Matt Rodda Portrait

Matt Rodda

Labour - Reading East

Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)

(since January 2021)
Matt Rodda is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
River Thames
Shadow Minister (Transport) (Buses)
12th Jan 2018 - 7th Jan 2021


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 27th January 2022
11:30
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL] - Debate
Subject: To consider the Bill
27 Jan 2022, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 27th January 2022
14:00
Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL] - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
27 Jan 2022, 2 p.m. View calendar
Department Event
Monday 7th February 2022
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Feb 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Building Safety Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 157 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 301
Speeches
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Building Safety Bill
I ask for the Minister’s further reassurance on some points of detail that relate to these amendments. First, around half …
Written Answers
Friday 5th November 2021
Guadeloupe: Travel Restrictions
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to review its advice …
Early Day Motions
Monday 26th June 2017
CHILTERN EDGE SCHOOL
That this House believes that Chiltern Edge School should remain open; is concerned that Oxfordshire County Council is consulting on …
Bills
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Childcare Bill 2021-22
A Bill to enable provision to be made for appeals relating to free childcare for young children of working parents …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: USDAW Head Office
Address of donor: 188 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M14 6LJ
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Tuesday 25th February 2020
Assaults on shopworkers
That this House deplores the rise in verbal and physical abuse of shopworkers, notes that according to research conducted by …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Matt Rodda has voted in 325 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(15 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
Luke Pollard (Labour (Co-op))
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(33 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(29 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(28 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Matt Rodda's debates

Reading East 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 Reading East signature proportion
Petitions with most Reading East signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

To not decide to scrap free travel for those who are under 18. As a teenager who has relied so much on free travel, it has allowed for me to go to school without the worry of an extra expense and explore around the beautiful city of London also. Destroying free travel would hurt so many of us.


Latest EDMs signed by Matt Rodda

24th February 2020
Matt Rodda signed this EDM on Tuesday 25th February 2020

Assaults on shopworkers

Tabled by: Gareth Thomas (Labour (Co-op) - Harrow West)
That this House deplores the rise in verbal and physical abuse of shopworkers, notes that according to research conducted by USDAW, over 400 retail workers were assaulted each day last year and that 62 per cent of retail staff have been the victim of either verbal or physical abuse; further …
69 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 56
Scottish National Party: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Conservative: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Green Party: 1
15th October 2019
Matt Rodda signed this EDM on Tuesday 15th October 2019

Bus passes for WASPI women

Tabled by: Jim Cunningham (Labour - Coventry South)
That this House is concerned that not all the women living in England who are affected by the 2011 changes to state pension age are entitled to a free bus pass; notes that a free bus pass is a small concession, given that women born in the 1950s have lost …
49 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 32
Scottish National Party: 6
Independent: 4
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Matt Rodda's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Matt Rodda, 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.


Matt Rodda has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Matt Rodda has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Matt Rodda


A Bill to enable provision to be made for appeals relating to free childcare for young children of working parents to be settled by agreement; to make further provision designed to increase efficiency in the administration of free childcare schemes; to make provision about the promotion of the availability of free childcare, including to disadvantaged groups; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 29th October 2021
(Read Debate)

Matt Rodda has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


53 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
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 18566, on Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund Scheme, what estimate he has made of the projected average entitlement for members of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund pension scheme through the Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey.

The Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) is a multi-employer pension scheme and it is therefore not possible for any single participating (current or past) employer to estimate it’s share of any liabilities. This is a closed pension scheme and we do not know for certain if there are either active or deferred members of MNRPF who were previously employees of UK Research Innovation (UKRI) (or its predecessor organisations - NERC/BAS/NOC). However, it is possible, as not all of the former employees who were members of this pension scheme will have reached the scheme retirement age yet. As they are no longer employees, UKRI have no record of their current pension scheme memberships or entitlements.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 18565 on the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund Scheme, if he will make an estimate of the future cost to the public purse in the (a) short-term and (b) long-term in relation to the Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey’s role as a sponsoring employer of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund pension scheme.

The Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) is a multi-employer pension scheme and it is therefore not possible for any single participating (current or past) employer to estimate it’s share of any liabilities. This is a closed pension scheme and we do not know for certain if there are either active or deferred members of MNRPF who were previously employees of UK Research Innovation (UKRI) (or its predecessor organisations - NERC/BAS/NOC). However, it is possible, as not all of the former employees who were members of this pension scheme will have reached the scheme retirement age yet. As they are no longer employees, UKRI have no record of their current pension scheme memberships or entitlements.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the projected average entitlement for members of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund pension scheme through the Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) no longer have any employees enrolled in the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund Scheme. There are no anticipated upcoming costs to these organisations related to this scheme with their share of the fund’s future deficit having been paid in full. As there are no active members of the scheme who are current employees of NERC or BAS an estimate cannot be made of entitlements as records of current pensions scheme memberships are not held.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an estimate of the future cost to the public purse in the (a) short term and (b) long term in relation to the Natural Environment Research Council and British Antarctic Survey’s role as a sponsoring employer of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund pension scheme.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) no longer have any employees enrolled in the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund Scheme. There are no anticipated upcoming costs to these organisations related to this scheme with their share of the fund’s future deficit having been paid in full. As there are no active members of the scheme who are current employees of NERC or BAS an estimate cannot be made of entitlements as records of current pensions scheme memberships are not held.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what happens to funding allocated to local authorities as part of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) which is not distributed to businesses.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support includes extensive grant funding for businesses that have been required by law to close as a result of, or have been severely impacted by, localised and national restrictions.

Local authorities should pay businesses in line with the restriction period to which the funding is allocated to ensure local economies are supported during restrictions. Any unspent funding allocated to local authorities under a mandatory grants scheme will be recovered after a reconciliation process. It is not expected that discretionary schemes, such as the ARG, will have any unallocated funding as we would expect local authorities to apportion this funding to businesses. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure funding gets out the door to businesses as quickly as possible and to avoid any unnecessary underspend.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether local authorities receive funding for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) up front or are reimbursed.

The Government has put forward an unprecedented package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This support includes extensive grant funding for businesses that have been required by law to close as a result of, or have been severely impacted by, localised and national restrictions.

As set out in the Government guidance, local authorities have received an initial allocation of 90% of the estimated grant funding amount for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum and Closed Business Lockdown Grant schemes. When this threshold of funding is reached, Government will pay local authorities the further agreed funding. The additional £500 million distributed through the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme was paid to local authorities in one lump sum payment, as with the previous ARG payment. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that funding is delivered to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the tiered covid-19 public health restrictions on the ability to trade of (a) the 60 pubs in Reading East and (b) other pubs throughout the country.

Scientific evidence shows that hospitality venues can be higher risk environments than other indoor settings, and people who are consuming alcohol tend to be less likely to comply with health guidance. Through tiering we are making these venues safer and reducing transmission of the virus.

Whilst tiered restrictions have reduced the ability of pubs to trade, the Government has implemented a comprehensive and generous package of business support, worth £280 billion. This includes a new one-off grant worth up to £9,000, VAT relief, a business-rates holiday, and the extended furlough scheme. A further grant of £1,000 was made to support wet-led pubs in Tier 2, 3 and 4 areas, including Reading East, over the Christmas period.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representative organisations for pubs and breweries on the effect of tier 2 and tier 3 public health restrictions on businesses in that sector.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector to understand the impact of the pandemic on their businesses. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector to understand the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.  The new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has met with representative organisations from across the hospitality sector since taking on the role on 11 January.

Hospitality businesses have been able to benefit from Government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants, additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses and the Cultural Relief Fund.

On 5 January, when the new national lockdown began, the Chancellor announced a one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring.  A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the funding available under the (a) Local Restrictions Support Grant and (b) Additional Restrictions Grant has been allocated to local authorities but not yet distributed to businesses.

The Government is working closely with local authorities in England to distribute funding available under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Additional Restrictions Grant to businesses as quickly as possible. Local authority guidance was published on 3rd November and grant offer letters were sent to local authorities on 6th November. Payments to local authorities have been made since 13th November.

We are working closely with local authorities to monitor the ongoing implementation of the grant schemes.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

This has been a challenging time for teachers and school leaders, and the Government has supported them since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have regularly published and updated guidance to ensure that it reflects the most up to date medical and scientific information to make sure that teachers, parents, and young people are as well-informed as possible in the current rapidly changing circumstances. The latest guidance for schools, on restricting attendance during the national lockdown, is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952443/210114_School_national_restrictions_guidance_FINAL_14012021.pdf.

This guidance includes the Public Health England endorsed system of controls which, when implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for staff and pupils where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This provides a framework for schools and colleges to put in place proportionate protective measures to manage risk effectively, which has been in place since the start of the autumn term.

To help identify and limit the asymptomatic spread of the virus within the teaching workforce we have made rapid-result COVID-19 tests available to schools. Information about the testing programme for schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges.

To support schools in providing remote education to most pupils during the current lockdown, we updated our good teaching practice and resources guidance on 12 January to offer up-to-date support to those who are teaching remotely.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 800,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by 17 January.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home. We are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone for their cooperation to-date. We continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

All four major mobile network operators - Vodafone, O2, Three and EE - have also committed to working together to make access to Oak National Academy free for school children. Additionally, I am grateful to BT and EE, who are making access to BBC Bitesize resources free from the end of January 2021.

Funding and support is also available for schools to get set up on Google or Microsoft platforms. These platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. As of 5 January, 6,900 schools have applied for a digital education platform.

Information about the good teaching practice and resources guidance and the get help with technology scheme is available at: https://get-help-with-remote-education.education.gov.uk/good-teaching-practice.html, and: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

To make up for lost teaching time and stop pupils and students falling behind, our £1 billion catch up package remains in place, including the £650 million catch-up premium and in school support through the National Tutoring Programme for the most disadvantaged.

The Government recognises the pressure that headteachers and teachers are under. We thank them for all that they have done and continue to do, to educate and support children as we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timetable is for carrying out flood prevention work at the River Thames in Reading.

More than 700 properties, roads and other infrastructure are at risk of flooding from the Thames in north Reading and Lower Caversham. The Environment Agency (EA) has engaged widely with the community to raise awareness of flood risk and to get feedback on plans for a flood risk management scheme which would include flood walls, embankments and a channel to bypass Reading Bridge. The EA is reviewing feedback from the community and if there is support for the scheme it will progress work to secure the necessary permissions and funding.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost to the public purse has been in (a) staff time, (b) engaging consultants and agencies to provide advice, (c) tendering and (d) new (i) letterheads, (ii) signage and (iii) website for the proposed rebranding of Highways England.

No final decision has been made about renaming Highways England. Any decision would of course seek best value for the tax payer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who authorised the work to rebrand the Highways Agency; what procurement process was used; and what steps he took to ensure that process complied with Government guidance on marketing spending and procurement.

No final decision has been made about renaming Highways England. Any decision would of course seek best value for the tax payer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on public transport.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

We are encouraging everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.

This is having a significant impact on public transport. However, it is vital that our public transport services continue to run in order to ensure that critical workers can get to work, and that the country can return to normal life once this epidemic is over.

We are in daily contact with transport providers and will do whatever we can to ensure vital public services continue throughout this period.

We will continue to anticipate and adapt to needs as the situation develops, as demonstrated by the extensive package of measures the Chancellor has announced to support the economy.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many women affected by the underpayment of the State Pension have been reimbursed by her Department through the State Pension Correction Exercise to date.
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of women affected by the underpayment of the State Pension.

A written statement about the State Pension Correction Exercise was published on 22 October 2021 which is available using the following online link: -

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-pension-underpayments-progress-on-cases-reviewed-to-30-september-2021/state-pension-underpayments-progress-on-cases-reviewed-to-30-september-2021

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether people approaching State Pension age will face delays in receiving their State Pension.

Over 50 per cent of claims made on line through Get Your State Pension are processed automatically. All other State Pension claims received to-date, where a payment is due in October, will be processed by the end of October; with the exception of those claims where we need additional information, or there is a future entitlement date.

We do not expect delays to State Pension claims in the future provided all relevant information has been received.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether all those affected by the delays in new State Pension claims have had their claim resolved.

We expect all State Pension claims received to-date, where a payment is due in October, to be processed by the end of October; with the exception of those claims where we need additional information, or there is a future entitlement date.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department made of the potential merits of assessing underlying levels of wage growth in 2021-22 with the impact of furlough discounted for the purposes of uprating the State Pension prior to the decision to suspend the triple-lock.

In order to consider whether it would be appropriate to use a rate of underlying wage growth, we consulted the Office for National Statistics views. The ONS published information on measuring underlying pay growth on 15 July 2021 :- “Far from average: How COVID-19 has impacted the Average Weekly Earnings data”.

The ONS identified temporary factors, called base and compositional effects, that have increased the headline growth rate in earnings above the underlying rate. There is no single accepted approach to assessing underlying growth. ONS have published a range of possible growth rates, but acknowledge these should be treated with caution.

Therefore, it would not be appropriate to use estimated underlying levels of wage growth as it would not be a robust basis by which to up-rate and there is ongoing volatility in these data.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much (a) his Department and (b) the NHS has spent on (i) advertising using social media and other forms of information channels and (ii) other public information to encourage people to uptake the covid-19 vaccine to date; and how much has been spent on public information to encourage minority communities to receive that vaccination.

The Department spent £1.3 million on advertising between December 2020 and 31 January 2021. Activity included tailored content designed to specifically support multicultural communities. Some local National Health Service teams ran COVID-19 vaccine campaigns, but this information is not collected centrally.

Campaign spending supporting the COVID-19 vaccination programme transferred to the Cabinet Office in February 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to regularly test asymptomatic NHS staff working in community hospitals for covid-19 in (a) Berkshire and (b) England.

All National Health Service patient-facing staff in acute, mental health, ambulance and community trusts have been provided with lateral flow tests to enable them to test themselves at home twice a week with over 25 million tests distributed. Lateral flow tests are also being distributed across primary care including general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry. In additional tests have been provided to independent sector providers and community interest companies providing NHS care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the planned timescale is for providing regular covid-19 testing for asymptomatic NHS staff working in community hospitals in (a) Berkshire and (b) England.

All National Health Service patient facing staff in acute, mental health, ambulance and community trusts have been provided with lateral flow tests to enable them to test themselves at home twice a week. Lateral flow tests are also being issued across primary care including general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on the regularly covid-19 testing of asymptomatic NHS staff working in community hospitals in (a) Berkshire and (b) the rest of the country.

All National Health Service patient facing staff in acute, mental health, ambulance and community trusts have been provided with lateral flow tests to enable them to test themselves at home twice a week. Over 25 million tests have been distributed nationally.  Lateral flow tests are also being provided across primary care including general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry. In addition tests have been provided to independent sector providers and community interest companies providing NHS care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to support councils in their response to COVID-19.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Rt. hon Robert Jenrick MP) addressed over 300 council leaders in England reaffirming the Government’s commitment to giving councils the support they need to contribute to the national effort. He confirmed a series of practical measures which will give councils greater flexibility to respond to COVID-19.

Guidance for local councils during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government#local-government

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to review its advice on travel to Guadeloupe.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Guadeloupe was updated on 29 October to reflect that the FCDO no longer advises against all but essential travel to Guadeloupe, based on the assessment of COVID-19 risks. All FCDO travel advice pages remain under constant review to ensure they reflect the latest threat assessment to British nationals and include up-to-date information and advice.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 related support to Nepal.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the British Embassy in Kathmandu has reprioritised over £40 million of its development budget including: the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 400,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women. In response to the second wave of COVID-19 the UK has also donated 260 ventilators and various pieces of personal protective equipment as well as constructing an oxygen plant in Kathmandu.

With regards to vaccines, the UK is a leading donor to COVAX, having committed £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has delivered 348,000 doses to Nepal so far and another tranche is expected in the coming months. As G7 chair this year the UK has also secured a commitment to donate 1 billion vaccine doses to the developing world by June 2022, including 100 million donated by the UK. The majority of these doses will be donated to COVAX. As shareholders and contributors to both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the UK has also pushed hard for multilateral organisations to provide finance to countries for vaccine procurement, including Nepal. The World Bank has now made at least $75 million available to the Government of Nepal for that purpose; a further $165 million will soon be proposed to the board of the Asian Development Bank, which the UK will also support.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) provide consular support to and (b) arrange the repatriation of British citizens in St Vincent and the Grenadines during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have now brought home over 32,000 people on 155 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home. The UK Government is working closely with airlines, local authorities and governments in the Caribbean region to help British travellers return to the UK as part of the plan announced by the Foreign Secretary on 30 March - with up to £75 million available for special charter flights from priority countries, focused on helping the most vulnerable travellers. We have supported over 11,000 people to return home from the Caribbean via commercial means.

We are aware that there are British travellers remaining overseas in the Caribbean region and our effort is focused on supporting their return as quickly and safely as possible. British travellers wishing to return to the UK have been actively encouraged to register with their nearest High Commission or Embassy as well as to check travel advice for updates regularly: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 18564 on Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, what estimate he has made of the projected average future entitlement for members of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund scheme through the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) seafarers are Ministry of Defence (MOD) employees and members of the Civil Service Pension Scheme. The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

In addition, my answer to Questions 18563 and 18564 on 28 June 2021 contained an error. It stated:

The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

It should have said:

The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 18563 on Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, what estimate he has made of the potential future cost to the public purse in the (a) short term and (b) long term in relation to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s role as a sponsoring employer of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund scheme.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) seafarers are Ministry of Defence (MOD) employees and members of the Civil Service Pension Scheme. The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

In addition, my answer to Questions 18563 and 18564 on 28 June 2021 contained an error. It stated:

The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

It should have said:

The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the projected average future entitlement for members of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund scheme through the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) seafarers are Ministry of Defence (MOD) employees and members of the Civil Service Pension Scheme. The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the potential future cost to the public purse in the (a) short term and (b) long term in relation to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s role as a sponsoring employer of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund scheme.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) seafarers are Ministry of Defence (MOD) employees and members of the Civil Service Pension Scheme. The RFA does not sponsor the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund and the MOD is not responsible for any costs or entitlements associated with it.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his officials have had with successful applicants to run freeports on their ongoing pension liabilities.

The Freeport model will comprise a broad coalition of local partners, including businesses, local authorities and ports. Trustees and employers have a wide range of legal duties in respect of workplace schemes, including and are responsible for compliance with legislative funding requirements. The Pension Regulator is the regulator of work based pension schemes, and has a range of powers that it may use to intervene, and to take action, primarily against trustees and employers, where they do not comply with their duties.

As set out in the Bidding Prospectus, each Freeport was asked in their bid proposals to summarise their preferred governance structure. The Freeport Governance Body will need to meet core standards and criteria on governance, including compliance with MHCLG requirements on monitoring and evaluation. The Government is assessing the proposals and will work with the Freeports to ensure that governance is robust. The relevant public body (Local Authority or Authorities or Mayoral Combined Authority) of the Freeport Governance Body will be accountable to MHCLG for the expenditure and management of public money.

The Freeport Governance Body will be responsible for the effective delivery of the Freeport according to the economic strategy determined through the bidding process and the Freeport Governance Body will work with Government to ensure the Freeport stays aligned with national policy and delivers on its monitoring and evaluation commitments.

The Government recognises rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be key to the success of the Freeports. The Government fully intends to evaluate the impact of Freeports and will be publishing its monitoring and evaluation strategy in due course.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will carry out a review of the pension liabilities of firms selected to operate freeports; and if he will make a statement.

The Freeport model will comprise a broad coalition of local partners, including businesses, local authorities and ports. Trustees and employers have a wide range of legal duties in respect of workplace schemes, including and are responsible for compliance with legislative funding requirements. The Pension Regulator is the regulator of work based pension schemes, and has a range of powers that it may use to intervene, and to take action, primarily against trustees and employers, where they do not comply with their duties.

As set out in the Bidding Prospectus, each Freeport was asked in their bid proposals to summarise their preferred governance structure. The Freeport Governance Body will need to meet core standards and criteria on governance, including compliance with MHCLG requirements on monitoring and evaluation. The Government is assessing the proposals and will work with the Freeports to ensure that governance is robust. The relevant public body (Local Authority or Authorities or Mayoral Combined Authority) of the Freeport Governance Body will be accountable to MHCLG for the expenditure and management of public money.

The Freeport Governance Body will be responsible for the effective delivery of the Freeport according to the economic strategy determined through the bidding process and the Freeport Governance Body will work with Government to ensure the Freeport stays aligned with national policy and delivers on its monitoring and evaluation commitments.

The Government recognises rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be key to the success of the Freeports. The Government fully intends to evaluate the impact of Freeports and will be publishing its monitoring and evaluation strategy in due course.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what ongoing monitoring and evaluation processes he has put in place in respect of the (a) financial sustainability and (b) pensions obligations of firms selected to operate freeports.

The Freeport model will comprise a broad coalition of local partners, including businesses, local authorities and ports. Trustees and employers have a wide range of legal duties in respect of workplace schemes, including and are responsible for compliance with legislative funding requirements. The Pension Regulator is the regulator of work based pension schemes, and has a range of powers that it may use to intervene, and to take action, primarily against trustees and employers, where they do not comply with their duties.

As set out in the Bidding Prospectus, each Freeport was asked in their bid proposals to summarise their preferred governance structure. The Freeport Governance Body will need to meet core standards and criteria on governance, including compliance with MHCLG requirements on monitoring and evaluation. The Government is assessing the proposals and will work with the Freeports to ensure that governance is robust. The relevant public body (Local Authority or Authorities or Mayoral Combined Authority) of the Freeport Governance Body will be accountable to MHCLG for the expenditure and management of public money.

The Freeport Governance Body will be responsible for the effective delivery of the Freeport according to the economic strategy determined through the bidding process and the Freeport Governance Body will work with Government to ensure the Freeport stays aligned with national policy and delivers on its monitoring and evaluation commitments.

The Government recognises rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be key to the success of the Freeports. The Government fully intends to evaluate the impact of Freeports and will be publishing its monitoring and evaluation strategy in due course.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what due diligence assessment was carried out on the pension liabilities of applicant firms as part of the Freeports bidding process.

The Freeport model will comprise a broad coalition of local partners, including businesses, local authorities and ports. Trustees and employers have a wide range of legal duties in respect of workplace schemes, including and are responsible for compliance with legislative funding requirements. The Pension Regulator is the regulator of work based pension schemes, and has a range of powers that it may use to intervene, and to take action, primarily against trustees and employers, where they do not comply with their duties.

As set out in the Bidding Prospectus, each Freeport was asked in their bid proposals to summarise their preferred governance structure. The Freeport Governance Body will need to meet core standards and criteria on governance, including compliance with MHCLG requirements on monitoring and evaluation. The Government is assessing the proposals and will work with the Freeports to ensure that governance is robust. The relevant public body (Local Authority or Authorities or Mayoral Combined Authority) of the Freeport Governance Body will be accountable to MHCLG for the expenditure and management of public money.

The Freeport Governance Body will be responsible for the effective delivery of the Freeport according to the economic strategy determined through the bidding process and the Freeport Governance Body will work with Government to ensure the Freeport stays aligned with national policy and delivers on its monitoring and evaluation commitments.

The Government recognises rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be key to the success of the Freeports. The Government fully intends to evaluate the impact of Freeports and will be publishing its monitoring and evaluation strategy in due course.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many enforcement notices were served by local authorities in England in respect of new build homes in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.

The Government is clear that effective enforcement is important to tackle breaches of planning control, including against new built homes which do not conform to the planning permission. Local authorities already have a wide range of planning enforcement powers, with strong penalties for non-compliance, and as the Planning for the Future White Paper highlighted, we want to strengthen these powers and sanctions.

The National Planning Policy Framework emphasises that effective enforcement is important to maintain public confidence in the planning system, and further guidance on enforcement for local planning authorities is set out in our planning practice guidance.

My Department does not collect data on enforcement notices served against different types of development so has no data available about enforcement action against new built homes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on ensuring that new build homes are built according to the plans for those homes agreed by the local authority's planning committee.

The Government is clear that effective enforcement is important to tackle breaches of planning control, including against new built homes which do not conform to the planning permission. Local authorities already have a wide range of planning enforcement powers, with strong penalties for non-compliance, and as the Planning for the Future White Paper highlighted, we want to strengthen these powers and sanctions.

The National Planning Policy Framework emphasises that effective enforcement is important to maintain public confidence in the planning system, and further guidance on enforcement for local planning authorities is set out in our planning practice guidance.

My Department does not collect data on enforcement notices served against different types of development so has no data available about enforcement action against new built homes.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has for a public consultation on the Government's proposals for changes to the planning system; what changes to regulations on (a) height, (b) appearance and (c) quality are proposed; what steps he plans to take to ensure that new houses will be built in addition to flats; and what steps he plans to take to ensure that new houses will be built on brownfield land and not in the countryside.

Public consultation on the Planning for the Future White Paper began on 6 August and closes on 29 October. The White Paper sets out an ambitious vision for improving the design of buildings and places, through the widespread use of design codes and pattern books that are supported by local communities.

The White Paper also sets out proposals for a binding housing requirement that would be adjusted to take account of local constraints, such as the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The requirement figures would need to reflect the importance of using brownfield land, but ultimately it would be for local authorities to decide how best to meet their housing requirement locally, including the different types of homes needed in each area.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress has been made on allocating financial support to leaseholders to replace dangerous cladding; and what additional funding is being provided to fire services to pay for extra inspections of affected buildings.

We understand the concerns of many leaseholders and building owners over the cost of remediation of cladding. This is why we have made £1 billion available to expedite and fund the removal of unsafe non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding in 2020/21. This is in addition to the £600 million made available already to ensure the remediation of unsafe ACM cladding. Progress on the ACM fund can be viewed in the monthly Building Safety Data Release, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aluminium-composite-material-cladding#acm-remediation-data. As for non-ACM funding, we published the Building Safety Fund application guidance for buildings in both the social and private sectors on 31 July and opened the application process.

The Department will keep demand for the Fund under review and will in future publish regular updates regarding the allocation of funding against the budget available in the Building Safety Programme’s data release when ready. This release includes data and analysis related to the monitoring of the remediation of unsafe cladding.

This year the Government has provided £10 million of additional funding to improve inspection capacity and capability on high-rise residential buildings. This is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council to establish a new national infrastructure to support frontline protection work and the Fire and Rescue Services to conduct a Building Risk Review of all high rise residential buildings over 18 metres by the end of 2021.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress the review has made on the handling and supervision of Khairi Saadallah.

This was a terrible crime, and the Court imposed a whole life order on Khairi Saadallah.

The Probation Service has completed a Serious Further Offence (SFO) review into how Saadallah was managed, which has been shared with those bereaved relatives and surviving victims who requested it. The SFO review identified some improvement actions in relation to risk assessment practice and case recording, which are being delivered as part of a formal action plan.

Additionally, there was a review into how we can more effectively support terrorism-risk offenders with mental health problems and so better address risk. The findings are aligned with the Rapid Review of Mental Health Provision for Offenders, commissioned by the Criminal Justice Task Force.

An independent reviewer is also undertaking a Serious Case Review looking at how the relevant agencies worked together under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) to manage the risk he posed.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
29th Jun 2021
What progress he has made on a review into the Reading terror attack in June 2020.

This was a terrible crime, and the Court imposed a whole life order on Khairi Saadallah. The Probation Service has completed a Serious Further Offence (SFO) review into how Saadallah was managed, which is being shared with the bereaved families and with surviving victims.

An independent reviewer is also undertaking a Serious Case Review looking at how the relevant agencies worked together under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) to manage the risk he posed.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the reasons are for the time taken in selling Reading Gaol; and when negotiations on the sale of that site will be concluded.

There have been some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sale of Reading Prison is progressing and we expect to conclude negotiations with the preferred bidder this autumn. All matters relating to negotiations for the sale are commercially confidential.

There is no current deadline for the negotiations with the preferred bidder for Reading Prison.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on the negotiations with the preferred bidder for Reading Gaol.

There have been some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sale of Reading Prison is progressing and we expect to conclude negotiations with the preferred bidder this autumn. All matters relating to negotiations for the sale are commercially confidential.

There is no current deadline for the negotiations with the preferred bidder for Reading Prison.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the deadline is for the negotiations with a preferred bidder for Reading Gaol; and what procurement process his Department plans to use to reopen its search for a new preferred bidder in the event that negotiations break down.

There have been some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sale of Reading Prison is progressing and we expect to conclude negotiations with the preferred bidder this autumn. All matters relating to negotiations for the sale are commercially confidential.

There is no current deadline for the negotiations with the preferred bidder for Reading Prison.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what due diligence process the Department followed to assess the preferred bidder for Reading Gaol; and whether Departmental staff or contactors undertook that process.

Departmental staff and the Department’s real estate advisors were involved in the evaluation of all bids received for Reading prison. The evaluation process covered a range of factors in assessing which bid represented the best value for the Department and the taxpayer.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what impact assessment the Government has made of the covid-19 outbreak on the sale of Reading Gaol and the preferred bidder’s financial status.

The department continues to keep all of its property transactions under review. We are in commercial negotiations with the preferred bidder and all matters relating to the bid including the preferred bidder’s financial status are commercially sensitive and confidential. We will always seek best value for the taxpayer.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to announce the preferred bidder in relation to the sale of Reading Prison.

There are no plans to formally announce the preferred bidder or details of the bid until the sale has completed. We expect to make an announcement about the sale in the summer.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jan 2020
What progress his Department has made on the sale of HMP Reading.

We have marketed the former HMP&YOI Reading site. We are considering all the bids received carefully.

We will always seek best value for the taxpayer when disposing of surplus property assets. The number of bids, the identity of any bidders and the nature of the bids are commercially sensitive.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)