place in the week beginning 28 June. We are also working with the transport industry to see how we can introduce agreements with other countries when safe to do so, so we can go abroad and tourists can come here.

Leisure and hospitality businesses and workers can access the Government’s economic support package. These include the recently extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, loan schemes, as well as business rates relief and grants for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
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
Assistant Whip
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
Assistant Whip
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
Assistant Whip
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.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
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 (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.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (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)
13th May 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with the Diocese of Hereford 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 Hereford at the end of April. 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
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development 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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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, 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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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 (Department for Transport)
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.

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 Work and Pensions)
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 of Health and Social Care)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will amend government guidance to allow groups of up to 30 people to attend (a) Narcotics Anonymous meetings and (b) other mutual aid meetings provided that social distancing rules are observed.

Currently, support groups can take place in groups of up to 15 in a public place, if the support group is organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, providing support:

- to victims of crime (including domestic abuse);

- to those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour;

- to new and expectant parents;

- to those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable;

- to those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; and

- to those who have suffered bereavement.

We have to rightly balance the need for those to attend support groups, against the risk of transmission in large groups which is why we have limited the number to 15.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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 of Health and Social Care)
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 of Health and Social Care)
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
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
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 of Health and Social Care)
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 of Health and Social Care)
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.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to include conflict prevention as part of his Department's contribution to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

When the Prime Minister launched the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, he was clear that it will set out the way in which the UK will be a problem-solving and burden-sharing nation. Our aim continues to be for an ambitious and bold Integrated Review that is guided by the UK's foreign policy, national security and development objectives.

We fully expect the Integrated Review, together with a Comprehensive Spending Review, to propose fresh ideas to shape the objectives and systems of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, reflecting a drive towards a more effective and more joined-up foreign policy.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (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 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 (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 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 (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 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 (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 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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 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 (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 (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 (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 (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislation proposals to regulate magnet fishing to make it mandatory to declare all finds of (a) barrelled weapons, (b) bladed instruments above three inches and (c) munitions.

It is already the case that anybody who finds a firearm or ammunition under any circumstances, including whilst magnet fishing, must notify the police. They are likely otherwise to be committing an offence by being in unlawful possession, given that most of these items are subject to strict licensing controls under firearms legislation.

Similar considerations apply for bladed articles which are found. These may be prohibited under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 or the Criminal Justice Act 1988. In addition, it is an offence to carry an article with blade or point in public without good reason, under section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 strengthens the law further in respect of knives and bladed articles and will make it an offence to possess prohibited weapons in private.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (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 (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 (Home Office)
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)
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)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's guidance is on the use of gyms on UK military bases and maintaining the fitness of the armed forces during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Maintaining the fitness of our Armed Forces is critical to ensuring their operational effectiveness and this has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Defence has benefitted from specific exemptions in law to continue to use gyms and sports facilities on the Defence estate throughout lockdown, taking into account risk assessments and Devolved legislation. However, these facilities are only open where it is deemed essential and COVID-19 secure measures are in place to minimise risks. Other forms of COVID-secure exercise and physical training are being encouraged where the use of gyms is not permitted.

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.

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)
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.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership in ensuring that Shropshire businesses receive business grant support.

The Marches LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) is responsible for distributing £1.58 million of support to local businesses to help them in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, working in partnership with local authorities to make grants to SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) in the region. Of the £737,000 that has been allocated to Shropshire Council, £600,000 will be delivered to local SMEs in grants of up to £10,000 each. The Marches Growth Hub https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/about-us/, managed by Marches LEP, continues to provided business support, advice and guidance to Shropshire businesses .

As of 21 June, the Marches LEP has also supported Shropshire Council to deliver over £75.6 million in grants to 6,390 businesses in Shropshire from the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. Government continues to work closely with all local authorities, with the support of local bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, to help deliver the remaining grant funding quickly and efficiently.

In December 2019, following extensive consultation with local partners, Marches LEP published their Draft Local Industrial Strategy and evidence base, setting out how they will drive productivity and clean growth. The LEP is now working with local partners to help plan for economic recovery in the short term. All LEPs are subject to an annual performance review by MHCLG, which includes an assessment of their delivery performance.

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.

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 (Home Office)
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 (Home Office)
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 (Home Office)