Paul Maynard Portrait

Paul Maynard

Conservative - Blackpool North and Cleveleys

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jul 2019 - 13th Feb 2020
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th May 2019 - 26th Jul 2019
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
9th Jan 2018 - 9th May 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Jul 2016 - 9th Jan 2018
Work and Pensions Committee
8th Sep 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Transport Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 5th Nov 2012


Department Event
Tuesday 24th May 2022
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
24 May 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 25th May 2022
13:00
Justice Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Prisons update
25 May 2022, 1 p.m.
At 1.30pm: Oral evidence
Victoria Atkins MP - Minister of State for Justice at Ministry of Justice
Claire Fielder - Director of Youth Justice and Offender Policy at Ministry of Justice
Phil Copple - Director General of Prisons at Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
View calendar
Department Event
Tuesday 5th July 2022
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
5 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 304 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Thursday 19th May 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
We have heard a lot today about the restoring your railway scheme, and I remind the House that it was …
Written Answers
Thursday 19th May 2022
Railways: Procurement
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Williams-Shapps …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 7th February 2022
Ministerial Competence (External Review) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision for an annual appraisal of the performance and competence of individual Ministers, conducted outside the …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd November 2020
1. Employment and earnings
From 9 November 2020 until further notice, Consultant to LINK Scheme Ltd (ATM network) as part of LINK's independent Consumer …
EDM signed
Thursday 8th February 2018
JIMMY ARMFIELD OBE DL
That this House pays tribute, on the day of his funeral at St Peter's Church, Blackpool where he was organist, …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Paul Maynard has voted in 466 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Paul Maynard voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Paul Maynard voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Paul Maynard 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
Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Transport
(6 debate interactions)
George Eustice (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(5 debate interactions)
Sajid Javid (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(54 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(12 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Paul Maynard's debates

Blackpool North and Cleveleys 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 Blackpool North and Cleveleys signature proportion
Petitions with most Blackpool North and Cleveleys signatures
Paul Maynard has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Paul Maynard

7th February 2018
Paul Maynard signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 8th February 2018

JIMMY ARMFIELD OBE DL

Tabled by: Gordon Marsden (Labour - Blackpool South)
That this House pays tribute, on the day of his funeral at St Peter's Church, Blackpool where he was organist, to Jimmy Armfield OBE DL, a football legend as player for Blackpool FC, a manager, England Captain and a hugely influential football commentator and journalist; commends Mr Armfield as an …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 16 May 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Conservative: 5
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Paul Maynard's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paul Maynard, 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.


Paul Maynard has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Paul Maynard

Wednesday 18th November 2020

8 Bills introduced by Paul Maynard


A Bill to require energy companies to remove and replace incorrectly installed cavity wall insulation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to introduce the optional preferential voting system for Parliamentary elections; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to make provision for an annual appraisal of the performance and competence of individual Ministers, conducted outside the Cabinet Office, to inform the Prime Minister in recommending ministerial appointments; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require local authorities to publish statements of expenditure and the numbers of grants made to residents through the local welfare assistance scheme; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to replace the House of Lords with an elected senate; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require the Charity Commission to publish statistics of the proportion of income of each registered charity which is derived from public expenditure; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to require the Government to undertake a review of the adequacy of local welfare assistance schemes provided by local authorities.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 2nd February 2021
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 to broaden the definition of eligible journeys to allow people with complex mobility problems who cannot access public transport to use concessionary travel passes on community transport services; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 18th October 2011

Paul Maynard has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


234 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
5 Other Department Questions
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to reply to correspondence from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys of 13 December 2021 regarding a constituent and valid forms of identification for voting under the Elections Bill.

A response to my Hon Friend's letter has been issued.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on mandating annual inspections by local authority officers of rented properties to ensure standards are being followed.

We are determined to crack down on those unscrupulous landlords who neglect their properties and exploit their tenants. We want these landlords to either improve the service they offer or leave the sector.

We do not mandate annual inspections, instead, local authorities have the flexibility to focus on locally determined priorities and allocate their resources accordingly.

Local authorities must keep housing conditions under review and all have a duty to use their enforcement powers when they find the most serious ‘category 1’ hazards. We strengthened these powers by introducing financial penalties of up to £30,000, extending rent repayment orders, introducing banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders


Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on mandatory registration of privately rented properties.

The Government has committed to exploring proposals for introducing a landlord register in England as part of a commitment to drive up standards in rented accommodation. We will publish a White Paper in Spring this year that will set out our proposals for reform of the private rented sector.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on mandating training for private landlords and letting agents.

The Government is committed to raising standards of services provided by landlords and agents in the private rental sector. We do not currently mandate any training for private landlords or letting agents although there are various legislative requirements that they are expected to meet when letting a home in the private rented sector. This includes meeting electrical and gas safety standards and protecting a tenant's deposit with a government approved scheme. The Government provides a 'How to Let' guide to support landlords and agents in meeting their responsibilities.

The Government is considering the recommendations in the report received on the regulation of property agents from Lord Best's working group, and we will continue to work with industry on improving best practice.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to publish the response to the consultation on the review of the Vagrancy Act 1824.

The Government is clear that no one should be criminalised simply for having nowhere to live and the time has come to reconsider the Vagrancy Act.

Work is ongoing to look at this complex issue and it is important that we look carefully at all options.

We will update on our findings in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether plans for international travel will be covered in the covid roadmap scheduled for 22 February 2021.

The Prime Minister has said that the Government will set out our plan for further reopening schools, and gradually the economy and society in England, in the week of 22 February.

This overall plan is currently in development.

By the week of 22 February, we will have a clearer picture of the data, including the impact that our current restrictions and vaccine programme is having on infections, hospital admissions and deaths.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason responsibility for the Office for Disability Issues was transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions to the Equalities Hub in the Cabinet Office.

The Office for Disability Issues transferred to Cabinet Office from the Department for Work and Pensions in November 2019 through a Machinery of Government change.

Details of the change were set out in a Written Ministerial Statement at the time.

As of the end of February 2020, there are 23.6 FTE equivalents working in the Disability Unit at the Cabinet Office.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many full-time equivalent staff work in the Disability Unit of the Equalities Hub.

The Office for Disability Issues transferred to Cabinet Office from the Department for Work and Pensions in November 2019 through a Machinery of Government change.

Details of the change were set out in a Written Ministerial Statement at the time.

As of the end of February 2020, there are 23.6 FTE equivalents working in the Disability Unit at the Cabinet Office.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme has had in each of the last five years; and if he will increase capacity of that scheme in 2022-23.

The Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme was set up by the Government and Charis Grants. The number of applicants for the scheme over the past five scheme years is as follows:

Scheme Year

Total Number of Applications

2017/18

7,017

2018/19

7,892

2019/20

6,543

2020/21

4,048

2021/22

3,813

As the Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme is funded voluntarily by energy suppliers through Warm Home Discount Industry Initiatives, the funding and therefore the application window can vary year on year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he intends to announce details of extended eligibility for the Warm Homes Discount.

The Government intends to lay the Regulations in Parliament in the coming months, with the reforms coming into force from the 2022/23 scheme year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make payment of the Warm Homes Discount automatic.

As confirmed in the recently published Government Response on the future of the Warm Homes Discount scheme, from 2022/23 onwards most eligible households will receive their rebates automatically. Each year the Government will identify around 1.9 million households on low incomes with the highest energy costs through data matching. This will enable the vast majority of households to receive their rebates automatically without having to apply, including working-age households for the first time. Eligibility would also be the same across all participating energy suppliers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to respond to the letter of 25 November 2021 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on behalf of a constituent regarding solar panels.

My hon Friend provided a copy of the enquiry to the Department on 1 February. A reply has now been sent to my hon Friend.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of the 96 weather stations reporting to the Met Office recorded or forecasted 7 day average temperatures of (a) one degree Celsius or below, (b) two degrees celsius or below and (c) three degrees celsius and below between 1 November 2021 and 14 January 2022.

The information requested for the period 1 November 2021 to 14 January 2022 is contained in the following table:

Number of weather stations for which 7-day running mean temperature was observed

Number of weather stations for which 7-day running mean temperature was forecast

one degree celsius or below

9

4

two degrees celsius or below

19

14

three degrees celsius or below

48

34

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when UK Research and Innovation plans to publish its updated thematic areas for its Strategic Priorities Fund.

The Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) provides a mechanism for research and innovation communities to identify and propose priorities for funding. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) ensures that proposals align with the aims of the SPF, including by consulting with departments on Areas of Research Interest. All research themes and currently funded programmes are published on the UKRI website.

There are no current plans to update the research themes.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Debt Relief Order applications have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the Insolvency Service in each year since 2015.

The table below provides a summary of Debt Relief Order (DRO) applications that have been accepted and rejected in each financial year since 2015/16, as of 23rd March 2021.

Accepted DRO applications can later be revoked. Revocation of a DRO occurs where information subsequently comes to light that the individual:

  • did not qualify for a DRO at the time the order was made.
  • no longer qualified for a DRO during the one-year moratorium period.

DRO applications, rejections and revocations

1st April 2015 to 23rd March 2021

Year

DRO Applications accepted

DRO Applications rejected

DRO Applications revoked

2015/16

24,922

96

301

2016/17

25,593

82

275

2017/18

24,969

66

212

2018/19

28,085

86

251

2019/20

27,434

62

290

2020/21 to date

17,265

49

266

Revoked DROs are presented in the table based on their revocation date which may not be the same period in which the application was accepted.

The Insolvency Service’s published DRO statistics exclude all accepted DROs that have later been revoked. The Insolvency Service’s latest National Statistics publication on DROs can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/individual-insolvency-statistics-october-to-december-2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the unit cost incurred by the Insolvency Service is to process an application for a Debt Relief Order.

The unit cost for processing Debt Relief Order applications varies according to case volumes in any given financial year due to the costs being a mix of fixed and variable costs.


Using the costs for the financial year 2019/2020 and the costs for the current financial year to the end of February, the average unit cost of a Debt Relief Order application is £88.81

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on maintaining domestic coal supplies for the heritage rail sector.

In line with our Net Zero target, the Government is committed to phasing out unabated coal-fired electricity generation by 2025, and recently consulted on moving this date forward to 2024. This policy applies to coal-fired power stations only – it does not apply to other coal consumers such as heritage railways.

Although coal will soon no longer be part of our electricity system, it will continue to be used as a fuel by a wide range of other industries such as the iron, steel and cement industries. We are confident that heritage railways will continue to have the option to tap into this significant domestic market. The decision on where to source coal for use in heritage railways and other industries is a private matter for the companies involved

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his policy is on improving democratic participation in the Committee on Climate Change.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is an independent, statutory body made up of highly esteemed academics and experts across a range of key sectors. The CCC provides expert analysis and advice to government on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Committee must have regard to the desirability of involving the public when carrying out its functions.

It will be vital for Government to engage the public on our net zero by 2050 target. We have invited the public to shape policies on climate change through consultations and deliberative dialogues (for example, on heat and transport decarbonisation, on the environment). As we develop our plans for reaching net zero emissions by 2050, we will continue to engage the public on the changes that are needed to develop our ambitions on net zero.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase Government-backed research into the domestic manufacture of decarbonised steel.

The Government recognises the importance of research and development in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role in developing a cleaner, greener economy in the UK. We have taken a number of steps to facilitate the decarbonisation of steel making in the UK, including;

Firstly, a £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund which aims to support businesses with high energy use to cut their bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Secondly, providing up to £66m through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to help steel and other foundation industries develop radical new technologies and establish innovation centres of excellence in these sectors.

Thirdly, establishing a £250m Clean Steel Fund that will support the decarbonisation of the steel sector, supporting its transition to new low carbon technologies and processes. The Government also plans to establish a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (previously Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund): with £240m of capital co-investment out to 2024/25. This will support at-scale production from both Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) enabled (‘blue’) hydrogen and electrolytic (‘green’) hydrogen projects.

Finally, as part of the Spring 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced £22m (subject to a business case) for the Materials Processing Institute in Teesside to deliver a R&D programme of transformation manufacturing - to help UK steel and metals sector improve efficiencies, slash emissions and ultimately boost global competitive edge.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a quarterly searchable record of Community Interest Companies.

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) publishes a monthly list of newly incorporated CICs. This is freely available and can be downloaded at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-interest-companies-new-cics-registered-in-last-month.

As CICs are limited companies, all CICS are listed on the public register which is published and maintained by Companies House and is also freely available on the Companies House website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house/about-our-services#find-info.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the National Grid on preparedness for a coronal mass ejection.

The UK has one of the most robust energy systems in the world. Our power network is resilient and built to withstand impacts from weather conditions, including Severe Space Weather.

The Government, working and engaging extensively with National Grid, other infrastructure operators and the Met Office Space Weather Operation Centre (MOSWOC), has taken significant steps to ensure the UK’s preparedness for major space weather events, such as a Coronal Mass Ejection.

Additionally, in October 2019, the UK Government announced a £20m boost to predict severe space weather events. This will further build the UK’s knowledge on how to forecast and better prepare for these space weather events.

National Grid are ensuring preparedness by increasing the number of transformer spares to help minimise timescales to replace damaged equipment. They are also replacing high voltage transformers with new designs which are more resilient and resistant to extra currents and undertaking emergency exercises aimed at improving knowledge, resilience, and response capability.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat on the UK's preparedness for a coronal mass ejection.

The UK has one of the most robust energy systems in the world. The Department works closely with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) on preparedness, resilience, and emergency planning for the risks to critical energy infrastructure, including Severe Space Weather.

Severe Space Weather was added to the UK’s National Security Risk Assessment (NSRA) in 2011.The CCS works closely with Lead Government Departments, including BEIS, to periodically update the NSRA, to ensure robust mitigations are in place.

The Government, working and engaging extensively with National Grid, other infrastructure operators and the Met Office Space Weather Operation Centre (MOSWOC), has taken significant steps to ensure the UK’s preparedness for major space weather events, such as a Coronal Mass Ejection.

Additionally, in October 2019, the UK Government announced a £20m boost to predict severe space weather events. This nearly quadruples investment from government into research that can improve systems at the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre. This will further build the UK’s knowledge on how to forecast and better prepare for these space weather events.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51817 on Tidal Power: Swansea Bay, if he will set out the exact range of capital assumptions made by his Department, in British pounds, for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon value for money assessment.

The capital cost assumptions used in the Value for Money Assessment of the proposed programme of lagoons[1] were derived from information shared under a non-disclosure agreement between Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc, Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd and the Department.

The Department believes the non-disclosure agreement still applies in this case and the information cannot be released.

[1] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51817 on Tidal Power: Swansea Bay, what range of hurdle rates, comparable to those more established renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV, onshore wind and large hydropower, were used for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon value for money assessment.

The hurdle rates applied across the portfolio of tidal lagoons in the Department’s value for money assessment[1] are shown in Table 1. The hurdle rates for other low carbon technologies estimated at the time of the value for money assessment are shown in Table 2.

Table 1: Range of hurdle rates applied to proposed programme of tidal lagoons[2]

Hurdle Rate Scenario

Hurdle rate (real terms, pre-tax)

Low

6.2%

Central

8.0%

High

9.0%

Table 2: Selected hurdle rates for other low carbon technologies (up to date at time the assessment was undertaken)[3]

Technology

Hurdle rate (real terms, pre-tax)

Onshore wind

6.7%

Offshore wind

8.9%

Solar PV (>5MW)

6.5%

Nuclear

8.9%

Gas with CCUS (first of a kind)

11.3%

Hydro (>5MW)

6.9%

[1] Available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment

[2] Source: BEIS commercial advisory

[3] Source: BEIS Electricity Generation Costs Report (2016), available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-electricity-generation-costs-november-2016

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason a 35-year contract for difference assumption was used for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon value for money assessment when the project's estimated lifespan is 120 years.

The Department considered a range of factors in coming to this conclusion. These included the proposed design life of project, the extent to which bill payers should accept operating life risk, a rapidly evolving energy market, and the falling cost of other renewable technologies.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what value assumptions his Department made in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project value for money assessment for years 36 to 120 of the project's lifespan, beyond the life of the 35-year contract for difference assumption.

The key categories of assumptions used are listed in Annex B of the Department’s value for money assessment for the proposed programme of tidal lagoons.[1]

Test 2a of the assessment considered levelised cost, expressed in £/MWh terms, of the proposed lagoons over their full assumed asset life of 120 years.

Test 2b (costs of the GB power system) and Test 3 (household bills) assessed the proposed lagoons over the period to 2050. In these cases the costs of the lagoon were spread over the full 120 year asset life. This means that for a tidal lagoon commissioning in 2035, only 15 years’ worth of costs will have been factored in and compared to any benefits occurring over those same 15 years. This approach avoids a mismatch between costs and benefits in the value for money assessment.

[1] Available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assumptions were made in the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project value for money assessment on the number of green jobs that would be created by the fleet of tidal lagoon projects, starting at Swansea Bay.

The Department’s value for money assessment for the proposed programme of tidal lagoons[1] considered the wider benefits, including the value of jobs supported.

The estimated number of direct jobs underlying this part of the assessment peaked at around 18,000 FTE in any one year across the lagoon fleet. The number of direct jobs maintained across the lagoon fleet once construction had completed was estimated at around 1,000 FTE per year. Indirect jobs were also considered, with a range tested around 2 indirect jobs per direct job.

[1] Available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his Answer of 21 May 2020 to Question 46026, what was the assumed cost of capital used in the value for money assessment into Swansea Bay tidal lagoon published on 25 June 2018.

The value for money analysis undertaken by the Department used a range of different cost of capital assumptions. This included scenarios in the lower range using hurdle rates which were comparable to those for more established renewable energy technologies, such as solar PV, onshore wind and large hydropower.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to review the value for money assessment into Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in light of £200m loan from the Welsh Government.

The value for money assessment undertaken in 2018 took into consideration all potential public sector funding, including funding from the Welsh Government. The analysis concluded that the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and proposed programme of follow on lagoons did not meet the Government’s value for money criteria.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the Government's response to the Hendry Review into tidal lagoon power; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project being an electricity rather than a hybrid project.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the former Secretary of State made a statement to the House on Monday 25 June 2018 setting out our position on the support for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.

The Department published its summary value for money assessment in June 2018. A copy can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment

The Department’s analysis of the proposal considered the energy generation from the proposed project and follow-on programme of lagoons but also took account of potential wider economic benefits which might arise from it. The analysis concluded that it did not represent value for money. This remains the Department’s position.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the Hendry Review recommendation to enter a timely final-stage negotiation to explore robust and satisfactory terms that might be acceptable to both the developer and the Government.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the former Secretary of State made a statement to the House on Monday 25 June 2018 setting out our position on the support for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project.

The Department’s analysis of the proposal to generate electricity from the lagoon and the proposed follow-on programme of lagoons was that it did not represent value for money. This remains the Department’s position.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Hendry Review into tidal lagoon power, whether the Government plans to announce a programme to bring forward additional tidal projects.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the then Secretary of State made a statement to the House on Monday 25 June 2018 setting out our position on the support for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project. The Department’s analysis of the project and the proposed follow-on programme of lagoons was that it did not represent value for money.

The Government has said it is open to considering well developed, privately developed tidal range projects. However they must be able to demonstrate credibly that they would represent value for money.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what low carbon energy projects the Government is assessing to meet its net zero 2050 target.

Since 2010, over £94bn has been invested in clean energy in the UK and the Government has spent a total of £30.7bn on renewable electricity through the Renewable Obligations, Feed-in-Tariffs and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes. We recently set out ambitious plans at the Budget including investing £270m new funding for heat networks and £100m for heat pumps and biomass.

The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the government’s main mechanism for supporting new large-scale renewable electricity generation projects in Great Britain. We are continuing to improve the route to market for renewables by making up to £557 million available for CfD schemes. In the latest CfD allocation round, contracts were awarded to 12 renewable projects with the potential for nearly 6GW of new renewable capacity – enough to power over 7 million homes.

Our sustained support for clean energy has led to dramatic falls in the costs of some renewable technologies. The auction prices of offshore wind reduced by around two-thirds between the 2015 and 2019. The new projects and lower prices are another step towards decarbonising our energy system as we work toward net zero emissions by 2050, creating jobs and economic opportunities across the UK.

In addition, we are investing over £3 billion in low-carbon innovation through to 2021 – going beyond the £2.5 billion we committed to in the Clean Growth Strategy – and this investment will help to grow our low carbon economy. We are focusing our innovation spend where this can bring down the systems costs of delivering our climate targets and where the UK has expertise, building on our strengths in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and nuclear.

We will be focusing on continuing to develop our net zero strategy in advance of COP26 – including through strengthening our plans for decarbonisation in key sectors. We published the first phase of our transport decarbonisation plan on 26 March 2020, and will be setting out further plans including our forthcoming Energy White Paper later this year.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on exempting from the TV licence fee people over the age of 75 who are registered as partially sighted.

The Government is deeply disappointed with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC. The Government has said that the BBC must do more to support older people.

However, the Digital Economy Act 2017 provides that the future of the over-75s concession is the responsibility of the BBC, including whether it is extended to people aged over 75 and who are partially sighted.

TV Licence concessions are also available to people who are registered blind or severely sight impaired, and people living in qualifying residential care who are disabled or over 60 years old. There are no further concessions available for people with disabilities or other health conditions, and we are not considering changes to the current concessions regime at this time.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support his Department has provided to (a) Visit Bath and (b) other destination management organisations for the purposes of advertising in the national press.

The Government awarded funding to a number of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) for the purposes of participating in the Enjoy Summer Safely marketing campaign.

Awards of up to £400,000 were made to successful applicants that had marketing recovery campaign proposals in a high state of preparedness. The Cabinet Office administered the media spend on behalf of successful applicants.

DMOs have provided vital business support to local tourism organisations during this crisis, and will play a key role in helping our tourism industry recover. We will continue to monitor the situation in the tourism sector, and I encourage DMOs to keep sharing information with VisitEngland and my Department.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what projects in (a) Blackpool and (b) Lancashire have been allocated funding from (i) the Youth Accelerator Fund and (ii) the Youth Investment Fund.

Government is funding up to £7 million this financial year (2019/20) through the Youth Accelerator Fund, expanding existing successful projects delivering positive activities for young people, and to address urgent needs in the youth sector. This fund is being delivered through DCMS ALB's alongside UK Youth

UK Youth is distributing over £1 million in small grants to support grassroots organisations to deliver extra sessions in youth clubs and increase positive activities for young people across the country. 5 grants have been awarded to organisations in Blackpool and Lancashire totalling over £35,000.

DCMS ALBs are expanding their existing positive activities programmes, and Sport England as part of their Youth Accelerator Funding, have awarded funding to the Lancashire Boys and Girls Clubs who work across the whole of Lancashire.

We are investing £500 million over five years through the new Youth Investment Fund, which will be launching in 2020/21.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase tourism in (a) Blackpool and (b) Lancashire.

The £45m Discover England Fund supports the development of multiple internationally marketed tourism products in Lancashire. These include Marketing Lancashire’s campaign to encourage young adults from the Nordic region to explore the North West of England, and VisitBritain’s Gateway Partnership with Manchester Airport. This promotes Manchester as an international gateway to tourist destinations in the North West, including the Lancashire coast.

The Coastal Communities Fund supported the £1m Access Fylde Coast project to improve the visitor experience for people with disabilities along the Fylde coast and in Blackpool.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of eligible parents in Blackpool North and Cleveleys claim the Early Years Pupil Premium.

Data on the number and percentage of children registered to receive the funded early education entitlements is published in the 'Education provision: children under 5' national statistics release which can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-provision-children-under-5/2021.

The table shows the number and percentage (where available) of eligible 2 year old and 3 and 4 year old children registered to receive funded early education, extended funded early education, and those in receipt of early years pupil premium.

Data is not available at parliamentary constituency level, therefore it has been provided for Blackpool local authority.

Data is not held for the number of parents eligible for early years pupil premium or extended funded early education at local authority or parliamentary consistency level, therefore percentages cannot be provided.

Number and take up rate of eligible 2 year olds and 3 and 4 year old children registered to receive funded early education, extended early education and those in receipt of early years pupil premium January 2021 Blackpool local authority:

Number

Take up rate

Eligible 2 year olds funded early education

496

60%

3 and 4 year olds funded early education

2,900

87%

3 and 4 year olds extended early education

836

data not available

Early years pupil premium

295

data not available

Source: Early Years Census and School Census

  1. Children who split their entitlement across more than one private, voluntary, or Independent provider are only counted at the provider where they spend the majority of their time.
  2. 2021 is the first year of data covering COVID-19, collected during January's national lockdown. A higher proportion of children recorded as registered to receive early education entitlements will have been temporarily absent during census week itself than previous years.
  3. The estimated number of eligible two year old children is derived from data supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions each November. It represents the best data available on the number of children meeting the benefit and tax credit eligibility criteria. Since 2019 it includes universal credit recipients.
Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of families in Blackpool North and Cleveleys have taken up their entitlement to 15 hours of early education and childcare per week.

Data on the number and percentage of children registered to receive the funded early education entitlements is published in the 'Education provision: children under 5' national statistics release which can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-provision-children-under-5/2021.

The table shows the number and percentage (where available) of eligible 2 year old and 3 and 4 year old children registered to receive funded early education, extended funded early education, and those in receipt of early years pupil premium.

Data is not available at parliamentary constituency level, therefore it has been provided for Blackpool local authority.

Data is not held for the number of parents eligible for early years pupil premium or extended funded early education at local authority or parliamentary consistency level, therefore percentages cannot be provided.

Number and take up rate of eligible 2 year olds and 3 and 4 year old children registered to receive funded early education, extended early education and those in receipt of early years pupil premium January 2021 Blackpool local authority:

Number

Take up rate

Eligible 2 year olds funded early education

496

60%

3 and 4 year olds funded early education

2,900

87%

3 and 4 year olds extended early education

836

data not available

Early years pupil premium

295

data not available

Source: Early Years Census and School Census

  1. Children who split their entitlement across more than one private, voluntary, or Independent provider are only counted at the provider where they spend the majority of their time.
  2. 2021 is the first year of data covering COVID-19, collected during January's national lockdown. A higher proportion of children recorded as registered to receive early education entitlements will have been temporarily absent during census week itself than previous years.
  3. The estimated number of eligible two year old children is derived from data supplied by the Department for Work and Pensions each November. It represents the best data available on the number of children meeting the benefit and tax credit eligibility criteria. Since 2019 it includes universal credit recipients.
Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter dated 21 May 2021 from the hon Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on childcare support for student nurses.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to review the self-isolation requirements in educational settings before the new school year.

In line with Step 4 of the roadmap, nurseries, schools, and colleges are no longer routinely required to undertake contact tracing for pupils and staff. Instead, those who test positive will be subject to the normal test and trace process, which will identify close contacts.

From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old, and staff who are fully vaccinated, will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, they will be advised to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The Department encourages all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

18 year-olds will be treated in the same way as children up until four months after their 18th birthday to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated, at which point they will be subject to the same rules as adults. Therefore, if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.

Nurseries, schools, and colleges will continue to have a role in working with health protection teams in the case of a local outbreak. If there is a COVID-19 outbreak or if central Government offers the area an enhanced response package, a director of public health might advise a nursery, school or college to temporarily reintroduce some control measures.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on amending the school admissions code to enable summer-born children to start reception at five years old.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon Member in the time available before Prorogation.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the Ecorys evaluation of the 2019 Holiday Activities and Food Scheme with respect to free school meals eligibility.

Last year, we commissioned Ecorys to carry out an independent evaluation of our 2019 Holiday Activities and Food programme.

The report has been delayed due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak but it is now in the final stages and is being prepared for publication. We will continue to work with Ecorys on this and we expect their report to be published in the near future.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the ECORYS evaluation of the 2019 Holiday Activities and Food scheme.

Last year, we commissioned Ecorys to carry out an independent evaluation of our 2019 Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

The completion and publication of the final report has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. We continue to work with Ecorys on this and their report will be published at the earliest opportunity.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2020 to Question 47237 on Free School Meals: Blackpool, what criteria his Department used to assess bids for the summer 2020 schemes.

In October 2019, we announced £9 million for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2020 and invited organisations to bid to coordinate free holiday provision for disadvantaged children in a local authority area during the 2020 summer holidays.

All of the bids received were assessed against the criteria published in our ‘Invitation to bid’ which has been attached.

Each bid was then ranked according to their score and we selected the ten highest scoring bids for funding. The level of funding allocated to each successful bid was in line with the scale and nature of their proposed programme, as detailed in their respective bids.

We will publish the list of successful bidders for 2020 this month.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support the families of pupils on free school meals in Blackpool during the school summer holidays in 2020.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Blackpool Opportunity Area funded a summer activity with food programme across 6 of the most disadvantaged wards in Blackpool, combining healthy eating, arts and craft and sports with provision of food in the holidays in 2019. This included the development of a local authority, public health and community and voluntary sector partnership, which has continued enabling groups to work together to secure additional funding from the Sunday Times Christmas Campaign. Plans for this summer are not yet confirmed.

This summer, our holiday activities and food programme will ensure thousands of disadvantaged children in England have access to healthy meals and holiday activities – building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 programmes – and we remain committed to supporting children and families through the disruption caused by COVID-19. We will announce the successful local areas shortly.

In addition, the government continues to invest significantly each year on welfare benefits for people of working age, supporting people when they need it, including those who are out of work or on a low income. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the government’s package of support in response to COVID-19 is one of the largest in the world. We have increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by over £1,000 a year for this financial year, benefiting over 4 million households and increased Local Housing Allowance rates, putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets. Taken together, these measures provide over £6.5 billion of additional support through the welfare system for people affected by COVID-19, the biggest ever in Universal Credit.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department received a bid from Blackpool Council for the summer 2020 bidding round of the Holiday Activities and Food scheme.

A bid for funding for the 2020 Holiday Activities and Food programme was submitted by Blackpool Council.

We are now in the process of negotiating grant agreements with the successful bidders and we will announce the successful and unsuccessful areas publicly in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance on nutritional standards his Department issues to private contractors providing school meals.

The School Food Standards provide the legislative framework to ensure schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

Schools are responsible for their school meals service and how and where they choose to buy their produce. Compliance with the School Food Standards is mandatory for all maintained schools. We expect all academies and free schools to comply with the standards, and since 2014 we have made this an explicit requirement in their funding agreements.

Governors have a responsibility to ensure compliance and should appropriately challenge the headteacher and the senior leadership team to ensure the school is meeting its obligations. Guidance on the Standards, and further resources for schools, are available on GOV.UK.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to announce the locations that will receive funding through the Holiday Activities and Food scheme in 2020.

School summer holidays can be a particularly difficult time for some families due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes. That is why we have announced funding for the 2020 summer school holidays to again support children and their families with free access to holiday clubs across the country.

This follows our £9 million investment in 2019 which explored a model of local coordination of free holiday provision in 11 local authority areas.

We held a competitive bidding round for the summer 2020 fund which closed on 13 December. All bids were assessed against our published criteria and applicants needed to demonstrate that they could coordinate high-quality holiday clubs for children across their areas.

We will contact all bidders both successful and unsuccessful in the very near future.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which schools in (a) Blackpool and (b) Lancashire local authority areas have received funding through the National School Breakfast Programme.

The department is investing up to £35 million in the National Schools Breakfast Programme (NSBP) to kick-start or improve sustainable breakfast clubs in up to 2,450 schools in disadvantaged areas. This includes the recently announced extension to the NSBP which will support up to an additional 650 schools with up to £11.8 million being invested in 2020-21. Please find the list of participating schools from Blackpool and Lancashire attached.

Prior to the launch of the National Schools Breakfast Programme there was already a successful local authority scheme operating within Blackpool. The scheme, run through Blackpool Council, entitles all primary school children to a free breakfast.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the geographical location of looked-after children placed by their local authority in out-of-area placements.

The department collects two separate pieces of information in relation to placement location, the distance the child is placed away from their home postcode, and whether the placement is located inside or outside their responsible local authority. These figures were published in tables A4 and A5 of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

To calculate the distance the child is placed away from their home postcode, the department does collect some postcode information but coverage is not complete as in some instances distance is recorded instead. The department does not hold the full address of a child’s placement centrally.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding his Department has allocated to schools in Blackpool in each year since 2009-10.

??The revenue funding allocated for schools for financial years 2009-10 to 2018-19 for Blackpool local authority (LA) is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Blackpool LA (£ millions)

2009-10

98.6

2010-11

103.2

2011-12

102.9

2012-13

105.3

2013-14

114.6

2014-15

117.2

2015-16

117.8

2016-17

116.8

2017-18

118.4

2018-19

122.9

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are registered in Blackpool local authority as being home schooled.

The information requested is not held by the department. We do not currently collect data on the number of home-educated children.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. Almost 5000 responses were received to the consultation which closed in June 2019. They have now been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps will be issued in due course.

11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys of 6 December 2021 and 31 January 2022 regarding a constituent and feline microchipping.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the hon. Member. A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 17 March 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter of 30 November from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on behalf of his constituent regarding e-collars.

The hon. Member’s letter of 30 November was answered on 8 February 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has paid the Woodland Trust for delivering tree-planting and forestry projects in each of the last five years.

Defra has paid the Woodland Trust £5.5 million in total, over the last five years, since 2016/17. This has funded a wide range of activities including research, surveying and assurance, as well as tree planting schemes. Of the total, £3.8 million has been spent on tree planting in the Northern Forest.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to reduce the regulatory burden of plant inspections on the import of ornamental horticulture products from the EU.

Since the end of the transition period, Great Britain (GB) has operated its own sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime, which is focused on addressing the risks it faces. This regime includes risk-based import checks of plants, plant products and other objects to avoid the introduction of harmful plant pests and diseases. These risk-based checks are in line with WTO/SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act.

The UK Government took the decision to introduce SPS checks in phases, in order to protect GB biosecurity whilst also maintaining the efficient trade in goods such as plants and plant products. Therefore, checks of high-priority plants and plant products have been introduced first, from 1 January 2021, since they pose the greatest potential risk to GB biosecurity. The final phase of controls will come in from March 2022. Phasing in import controls over 15 months allows businesses time to adapt to the new requirements.

Defra also took the decision to delay the introduction of fees for import checks of high-priority plants from the EU for 5 months to give businesses more time to prepare and adjust to the new charging arrangements. During this time, Defra has communicated extensively with industry and stakeholder groups to ensure they are prepared for the new fees coming in.

On hops, Defra appreciates the concern that the inability to re-export third country hops and hop products to the EU is causing for hop merchants. Defra has raised the issue with the European Commission. We will inform stakeholders at the earliest opportunity if the position changes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what products imported from the EU requiring sanitary and phytosanitary inspections have had the fees for those inspections waived until 2022.

Plant health controls of goods imported into GB from the EU are being introduced in phases, aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Those goods which present the greatest potential biosecurity risk, ‘high-priority plants’, have been subject to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls since 1 January 2021. The selection of consignments for physical checks is risk-based, so that lower risk goods receive a lower frequency of checks. As such, fees need to be adapted to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs.

All other regulated goods are not subject to plant health controls until 2022, as such no fees are currently associated with these EU imports. Similarly, for other SPS goods, fees are only being charged at the point checks are being introduced, in line with the published timetable for the phased introduction of checks.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation the Government undertook with representatives of the ornamental horticulture industry on the introduction of fees for the inspection of plant and tree imports applicable from 1 June 2021 for plants and trees imported from the EU.

Defra took the decision to delay the introduction of fees for import checks of high-priority plants and plant products for 5 months to give businesses more time to prepare and adjust to the new charging arrangements. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. During this time Defra has communicated extensively with industry and stakeholder groups to ensure they are prepared for the new fees coming in.

It has long been UK Government policy to charge for many publicly provided goods and services. The standard approach is to set fees to recover the full costs of service delivery. This relieves the general taxpayer of costs, so that they are properly borne by users who benefit from a service. This allows for a more equitable distribution of public resources and enables lower public expenditure and borrowing. Defra plant health services operate in line with that principle and have done for many years.

Plant health fees are reviewed regularly and adjusted to ensure no under, or over, recovery of costs and amended as necessary. For instance, prior to the public consultation on the methodology for calculating plant health fees in 2017, costs for export certification services were being significantly under-recovered, and subsequently new fees were introduced in 2018 to eliminate the shortfall.

We do not anticipate the introduction of fees for high-priority plants and plant products from the EU to have a significant impact on the overall volume of imports of these goods. Businesses will, as they already have in some cases, adapt their operating model to minimise the fees they pay, e.g. through greater consolidation of consignments.

Demand for high-priority plants (largely ornamental garden plants) is especially high as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers choosing to spend more time and therefore money on their homes and gardens. Whilst this will prompt greater domestic production of these plants, which Defra supports, EU countries such as the Netherlands, will remain a key source due to their prominence in the global market and their geographical proximity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what financial impact assessment he has made of the effect on the ornamental horticulture sector of the introduction of fees for plant health import inspections applicable from 1 June 2021 for plants imported from the EU.

Defra took the decision to delay the introduction of fees for import checks of high-priority plants and plant products for 5 months to give businesses more time to prepare and adjust to the new charging arrangements. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. During this time Defra has communicated extensively with industry and stakeholder groups to ensure they are prepared for the new fees coming in.

It has long been UK Government policy to charge for many publicly provided goods and services. The standard approach is to set fees to recover the full costs of service delivery. This relieves the general taxpayer of costs, so that they are properly borne by users who benefit from a service. This allows for a more equitable distribution of public resources and enables lower public expenditure and borrowing. Defra plant health services operate in line with that principle and have done for many years.

Plant health fees are reviewed regularly and adjusted to ensure no under, or over, recovery of costs and amended as necessary. For instance, prior to the public consultation on the methodology for calculating plant health fees in 2017, costs for export certification services were being significantly under-recovered, and subsequently new fees were introduced in 2018 to eliminate the shortfall.

We do not anticipate the introduction of fees for high-priority plants and plant products from the EU to have a significant impact on the overall volume of imports of these goods. Businesses will, as they already have in some cases, adapt their operating model to minimise the fees they pay, e.g. through greater consolidation of consignments.

Demand for high-priority plants (largely ornamental garden plants) is especially high as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers choosing to spend more time and therefore money on their homes and gardens. Whilst this will prompt greater domestic production of these plants, which Defra supports, EU countries such as the Netherlands, will remain a key source due to their prominence in the global market and their geographical proximity.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to develop a trusted trader inspection regime for the ornamental horticulture sector for plants imported from the EU.

GB’s plant health regime is risk-based, and the history of compliance of specific trades (where the trade is the combination of a specific commodity from a specific origin), is a significant factor in determining biosecurity risk. Consequently, trades with a proven track record of compliance and meeting prescribed eligibility criteria may be subject to a reduced frequency or intensity of checks.

Whilst the biosecurity risk of imported goods is largely trade based, there are areas where trader considerations may also play a role. For example, as the phased introduction of EU-GB plant health import controls is completed in early 2022, Defra are exploring possible options for performing plant health controls away from the border on a longer-term basis, such as increased uptake in the use of designated plant health Control Points. Eligibility criteria to be designated as a Control Point may include elements consistent with a trusted trader model.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in EU member states on their respective phytosanitary processes with the aim of establishing plant and tree health import inspections at points of embarkation.

Defra officials have been looking at a wide range or measures to make the import of plants and trees as efficient as possible, without compromising our high biosecurity standards. There is regular dialogue between our plant health services and those of our key trading partners in the EU, including on e-certification most recently, which will streamline the exchange of phytosanitary certificates for the benefit of businesses and regulators alike.

As to checks at point of embarkation, there are legal limitations with locating GB officials in a different jurisdiction to perform statutory functions, and whilst internationally there are precedents for locating inspectors in other countries, these staff typically perform an audit and assurance role rather than performing pre-import checks. Consequently, we are not actively pursuing this option with trading partners now, but Defra officials will continue to work with stakeholder organisations and those that import regulated plants and plant products from the EU to ensure GB plant health controls work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress he has made on using provisions in the Agriculture Act 2020 to fund small abattoirs.

Defra recognises the contribution that small abattoirs make to local supply chains and that there are animal welfare benefits in shorter journey times to slaughter.

The Government is currently funding one mobile abattoir project through the Rural Development Programme for England as part of the Growth Programme. The project is farmer led and is aiming to be operational later this year.

We are also exploring potential opportunities under the Agriculture Act to fund small abattoirs that demonstrate a viable business model, meet the needs of the market and can clearly demonstrate delivery of public goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on licensing (a) livery yards and horse breeders and (b) animal sanctuaries.

The Government continues to take positive action to protect and improve the welfare of animals. Licensing schemes brought in since 2010 include The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010 and The Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012 which expired on 19 January 2020.

In addition, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations were introduced in 2018. These regulations were developed to help improve welfare standards across a range of activities involving animals including animal boarding and pet selling establishments, dog breeders and establishments exhibiting animals or hiring out horses. Further guidance on which activities might be considered in scope of requiring a licence to hire out horses can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936833/animal-welfare-licensing-hiring-out-horses.pdf

The recently published Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates our commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad. Our reform programme includes pursuing the licensing of animal sanctuaries and rescue and rehoming centres including for cats, dogs and horses. Defra has been engaging with rescue and rehoming organisations to understand their views and the possible impacts of regulating the sector. Any Proposals to bring forward licensing regulations will be subject to a consultation.

There are currently no plans to license horse breeders or livery yards (which provide stabling and grazing facilities for owners of horses and ponies) from an animal welfare perspective. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. The 2006 Act is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys, and their Hybrids. The Code provides information on considerations to be taken into account before deciding to breed from your horse. It also makes clear that owners are responsible for meeting the horse’s need for safe and suitable shelter and pasture, whether this is through a livery yard, rented land or land that you own. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what licensing schemes have been put in place for animal establishments since 2010.

The Government continues to take positive action to protect and improve the welfare of animals. Licensing schemes brought in since 2010 include The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010 and The Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012 which expired on 19 January 2020.

In addition, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations were introduced in 2018. These regulations were developed to help improve welfare standards across a range of activities involving animals including animal boarding and pet selling establishments, dog breeders and establishments exhibiting animals or hiring out horses. Further guidance on which activities might be considered in scope of requiring a licence to hire out horses can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936833/animal-welfare-licensing-hiring-out-horses.pdf

The recently published Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates our commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad. Our reform programme includes pursuing the licensing of animal sanctuaries and rescue and rehoming centres including for cats, dogs and horses. Defra has been engaging with rescue and rehoming organisations to understand their views and the possible impacts of regulating the sector. Any Proposals to bring forward licensing regulations will be subject to a consultation.

There are currently no plans to license horse breeders or livery yards (which provide stabling and grazing facilities for owners of horses and ponies) from an animal welfare perspective. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. The 2006 Act is backed up by the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys, and their Hybrids. The Code provides information on considerations to be taken into account before deciding to breed from your horse. It also makes clear that owners are responsible for meeting the horse’s need for safe and suitable shelter and pasture, whether this is through a livery yard, rented land or land that you own. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce methane emissions from agriculture.

Agriculture accounts for around 10% of the UK's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Emissions from methane (54%) and nitrous oxide (32%) make up the bulk of agriculture's GHG emissions. The most significant sources of emissions are due to enteric fermentation from livestock and from the use of fertilisers on agricultural soils.

Achieving our net zero target is a priority for the Government, and we are developing a range of measures to address it through the Agriculture Act, our future farming policy, the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our response to Henry Dimbleby's Independent Review of the food system and national food strategy review. All of these are aimed at enabling farmers to optimise sustainable food production, reduce emissions from agriculture and allow consumer choices to drive those changes.

We are also introducing three schemes that reward environmental benefits: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. Together, these schemes are intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and our commitment to Net Zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy. Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering public goods, including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

We recognise the contribution to GHG emissions made by the livestock and dairy sectors. Defra has worked with industry to reduce emissions through improved productivity and has already made progress in this space. Defra works with the NFU, CLA and other industry partners to support the industry led Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. We also continue to work in partnership with industry partners including AHDB on breeding strategies to reduce emissions from ruminant livestock, mainly through improved feed efficiency. Defra is exploring the potential for feed additives such as seaweed or methane inhibitors to reduce the environmental impacts of farming.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect peatlands.

We are committed to restoring and sustainably managing England's peatlands. The Chancellor announced in March 2020 that as part of the Nature for Climate Fund, 35,000ha of peatland restoration would be achieved over the next 5 years. This represents a significant step forward in our restoration efforts and will require us to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders.

We are taking action now to prevent further damage to protected blanket bog by bringing forward legislation that will limit burning of vegetation; and will be consulting later this year on measures to phase out the use of peat in horticulture.

The Government will be setting out further measures to restore, protect and manage England's peatlands this year as part of a package of measures to protect England's landscapes and nature-based solutions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles.

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The Government plans to undertake a second consultation on a DRS in early 2021. In preparation for that consultation, we are currently reviewing the proposed timeline for its introduction.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fixed penalty notices for littering have been issued by local authorities in each of the last 10 years.

Defra does not hold this data. Requirements for local authorities to report data on the number of fixed penalties issued for littering and other environmental offences were ended in 2010, in order to reduce reporting burdens.

Data on the number of prosecutions and convictions, including those related to offenses under section 87 EPA 1990, are published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2019

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse was of Government support for the Navigation Authorities to meet the costs of commercial boat licence and mooring fees for financial year 2020-21 arising from the covid-19 pandemic.

No specific support has been provided to navigation authorities to meet the costs of commercial boat license and mooring fees arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government is providing an unprecedented scale of wide-ranging financial support for businesses of all sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to feedback received, the Government introduced further support schemes particularly for smaller businesses that were finding it difficult to access the initial package. We are monitoring the impact that these measures are having in supporting public services, businesses and individuals, including the waterways sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether waterways businesses will be eligible for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund; and what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on that eligibility.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published detailed guidance for local authorities on the administration of the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund. The grant funding is specifically for small businesses that for whatever reason do not qualify for other COVID-19 support schemes. The guidance also sets out that the eligibility criteria for qualifying small businesses is not exhaustive, but is intended to illustrate for local authorities which types of business the Government considers should be a priority for the scheme.

Local authorities are encouraged to use this when deciding whether particular situations are broadly similar in nature to the examples given in the guidance and therefore eligible for grants, and to exercise their local knowledge and discretion to decide which cases to support, taking account of their relevance to the local economy. Waterways businesses are free to apply for grant funding.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has allocated funding to the establishment of nature recovery networks.

Biodiversity is a devolved matter and the information here relates to England only.

The Government announced in the recent budget an investment of up to £25 million in a Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Fund which will bring together businesses, landowners and local communities to protect and restore habitats, species and landscapes to allow nature to thrive everywhere.

That is not the extent of our ambition. We are bringing forward the first Environment Bill in over 20 years to lay the foundation for the NRN. It establishes spatial strategies for nature – Local Nature Recovery Strategies - that will help direct investment in recovery. It also makes provision for Biodiversity Net Gain, which will provide an important source of investment in the NRN.

In addition, the Nature for Climate Fund, also announced in the budget, will support natural habitats like woodlands and peat bogs. Our new Environmental Land Management scheme, underpinned by the Agricultural Bill, will reward farmers and other land managers for delivering environmental public goods, including thriving plants and wildlife. We are exploring, for example through our testing and trials programme, and the government’s recently published policy discussion document, how the scheme can support the NRN.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of trees are recognised as (a) ancient and (b) veteran in England and Wales.

Forestry is a devolved matter and so this answer is in relation to England only.

The Government does not have a statutory duty to collate numbers of Ancient and Veteran Trees. The Ancient Tree Inventory (ATI) currently lists 160,000 ancient, veteran and notable trees across the UK. The Natural England and Forestry Commission Standing Advice on Ancient Woodland, Ancient and Veteran Trees, available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ancient-woodland-and-veteran-trees-protection-surveys-licences, directs users to the Woodland Trust’s ATI which is collated by volunteers around the country at https://ati.woodlandtrust.org.uk/.

The Government updated the National Planning Policy Framework in 2019 to improve protection of ancient and veteran trees, noting that these are irreplaceable habitat and these should only be lost to development with wholly exceptional reasons and with a suitable compensation strategy in place. For more information you can visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework--2.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail on rail procurement.

The Williams Shapps Plan for rail will ensure we get the best from public and private sectors. New Passenger Services Contracts will reinvigorate the competitive market and Great British Railways will be able to work more effectively with private sector suppliers and partners across the sector.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys of 10 December 2021 and 31 January 2022 regarding a constituent and emergency vehicle training.

A response was sent to you on 18 March.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what exemptions exist for historic and classic vehicles with regard to the use of GB national identifier badges mounted on plates integral to a car's chassis when driving overseas.

The UK is party to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic which requires every motor vehicle in international traffic to display the distinguishing sign, also known as the national identifier, of the State in which it is registered. Since 28 September 2021, the national identifier for vehicles registered in the United Kingdom has been the letters UK. The Convention does not make provision for exemptions to this. Owners of historic and classic vehicles who do not wish to change the appearance of their vehicle may prefer to display removable magnetic ‘UK’ identifiers for use when driving overseas.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plan to reply to the letter of 29 June 2021 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on excessive vehicle exhaust noise.

The Department’s records indicate that a response to your letter of 29 June 2021 on excessive vehicle exhaust noise was issued on 5 July 2021 from Baroness Vere of Norbiton.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) period of time of track possessions undertaken by Network Rail consequential to the reduced passenger timetable as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what assessment he has made of the effect that those track possessions have had on the (i) Public Performance Measure and (ii) volume of delay minutes in the most recent quarter for which those figures are available.

While no estimate had been made, as part of Network Rail’s business as usual monitoring of the progress of its engineering work, of the number and period of time of track possessions undertaken consequential to the reduced passenger timetable as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak prior to this point, Network Rail has so far undertaken 38 additional possessions of various lengths, from single nights to two-week blocks. Opportunities to extend possessions have also been taken advantage of, such as the cancellation of first or last trains, or where services were thinned. The independent rail regulator, the Office for Rail and Road, has assessed Network Rail as having shown a strong response to the pandemic and that it has responded well to its challenges, in particular re-planning work to ensure continued and effective delivery throughout the past 12 months.

We do not hold information on the effect of track possessions on performance. The latest national public performance measure for the period 7 February to 6 March 2021 is 92.6%, compared with 83.9% for the same period last year.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2020 to Question 25061, on Aviation: Allergies, what steps has the Government taken over the past 12 months to provide improved clarity and consistency on how airlines operating in the UK assist nut allergy sufferers.

The Government continues to work with industry on this important consumer issue to ensure that passengers with nut allergies are safe and confident to fly.

The Government is continuing to develop a strategic framework for the recovery of the aviation sector, which will consider consumer issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the reduction in the number of high speed platforms from 18 to 16 at Euston on high speed services to (a) Stoke-on-Trent and (b) Preston.

Work is ongoing to develop an optimised design and delivery strategy for Euston Station, including consideration of opportunities, efficiencies and scope reductions to address identified cost pressures noted in the first HS2 six-monthly report to Parliament (October 2020). As part of this work, the Department and HS2 Ltd have, with the involvement of other partners including Network Rail, been investigating whether building the HS2 station in a single phase would speed up delivery and reduce the overall cost. This work is currently indicating that moving to a slightly smaller HS2 station at Euston would have some benefits in terms of reducing costs and risks.

This work will help inform the way forward, with a final decision expected in Spring 2021. Initial HS2 Ltd analysis indicates that a slightly smaller station will not preclude the future operation of high speed services to Stoke-on-Trent and Preston.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of Highways England's Historic Railways Estate body on the compatibility of that body's policy on infilling and demolition with his Department's Restoring Your Railways fund.

Discussions have taken place on an on-going basis between Department for Transport officials with the officials in Highways England who manage the Historical Railway Estate (HRE). In addition policy officials in DfT are working collaboratively to ensure opportunities for re-use of HRE assets are maximised where possible, whilst ensuring the safety of the public and, wherever practicable, enabling continued access for pedestrians and cyclists

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to complete the environmental impact assessment for Phase 2b of the High Speed Two project.

The results of the HS2 Phase 2b Western Leg environmental impact assessment will be published in the Environmental Statement at hybrid Bill Deposit. We are aiming for the Phase 2b WL Bill to be deposited in Parliament by early 2022 and sooner if possible.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Disruptive Passengers Working Group last met; and what steps his Department has taken to reduce disruptive behaviour on planes.

The Disruptive Passengers Working Group last met on the 8 May 2019. The Civil Aviation Authority utilised an industry-led forum from summer 2019 to March 2020 to engage with the sector on disruptive passenger issues.

The industry-led forum will meet again after the immediate challenges resulting from Covid-19 have been resolved.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to permit owners of (a) motor homes and (b) other leisure vehicles to be allowed to take them to workshops to carry out MOT tests.

All motorists are currently permitted to attend garages and MOT test centres for the purposes of obtaining an MOT test and other essential repairs to their vehicle.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure support for cross-Channel Eurostar services.

Ministers and officials, working with other Government Departments, have engaged extensively with Eurostar since March 2020 in relation to their financial situation and to help the company access Government support schemes where it is eligible and appropriate. We will continue to engage, at both official and Ministerial level, with Eurostar and the French government regarding Eurostar’s financial situation and any potential support proposals.

We will also work with the international travel industry, including Eurostar, through the relaunch of the Global Travel Taskforce and as we look to support the restart of wider international travel when it is safe to do so.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the guidance to avoid travel into and out of a tier 3 local covid alert level area on (a) the coach travel sector and (b) that sector's ability to access the expanded job support scheme for businesses legally required to close.

The Department regularly meets with the Confederation of Passenger Transport and representatives of the coach travel sector to assess the impact of travel guidance across local COVID alert areas and the sector’s ability to access financial support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what future discussions he has planned with the Global Travel Taskforce.

The Secretary of State for Transport jointly chairs the Global Travel Taskforce with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. They and other Ministers have very regular discussions about its work with officials and industry partners.

The Taskforce has undertaken extensive consultation with the transport industry, international partners, the tourism sector, business leaders, and the private testing sector, and invited submissions from all of these partners on its work.

The Taskforce will submit its recommendations to the Prime Minister in November.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions the Government has had with (a) Germany, (b) Canada, (c) the UAE and (d) other countries that are trialling or have put in place covid-19 testing regimes for international arrivals.

Through the Global Travel Taskforce the Government has engaged with a large number of international partners to develop a shared understanding of the challenges of restarting international travel, to exchange best practice, and to develop longer term structures for the future. These discussions have included different testing models for international arrivals, as well as non-testing-based measures designed to help restart international travel.

Additionally, we continue to work in ICAO to ensure global compliance and coordination with their ‘Take Off’ guidance and Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce recommendations on health measures.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the aviation (a) sector and (b) supply chain.

Before the impact of COVID-19, the UK aviation sector, including air transport and aerospace, directly employed around 230,000 people and supported around 500,000 jobs in total, including the jobs supported through its purchase of goods and services along its supply chain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a sharp contraction in aviation demand, which has created large revenue losses for airlines, airports and companies along the aviation supply chain. The sector has responded to falling revenues by taking action to cut costs.

The Department keeps impacts of Covid-19 on the transport sector under regular review and recognises the importance of the aviation sector to the UK economy. As a result, a series of measures have already been introduced.

The aviation sector can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

The Department also influenced the airport flight slot usage rules at the start of the pandemic, enabling airlines to cut their services without penalty and protect the environment from unnecessary flying.

The Government has also commenced a policy of ‘travel corridors’, a risk-based alternative to blanket self-isolation requirements with lower risk countries.

We are working with the sector to enable its restart.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on connectivity from each UK airport.

The Department has been speaking regularly to airport operators and airlines to understand the effect COVID-19 has had on connectivity as part of our engagement on restart and recovery in the sector.

We will continue to work closely with the industry, to understand how the aviation sector is recovering. This will support government in developing a clear recovery plan for aviation that considers the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on regional connectivity from each UK airport.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 47234, on Aviation: Coronavirus, if he will list what support has been provided to each UK airport since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19, and has been engaging regularly with airports throughout the UK to understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on their financial position.

Businesses across the industry, including airports, have been able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures put in place during this time. This includes a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, two business interruption loan guarantee schemes for different sizes of business, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

If airports find themselves in trouble as a result of coronavirus even following the Government’s cross-economy wage and financial interventions, the Transport Secretary and Chancellor have confirmed that the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted all other options. Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

Airports across the country are eligible and have accessed these schemes which has protected a substantial number of jobs across the industry. We do not comment on the commercial or financial matters of private firms and are therefore unable to say anything further.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer 26 May 2020 to Question 47233, on Aviation: Coronavirus, what assessment the Government has made of the effectiveness of measures taken by (a) Singapore and (b) South Korea to help prevent the spread of covid-19 from air travel.

We are working very closely with both Singapore and South Korea through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also collaborating closely with their Singaporean counterparts.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 47233, on Aviation: Coronavirus, what steps he is taking with (a) international partners, (b) ICAO and (c) IATA to establish a shared agenda on public health.

The UK has been working with a range of international partners to drive forward a shared agenda on public health and aviation through regular meetings and correspondence.

The UK is a member of the governing Council of ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CART brought together states and industry, including IATA, to develop guidance for the restart. This guidance, including on public health measures for aviation, was published by ICAO on 2 June.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 47235, on International Transport: Coronavirus, when he plans to publish a common international standard on screening measures for travel during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has not published a common international standard on screening measures for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the UK is a member of the governing Council of ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance, including on common screening measures for air travel, was published by ICAO on 2 June.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer 26 May 2020 on Question 47236, on International Transport: Coronavirus, what progress has been made with (a) the European Aviation Safety Authority, (b) the ICAO and (c) other international bodies on establishing a common international standard on screening measures for travel during the covid-19 outbreak.

While the UK is no longer involved in the development of EASA rules, the UK is an active participant in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), through which it engages with European partners to discuss common measures for air travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK is a member of the governing Council of ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance, including on common screening measures, was published by ICAO on 2 June.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 47236, on International Transport: Coronavirus, when he plans to publish potential common international measures for travel during the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK is a member of the governing Council of ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance, including on common international measures for air travel, was published by ICAO on 2 June.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has held with the aviation sector on the criteria to be used when carrying out the review of quarantine restrictions every three weeks.

The Department for Transport has engaged with the aviation sector on this issue and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. This includes working with senior representatives from the aviation industry as part of the Aviation Restart and Recovery Expert Steering Group. This group serves as the working group for the International Aviation Taskforce – one of five sectoral taskforces announced by the Government on 13 May to support the development of guidelines for safely reopening businesses.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the International Civil Aviation Organisation on introducing international protocols for the management of the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK is an active participant in ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Common international public health measures for aviation are discussed, and guidance was published by CART on 2 June.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Home Secretary on the principle of exemptions from quarantine measures introduced in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State has held extensive discussions about exemptions from self-isolation measures with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary. Details about those who are exempt from the self-isolation measures were published on 22 May. The list of?exemptions will be kept under regular review.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what economic impact assessment he has made of of quarantine measures in response to covid-19 outbreak on (a) airlines and (b) airports.

The Department for Transport has ensured the economic impact assessment, led by the Treasury, reflects the impacts the measures will have on the transport sector and the wider economy, and ensured specific and targeted exemptions to mitigate the impact.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with the International Civil Aviation Organization on the implementation of Government plans for quarantine for inbound air passengers.

Department for Transport (DfT) officials have been attending weekly International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task-Force (CART) which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This brings together states, multilateral organisations and industry bodies. Potential health measures for aviation, such as the planned mandatory self-isolation for inbound passengers, were discussed in both of these forums.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the governments of (a) Greece, (b) Spain, (c) France and (d) Italy on the practical operation of the proposed quarantine system for inbound travellers as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for Transport has had no such discussions with the Governments of those specific states about the operation of UK measures.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Manchester Airports Group on the introduction of a quarantine period for inbound UK passengers as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

My right hon. Friend, the Member for Welwyn Hatfield and I hold regular meetings with the aviation sector including Manchester Airports Group where self-isolation has been discussed.

The?Department for Transport?has?engaged with the aviation sector on this issue?and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.?This includes working with?senior?representatives?from the aviation industry as?part of the Aviation Restart and Recovery Expert Steering Group to which Manchester Airports Group has representation. This group serves as the working group for the International Aviation Taskforce – one of five sectoral taskforces announced by the Government on 13 May to support the development of guidelines for safely reopening?businesses.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Getlink plc on the introduction of a quarantine period for inbound UK Eurostar passengers as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Department for Transport has engaged in extensive discussions with senior officials at both Eurotunnel (part of Getlink Group) and Eurostar in the run up to and after the announcement made by the Prime Minister on Sunday 10 May. These discussions encompassed further measures at the border for international arrivals to safeguard public health, including the requirements for arriving passengers to self-isolate for 14 days.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal of 29 April 2020 submitted by the Confederation of Passenger Transport on support for the coach industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor announced £330 billion of loans and guarantees, to financially support businesses, such as coach operators, through this time. The measures include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Time to Pay and VAT deferral. The Department continues to work closely with the coach sector to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are, and how these could be addressed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether common international health standards for aviation can be agreed in order for the Government to be able to review its policy on the 14-day quarantine period for people entering the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is working closely with a range of international partners, including ICAO and IATA, to drive forward a shared agenda on public health measures for international travel. We are also monitoring closely measures already taken by other countries to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from air travel.

We are guided by the science on self-isolation requirements, which for now will cover all arrivals into the UK, bar a small number of exemptions. We will carefully consider if a risk based approach between countries is possible.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support he plans to provide to the UK aviation industry in light of the policy proposal for a 14 day quarantine for inbound passengers to the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

The aviation sector plays a key role in our future as a global trading nation, as well as playing a critical role in local economies.?However, it is important that we?actively?manage the risk of imported cases of coronavirus being introduced to the UK from overseas.?The?Prime?Minister has?set out the?need to ensure that we do not import new cases of Covid-19 as the UK’s R?rate?continues to decline. These measures,?which?we will be introducing in due course as part of the Government’s overall efforts, will help keep transmission in the UK as low as possible.

The Government continues to support businesses through one of the most generous economic packages provided anywhere in the world.? If businesses find themselves in severe and urgent financial difficulties, even following these unprecedented support measures, then we remain open to discussion about bespoke financial support, but only as a last resort. Any intervention would need to be on terms to protect the interests of taxpayers.

In time, the aviation sector will begin to restart and recover, and we are exploring measures that could be deployed in the aviation sector to ensure the public can be confident that flying is a safe and healthy way of travelling. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a common international standard on screening measures on travel during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is working with a range of international partners, including ICAO and IATA, to assess the impacts of the current crisis on international aviation. We recognise that aviation is a fundamentally international industry and thus common measures are highly desirable.

Through the newly established International Aviation Taskforce we aim to establish a baseline of measures in the form of government guidance, based on the available evidence, and for these to become widespread and well-understood, avoiding confusion and uncertainty for both industry and passengers.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had discussions with (a) the European Aviation Safety Authority, (b) the International Civil Aviation Organization and (c) other international bodies on achieving a common international standard on screening measures for travel during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is working closely with international partners through bodies such as ICAO and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) to discuss a wide range of Covid-19 pandemic issues. This includes discussions on potential common international measures for travel during the COVID-19 outbreak.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on classifying coach operators as leisure businesses for the purposes of covid-19 business support grants.

The Government has launched an unprecedented set of support measures to ensure that businesses, such as coach operators, have access to the funds they need to pay essential bills at this difficult time. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of October. Officials are engaging with both MHCLG and HMT to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are for the coach sector, and how these could be addressed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Government's support for coach operators during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has launched an unprecedented set of support measures to ensure that businesses, such as coach operators, have access to the funds they need to pay essential bills at this difficult time. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of October. Officials are engaging with both MHCLG and HMT to understand what the ongoing risks and issues are for the coach sector, and how these could be addressed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on sector-wide plans to help UK airlines tackle the effect of covid-19.

The aviation sector is important to the UK economy and will be able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

If airlines, airports or other aviation organisations find themselves in trouble as a result of coronavirus, even following the Government’s cross-economy wage and financial interventions, the Transport Secretary and Chancellor have confirmed that Government remains open to discussions about further cross-sector measures industry may suggest; and that any company can approach Government as a last resort, after exhausting the comprehensive package that have been put in place and all other options. Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the competitiveness of UK airlines of plans put in place by other European Governments to tackle the effects of covid-19 on their aviation industries.

The aviation sector is important to the UK economy and will be able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor. These measures will be essential to support the sector ensuring there is sufficient capacity to protect global travel routes, continue repatriation, freight and maintain vital connectivity.

Government has not yet undertaken a formal assessment of the impacts on competition of European support for airlines. We are committed to the recovery of the sector in order to ensure a global and connected Britain; support our levelling up agenda through regional connectivity and the strengthening of ties within the Union; enable strong sector competition on domestic and global levels; and provide critical infrastructure to support essential public services.

17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 March 2020 to Question 25060 on Disruptive Airline Passengers Working Group, what steps his Department has taken to reduce disruptive behaviour on planes.

The Government is supportive of industry’s collaborative efforts and recognises the good work they have done in tackling the problem of disruptive passenger behaviour, both at airports and on-board aircraft. The Government continues to work in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority, airports and airlines to consider measures needed to continue addressing this issue.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Disruptive Passengers Working Group last met; and if he will publish the minutes of that meeting.

The Government continues to work in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority, airports and airlines to consider measures needed to tackle the problem of disruptive passenger behaviour in aviation. The last cross-industry meeting with representatives from the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines, airports, the retail sector and the police was held on 8 May 2019. As this was organised by the Civil Aviation Authority, the Government holds no official minutes of this meeting.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to regulate the serving of nut-based products on flights operated by UK airlines.

The sale of nut-based products on board aircrafts is a commercial decision for individual airlines. However, the Government is pleased to note that a number of UK airlines have taken positive steps to ban nuts and nut products from their aircraft. We continue to encourage industry to take appropriate measures. Government also wants to see improved clarity and consistency in how airlines operating in the UK assist nut allergy sufferers.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on sustainable jet fuels in decarbonising aviation; and what assessment he has made of the potential for sustainable jet fuels to create green jobs.

To reduce the carbon emissions from aviation, the Government supports a range of measures, including efficiency improvements in technology, operations and air traffic management, use of sustainable aviation fuels and market based measures.

The Government is encouraging the production and use of sustainable alternative aviation fuels in the UK. The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) rewards renewable aviation fuels in the form of tradeable certificates. Since 2015, £11.5m of government money has been invested in the research and development of low carbon fuels, with £1.8m of this being for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF has received less research and development funding than other areas of aviation because the technology to produce SAF already exists.

Additionally, the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (the F4C) makes up to £20 million of capital funding available to projects that will produce low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and lorries. Analysis commissioned by the Department for the F4C suggests that the competition could stimulate up to 9,800 jobs by 2030, of which some will be involved in the SAF industry.

The Government is considering policies it can put in place to further assist the long-term uptake of sustainable aviation fuels. The upcoming aviation consultation on reaching net zero in the aviation sector will provide an opportunity to test such further policies.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding was allocated to research on sustainable aviation fuels in the last five years.

To reduce the carbon emissions from aviation, the Government supports a range of measures, including efficiency improvements in technology, operations and air traffic management, use of sustainable aviation fuels and market based measures.

The Government is encouraging the production and use of sustainable alternative aviation fuels in the UK. The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) rewards renewable aviation fuels in the form of tradeable certificates. Since 2015, £11.5m of government money has been invested in the research and development of low carbon fuels, with £1.8m of this being for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF has received less research and development funding than other areas of aviation because the technology to produce SAF already exists.

Additionally, the Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (the F4C) makes up to £20 million of capital funding available to projects that will produce low carbon waste-based fuels to be used in aeroplanes and lorries. Analysis commissioned by the Department for the F4C suggests that the competition could stimulate up to 9,800 jobs by 2030, of which some will be involved in the SAF industry.

The Government is considering policies it can put in place to further assist the long-term uptake of sustainable aviation fuels. The upcoming aviation consultation on reaching net zero in the aviation sector will provide an opportunity to test such further policies.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of levels of overcrowding at Waterloo station.

The Department publishes statistics showing overall passenger numbers and crowding levels on trains at selected major cities in England and Wales and central London stations in an annual publication titled ‘Rail passenger numbers and crowding on weekdays in major cities in England and Wales’.

The most recent statistical release, covering statistics for autumn 2018 is available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rail-passenger-numbers-and-crowding-on-weekdays-in-major-cities-in-england-and-wales-2018

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many recognised ancient and veteran trees are scheduled to be removed during (a) Phase 1, (b) Phase 2a and (c) Phase 2b of the High Speed 2 project.

To date we have identified 35 trees exhibiting veteran or ancient tree features that would need to be removed for Phase One.

The Phase 2a Environmental Statement (as amended) reports the loss of 38 known ancient or veteran trees on a precautionary basis.

The Environmental Impact Assessment has not yet been completed for Phase 2b, so we are unable to provide numbers of trees.

Approximately 0.39 square kilometres of ancient woodland will be lost between London and Crewe (Phase One and Phase 2a). HS2 Ltd aim to plant over 7 million new trees and shrubs along the line of Phase 1, including over 40 native species.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding is available from his Department to support local authority schemes on walking.

The detail of the funding that has been made available to local authorities and other organisations to support walking projects are set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Report to Parliament, published on 07 February 2020. The schemes that the Department has funded include projects to encourage walking to school, as well as improvements to infrastructure and the public realm to support walking in general. Further details will be announced at the Budget and Spending Review of the new funding for cycling and walking that was announced by the Prime Minister on 11 February 2020.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to take steps to ensure that workers earning less than £12,570 per year still obtain national insurance credits to obtain the state pension.

From July 2022, employees will pay no National Insurance on earnings below the Primary Threshold of £12,570 per year (£242 per week).

We have ensured that people with earnings below the Primary Threshold continue to have their entitlement to State Pension protected. Although the Primary Threshold, when people start making National Insurance Contributions, has increased from £190 to £242 per week, the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) remains at £120 per week. The LEL is the level of earnings above which people are treated as having paid National Insurance, even though they have not paid Contributions.

People with earnings from a single employer above the LEL, receive a Qualifying Year of National Insurance, which counts towards their State Pension eligibility. In addition, there is a wide range of National Insurance credits available, ensuring people can achieve the best possible State Pension outcome when they reach State Pension age.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will publish details of any land owned by his Department in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not own any land in the Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency, any DWP occupations in this area is by way of an agreed Lease.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with cystic fibrosis in England are in receipt of (a) universal credit, (b) income-related employment support allowance, (c) income-based job seekers allowance and (d) income support.

The information requested for Universal Credit and income-based Employment and Support Allowance is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Information is available for those on income-based Employment and Support Allowance with the main medical condition of ‘Diseases of the respiratory system’ here:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The information is not collected for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to reply to the letter of 21 June 2021, resent on 8 September 2021, from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, regarding the Personal Independence Payment application process.

A reply was sent to the Honourable Member on 02/11 2021.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of eligible universal credit claimants in Blackpool North and Cleveleys are claiming for childcare.

The number of households on Universal Credit and those with Child Care entitlement, broken down by Parliamentary Constituency, can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what his policy is on implementation of the recommendations of the Paul Maynard taskforce on inclusive apprenticeships published in July 2016.

The Government accepted all 14 recommendations put forward by the Maynard taskforce and have introduced legislation which allows for the minimum English and Maths requirements for apprenticeships to be adjusted for people with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to entry level 3.

We remain committed to ensuring that more people from underrepresented backgrounds undertake and achieve an apprenticeship and benefit from their progression opportunities.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the interaction between universal credit's minimum income floor and the requirement for self-employed universal credit claimants to report income monthly on the differential amount of universal credit received by self-employed claimants compared to employed claimants.

Self-employed earnings are reported on a simplified 'cash accounting' basis, which asks for the total income from receipts into the business and details of payments out of the business under defined categories during the assessment period. The requirements were designed to be as simple as possible in order for self-employed claimants to easily report their earnings. Most claimants now report monthly on-line, via their Universal Credit account, with a telephone service still available where additional support is required.

Company directors and those combining employed work with their self-employed activities may receive a salary using the PAYE system. All earnings processed through PAYE are reported automatically to the DWP through HMRC’s RTI feed. Monthly reporting of earnings and other income is a fundamental part of the design of Universal Credit and allows the Universal Credit award to be adjusted on a monthly basis to reflect the circumstances of the household.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2020 to Question 76930, what progress has been made in laying the remedial order governing (a) widowed parent's allowance and (b) bereavement support payment.

We are currently considering the detail and implementation of the draft remedial order and will update the House in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many unpaid carers lost eligibility for carer's allowance as a result of increased minimum wage payments in the 2019-20 financial year.

The Carer’s Allowance earnings limit is not linked to the number of hours worked or the level of “minimum wage” payments. Therefore, the department does not routinely collect information on whether those claiming Carer’s Allowance are being paid at those levels and so the information requested is not available.

The earnings limit is set at a level that aims to encourage those who give up full time work in order to undertake caring responsibilities to maintain a link with the labour market through some part time work. The Carer’s Allowance weekly earnings limit has increased by nearly a third since 2010 (from £100 to £128 net earnings per week), reflecting an increase in average earnings in recent years. These increases have helped ensure that the earnings limit has maintained its value.

The department is currently undertaking research which will touch on carers employment and potential barriers to them working. We will look at the findings from the research and other evidence and arguments with an open mind, and would consider changes to the way the earnings limit is calculated if they were deemed to be necessary and affordable.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will uprate the earnings limit for claiming carers allowance in line with the minimum wage.

The Carer’s Allowance earnings limit is not linked to the number of hours worked or the level of “minimum wage” payments. Therefore, the department does not routinely collect information on whether those claiming Carer’s Allowance are being paid at those levels and so the information requested is not available.

The earnings limit is set at a level that aims to encourage those who give up full time work in order to undertake caring responsibilities to maintain a link with the labour market through some part time work. The Carer’s Allowance weekly earnings limit has increased by nearly a third since 2010 (from £100 to £128 net earnings per week), reflecting an increase in average earnings in recent years. These increases have helped ensure that the earnings limit has maintained its value.

The department is currently undertaking research which will touch on carers employment and potential barriers to them working. We will look at the findings from the research and other evidence and arguments with an open mind, and would consider changes to the way the earnings limit is calculated if they were deemed to be necessary and affordable.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the Local Restriction Support Grant paid by local authorities to businesses is taken into account for self-employed tax credit claimants but not for self-employed universal credit claimants.

The tax credits system is designed to work closely alongside the tax system. This is why the general measure of income for assessing claims to tax credits is any income which is charged to income tax.

The Local Restriction Support Grant is a taxable payment made to businesses. As such, it is considered as income for tax credits purposes. This is consistent with other forms of taxable business support available during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the Self-Employment Income Support Grant and Small Business Grants.

DWP legislation provides that Covid-19 related grants which are intended to cover loss of business income and to aid business recovery, will be disregarded for Universal Credit purposes for 12 months.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much was paid in local housing allowance in the Blackpool local authority area in financial year 2019-20.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit expenditure by local authority can be accessed here:

The figure is available in tab 2019-20, column U, row 49.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/921385/hb-and-ctb-by-la-2019-20.ods

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council has made on its review of lung cancer and COPD in former employees in the health and beauty industry.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (“IIAC”) is independent of Government. IIAC have commissioned a review of respiratory conditions which will soon be underway and will be guided by its outcome when making any recommendations for changes to the appropriate prescriptions. As part of this, they will ensure that the review of occupational causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease will include hairdressing and hair products.

IIAC is in the process of tendering for an external contractor to carry out the commissioned review, it expects a successful bidder to be appointed late Spring 2021 and the review is expected to take two years to complete.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on implementing the decisions made at the Serious Case Panel meeting of 2 July 2020 on the Customer Dissatisfaction workstream.

The Department will be reporting on the implementation of the recommendations agreed by the Serious Case Panel in this year’s Annual Report and Accounts. The Panel continues to consider the serious issues arising from cases and other insight that affect the DWP customer experience. The Serious Case Panel has now met four times and is due to meet again this month. The Panel has made great progress over the last year, already making changes to the way in which we support our most vulnerable customers. We will continue to publish the minutes following each meeting of the Panel on gov.uk.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will commission a study from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council on (a) the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among former employees of the health and beauty industry and (b) their potential eligibility for industrial injuries disablement benefit.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is proposing to commission a comprehensive review and evaluation of the literature, including epidemiology, on work-related malignant and non-malignant respiratory diseases, primarily focussing on lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), to inform, update or potentially expand the industrial injuries scheme. The proposal is in its early stages, the tendering process to appoint a suitably qualified organisation to carry out the research was delayed by the coronavirus crisis and lockdown, but will be resumed as soon as practically possible.

We carefully consider any recommendations made by the IIAC and wider stakeholders. Should IIAC recommend further changes to the list of prescribed diseases, we would of course treat this with careful consideration.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the £20 hardship payment allocated to universal credit claimants was not also allocated to legacy Jobseeker's Allowance claimants.

The Government has announced a suite of measures that can be quickly and effectively operationalised to benefit those facing the most financial disruption during the pandemic. The Department is experiencing significantly increased demand and has to prioritise the safety and stability of the benefits system overall. The IT system which supports Universal Credit has more capacity to make the necessary changes than the systems that support legacy benefits. It also uses different technology from other DWP systems and these older systems have complex interactions and interdependencies.

We estimate that 2.5m households receiving Universal Credit will benefit straight away from the increase in the standard allowances which was announced on 20 March, and which is additional to the planned annual uprating. New claimants who have either become unemployed, or whose earnings or work hours have decreased because of the outbreak, will benefit too; subject to their eligibility.

We have also made a number of changes to legacy and other working age benefits in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including increasing certain entitlements, such as Local Housing Allowance. Up-to-date information about the employment and benefits support available, including Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, New style Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Employment and Support Allowance, can be found here: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support/

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to be a rapidly evolving situation and we are keeping it under review.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department's Cycle to Work scheme offers only interest free loans and not the additional reductions in the cost of bicycles as offered by other Government departments.

DWP offers its employees access to two schemes: an advance of salary to purchase a bicycle and a Cycle to Work scheme, which allows employees to sacrifice part of their salary in exchange for a discounted bicycle and safety equipment. This initiative is governed by the Department for Transport and is similar to schemes run by other Government Departments.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason income from student maintenance was disregarded for the purposes of calculating Child Tax Credits.

Tax credits are designed to be closely aligned with the tax system, and therefore generally only take into account taxable income. As student loans are not liable to income tax, they are not included in the calculation of income for tax credits purposes.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason student maintenance income is taken into account for universal credit purposes but not for child tax credit purposes.

Tax credits are designed to be closely aligned with the tax system, and therefore generally only take into account taxable income. As student loans are not liable to income tax, they are not included in the calculation of income for tax credits purposes.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people were in persistent poverty in each of the last five years.

Statistics on persistent low income are published annually in the “Income Dynamics” publication. This data can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-dynamics-2016-to-2017, in the ‘persistent low income trends’ file in Table 1.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners over the age of 80 are in receipt of the state pension.

In August 2019, the latest date for which data are available, there were 3,572,109 persons aged 80 years and above in receipt of State Pension.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her policy is on maintaining benefit payments in cash form to claimants.

The Departments payment policy does not include cash payments. This policy outlines that the standard method of payment is into a bank, building society, credit union account, internet based and basic bank account. There are also two payment exception services (Post Office card account and HMG PES) that enable individuals who cannot manage a standard bank account, access to their money from various outlets. When the contracts for these services end, a replacement service will be introduced.

We are committed to ensuring that those who need cash payments will be able to access them in their local area and that an over the counter face to face service will remain available.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent staff worked in the Office for Disability Issues on 1 June 2019.

There were 15.5 full-time equivalent staff working in the Office for Disability Issues on 1 June 2019.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the minutes of each meeting of the Independent Serious Case Panel.

We are absolutely committed to improving our services, especially to the most vulnerable, which is why we have set up the Serious Case Panel. The panel was developed to take themes and systemic issues that come out of various case reviews and make recommendations for improvements.

More information about the Serious Case Panel will be published in due course.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when an annual progress report in respect of the Fulfilling Potential Outcomes and Indicators Framework was last published.

The last progress report for the Fulfilling Potential Outcomes and Indicators Framework was published in November 2015 and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fulfilling-potential-outcomes-and-indicators-framework-second-annual-progress-report

We want to achieve practical changes for disabled people, which remove barriers and increase opportunity. The Government has committed to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much was paid in local housing allowance in the Blackpool local authority area in financial year 2018-19.

Local Housing Allowance is used to calculate the maximum amount of Housing Benefit payable to claimants.

In 2018/19 the amount paid under the Local Housing Allowance Scheme for Housing Benefit claimants in the Blackpool local authority area was £51 million. This excludes the equivalent paid out in Local Housing Allowance for Universal Credit claimants, which is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will amend the prescription charge medical exemptions list to include (a) cystic fibrosis and (b) other long-term conditions.

We have no current plans to do so. Approximately 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and there are arrangements in place to help those with the greatest need. Eligibility depends on the patient’s age, whether they are in qualifying full-time education, whether they are pregnant or have recently given birth, or whether they are in receipt of certain benefits or a war pension. Those with cystic fibrosis or another long-term condition may meet the eligibility criteria for prescription charge exemptions and be in receipt of free prescriptions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the correspondence of 1 February 2022 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on vaccine mandates in the private sector on behalf of a constituent.

We replied to the hon. Member on 18 May 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he will respond to the correspondence of 1 February 2022 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on vaccine mandates in the private sector on behalf of a constituent.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the progress of individual companies in meeting the 2024 salt reduction targets will be published in the 2022 update on those targets.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities monitors the food industry’s progress towards achieving the 2024 salt reduction targets. The first report on the food industry’s progress is expected later in 2022, which will include analysis of industry progress at sector and individual business level. Options will be considered should a continued voluntary approach demonstrate insufficient progress by 2024.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what penalties will be imposed on companies that fail to meet the 2024 salt reduction targets.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities monitors the food industry’s progress towards achieving the 2024 salt reduction targets. The first report on the food industry’s progress is expected later in 2022, which will include analysis of industry progress at sector and individual business level. Options will be considered should a continued voluntary approach demonstrate insufficient progress by 2024.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency plans to restore its product registration tracking website.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s product tracking website Sentinel remains live and is updated regularly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what powers the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has to regulate the production of e-liquids for vaping products in domestic settings.

The Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the competent authority to manage the notification system for vaping products in the United Kingdom. The MHRA monitors imported e-liquids used in vaping products through this system but has no powers to regulate their production in domestic settings.

Businesses supplying vapes and e-liquids to the UK market must ensure their products comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), including relating to the safety of their products. Local trading standards have enforcement powers to remove non-compliant products. There are no current plans to further regulate or restrict the artificial colouring of e-liquids beyond what is contained in the TRPR for product requirements.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to (a) regulate or (b) restrict the artificial colouring of e-liquids used in vaping products.

The Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the competent authority to manage the notification system for vaping products in the United Kingdom. The MHRA monitors imported e-liquids used in vaping products through this system but has no powers to regulate their production in domestic settings.

Businesses supplying vapes and e-liquids to the UK market must ensure their products comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), including relating to the safety of their products. Local trading standards have enforcement powers to remove non-compliant products. There are no current plans to further regulate or restrict the artificial colouring of e-liquids beyond what is contained in the TRPR for product requirements.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what monitoring is undertaken on the safety of imported e-liquids used in vaping products.

The Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the competent authority to manage the notification system for vaping products in the United Kingdom. The MHRA monitors imported e-liquids used in vaping products through this system but has no powers to regulate their production in domestic settings.

Businesses supplying vapes and e-liquids to the UK market must ensure their products comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), including relating to the safety of their products. Local trading standards have enforcement powers to remove non-compliant products. There are no current plans to further regulate or restrict the artificial colouring of e-liquids beyond what is contained in the TRPR for product requirements.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to include vaping products within the scope of Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.

There are no plans to bring vaping products in scope of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002. Advertising restrictions for e-cigarettes are outlined in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. As part of our Smokefree 2030 plans, we are exploring a range of regulatory measures to prevent children and young people from using vaping products.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the risk to public health of the provision of samples of free vaping products to people under the age of 18.

There are no plans to bring vaping products in scope of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002. Advertising restrictions for e-cigarettes are outlined in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. As part of our Smokefree 2030 plans, we are exploring a range of regulatory measures to prevent children and young people from using vaping products.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people with cystic fibrosis in England over the age of 18 are exempt from prescription charges.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter of 30 November 2021 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on behalf of a constituent regarding covid-19 vaccinations.

I replied to the hon. Member on 2 February 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter of 23 November 2021 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on behalf of a constituent regarding social care.

We replied to the hon. Member on 8 February 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he has issued to Clinical Commissioning Groups on implementing the four week discharge to assess pathway standard that has been implemented as a result of covid-19.

Discharge funding currently supports up to four weeks of new or additional recovery care depending on the individual needs of the person being discharged. This is described in the discharge policy for all providers and commissioners, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hospital-discharge-service-policy-and-operating-model

There is no four-week standard for discharge practices, as the majority of people do not require additional care at the point of discharge or often require less than four weeks of care.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average list size of patients is per full-time equivalent GP in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held centrally, as general practice workforce data is not collected by constituency.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Food Standards Agency oversight of the provision of allergen information by home-based food businesses.

The Department has made no such assessment. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is a non-Ministerial department which acts independently as a food safety regulator. The FSA has responsibility for the regulation of food allergen information and issuing guidance to food businesses and local authorities on the proper implementation and monitoring of allergen information regulations.

Oversight of business compliance with requirements on the provision of allergen information lies with local authority food officers. Local authority food officers will assess a food business’ level of compliance with the allergen information requirements and provide advice or take corrective action where non-compliance is identified.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who took part in covid-19 vaccine trials for products not yet approved are able to (a) certify their vaccine status and (b) access alternative vaccines through the NHS.

The Government is working with clinical research sites to add participant information of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials into the National Immunisation Management Service, in order to allow participants to access their NHS COVID Pass for both domestic and international travel purposes.

When a former COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participant becomes eligible for a vaccine currently in deployment, they may ask for the trial to be unblinded. If they have received two placebo doses, they may freely take up the vaccine doses offered to them. If they have received only one dose and a placebo, or are yet to receive a second dose, they may receive an additional dose of the trialled vaccine if agreed by and available from the clinical trial sponsor or receive a single dose of a vaccine approved and currently in deployment, with the acknowledgement that safety data on the combination of the different vaccine is not yet available. If they have received two doses of the vaccine, they will not need additional doses under current guidance.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) regulate providers of covid-19 testing and (b) help ensure that companies deliver testing kits on the dates promised.

Those providers listed on GOV.UK have declared and evidenced compliance with the relevant minimum standards for their commercial provision of testing, including participating in the three-staged United Kingdom Accreditation Service process if they are providing sample collection and/or test analysis services.

The Department is working closely with private providers to ensure appropriate standards of performance are met. Providers’ performance is continually monitored including their ability to provide samples, analysis and report results on time. The Department takes rapid action when providers deliver inadequate services. This includes providers receiving a five-day warning to demonstrate they have rectified their service and if they do not, they are removed from the appropriate GOV.UK list.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to standardise accessibility to GP services for deaf patients and ensure GP surgeries meet their responsibilities under the Accessible Information Standard.

All National Health Service providers are required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in the Equality Act 2010 and the Accessible Information Standard to ensure that deaf people who wish to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) when accessing NHS services can do so.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also commissioned a rapid review into access to BSL interpretation in NHS services which is nearing completion. The review will set out clear steps to support NHS providers to meet their responsibilities to deliver access to BSL interpretation. Under the General Medical Service and Personal Medical Service regulations, practices are required to ensure that their premises are suitable for the delivery of essential services and that these services are sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of their patients, including those with disabilities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to replace EU Additives Regulation 1129/2011 to permit sugar reformulation using sweeteners in breakfast cereals as part of the tackling obesity strategy.

The retained European Union Regulation 1333/2008 governs the use of food additives in food. This legislation already permits the use of several sweeteners in energy reduced or no added sugar breakfast cereals, which can form part of a healthy balanced diet.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the introduction from 15 February 2021 of requirements for all passengers travelling to England to take mandated covid-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of the quarantine period, how many and what proportion of those passengers have tested positive for covid-19 on (a) day 2 and (b) day 8 of that quarantine period; and how many of those positive test results identified a variant of concern to the Government.

Data relating to testing within the managed quarantine scheme is not yet available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to regulate the provision of allergen information by home-based food businesses.

The provision of allergen information by home-based food businesses is regulated by local authority food officers. During an inspection, officers will assess a food business’ level of compliance with allergen information requirements and provide advice or take corrective action where non-compliances are identified. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued guidance to local authorities in November 2020 to support the consistent regulation of the provision of allergen information. To help and support home-based food businesses, the FSA has published guidance specifically targeted at starting a business at home during COVID-19. The FSA’s ‘Here to help food businesses’ provides detailed information on allergen management.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase funding for research into Alzheimer's disease.

The Government’s 2020 Dementia Challenge contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early, with £344 million spent on dementia research over four years to 2019. We are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia at all stages on the translation pathway including medical and care interventions.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter of 28 October 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on NHS test and trace.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter of 5 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on hospital communications for the visually impaired raised on behalf of a constituent.

We are working to provide all Members and external correspondents with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter of 26 October 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on access to dental and GP services.

We replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 11 February 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on the delivery of NICE guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of pernicious anaemia.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines provide comprehensive, evidence-based guidance for the health and care system on best practice in a defined area. They are developed by experts based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and through extensive engagement with interested parties, including patient groups.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are mainly responsible for the referral of clinically-focused guideline topics to NICE. NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked NICE to develop a guideline on pernicious anaemia. This was commissioned on 9 March 2020 and further information on timescales will be available on NICE’s website in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce waiting times for NHS hospital appointments for cancer patients in Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency.

In December 2019 (latest data) performance at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust against the two week wait from general practitioner (GP) referral to seeing a cancer specialist standard was 94.6%, better than the 93.0% performance standard. Performance against the 31 day wait from diagnosis to first treatment for cancer was also better than the performance standard (96%), at 99.3%.

However, performance against the 62 day wait standard for GP referral to a first treatment for cancer (85% standard) was not met and therefore a detailed full cancer pathway performance recovery plan has been developed. This forms part of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s wider single improvement plan and is supported by the Trust Cancer Board to improve cancer waiting times. Specific actions being progressed include:

- Redesigning the prostrate pathway to enable faster diagnosis, by introducing a one stop clinic and MRI scanning;

- A system wide risk summit for Bowel Screening took place in November 2019 and actions to improve continue to be progressed;

- Robustly managing the patient tracking list for all cancer cases; and

- Review of multi-disciplinary team clinics are taking place to increase patient flow efficiency.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of infant mortality in Blackpool over the last 10 years.

Public Health England provides an assessment of trends in infant mortality for each upper-tier local authority in England where it is statistically possible to do so. This information is updated annually and included in child health profile snapshot reports.

Data for Blackpool Unitary Authority shows an annual rate of between 4.9 and 6.5 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births over the past ten years. In the period 2016-18, the rate was 6.0 per 1,000. No statistically significant trend in the rate of infant mortality has been found in Blackpool. This can be viewed in the Public Health Outcomes Framework at the following link:

https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/child-health-profiles/data#page/1/gid/1938133228/pat/6/par/E12000002/ati/102/are/E06000009

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many (a) Pashto (b) Korean (c) Portuguese and (d) Telugu speakers have been trained for the diplomatic service by her Department in each of the last 5 years.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has provided full time language training for officers in Pashto, Korean, and Portuguese as follows:

Pashto: fewer than ten officers between 2017 and 2021

Korean: fewer than ten officers between 2017 and 2021

Portuguese: fewer than forty officers between 2017 and 2021.

No officers have received full time language training in Telugu.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department plans to review its travel advice against all but essential travel before the introduction of the test and release scheme.

From 5 November, the FCDO moved away from advising against all non-essential international travel, returning to country specific advice. We retained advice against all but essential travel to a number of countries based on risks due to Covid-19. FCDO travel advice remains under constant review and considers both the epidemiological and non-epidemiological risks associated with Covid-19 in each destination. When the FCDO no longer assesses the risks to British nationals to be unacceptably high, travel advice is updated accordingly.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department's travel advice will be updated to reflect changes in the Department for Transport's guidance on travel corridors.

From 5 November, the FCDO stopped advising against all travel worldwide and reverted to country-based advice. FCDO travel advice remains under constant review and considers both epidemiological and non-epidemiological risks in each destination. When the FCDO no longer assesses the risks to British nationals to be unacceptably high, travel advice is updated accordingly.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with which international counterparts he has held discussions on the establishment of air bridges.

A list of countries and territories from which passengers arriving in England will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days was published on 3 July. This follows the Government's first review of public health measures at the border, which were introduced in June 2020. The Government has always been clear that any decisions on border measures will be proportionate and science-led.

We are continuing to engage with all partners on all aspects of the global response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts from (a) Australia, (b) EU member states and (c) New Zealand on the establishment of air bridges.

The Government is considering the concept of international travel corridors, including air bridges, and how they could be implemented in practice along with other measures. We want to open up as a country as soon as we responsibly and safely can, but we have to do it safely and responsibly. We are, of course, continuing to engage with all partners on all aspects of the global response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

16th May 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys of 9 February 2022 on behalf of constituents regarding energy rebates.

I have responded to the hon. Member.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to provide for increasing Government-funded debt advice.

The Government recognises the vital role that debt advice providers play in helping people in vulnerable circumstances. This is why the Government provided record levels of debt advice funding to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) for free-to-client debt advice provision in England in 2020/21 and 2021/22. The Government and MaPS remain committed to help individuals in problem debt get their finances back on track, especially as some now face new challenges in the shape of the sharp rise in inflation.

On 14 February, MaPS confirmed funding levels for debt advice services in England over the next three financial years. Its budget for the delivery of frontline debt advice provision in England has risen to £76 million for each of the next three financial years (subject to the usual annual budget setting by the Government), recognising an anticipated increase in the need for debt advice. This represents a significant increase from pre-pandemic levels of funding, which totalled £43 million in 2019/20.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many complaints his Department has received about deeds or letters of assignment in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22 to date; and what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of HMRC's complaint handling procedure in respect of the validity of a deed or letter of assignment.

The table below shows the complaints relating to Deed of Assignment received over the last 3 years at each complaints stage. Please note there could be small numbers of additional complaints which have not clearly been designated within HMRC’s complaints handling system, but which do relate to the same issue. A manual review would be required to identify those additional complaints, which was not possible in the time available.

Tier 1

Tier 2

Adjudicator

2019-20

137

4

0

2020 -21

272

9

3

2021 - YTD

338

19

1

Following an increase in complaints in relation to the validity of deeds or letters of assignment, HMRC has reviewed its complaint handling for these cases. Following a review with appropriate stakeholders, HMRC investigates by:

  • Obtaining the history of the case and as many facts as possible from the customer. Where the customer does not believe they completed an assignment or are unhappy with the service they received, including the fees they were charged, they initially ask them to take that up with the company. HMRC suggest what information they should obtain from the agent, such as the IP address the assignment was sent from. Unfortunately, customers do not always recall or realise what they have signed up for.
  • Contacting the agent concerned to obtain their version of events if the customer has not been able to contact the agent or does not receive a response. HMRC may also contact the agent if the customer remains dissatisfied.
  • Reaching a balanced view about what has happened and what action needs to be taken next.

HMRC do not accredit or in any way approve agents and take firm action against any who are not complying with the law.

HMRC has announced its intention to run a consultation this year on ways to tackle the high costs to customers who claim tax refunds. The consultation is part of HMRC’s work on raising standards in the tax advice market. A range of individuals and consumer interest groups have raised concerns that customers are being charged excessive amounts by some agents for claiming routine tax repayments on their behalf and that the terms under which services are provided are not made clear. The aim of the consultation is to seek wider views on the scope of the problem and consider potential solutions.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many deeds or letters of assignment have been sent to HMRC to be lodged on taxpayer records in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22 to date; how many of those deeds or letters of assignment have been passed to HMRC's Solicitor's Office and Legal Services to check for validity; and how many were subsequently rejected as invalid.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be obtained, compiled, and collated at a disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many income tax refunds were paid directly to third party agents instead of taxpayers in accordance with a deed or letter of assignment; and what the total value of those refunds was in each of the financial years (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20, (c) 2020-21 and (d) 2021-22 to date.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be obtained, compiled, and collated at a disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many payments were made to the Government's Donations and Bequests Account in respect of the National Debt in financial year 2020-21; and what the value of those payments was.

In the financial year 2020-21 there were 17 payments made to the Government’s Donations and Bequests Account in respect of the National Debt and the total value of those payments was £565,348.96.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of bank closures on local communities.

The decision to close a branch is a commercial issue for banks and building societies and the Government does not intervene in these decisions or make direct assessments of the impact of closures.

However, the Government does believe that the impact on communities should be understood, considered and mitigated where possible. That is why the Government continues to be supportive of the Access to Banking Standard which commits firms to ensure customers are well informed about branch closures, the bank’s reasons for closure and options for continued access to banking services. These include the Post Office, which allows 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers to carry out their everyday banking at 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK.

In September 2020, the FCA also published guidance setting out its expectation of firms when they are deciding to reduce their physical branches or the number of free-to-use ATMs. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of a planned closure on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs, and other relevant branch services and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This will ensure the implementation of closure decisions is undertaken in a way that treats customers fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many small businesses rely on cash to function in the UK.

Research commissioned by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2019 found that over half of small businesses accepted cash while it accounted for only 14% of their income on average.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cash usage in the short-term and is likely to have accelerated the longer-term trends of declining cash use. However, it is too early to determine the lasting effect. In November 2020, the Bank of England published their Quarterly Bulletin, which included analysis of cash acceptance. Based on a survey in July 2020 they found that 42% of people had visited a store in the previous six months that did not accept cash. That represented an increase on the January figure of 15%.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, PSR, and Financial Conduct Authority. The Group published an update on the actions of the Group’s members in July 2020.  The Government continues to engage with the regulators to monitor and assess risks around cash, including those resulting from COVID-19. In order to help control the virus, all businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow the latest Government advice. To work safely, retailers have been recommended to minimise contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. It remains the individual retailer’s choice as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card.

The Government has committed to bring forward legislation to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. In October 2020, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash, which sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to place on a statutory basis the transfer of information between HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions relating to eligibility for tax credits and their interaction with other qualifying disability benefits so as to allow for redress in cases of incorrect decisions.

It remains a fundamental principle that claimants are responsible for notifying HMRC of any changes in their circumstances and for claiming the entitlement they may be eligible for.

Although there are no plans to put the administrative processes currently used on a statutory footing, DWP routinely share information with HMRC about the start and end dates of disability benefit awards to underpin claimant notification and ensure correct decisions are made about tax credits entitlement.

Furthermore, the Government has recently legislated to ensure that HMRC have the full powers to review tax credits awards as intended, and apply disability elements in retrospect where appropriate.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will ensure that HMRC applies FCA definitions of financial vulnerability when considering whether to refer customers to its extra support team.

HMRC continually review how to identify customers in financial hardship so that it can offer support to them. As part of this work, they work closely with Government departments and other stakeholders, including the debt advice sector, for insights on good practice which they mirror to support customers. The department has trained collectors to identify vulnerable customers who, when identified, are referred to HMRC’s established Extra Support team for assistance.

HMRC also work to meet the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines where practicable. HMRC are the first Government department to become a referral partner for the Money Adviser Network, a pilot led by the Money and Pensions Service. The partnership helps HMRC test a better way to refer Tax Credits debtors to free and independent debt advice. It is a priority for HMRC to help their customers to access specialist debt advice support that is available to them; as a responsible creditor, HMRC recognise that customer debt worries often extend beyond the debt that they have with the department.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on enabling taxpayers to challenge HMRC discretionary decisions regarding access to time to pay arrangements.

HMRC have a very good track record for supporting individuals and viable businesses in genuine short-term financial difficulty and will always work with taxpayers to find the best possible solution. A Time to Pay arrangement is a negotiated agreement that HMRC operates within their statutory obligations to collect tax as quickly as possible. HMRC will always work with taxpayers to find the best possible solution, based on their specific circumstances.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on ensuring that HMRC notifies people approaching the age threshold to drawn down pensions of their potential liability to incur High Income Child Benefit Charges.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have taken considerable steps to raise awareness of the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC).

They use a wide array of channels to reach those who may be liable to pay HICBC. This includes sharing information via social media, through third parties such as websites aimed at parents or families, and on GOV.UK. The main landing page on GOV.UK for Self-Assessment guidance highlights HICBC as one of the reasons why someone might need to file a tax return.

There is also a prominent message about HICBC on the Child Benefit claim form. In addition, where HMRC hold all the relevant information, they write to parents who may have become liable for HICBC, explaining what they need to do to pay the charge when it is due and avoid penalties.

Families can use the calculator at GOV.UK to work out how much tax they may have to pay: www.gov.uk/child-benefit-tax-calculator.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on bringing state pension and benefits within PAYE.

The State Pension and other benefits are paid directly to the recipient by DWP and HMRC. The Government has no plans to change this.

The tax treatment of social security benefits is based on the type of payment and the reason why it is provided. In general, benefits that are designed to replace income are taxable, including the State Pension, and benefits that meet specific costs are not taxable.

It is also important to note that the personal allowance – the amount of income that each individual may receive before paying income tax – is currently set at a level high enough to ensure that those pensioners whose sole income is the new State Pension or basic State Pension do not pay any income tax.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on increasing rent-a-room tax relief in line with RPI on an annual basis.

Rent a Room relief has been a feature of the income tax system since 1992.

In 2016, the threshold was raised to give an income tax exemption on income of up to £7,500 for individuals who let furnished accommodation in their only or main residence. This aligns with the Government’s objectives of supporting living standards and increasing the availability of low-cost housing. It also reduces and simplifies the tax and administration burden for those affected and has taken some taxpayers out of Self-Assessment entirely.

The Government consulted on the scheme in 2018. The response to this showed there to be a consensus that the relief at the current level provides an effective incentive for people to make spare rooms available for rent.

In addition, the Government does not have evidence that increasing the Rent a Room threshold above £7,500 would further encourage spare rooms to be made available for rent. At present, the Government believes that the threshold is set at an appropriate level.

As with all tax policy, the Government keeps this relief under review.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many payments were made to the Government's Donations and Bequests Account in respect of the National Debt in financial year 2019-20; and what the value of those payments was.

The United Kingdom Debt Management Office (DMO), on behalf of the Commissioners of the Reduction of the National Debt (CRND), can confirm that nine payments were made to the Government’s Donations and Bequests Account in respect of the National Debt in financial year 2019-20. The total value of the payments received was £49,000, which is reflected in the CRND Annual Report and Accounts available via the following link:

https://dmo.gov.uk/publications/?offset=0&itemsPerPage=20&parentFilter=1437&childFilter=1437|1465&startMonth=1&startYear=1998

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to reply to the letter of 18 March 2020 and email of 6 October 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on VAT and veterinary fees raised on behalf of a constituent.

The Financial Secretary responded to the Member on 9 November 2020. A further copy has been sent by email.
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to maintain banking industry membership of (a) LINK and (b) the Post Office Banking Framework.

The Government continues to be fully supportive of the Post Office Banking Framework Agreement. The agreement allows 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers to carry out their everyday banking at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK until December 2022. The terms of future Banking Framework Agreements are commercial decisions between industry and the Post Office. The Government will continue to engage with industry and the Post Office to ensure that that all customers, wherever they live, continue to have access to over the counter banking services.

Since 1998, all the major UK banks and building societies have participated in LINK, enabling their ATMs to be used by customers of the other members of the network. Presently, ATMs are the most commonly used means of withdrawing cash. Membership to LINK is a commercial decision.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the £594m discretionary fund announced to support businesses impacted by the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown will be accessible to (a) airlines, (b) airports, (c) ground handlers and (d) other aviation businesses.

As per the Chancellor’s announcement on 5 January, local authorities in England will receive a £500 million top-up to the £1.1 billion which they have already received for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). We encourage local authorities to use their ARG allocations to set up a discretionary grant scheme, for example to make payments to businesses which are affected by the lockdown, but which are not legally closed themselves. Local authorities can also use the ARG to support businesses indirectly including by providing additional guidance and support for businesses in their areas.

Local Authorities are responsible for determining the precise eligibility for the Additional Restrictions Grant in their areas, based on their assessment of local economic need.

The announcement on 5 January also includes £729 million of funding for the devolved administrations as part of the unprecedented upfront funding guarantee. The total of the guarantee is reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects all additional funding and was most recently increased by £800 million to £16.8 billion on 24 December.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to authorise the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate businesses in the buy now, pay later sector.

Buy-now-pay-later products that apply interest are regulated credit agreements, and therefore firms offering them must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must comply with the relevant sections of the FCA’s Consumer Credit sourcebook and provisions contained within the Consumer Credit Act 1974. However, buy-now-pay-later products that are interest-free, repayable by no more than 12 instalments within no more than 12 months, and are used to finance specific goods or services, are unregulated.

Former interim CEO of the FCA, Chris Woolard, is currently undertaking a review into change and innovation in the unsecured credit market, which includes unregulated buy-now-pay-later products.

When the review reports in early 2021, the Government will assess the findings and will take quick, proportionate action if substantive evidence of consumer harm is found to be occurring.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend eligibility for the expanded Job Support Scheme to coach operators based in Tier 3 local covid-19 alert level areas.

Following the announcement of stricter coronavirus restrictions on 31 October, the CJRS is being extended. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. This is a UK-wide policy to support the whole country through this national crisis.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the (a) Financial Conduct Authority, (b) Payment Systems Regulator and (c) industry stakeholders on a minimum service guarantee for cash; and when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator and Bank of England, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group – whilst designing legislation.

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. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will appoint the Financial Conduct Authority as the single regulator for (a) cash and (b) monitoring and publishing the detail of acceptance levels by UK businesses.

The Government recognises that cash remains important to millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and to ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Government is working at pace, engaging with industry and the regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator and Bank of England, including through the Treasury-chaired Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group – whilst designing legislation.

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. As set out in the Call for Evidence, the Government considers that there may be benefit in giving a single authority overall responsibility for setting requirements to ensure that the retail distribution of cash meets the needs of consumers and businesses. The government’s view is that the FCA may be well positioned to take on the function through legislation.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of unbanked individuals in the UK.

The Treasury does not make assessments of the number of people who do not have a bank account. However, in 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the results of the Financial Lives Survey which found that 1.3 million UK adults were unbanked, i.e. have no current account or alternative e-money account. The FCA intend to repeat the Financial Lives Survey on a regular basis in future.

The 2017 Financial Lives Survey report contains further information on the characteristics of the unbanked. The report analyses survey results across the four nations of the UK, the nine regions of England, and by rural and urban areas.

Government believes that individuals, regardless of their background or income, should have access to useful and affordable financial products and services, including a bank account.

Basic bank accounts are a key financial inclusion policy. They provide people with a way of receiving income, whether that be salary, pension, benefits or tax credits and enable them to manage their money on a day-to-day basis effectively, securely and confidently.

A basic bank account is fee-free for all everyday banking services and has no overdraft facility. The 9 largest personal current account providers in the UK are legally required to offer fee-free basic bank accounts to customers who do not have a bank account in the UK or who are ineligible for a bank’s standard current account.

The Treasury publishes data on basic bank accounts annually. The December 2019 publication shows that in total there are nearly 7.5 million basic bank accounts open in the UK.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate the Government has made of the number of businesses refusing cash payments during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps the Government is taking to help ensure people can continue to pay in cash for essential goods and services.

One of the impacts of the Covid-19 virus has been a decline in cash withdrawals and usage. Current BEIS guidance to retailers for working safely during COVID-19 advises minimising contact around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments. The Government and regulators are closely engaged with industry on an ongoing basis to monitor risks to the cash system.

The Government recognises that many businesses and individuals rely on cash in their daily lives. At the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash. The Government is engaging with regulators and industry while designing legislation, ensuring that the approach reflects the needs of cash users across the economy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what date the UK Debt Management Office created an online form to assist with cash gifts to the Donations and Bequests Account for the purposes of reducing the National Debt; how many gifts of what (a) individual and (b) combined value have been made using that form; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating an online payment facility to assist in making those gifts.

The statutory functions of the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt (CRND) are carried out within the United Kingdom Debt Management Office (DMO). CRND’s main function is the investment and management of government funds.

Section 8 of the National Debt Reduction Act 1823 created the Donations and Bequests account which, as its title implies, is used to handle donations and bequests from public-spirited members of the public for the purpose of reducing the National Debt.

Since the form was added to the DMO website on 15 May 2020, the account has received three donations for £20, £1,000 and £15 respectively, for a combined total of £1,035.00.

Historically, members of the public have occasionally made contributions to this account. Previously the process was by paper correspondence and cheque. The introduction of the form now provides an accessible method to make a cash donation to this account.

Details of the amount of historic donations can be found in the CRND combined receipts and payments accounts which are available on the DMO website via the following link

https://www.dmo.gov.uk/publications/annual-reports-and-accounts/

In considering whether to introduce an online payment facility, we would take into account set-up and running costs versus any likely increase in donations, alongside any customer due diligence, anti-money laundering and data protection concerns.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group met in the last 12 months; and if he will publish the minutes of those meetings.

Treasury Ministers and officials meet with a wide range of stakeholders as part of ongoing policy development and implementation.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash is extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses. The published summary of responses to the Call for Evidence on Cash and Digital Payments, in 2019, set out the Government’s policy to support digital payments while safeguarding access to cash for those who need it.

To support this, the Government launched the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group – which brings together HM Treasury, the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England – to ensure comprehensive regulatory oversight of the end-to-end cash infrastructure.

The Terms of Reference for the JACS Group were published in June 2019. The Group has met in May 2019, July 2019, and February 2020. The JACS Group will publish a public update on its activities in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on the availability of cash.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash is extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses. Our policy is to support digital payments while safeguarding access to cash for those who need it.

The finance industry has a key role to play in protecting access to cash. Several industry initiatives, such as LINK’s ‘request an ATM’ scheme or UK Finance’s Community Access to Cash Initiative, are welcome and are helping to support cash in the short-term.

The Government recognises that action needs to be taken to protect access to cash for consumers and businesses in the long-term. That is why, at the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect the sustainability of the UK’s cash infrastructure. This will ensure that millions of people, including vulnerable groups, can get hold of the cash they need when they need it.

The Government will engage with regulators and industry on the design of legislation, ensuring that the approach reflects the needs of cash users across the economy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many payments have been made to the donations and bequests account in respect of the national debt in each financial year since 2009-10; and what the value of those payments was in each of those years.

Details of the donations and bequests received for each financial year since 2009-10 are reflected in the table below:

Financial year

Number of donations/bequests

Amount of donations/bequests (£)

2009-10

6

168,041

2010-11

11

54,709

2011-12

12

21,110

2012-13

12

406,556

2013-14

16

799,390

2014-15

13

7,823

2015-16

15

14,558

2016-17

15

180,393

2017-18

5

762

2018-19

15

11,069

This information has been publicly available since 2014-15 in a combined annual report for the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt (CRND) receipts and payments accounts which is available on the DMO website and can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.dmo.gov.uk/publications/annual-reports-and-accounts/

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 April 2020 to Question 25059, on Licensing Laws: Aviation, when she plans to publish her Department's response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing at international airports in England and Wales, which closed on 1 February 2019.

We plan to publish the response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing in the near future.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on the provision of Government support to victims of modern slavery after a decision has been made on their status.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the process by which the UK identifies and supports victims of modern slavery, with support being delivered through the specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC) in England and Wales, the asylum system, local authorities and other mainstream services.

The MSVCC, which went live on 4 January 2021, builds on the wide-ranging support provided through the previous Victim Care Contract to deliver a service that is needs-based and better aligned to the requirements of individual victims. It provides accommodation, financial support payments, translation and interpretation, transport and access to a support worker for those who are identified as a potential victim, having received a positive Reasonable Grounds decision from the Single Competent Authority.

Support continues until the individual receives a Conclusive Grounds (CG) decision. If a victim receives a positive CG decision, they will receive a minimum of 45 calendar days of 'move on' support. The Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA) takes place shortly after a positive CG decision to ensure that ongoing support after this period is tailored to the individual recovery needs of the confirmed victim. The RNA informs a tailored move-on plan, with the aim of establishing longer-term stability by helping victims to transition out of MSVCC support and back into a community, as appropriate. The MSVCC has also introduced a number of new services, including the ‘reach-in’ service, which is available to all confirmed victims to help support a smooth and sustainable transition after exit from MSVCC support.

If an individual receives a negative CG decision, they will receive nine working days of move-on support from date of receipt of the decision by the individual or the party acting on their behalf. An extension request may be made where an individual has received a negative decision and needs an additional period to become self-supporting or to transition into mainstream support.

In addition to this, the Government recognises the particular vulnerabilities of child victims of modern slavery, including trafficking.

Local authorities are responsible for the safeguarding and promotion of welfare of all children in their area, co-operating closely with police and other statutory agencies to offer child victims of modern slavery required protection and support. In addition, through Section 48 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Government provides Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs), an independent source of advice and support for all potentially trafficked children, irrespective of nationality. ICTGs are currently available in one third of local authorities in England and Wales. We are now progressing the national rollout of ICTGs as part of the NRM Transformation Programme.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 April 2020 to Question 25059, on Licensing Laws: Aviation, when she plans to publish her Department's response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing at international airports in England and Wales, which closed on 1 February 2019.

I plan to publish the response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing in the near future.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to reply to the letter of August 12 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on the accountability and management of the Police Federation for England and Wales raised on behalf of a constituent.

I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in responding to his letter of 12 August 2020. This was mistakenly not recorded as requiring a reply due to technical issues when the Department moved to a new correspondence system on 24 August 2020. This issue has now been resolved and I will reply to the hon. Member’s letter shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when UK visa processing in the Philippines will resume; and whether priority will be given to people with offers of employment in the NHS.

Visa processing cannot resume until Visa Applications Centres reopen. The decision to reopen these is taken in conjunction with our commercial partners and is subject to the easing of restrictions in locations by host Governments and our ability to provide an effective service in that location. As centres reopen details of these will be published on our commercial partner websites.

We continue to work with the NHS to identify and assist essential workers. NHS staff can contact the UKVI NHS Team by emailing UKVINHSTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk and the team will seek to assist them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish her Department's response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing at international airports in England and Wales, which closed on 1 February 2019.

I plan to publish my Department’s response to the consultation on airside alcohol licensing shortly.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish his conclusions on the review of the Vagrancy Act 1824.

This is a complex issue which is why the Government reviewed the Act. We have been looking at the options and will update on our findings in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many Disabled Facilities Grant adaptations were delivered in the Blackpool local authority area in the financial year 2019-20.

Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies, monitors and analyses the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grant adaptations nationally. Data from Foundations shows that 271 adaptations were delivered by Blackpool local authority in 2019-20.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to reply to the letter of August 27 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on alley gates raised on behalf of a constituent.

The response was sent on 26 February.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the closure date for Help to Buy equity loans beyond 31 December for housing developments that have had their completion date delayed by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the disruption COVID-19 has caused to housebuilding; that is why we took decisive steps to re-open the housing market and ensure housebuilding could safely recommence.?The Government published a “Plan to Rebuild” on Monday 11 May, setting out the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. This makes clear that construction work can be undertaken across England providing sites are able to operate safely in line with the new COVID-19 secure guidelines.

As announced at Budget 2018, there is a new two year Help to Buy scheme commencing from 1 April 2021, specifically for first time buyers, so supporting people onto the housing ladder. Where new build properties are not completed within the current Help to Buy scheme deadlines, they may be eligible for sale through the new scheme. More information on the new Help to Buy scheme can be found at https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/eligibility/. We continue to monitor the sector.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what provisions he plans to include in multi-storey car park building regulations to deter suicides.

The Building Regulations 2010 apply to new-build structures rather than existing structures. Thus the impact on suicide prevention of changes to the Building Regulations requirements to guarding in car parks would be limited.

Following the publication of the government's 2012 suicide prevention strategy, local councils were given the responsibility of developing local suicide action plans through their work with health and wellbeing boards. A deadline of 2017 was set and by the end of 2016, 95 per cent of areas had plans in place or were in the process of drawing them up. Advice on suicide prevention in public spaces is given in Public Health England's 2015 publication Preventing suicides in public places - A practice resource. This guidance provides a targeted approach and proposes a range of measures, of which physical barriers are a part.

Requirement K2 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010 provides requirements for guarding to be provided in new buildings, including car parking buildings. In relation to the design of guarding, statutory guidance in Approved Document K sets a minimum guarding height of 1100mm to changes of level other than at staircases (where the minimum height is 900mm). Changes in level of less than 380mm do not require guarding. These are minimum heights only.

The government is not planning to increase the statutory guidance on minimum heights of barriers in car parking buildings as a suicide prevention measure.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many Disabled Facilities Grant adaptations were delivered in the Blackpool local authority area in each year since 2010.

The Government does not currently produce data on the Disabled Facilities Grant. However, the Department provides local authority returns to Foundations, the Government-funded national body for home improvement agencies. Foundations analyse the data to understand Disabled Facilities Grant delivery nationally. From records provided by Foundations, the data shows the following totals for adaptations that were delivered by Blackpool local authority since 2010:


Number
of Disabled Facilities Grants delivered by Blackpool local authority since 2010:

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

560

173

213

242

214

130

152

179

267

264

Source: Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the methodology used for counting rough sleepers; and when guidance was last issued to local authorities on that methodology.

MHCLG published the latest official rough sleeping snapshot statistics on 27 February 2020. For more information see link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2019

These Official Statistics are produced in accordance with the principles and practices of the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics and provide information about the estimated number of people sleeping rough on a single night between 1 October and 31 November 2019 and some basic demographic details (i.e. age, gender, nationality). MHCLG is confident these statistics provide an accurate way of estimating the number of people sleeping rough across England on a single night and an indication of trends over time.

The snapshot figures are collected by outreach workers, local charities and community groups and are independently verified by Homeless Link. Every local authority is required to consult with at least one type of local agency to produce their snapshot figures. In 2019, 72 per cent of local authorities reported they had consulted with 5 different groups or more. Local authorities must involve volunteers who are independent of the council and its outreach team (e.g. non-commissioned services). Homeless Link will not verify the process if no local agencies, or only those that are part of, or commissioned by, the local authority are involved.

The latest guidance to local authorities on the official rough sleeping snapshot was published before the annual snapshot process began last year in August 2019 and is available here: https://www.homeless.org.uk/our-work/resources/counts-and-estimates-evaluating-extent-of-rough-sleeping

Alongside the publication of the 2019 annual rough sleeping statistics this week, MHCLG also published a technical report which outlines in detail how the statistics are collected, the quality assurance processes in place, recent improvements and the limitations so users are fully informed about the overall quality of the Rough sleeping snapshot statistics. For more information see link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2019/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2019-technical-report

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Homes England received an application to the Community Housing Fund from Blackpool Council prior to the bidding for that fund closing.

An application from Blackpool Council to the Community Housing Fund was received by Homes England prior to the bid round closure in December. The bid was approved and an allocation of £285,000 was confirmed to the council in October 2019.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to reply to the letter of 13 November 2020 from the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on prison conditions.

A response was sent to the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on 10 December 2020. A further copy has been sent.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)