Paula Barker Portrait

Paula Barker

Labour - Liverpool, Wavertree

Justice Committee
11th May 2020 - 13th Jul 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 16th September 2021
Criminal Justice System: Families Bereaved by Public Disasters

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) for securing this important debate. She has, …

Written Answers
Tuesday 14th September 2021
Blood Tests: Bottles
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 9th September 2021
Adult social care workforce and Local Government
That this House notes the pre-covid-19 outbreak changes to funding for adult social care council budgets since 2010; recognises local …
Bills
Wednesday 5th February 2020
National Minimum Wage Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 10th February 2020
1. Employment and earnings
20 December 2019, received £3,472.92 from Halton Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, Kingsway, Widnes WA8 7QF, as final salary as a …
EDM signed
Tuesday 14th September 2021
SATs in the 2021-22 Academic Year
That this House recognises the enormous effect that the covid-19 pandemic has had on pupils' mental health; notes the study …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Trade Agreements (Exclusion of National Health Services) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to exclude requirements relating to National Health Services procurement, delivery or commissioning from international trade agreements; to require …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Paula Barker has voted in 258 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Paula Barker Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(4 debate interactions)
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(4 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(10 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(7 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(6 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Paula Barker's debates

Liverpool, Wavertree 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 most Liverpool, Wavertree signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

During the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After ten years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. The Government must start to restore the real value of their pay with a 10% increase in 2020.

The government is helping private firms to protect jobs by paying up to 80% of staff wages through this crisis. If it can do this why can it not help key workers who will be putting themselves/their families at risk and working extra hard under extremely challenging and unprecedented circumstances.


Latest EDMs signed by Paula Barker

13th September 2021
Paula Barker signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 14th September 2021

SATs in the 2021-22 Academic Year

Tabled by: Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat - St Albans)
That this House recognises the enormous effect that the covid-19 pandemic has had on pupils' mental health; notes the study by UCL Institute of Education researchers which found that a fear of poor SATs results is driving headteachers to separate pupils by ability despite the impact on children’s self-esteem and …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Labour: 1
Green Party: 1
13th September 2021
Paula Barker signed this EDM on Tuesday 14th September 2021

Emma Raducanu, 2021 US Open women's champion

Tabled by: Toby Perkins (Labour - Chesterfield)
That this House is delighted, amazed and inspired by the performances of Emma Raducanu in winning the US Open without losing a set; notes that she is the first qualifier in the history of tennis to win a grand slam event; congratulates Emma and all those involved in her success; …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 6
Conservative: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Paula Barker's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paula Barker, 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.


Paula Barker has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Paula Barker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Paula Barker


A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 5th February 2020

161 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to secure frictionless trade with the EU.

We want to reach an agreement and we believe there is still time. We will continue to work hard to achieve it.

The eighth round of negotiations began on 8 September and we hope to make quick progress on an agreement based on our reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement, like the one the EU has agreed with Canada and so many others.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that raw materials imported into the UK and used for vital nutritional products will not be subject to tariffs at the end of the transition period.

The Government has been clear we want a free trade deal, based on friendly cooperation.

The Political Declaration sets as an aim a zero tariff and zero quota FTA. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the costs and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK and the EU.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of covid-19 vaccine certificates; and what plans the Government has to introduce such certificates to access certain amenities.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by The Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Minister Nadhim Zahawi on 8 September 2021.

Our vaccination programme has given this nation a wall of protection against this deadly virus. Data from Public Health England estimates that two doses of a covid-19 vaccine offers protection of around 96% against hospitalisation and that our jabs have prevented over 100,000 deaths, over 143,000 hospitalisations and around 24 million infections. It is this protection that allowed us to carefully ease restrictions over the past few months. However, we must do so in a way that is mindful of the benefits that both doses of the vaccine can bring.

On 19 July, the Prime Minister announced that:

“by the end of September—when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed—we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”

We will be confirming more details in due course.”

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of (a) recent trends in crime in urban centres and (b) whether the current recruitment targets are adequate to tackle crime in cities.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for (a) civil servants who have and (b) have not declared themselves as having a disability in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for civil servants aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 30 to 50 (c) 50 to 60 and (d) over 60 in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for civil servants from (a) Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background and (b) recording themselves as White in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2020 to Question 95244 on Civil Service: Sustainable Development, how many requests for a meeting of the Sustainability Forum his Department received from the National Trade Union Committee in the last two years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that public sector procurement contracts prioritise British manufactured goods and services after the UK leaves the EU.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ84363 on 15 September 2020.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of Cabinet Office guidance to government departments on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

This information is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how frequently Sustainability Forum meetings between civil service unions and the civil service take place.

Sustainability issues can be raised through the Civil Service Forum, which engages nationally with the National Trade Union Committee. Departments are responsible for determining their own sustainable development plans, and their engagement on these matters with relevant departmental trade unions.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans his Department has to increase (a) infrastructure spending and (b) the number of large infrastructure projects in the North West of England.

Spring Budget 2020 set out that the public sector will invest more than £600 billion in our future prosperity. The infrastructure plans set out at Budget included measures to invest in strategic roads around England, improve mobile coverage in rural areas, better support flood defences, and further fund urban transport systems. Specific allocations and delivery plans will be set out later this year.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the next meeting of the Sustainability Forum of Civil Service unions and the Civil Service will be held.

Sustainability issues can be raised through the Civil Service Forum, which engages nationally with the National Trade Union Committee. Departments are responsible for determining their own sustainable development plans, and their engagement on these matters with relevant departmental trade unions.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the ability of the UK to achieve net zero by 2050; and whether the UK is currently on track to meet that target.

Over the last three decades, the UK has achieved record clean growth and has met its world-leading climate change commitments. Between 1990 and 2019, our economy has grown by 78% while our emissions have decreased by 44%, this is the fastest reduction in the G7.

The UK over-achieved against the first (2008-12) and second (2013-17) carbon budgets, and the latest projections show that we are on track to meet the third (2018-22). We recognise the need for further action to meet the fourth (2023-27) and fifth (2028-32) carbon budgets. Our sector decarbonisation strategies, and wider plans to deliver a green economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, will contain further proposals to support delivery of carbon budgets 4 and 5.

We have already published the Energy White Paper, Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Hydrogen Strategy, and will publish the Heat and Building Strategy in due course. We will also publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy. This will raise ambition as we outline our path to meet net zero by 2050, our Carbon Budgets and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of biofuels, including the burning of wood pellets in the UK, on the loss of biodiversity and deforestation overseas.

The UK only supports biomass which complies with strict sustainability criteria. This considers a range of environmental issues including protecting the biodiversity of forests from which the biomass is sourced, irrespective of its location.

Where biomass is sourced from forests, it is typically waste wood and residues from commercial forestry operations that already occur, and it is a requirement that the relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment are adhered to. The evidence does not show that deforestation or biodiversity loss have occurred in the areas from where UK electricity generators source their biomass.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of the Insolvency Service’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Insolvency Service has delegated authority for annual leave from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Insolvency Service has reviewed its policy and guidance and is content that it is compliant with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) medium and (b) long-term effect of automation on (i) the labour market and (ii) new job creation.

The Government is continuing to monitor the impact of automation on the labour market. The World Economic Forum estimate that robots will replace 75 million jobs globally between 2018 and 2022 but create 133 million new ones – a “net positive”.

We are committed to capitalising on this opportunity. The launch of the Robotics Growth Partnership will support our national ambition to put the UK at the cutting edge of the smart robotics revolution, turbo-charging economic productivity and unlocking benefits across society.

The Government also recognises that demand for skills will continue to change, in part in response to automation. We have committed to improving the UK's system for training in digital skills, ensuring that working people have the support they need to navigate the challenge of automation to a higher-wage future. This includes fully funding adults to take their first full level 3 qualification and a new entitlement to flexible loans over a lifetime, boosting opportunities to retrain and enhancing the nation’s technical skills.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government is taking steps to (a) help ensure energy independence and (b) limit the role of overseas state actors in the supply of (i) nuclear and (ii) other forms of energy.

UK energy supplies are currently derived from a wide range of sources; progress towards the UK’s target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will further diversify our energy system.

The Department has supported measures and programmes to support the production and use of renewable energy infrastructure. For example, the Offshore Wind Sector Deal will support the delivery of up to 30GW of offshore wind by 2030 in Great Britain; the Government has made a £3 billion investment to support low-carbon innovation in the UK up to 2021; and there is an ongoing commitment to developing the UK’s domestic hydrogen sector.

Whilst inward investment into the UK energy sector is welcomed, all foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest level of scrutiny. The UK civil nuclear sector has a strong regulatory system and companies involved in the industry are required to meet robust standards overseen by independent regulators.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of tidal energy projects in Britain's estuaries.

We have recently launched a Call for Evidence on supporting marine projects, including tidal stream and tidal range, to gather evidence on the scope for innovative marine energy technologies across Great Britain.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and his Department to discuss sustainability issues at his Department.

The Department has a range of consultative practices in place to ensure regular and meaningful engagement with our Departmental Trade Unions on internal policy matters, including sustainability considerations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Work is in progress to reduce the Department’s carbon emissions and become net zero in the earliest possible timeframe, and by 2050 at the latest. BEIS has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% from a 09/10 baseline.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that UK steel is promoted in the Government’s post-covid-19 rebuild and recovery strategy.

In his speech of 30 June, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear that as we recover from COVID-19, we must build back better, greener and faster, ensuring that our economy will be cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient. This applies to all sectors of the economy, including those which are currently seen as difficult to decarbonise, such as steel.

The Government is supporting the steel sector throughout this difficult period, as well as providing the £250 million Clean Steel Fund, which will help UK steel producers to reduce emissions in line with our target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is complemented by the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help energy intensive industries, such as steel, transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources.

The Department publishes a pipeline, identifying future steel requirements for all public infrastructure and construction projects annually. An update of this pipeline will be published shortly. We have also introduced steel-specific procurement guidance that requires Government Departments and public bodies to consider social and environmental factors when procuring steel.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of state funding for grassroots sports across the UK; and what plans the Government has to increase that funding in response to achievements at the Tokyo Olympics and the European Championships.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and all generations and communities should be able to enjoy the health, wellbeing, social and other benefits of being active. Because of this, we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

National pride in our Olympic and Paralympic heroes has provided a source of genuine inspiration and motivation for the public. On 15th August, the Government announced that it will provide £232 million to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The £232 million will be invested into aspiring Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes as well as their coaches and support staff, in addition to funding from the National Lottery.

In recognition of how the sector has been impacted by the pandemic working closely with Sport England, UK Sport and the National Lottery, the Government have provided an unprecedented £1 billion to ensure the survival of the grassroots, elite and leisure sectors.

This includes the £220m Sport England has provided directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, including their £35 million Community Emergency Fund in supporting people to be more active, including a specific focus on those people who are inactive and engaging people from underrepresented groups.

On 26 January, Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This is on top of the £18m a year it spends on grassroots facilities through the Football Foundation.

The Government also announced an additional £25m for grassroots sports facilities earlier this year with the Prime Minister committing a further £50m in his Levelling Up speech on 15 July. These contributions are part of the government’s ambition to deliver the pitches that every community in the UK needs by 2030.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to empower football fans in response to failed plans by certain clubs to form a European Super League; and whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent clubs forming breakaway leagues in the future.

The Government was vocal in its opposition to the European Super League (ESL) proposals, which were not in the interests of the game, and I was glad to see the withdrawal of all English teams from the project.

The Government launched the fan-led review of football governance in the immediate aftermath of the ESL. The Chair, the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford, has heard extensively with fans over the past few months including on the subject of supporter engagement. The interim report has already been published and I look forward to receiving its full recommendations in the autumn.

The Government has already taken action to prevent a future ESL breakaway. We have worked with The Football Association (FA) to amend the Governing Body Endorsement criteria document. This criteria has been amended to ensure that overseas players can now only participate in competitions that have been organised and/or sanctioned by The FA. This would exclude such players from participating in the ESL.

The Government continues to work with the football authorities to understand what further policy interventions may be possible though, including legislative options.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what timeframe he plans for the rollout of superfast broadband and improved broadband connection speeds throughout the Liverpool area to help support business recovery as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and as part of the Government's levelling up agenda.

Earlier Superfast contracts took place across Merseyside and were completed fully in March 2019. Across the two phases of the contract, 43,966 premises were connected to Superfast broadband.

Building Digital UK is looking at how to improve levels of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK, and has split the Project Gigabit programme into three phases of delivery. The programme will carry out a national Open Market Review with telecommunications providers across the country to establish which premises will not be covered by commercial plans for gigabit-capable broadband rollout in the coming 3 years. Merseyside and Greater Manchester are currently allocated as a single lot as part of the third phase of rollout which is expected to commence in 2022. At this stage, we will work with the local bodies in that region to highlight communities which require improved connectivity and the appropriate procurement processes for ensuring this takes place.

Furthermore, due to Liverpool’s location, it benefits from a large amount of commercial investment from telecommunications providers. BDUK will be working over the coming months to establish which specific premises are excluded from these plans, and how these can be specifically addressed as part of Project Gigabit.

Statistics according to Thinkbroadband which also takes into account the commercial build undertaken by suppliers are:

Liverpool

Merseyside

UK

Superfast (>24mbps)

97.87%

98.86%

97.13%

Superfast (>30mbps)

97.85%

98.78%

96.82%

Gigabit-capable broadband (>1000mbps)

84.08%

73.44%

40.98%

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how the £1.57 billion support package for the arts and culture sectors has been allocated.

On 22nd August, the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund was shared among 136 venues across England who applied for support to survive the imminent risk of collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The first independent cinemas to be funded by the BFI grants were also announced on 2nd October. In total, 42 independent cinemas across England received a share of £654,883 in funding to preserve the local cultural offer and rescue organisations at risk of insolvency. As this is a rolling fund, more funding decisions regarding cinemas will be announced over the coming weeks. Awards for cinemas can include £10k to help with safety improvements and up to £200k available for business sustainability.

On Friday 9th October 445 heritage organisations were awarded £103 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. Grants of up to £1m will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund.

On Monday 12th October Arts Council England awarded £257 million to over 1,300 organisations which applied for less than £1 million. The funding goes to theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Further announcements of how the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will be allocated will be made in the coming weeks.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of indoor sport and leisure facilities that have not reopened since the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

We are continuing to work across government to ensure the sector has the support it needs to continue providing their central role in helping people be active.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that (a) community indoor tennis centres and (b) other public sport and leisure facilities do not close permanently following their mandatory closure as a result of covid-19.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

We are continuing to work across government to ensure the sector has the support it needs to continue providing their central role in helping people be active.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timeframe is to enable (a) non-league football and (b) amateur clubs to safely host small crowds at matches.

On 18th August, the Government amended its guidance to provide extra clarification for organisers of non-elite sports events to help them manage and admit spectators safely, adhering to social distancing.

Non-league football clubs from level seven of the pyramid, below the National League North / South, can admit spectators in line with the FA’s definition of non-elite football.

We continue to work closely with all sports, including the interests of football from National League and above to support the safe return of spectators to stadia more widely from October 1st. As announced by the Prime Minister, this remains subject to successful pilots events and wider prevailing public health factors, both of which remain under active consideration.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide a conditional timeline for the re-opening of (a) clubs, (b) concert arenas and (c) other live music venues without covid-19 related social distancing restrictions.

We are committed to getting the performing arts sector fully back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening.

From the information we have been receiving from various organisations and professionals, we know that the picture is nuanced across the country, with different organisations facing different challenges when it comes to the question of reopening.

The Secretary of State recently revealed a five stage roadmap that the government will work through to get the performing arts sectors back up and running as soon as possible:

  • Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences)

  • Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes

  • Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience and pilots for indoor performances with a limited socially-distanced audience

  • Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors and outdoors (but with a limited socially-distanced audience indoors)

  • Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors / outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)

From the 11th July, we will move to Stage Three. This means that performances outdoors - including outdoor concert arenas with a socially distanced audience - can take place in line with this guidance. DCMS will work with sector representative bodies to select a number of pilots for indoor performances with a socially distanced audience, as we look to move into Stage Four.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide immediate (a) business and employment support packages and (b) access to finance for company directors in the (i) creative sector and (ii) night time economy.

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a huge challenge to the creative and night time industries and the freelancers and the self-employed workers within it. The Government’s response has been one of the most generous and comprehensive in the world, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounceback Loan Scheme and business rates reliefs. In addition, the Government has adapted the welfare system so that the self-employed can access Universal Credit in full, to help people get quicker and more generous support when they need it most.

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors including some businesses operating in the night time economy.

We are working closely with DCMS’ Arm’s Length Bodies to develop guidance indicating who can apply for the different elements of this funding, and we will publish detailed guidance as soon as possible in July.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of universities resuming face-to-face teaching at the start of the new academic term in September 2021.

The government has now lifted the restrictions on higher education (HE) including removing all restrictions on face-to-face teaching. Providers are therefore able to shape courses without restrictions on face-to-face teaching and learning.

HE providers should therefore not be planning to restrict teaching based on COVID-19 restrictions. However, as autonomous institutions, it is for providers to determine their own provision, taking account of government guidance.

As a result of COVID-19, some providers have accelerated their digital teaching and learning plans, and some will retain an element of blended learning. We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has enabled many providers to identify new and innovative ways to teaching and learning, and students will continue to benefit from these alongside in-person provision.

We expect all universities to continue to deliver excellent teaching and learning, in line with guidance from the Office for Students (OfS), and that they should provide students with a full experience.

The OfS has made it clear that all HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and standards and the OfS will be monitoring to ensure this is the case.

Universities should be open about what students can expect. If students have concerns, they should first raise them with their HE provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether GCSE and A-level examinations will take place without disruption in academic year 2021-22.

The Government has made clear its firm intention that exams will take place in summer 2022. Exams are the fairest way of judging pupils’ performance. The Department has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders who have all called for exams to go ahead.

There is continued uncertainty about the path of the COVID-19 outbreak, including whether further disruption to education may occur over the course of the 2021/22 academic year. Even if some public health restrictions were to be needed over the coming academic year, the Department believes it will be possible for pupils to take exams safely, but we recognise the need to have plans in place for the unlikely event that that is not possible.

The Department is working with Ofqual, exam boards, and representatives of schools and colleges to ensure that contingency arrangements are in place for scenarios where exams cannot be held for any reason, or where individual pupils are unable to sit exams due to illness or self-isolation. The Department will announce the detail of these contingency plans in the autumn term.

The Department also recognises that pupils who will be taking exams in summer 2022 have had disruption to their education in the last two academic years. Whilst we believe it is in pupils’ interests that they cover as much of the curriculum as possible, we also recognise that in order to be fair, exams in 2022 will need to be adapted to take this disruption into account.  The Department has recently consulted jointly with Ofqual on a range of adaptations to exams. We are currently considering the responses to that consultation and will announce final decisions shortly.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what precautionary covid-19 related health and safety measures will be implemented in schools when the academic year begins in September 2021.

The Department’s priority is for all schools to deliver face to face, high quality education to all children, pupils and students. The Department has worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to revise the guidance for schools. Schools should continue to ensure good hygiene for everyone, maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, keep occupied spaces well ventilated and follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19. As pupils will potentially have mixed with many other people during the summer holidays, all secondary school pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term.

Schools should continue to conduct risk assessments and take appropriate action in line with the control measures. Schools should have contingency plans in place outlining the actions they would take if pupils and staff test positive for COVID-19, or how they would operate if they were advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission.

The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, and mental and physical health. In making decisions, the Government has balanced education and health considerations, weighing the impact of these measures on teaching, wellbeing and the functioning of schools and nurseries, against the risks posed by COVID-19, in a context that has now fundamentally changed due to the success of the vaccination rollout.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of improving ventilation in school buildings to help prevent the spread of covid-19.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) have advised the Government that ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy, and that this should include identification of how a space is ventilated, as well as guidance to ensure the ventilation is adequate.​

On 21 August 2021, the Department announced that CO2 monitors will be provided to all state-funded nurseries, schools and colleges from September. Backed by a £25 million Government investment, the new monitors will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working.

The programme will provide nurseries, schools and colleges with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across the indoor spaces in their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. It is expected that monitors will confirm that in most cases, existing ventilation is sufficient.

The Department will also provide new guidance on how to better manage ventilation, including how using CO2 monitors can help.

The majority of the 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors will become available over the autumn term, with special schools and alternative provision prioritised to receive their full allocation from September.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the quality of citizenship education for secondary age pupils; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of expanding that education to older pupils to increase participation in democracy when individuals reach voting age.

Citizenship education has been part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 since 2002. The subject aims to prepare pupils to play a full and active part in society and covers topics such as parliamentary democracy, the key elements of the constitution of the United Kingdom, the power of Government and how citizens and Parliament hold it to account. Pupils are also taught about the different electoral systems used in and beyond the United Kingdom and how citizens can take part in democratic processes, including by voting, to influence decisions.

As part of the personal development judgment within school inspections, Ofsted is required to consider pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Inspection of personal development includes areas such as democracy and preparing pupils for life in modern Britain, which are important elements of citizenship. This approach enables important aspects of citizenship to be considered in a proportionate and integrated way.

The Department does not provide a national curriculum beyond Key Stage 4. Further education (FE) colleges have the flexibility to offer aspects of citizenship education if it is in the best interest of their students.

As part of 16-19 study programmes, FE colleges can offer a qualification regulated by Ofqual, with a small number of citizenship qualifications at level 2 and below being eligible to receive public funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Also, as part of 16-19 study programmes, students are expected to take part in meaningful non-qualification activities that develop their character, broader skills, attitudes, and confidence.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which step of the Government’s covid-19 roadmap will allow all university students to return to their term-time addresses.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when students who have not yet resumed in-person teaching and learning at university will be able to do so during the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that music education provision in schools is not reduced during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to ensuring that all pupils receive a high-quality music education. The guidance for the full opening of schools for academic year 2020-21 makes clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

As there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place, the guidance sets out detailed advice on how schools can teach music safely.

In relation to risk assessments for rooms and equipment, the guidance includes advice on ventilation, room size and social distancing if teaching indoors, and how to use instruments and other equipment safely. This allows school leaders to make best use of their school estate and equipment so that all pupils can participate in music education.

In terms of wider support for music in schools, in January, the Department announced a further £80 million investment in Music Education Hubs for 2020-21 to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. Music Education Hubs continue to provide a range of opportunities for young people, including whole class instrumental teaching, individual lessons, ensembles, choirs and more. Schools should work with their Hubs to ensure a quality music education for all pupils this year.

The Department also continues to support thousands of students to reach their full musical potential through the Music and Dance Scheme, with subsidised places at top music and dance schools across the country, and part time teaching at Centres for Advanced Training, all resuming this academic year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department can provide to schools to ensure that their risk assessments during the covid-19 outbreak do not lead to reduced access to music rooms and equipment.

This Government is committed to ensuring that all pupils receive a high-quality music education. The guidance for the full opening of schools for academic year 2020-21 makes clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

As there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place, the guidance sets out detailed advice on how schools can teach music safely.

In relation to risk assessments for rooms and equipment, the guidance includes advice on ventilation, room size and social distancing if teaching indoors, and how to use instruments and other equipment safely. This allows school leaders to make best use of their school estate and equipment so that all pupils can participate in music education.

In terms of wider support for music in schools, in January, the Department announced a further £80 million investment in Music Education Hubs for 2020-21 to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. Music Education Hubs continue to provide a range of opportunities for young people, including whole class instrumental teaching, individual lessons, ensembles, choirs and more. Schools should work with their Hubs to ensure a quality music education for all pupils this year.

The Department also continues to support thousands of students to reach their full musical potential through the Music and Dance Scheme, with subsidised places at top music and dance schools across the country, and part time teaching at Centres for Advanced Training, all resuming this academic year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support children who are missing education as a result of having to self-isolate.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high quality education for all pupils during this difficult time and expects all schools to have remote education contingency plans in place by the end of September. On 2 July, the Department published guidance that sets out what is expected from schools for their remote education provision. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

The Department has already delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers to children who would not otherwise have online access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care. The Department is supplementing this support by making an initial 150,000 laptops and tablets available to support disadvantaged children through this scheme. Devices will be available to schools so they may support the most disadvantaged pupils in year 3 to year 11 who would not otherwise have access to a device, and whose education is disrupted.

Schools will also be able to support disadvantaged children across all year groups who might be shielding at home on official or medical advice due to them or a close family a member of their household being clinically extremely vulnerable.

Where education is disrupted in hospital schools, they will be able to order devices for children in all year groups. Further education colleges registered to teach 14-16 year olds may also apply for devices for disadvantaged children in Key Stage 4. Schools and colleges will be able to lend and reallocate the devices between pupils as they see fit.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what safeguards the Government has put in place to protect high British food and farming standards after new trade deals are agreed with countries outside the EU.

The Government has a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

Legal protections for our standards are in place. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 retains standards on environmental protection, animal welfare, animal and plant health and food safety. This includes the prohibition on the use of artificial growth hormones in both domestic production and imported meat products and that no products, other than potable water are approved to decontaminate poultry carcases.

The Government has recently taken additional steps to give Parliament a greater role in scrutinising trade agreements. In the Agriculture Act 2020, we have established a duty for the Secretary of State to report to Parliament on the impact of our Free Trade Agreements on the maintenance of UK food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards.

In July we established the Trade and Agriculture Commission, an independent board set up to advise and inform the Government’s trade policies on environmental and animal welfare standards in food production. We have since moved to put it on a statutory footing in the Trade Bill and the Commission will directly feed into the Agriculture Act reporting process.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to discuss sustainability at his Department with civil service unions.

As with any plans that will impact on the way we work, we will be discussing these with staff and unions. This is because, in order to tackle the sustainability challenge, we need the support and engagement of all of our employees.

In addition to our internal engagement, as Senior Responsible Owner for Sustainable Information Technology (IT) Across Government and in partnership with the UNFCCC, we’ve produced learning and development material for 400,000 civil servants across Government, which we’ve also shared globally through the United Nations.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Defra has a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions which include:

  • Reducing our property footprint
  • Generating renewable energy on our properties (such as solar panels) so that they are self-powered as much as possible
  • Increasing energy efficiency by increasing insulation, replacing lighting, heating and air handling systems and using modern building management systems to minimise energy consumption
  • Offsetting through tree-planting

As well as our internal initiatives, Defra is the Senior Responsible Owner for sustainable information technology (IT) across Government. Our vision for sustainability in Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is to show leadership and expertise as a “Centre of Excellence”. We have worked with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a centre of excellence in sustainable IT, to help 200,000 businesses with their net zero targets:

https://defradesa.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/14/working-towards-achieving-a-sustainable-future-defra-unfccc/

Our current commitments for carbon reduction are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greening-government-commitments-2018-to-2019-annual-report. These will be updated for the next four years in April 2021 and they will set out our targets up until 2025.

Our DDTS have set out the Defra Group sustainable IT strategy to 2025. This is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-group-sustainable-information-technology-it-strategy

We are currently finalising our bid for funding under SR20. Once we know Defra’s settlement, we will be updating our plans to further reduce our carbon emissions over the next four years.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the viability of bringing forward phase 2a of HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester; and whether that project is on schedule to be completed on time.

On 16 June, the Government published an update on recently approved revised delivery arrangements for HS2 Phase 2a, between the West Midlands and Crewe, predicated on a delivery into service range of 2030 to 2034. These arrangements will be formalised at the next fiscal event, expected to be later in 2021.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the strength of industrial relations at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The most recent assessment in relation to the strength of industrial relations was the ballot for industrial action which closed on 11 March 2021. Out of more than 6,000 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency staff, the number of individuals entitled to vote in the ballot was 3,106. Of these, 1,561 individuals voted, 1,114 voted in favour of industrial action, 442 people voted against and there were five spoiled voting papers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 funding support for (a) light rail (b) buses and (c) active travel.

To date the Government has announced over £1 billion in emergency grant funding to support the bus sector in England, alongside over £150 million to support light rail. This funding has helped keep services running throughout the pandemic


Over £200 million has been made available to authorities during the current financial year, via the Active Travel Fund, to support an active and green recovery from Covid-19. This will enable them to deliver safe and direct cycling and walking measures in their areas, such as protected cycle lanes, widened pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors.

This is in addition to the issuing of over 100,000 £50 bike repair vouchers to encourage more people to embrace cycling as a means of travel during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Urban Transport Group and (b) city region transport authorities on covid-19 funding support.

Government officials and Ministers are in regular conversation with members of the Urban Transport Group and local transport authorities to understand the challenges faced by city region transport authorities in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This engagement informs a range of Departmental policies, including the development and administration of Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding and Light Rail support funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to provide emergency bus funding directly to local transport authorities rather than to bus operators.

Local transport authorities do receive some Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding for tendered services. However, to ensure consistency with Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG), the majority of CBSSG funding is paid directly to operators. The Government needs to be confident that the public transport system can restart swiftly as required. We do not believe that now is the right time to change our funding models.

We are also keen to avoid a situation where different funding models are operating in different parts of the country, which would cause additional challenges for cross-border services or operators whose businesses span multiple urban areas.

The allocation of CBSSG funding reflects the structure of the bus market and ensures that both Local Transport Authorities and operators have the funding they need to support up to 100% of pre-pandemic service levels, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of his Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Transport has reviewed its annual leave policy against the legislation and is content that no change to existing policy is required. Employees of the department and its agencies are encouraged to use their annual leave allowance if possible, but may already carry over excess annual leave.

The department has issued advice to staff about annual leave arrangements, reflecting the recent legislation and guidance from Civil Service Employee Policy.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will place in the Library his Department's plans to reduce its carbon emissions.

The Government is committed to going further and faster to tackle climate change, which is why we are developing a bold and ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport. We published “Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge” to kick start this work at the end of March and will publish the final plan before the end of this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and his Department to discuss sustainability issues at his Department.

No specific arrangements are in place for consultation between the department and the trade unions on sustainability issues, but sustainability issues may feature in the consultation and negotiation undertaken between the department and its recognised trade unions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, where the Government's fleet vehicles are produced; and whether the production of those vehicles uses UK steel.

Information on all Government fleets is not held centrally and this response is for the Government Car Service fleet which operates as a division of the Department for Transport. The table indicates the material that the car bodies are manufactured from, also indicating if UK steel has been used.

Make

Model

Country of Build

Material Used for Car Body

UK Steel Yes/No

Nissan

LEAF

UK (Sunderland)

Steel

Yes

Jaguar

I-PACE

Austria (Graz)

Aluminium

Yes*

Jaguar

F-PACE

UK (Solihull)

Aluminium & Steel

Yes*

Jaguar

XF

UK (Castle Bromwich)

Aluminium & Steel

Yes*

Jaguar

XJ

UK (Castle Bromwich)

Aluminium

Yes*

Land Rover

Range Rover

UK (Solihull)

Aluminium

Yes*

Honda

CRV

UK (Swindon)

Steel

Yes

Ford

Mondeo Hybrid

Spain (Valencia)

Steel

No

Ford

Galaxy

Portugal

Steel

No

*Jaguar Land Rover: British steel is used in mixed material bodies, and in components on all car lines.

51% of the GCS car fleet were built in the UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Landlord Portal will be made available to private landlords.

There has never been a plan to expand the landlord portal for social sector landlords to the 2 million private sector landlords.

We provide clear pathways for private landlords to raise general queries or concerns about individual cases, for example, through our Partnership Manager network.

In May 2020 we also introduced a new online system for private landlords to enable better interaction with Universal Credit. Private landlords are now able to request a Universal Credit tenant’s rent is paid directly to them online, which helps claimants who struggle with managing their money to pay their rent. This system replaces the arrangement of completing a form and submitting it via email or post.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many foodbank vouchers have been provided to claimants of all types by her Department in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21 to date.

This information is not available. The Department for Work and Pensions does not make direct referrals to food banks or issue claimants with food bank vouchers. Jobcentre staff can signpost customers in writing to a food bank where they have asked for details, and if all sources of statutory support have been exhausted.

Throughout the pandemic, this Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system. The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the compliance of the Health and Safety Executive’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if she will make a statement.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) prevents the carryover of untaken annual leave from one leave year to the next. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) policy does not. Specifically, HSE’s policy:

  • Makes provision for an automatic carry-over of 10 days annual leave from one leave year into the next.
  • Allows flexibilities to carry over more than the maximum 10 days in some circumstances, with senior manager agreement.

As a result, HSE has not needed to change its policy in response to the exception to the WTR which was introduced in March 2020, which allows allow carry-over of leave in response to the impacts of coronavirus.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the compliance of her Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if she will make a statement.

Following the introduction of the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, DWP revised its guidance on annual leave carry-over to ensure it is fully compliant with the Regulations. The new 2-year extension of carry-over limits is available to anyone who, for reasons related to the impact caused by COVID-19, cannot use their annual leave by their normal deadline.

The Department greatly values the contribution made by our employees, who have voluntarily postponed their leave to help out when our workloads have increased greatly over recent months. However, employees have been encouraged to use their leave where possible because it is important for their wellbeing that they do so, in order to have time away from work to rest

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and her Department to discuss sustainability issues at her Department.

The Department is creating an Estates Carbon Management plan with prioritised impactful activities. The resulting activities are currently being incorporated into the department’s CSR20 bid to Treasury.

Should the Department’s CSR20 Estates Sustainability bid be successful with HM Treasury, the practicalities and impacts of the plans will be consulted upon with the Departmental Trades Union and our Sustainability Champions network.

In 2019/20, we set up an extensive network of Sustainability Champions, covering the majority of the estate and with over 600 volunteers. A programme of monthly campaigns was underway, although this is currently on-hold due to COVID-19.

We will continue to work with our Sustainability Champions by:

  • Ensuring that there are regular campaigns addressing energy and water consumption, amongst the many other wider aspects of sustainability.
  • Communicating new sustainability targets, when they are confirmed.
  • Investigating how we can further utilise the Sustainability Champions to drive the Estates sustainability agenda.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the £60,000 life assurance payment for NHS and social care covid-19 victims is disregarded for means-tested benefits.

The Government launched the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme on 20 May 2020. The £60,000 payment it provides is tax-free and aims to provide a substantial level of financial security to the families of health and social care workers who die from coronavirus. Benefits from the scheme are payable in addition to additional survivor benefits individuals may have purchased, such as those provided by the NHS Pension Scheme.

A key principle is that Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits should only go to people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to families who most need it.

As the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme is non-contributory and taxpayer funded, payments are factored into means-testing to ensure fairness and affordability for the public purse.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Parliamentary constituencies do not contain any open JobCentre Plus sites.

Jobcentres have remained open to support our most vulnerable claimants throughout this health emergency, in accordance with PHE and Devolved Government guidelines on social distancing. By implementing safety measures across our Jobcentres we can provide face-to-face support to any claimant who needs it.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the national blood tube shortage affecting the NHS in England.

We have secured tens of millions of additional blood tubes, including importing additional supplies from the European Union and the United States of America which are now in use and there continues to be stock in place to ensure clinically urgent testing continues. The Department is working closely with NHS England, the devolved administrations and the National Health Service to minimise any impact on patient care and return to a normal service as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the viability of a covid-19 booster jab for vulnerable groups who were vaccinated earlier in 2021 ahead of winter 2021-22.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) interim advice is that COVID-19 booster vaccines should first be offered to the most vulnerable. The JCVI advises a two staged approach, with individuals in stage one offered a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine, as soon as possible from September. Individuals in stage two would be offered a booster vaccine as soon as practicable after stage one, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible.

Final decisions on the timing, scope and eligibility will be confirmed once the JCVI has provided their final advice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of NHS reforms on tackling the backlog of elective care patients requiring urgent treatment and/or operations that have been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what the timeframe is for clearing the backlog for routine hospital treatment.

The reforms in the Health and Care Bill will support the National Health Service (NHS) to respond to challenges, both now and in the future, to tackle key issues such as patient waiting times.

The Department is unable to set a decisive timeframe for clearing the backlog for routine hospital treatment due to uncertainty around how many patients who did not seek treatment as a result of the pandemic will be coming forward and when.

The Department continues to support the NHS to step up activity as much as possible and tackle the backlog as a priority, with a particular focus on those who have been waiting the longest.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to review the guidance on wearing face coverings (a) in shops, (b) on transport and (c) in other public settings ahead of colder months in autumn and winter 2021.

The Government continues to assess the evidence and keeps the guidance on wearing face coverings under review. We will take further action if needed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make post-covid-19 vaccination screening available to patients who were prescribed anti-TNF medication to ascertain whether those patients have developed a suitable response to the vaccine.

For patients on immunosuppressive treatment such as anti-tumour necrosis factor medication, all vaccines should offer some level of protection. Post-vaccination testing may be considered, though it should be noted that low or absent antibody levels does not mean a vaccinated immunosuppressed patient has no protection.

As there is limited evidence on the immune response generated by COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised individuals, it is too early to assess what additional approaches, if any are needed to best support this group. The OCTAVE study will examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups. Results of the study are expected shortly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment on the financial effect of withdrawing the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass from those eligible for that pass.

Departmental officials have had regular discussions with officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

No impact assessment has been undertaken. Local authorities are responsible for their own parking criteria and make decisions on providing this free parking locally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 132828, on Borderline Substances Advisory Committee, whether his Department has plans to undertake a performance review of the work carried out by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances.

We have no plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) type 1, (b) type 2 and (c) type 3 applications due to be considered by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances are outstanding.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Type of application

Submitted

Under Review

Type 1

1

0

Type 2

18

0

Type 3

3

6

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances to review product applications.

No recent assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 132826 on Borderline Substances Advisory Committee, what assessment he has made of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

The Department has made no assessment of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, what assessment he has made of (a) the effectiveness of that committee's performance and (b) its timeliness in responding to applications in 2020-21.

The Department has made no assessment of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to prioritise students for covid-19 vaccinations during summer 2021 before their departure to universities in the UK and across Europe as part of the Turin scheme.

There are currently no plans to prioritise students as a group. Students aged 18 years old or over will be prioritised on grounds of age in phase two of the COVID-19 vaccine programme if they have not been vaccinated as part of phase one.

Vaccination is not currently routinely recommended for those aged 16-17 years old and is not recommended for those under 16 years old except in specific limited circumstances. We are on track to offer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccination to all those aged 18 years old or over by 31 July.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on trends in the level of prescriptions for anti-psychotic medication in care homes since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information is not available in the format requested. NHS Digital receives information on the prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia and without a diagnosis of psychosis. However, it does not include the location of those receiving the prescription and, therefore, cannot identify those in care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of health and social care staff that have refused the covid-19 vaccination; if he will publish that data; and what plan his Department has to mitigate the risk that those staff pose to other people.

Data on the number of health and social care staff who have not been vaccinated is not held centrally.

On 13 February we published the UK COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan, with the to increase the rate of vaccination amongst health and social care staff. Published data shows 79% of care home staff have received their first dose of the vaccine and the latest weekly data published on 15 April 2021 shows over half of National Health Service trust health care workers in the NHS Electronic Staff Record have received the second dose of their vaccine. The data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Employers should consider how best to ensure those staff members and patients are safe. This could include measures such as the appropriate personal protective equipment is in place, infection control standards, appropriate training and that employees have an up to date risk assessment in place to identify their individual risks, taking into account latest Government and professional advice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of prioritising for covid-19 vaccination NHS contractors providing critical equipment and medicine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.  The JCVI recommend that within this group, priority should be given to frontline staff at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease and at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare setting.

The Public Health England Green Book provides supportive guidance on the roles that may be considered as ‘frontline healthcare’ staff to prioritise as being at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment. The guidance provides advice on what roles may be considered which includes ‘non-clinical staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings’, specifically non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care. Those staff will be prioritised if they are at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling couples who live in separate households to see each other without the need for social distancing in tiers (a) two and (b) three at the end of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

From 2 December people should follow advise relevant to the Tier their area is in and some couples who live in separate households will be able to form a support bubble.

People do not need to socially distance from anyone they are in an established relationship with outdoors. If in the early stages of a relationship, particular care should be taken to follow the guidance on social distancing.

The Government will continue to review the measures and guidance, assessing them to ensure that they continue to be necessary and proportionate based on available scientific evidence.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) clear the backlog of and (b) reduce the size of waiting lists for elective care procedures.

Local providers have been asked to produce plans for how they will meet the key actions outlined in the phase 3 guidance issued by NHS England at the end of July. The ambition is to recover elective services in October to 90% of last year’s levels for admissions and 100% for outpatients. In September, the National Health Service carried out 80% of the planned hospital inpatient procedures which it delivered last year, as well as 96% of last year’s level of computerized tomography (CT) scans and 86% of MRI scans.

We will do everything possible to tackle waiting lists between now and winter, but this must be done in a safe and managed way ensuring that we maintain the capacity for any further surge in COVID-19 activity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the backlog is of elective care procedures in Liverpool CCG.

At the end of August 2020, there were 31,404 people on the elective waiting list for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that people who have contracted covid-19 and are in a hospital setting are not discharged into a care home.

It is our priority to ensure that everyone receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time. This includes ensuring people are discharged safely from hospital to the most appropriate place, and they receive the care and support they need.

Building on the commitments of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, we are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS to ensure that everyone due to be discharged to a care home has an up-to-date COVID-19 test result, with anyone who is COVID-positive being discharged to a setting that the CQC has assured is able to provide care and support for people who are COVID-positive.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with private care providers on the recent increase in rates of under occupancy in care homes in England.

Ministers regularly meet adult social care sector organisers including provider representatives and providers themselves to discuss current issues including the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

Decisions on commissioning and provider occupancy rates are a matter for individual local authorities, who have a duty to ensure a sustainable and high quality adult social care market in their areas. We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including declines in occupancy in care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department processes consultations held by his Department’s advisory groups; and if he will publish a list of consultations undertaken in the last 12 months.

The Department runs a consultation if there is either a statutory duty to consult or a common law duty (a duty established by case law) to consult. It follows the Cabinet Office Guidance on Consultation and also guidance on GOV.UK on writing and launching a consultation. There is no set length of time that a consultation should run for, but most run for 12 weeks. The Cabinet Office’s consultation principles recommend a ‘proportionate amount of time’.

A list of consultations held in the last 12 months is not held centrally and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials of his Department performing a secretariat function for an advisory group were redeployed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; how many such staff worked for each such advisory group; and if he will make a statement.

Departmental support of advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs) and committees and their respective functioning capacity, has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and meetings have been successfully operating online. For example, of the 13 Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) staff providing secretariat support to the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Commission on Human Medicines, only one was redeployed to the COVID-19 taskforce. Similarly, out of four staff supporting the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, one was seconded to the taskforce but the vacancy has since been filled.

With regard to expert/advisory committees, these operate like ANDPBs but as part of the Department, with some sponsored through Public Health England or the MHRA. Dedicated secretariat support ranges from one full time equivalent (FTE), such as the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), up to nine FTE, such as the UK National Screening Committee. Their functioning capacity and Departmental support has been largely unaffected. Meetings have generally continued after a short pause, and in some cases meeting frequency has increased, such as with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, SaBTO, and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.

An exception is the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling. It is now supported by nine analysts due to evolving from a planning and preparedness advisory committee that met three to four times a year, to a fully operational subgroup of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that meets at least weekly, with additional specialised subgroups of its own.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on the functioning capacity of his Department’s advisory groups and committees.

Departmental support of advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs) and committees and their respective functioning capacity, has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and meetings have been successfully operating online. For example, of the 13 Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) staff providing secretariat support to the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Commission on Human Medicines, only one was redeployed to the COVID-19 taskforce. Similarly, out of four staff supporting the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, one was seconded to the taskforce but the vacancy has since been filled.

With regard to expert/advisory committees, these operate like ANDPBs but as part of the Department, with some sponsored through Public Health England or the MHRA. Dedicated secretariat support ranges from one full time equivalent (FTE), such as the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), up to nine FTE, such as the UK National Screening Committee. Their functioning capacity and Departmental support has been largely unaffected. Meetings have generally continued after a short pause, and in some cases meeting frequency has increased, such as with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, SaBTO, and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.

An exception is the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling. It is now supported by nine analysts due to evolving from a planning and preparedness advisory committee that met three to four times a year, to a fully operational subgroup of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that meets at least weekly, with additional specialised subgroups of its own.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the latest minutes for each advisory group meeting overseen by his Department.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department monitors the work of its (a) advisory groups and (b) committees.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advisory groups and (b) committees in his Department.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to recognise and financially compensate Shared Lives carers for the additional care that they have provided to vulnerable adults during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether he plans to issue guidance to local authorities on that recognition and compensation.

We are grateful for everything that Shared Lives carers do and the compassion and dedication they show in providing care and support to thousands of people.

We understand that many Shared Lives carers have seen their usual pattern of providing care change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have shown flexibility and resilience in responding to this situation.

The £546 million extension of the Infection Control Fund which came into place in October contains £126.8 million in support for community care providers. This includes Shared Lives services which are providing Care Quality Commission-regulated personal care.

Our aim is to ensure carers feel supported the Department has worked with Shared Lives Plus and local government during the pandemic to ensure that local commissioners can take appropriate action to support Shared Lives carers during this time.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to support (a) local authorities and (b) the care sector more widely to deliver care services in the event that the covid-19 outbreak affects the financial viability of those sectors.

The Government is committed to supporting the adult social care system in the face of the pressures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

In September we announced £546 million of additional funding to extend the Infection Control Fund to March 2021. This extension means we have now ringfenced over £1.1 billion to support social care providers with COVID-19 costs. The Government will continue to monitor the pressures on adult social care during this period and keep future funding under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all practitioners providing (a) specialised cosmetic treatments) and (b) other non-surgical cosmetic treatments are suitably trained in relation to infection (i) prevention and (ii) control.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation and qualifications of practitioners in the aesthetics sector.

The Government expects providers to have the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Providers of aesthetic services should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with Health and Safety legislation and the Government’s published guidance on close contact services.

The Government supports the principle of increased protection for children and young people and is exploring the legal implications and potential impacts of introducing age restrictions for some non-surgical procedures.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of the current regulation of non-surgical cosmetic treatments; and whether he plans to introduce a minimum age limit for these treatments.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation and qualifications of practitioners in the aesthetics sector.

The Government expects providers to have the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Providers of aesthetic services should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with Health and Safety legislation and the Government’s published guidance on close contact services.

The Government supports the principle of increased protection for children and young people and is exploring the legal implications and potential impacts of introducing age restrictions for some non-surgical procedures.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that raw products imported into the UK for the use in advanced medical nutrition products will not be subject to tariffs at the end of the transition period.

With negotiations with the European Union ongoing, the Government is committed to achieving a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU by December 2020 that ensures zero tariffs and zero quotas on United Kingdom-EU trade. However, if no FTA is agreed then the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to imports from the EU.

As part of the UKGT, the Government is dropping tariffs to zero across a wide range of products which are used in UK production, reducing the cost pressures of inputs into UK manufacturing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the supply chains of companies providing medical nutrition products are not adversely affected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

With negotiations with the European Union ongoing, the Government is committed to achieving a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU by December 2020 that ensures zero tariffs and zero quotas on United Kingdom-EU trade. However, if no FTA is agreed then the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to imports from the EU.

As part of the UKGT, the Government is dropping tariffs to zero across a wide range of products which are used in UK production, reducing the cost pressures of inputs into UK manufacturing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase the level of public health funding allocated to Liverpool City Council.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care confirmed on 10 March 2020, Official Report, column 135, that the public health grant will increase in real terms in 2020/21 so local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services. Individual allocations will be confirmed shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he made a request to his US counterpart for an orderly and gradual US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Following President Biden's 14 April announcement, and NATO's 15 April decision to withdraw troops, we worked intensively with the US, both on military and civilian channels to ensure an orderly and co-ordinated withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to hold the new Taliban Government in Afghanistan accountable to their promises of a peaceful Afghanistan; and what assessment his Department has made of the impact of economic sanctions on (a) the Afghan economy and (b) potential stability of the new Government.

As the Prime Minister has agreed with G7 partners, the international community needs to stand together in order to make clear to the Taliban our expectations, and achieve our counter-terrorism, humanitarian, regional stability and human rights objectives.
Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) viability of supporting Afghan citizens through aid channelled through NGOs and (b) potential merits of increasing the funding allocated to those NGOs.

NGOs have been, and remain, vital partners for our work in Afghanistan. We are working closely with them to respond to the changing situation on the ground & consider how best we can respond collectively to the increasing humanitarian needs in the country


To ensure aid reaches the people that need it most, the FCDO are in daily contact with our partners in Afghanistan. We will continue to engage with them directly as the situation develops. Last week, in London, we hosted a round table with NGOs to better understand how we can support their life-saving work. On 20 August we met 30 NGOs working in the areas of development, humanitarian support, human rights and media freedom to understand the issues they are currently facing in country. There was a further meeting on 26 August, with 30 organisations, focussed on continued humanitarian access and the longer-term development needs.

Ministers are also in close touch with bilateral and multilateral partners, including the UN, on these issues.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential number of people who will be (a) internally, (b) regionally and (c) nationally displaced following climate changes in the next (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 30 and (iv) 40 years.

Climate change is already negatively impacting people, economies and the environment. The poorest people are often the first and worst affected. The FCDO has begun looking at the studies and analysis available to better understand the links between migration and climate change, including current and future trends.

One of the key priorities for COP26 is to increase action to help communities adapt and build resilience to climate impacts. We will use our Presidency to encourage greater commitment to, and support for, practical adaptation and resilience action, helping those communities most at risk to deal with the impact of climate change.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that British Arms exports are not being deployed by the Saudi Government in Yemen.

To address the Court of Appeal's judgement, we have developed a revised methodology against which all existing and new applications for Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen will be assessed to consider whether there is a clear risk the equipment might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. If there is such a risk, we will not issue the export licence.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) doctors and (b) nurses who (i) are subject to the Loan Charge and (ii) have settled to avoid that Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on professions.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many armed forces veterans (a) are subject to and (b) have settled to avoid paying the Loan Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on professions.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps HMRC is taking to tackle umbrella companies that advise their clients to use disguised remuneration schemes.

The Government and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are committed to continuing to tackle promoters and operators of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities and individuals who promote disguised remuneration loan schemes.

On 19 March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust action against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK. HMRC consulted on a package of measures to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes over Summer 2020.

On 12 November 2020, the Government announced further proposals to tackle promoters, which it will consult on this spring. Umbrella companies advising individuals to use disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes are within the scope of the legislation that applies to promoters and others who facilitate tax avoidance. Where appropriate, they are subject to the range of measures laid out in HMRC’s strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many contractors have worked for HMRC while using disguised remuneration schemes in relation to the Loan Charge.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 1 December 2020 to UIN 119261.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people facing bankruptcy as a result of the Loan Charge.

HMRC cannot provide an estimate for the number of people subject to the Loan Charge who have been declared bankrupt. There are many reasons why someone may be declared bankrupt. Moreover, HMRC are not always the only creditor; some individuals may be declared bankrupt as a result of a non-HMRC debt and some individuals may choose to enter insolvency themselves based on their overall financial position.

HMRC only ever consider insolvency as a last resort and encourage taxpayers to get in contact to agree the best way to settle their tax debts. Anyone who is worried about being able to pay what they owe is encouraged to get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible on 03000 599110.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to consult with (a) recognised trade unions and (b) HMRC on environmental sustainability issues at his Department.

The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change, becoming the first major economy in the world to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

The Treasury has a robust process for assessing the impact of spending decisions on achieving our environmental goals. Our world-leading Green Book mandates the consideration of climate and environmental impacts in spending.

Under the policy partnership between HMT and HMRC the two departments collaborate closely on areas of tax policy, including where this relates to the environment. We also engage regularly with a wide range of stakeholders outside the Government on these issues.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the discretionary grant fund afforded to local authorities in order to support SMEs.

The business grant funds, including the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, were primarily intended to support small businesses which faced high fixed property-related costs during the strict lockdown period, when consumer footfall was dramatically reduced. As most businesses in most areas are now able to reopen, it is right that we wind up the grant schemes, all of which closed to new applicants on 28 August. The Government continues to review the economic situation and consider what support businesses need. However, there are currently no plans to make further support available through the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund.

We do recognise that businesses which are forced to totally close for a substantial period in local lockdowns are likely to require additional support, which is why on 9 September the Government announced a new Local Lockdown Grant Fund, to enable Local Authorities to provide business properties which are required to shut due to nationally-imposed local lockdowns with grants of up to £1,500 for each three week closure period.

Businesses can still access a range of other support from the Government, including the furlough scheme which remains open, and Bounce Back Loans. In addition, all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have had their business rates cancelled in full for the entire year.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the accuracy of its data on the number of (a) small business, (b) self-employed and (c) sole traders that have been ineligible for Government support during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps the Government is taking to deliver financial support to those categories.

HMRC have a range of processes and checks built into the running of the tax system, which ensures the accuracy of their taxpayer information. To support the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) a number of additional processes and checks have been introduced to ensure the correct eligibility decisions have been reached, based on the information available, and HMRC have also undertaken a number of manual reviews to cross-check the information held on the taxpayer’s self-assessment account.

The Government has introduced a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses to help combat the impact of COVID-19. For the self-employed and sole traders, the Government introduced the SEISS, which has received more than 2.6 million claims worth over £7.6bn. The Government will continue its support for millions of self-employed individuals through the SEISS extension. An initial taxable grant will be provided to cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January 2021. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to £1,875.

For those ineligible for the SEISS, the Government has increased the Universal Credit standard allowance and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the crisis meaning that if self-employed claimants’ earnings have significantly reduced, their Universal Credit award will now increase to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this they also have access to other elements of the package which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Detailed information on the steps the Treasury is taking to reduce our carbon emissions is contained in Chapter 6 – Sustainability Report of our most recently published Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19.
Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what further support he plans to provide to safeguard (a) public gyms, (b) leisure centres and (c) indoor sports courts due to restrictions in place during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on sectors like public leisure. We are working intensively alongside the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport to understand the long-term challenges facing the sector.

The Treasury has already announced unprecedented support during this pandemic for individuals and businesses, to protect against the current economic climate; including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, bounce-back loans and a year-long business rates holiday for all eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Where eligible certain public leisure services may further have benefited from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund; and the Discretionary Grant.

The Government has also provided a comprehensive package of support for councils to help with their response to Covid-19. Over £3.7bn in additional grant funding has been announced for councils in England, which can be used flexibly across all their services, including public gyms and leisure facilities. On 2nd July, the Government also announced an income guarantee scheme which will reimburse local councils for 75% of eligible irrecoverable income from sales, fees and charges, above 5% of planned income for 2020/21.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support with regard to supporting public leisure as we respond to this pandemic.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to introduce full VAT exemption on ticket sales in the (a) creative sector and (b) night time economy.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has pledged a range of measures to help individuals and businesses through the crisis, including grants, loans and relief from business rates worth more than £300 billion.

To support over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs following the lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown, the Government will temporarily apply a reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services provided by the hospitality industry.

The Government has also announced a major £1.57 billion package to support key cultural organisations during this crisis. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the roll out and implementation of the Afghanistan resettlement scheme; and when hon. Members will receive a detailed briefing on that scheme.

On 18th August the Prime Minister announced a new and bespoke Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) to relocate 5,000 vulnerable Afghans in its first year, rising to 20,000 over the long-term – one of the most generous schemes in British history.

On 6th September, the Prime Minister provided further information on the Scheme, including announcing that those arriving through the ACRS will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain, allowing them to benefit from full rights and entitlements and providing them with the certainty and stability they need to build their life here.

Given the current complex picture in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, it is important that the Government fully considers the operational delivery of the scheme with its international partners. We are working urgently to open this route and further details will be announced in due course on gov.uk. Parliamentarians will be kept informed in the usual ways.

The ACRS is an integral part of the UK’s response to the humanitarian situation and will provide protection for thousands of Afghan citizens and other refugees identified as most at risk.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of verbal and/or physical attacks on workers during the covid-19 outbreak, by sector of the economy.

There are no official figures for the number of verbal or physical attacks on workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office collects data relating to assaults and threats made against staff in different business sectors via the Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS). However, the latest estimates are from the 2018 CVS, available in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/crime-against-businesses-findings-from-the-2018-commercial-victimisation-survey.

Survey results for the year ending March 2021 will be available in March 2022 and will cover only the wholesale and retail sector.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the standard of temporary asylum accommodation in the UK; and what plans she has to increase the amount of available accommodation as part of the New Plan for Immigration.

We expect appropriate standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Service users can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

All Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) must adhere the Asylum Accommodation and Support Schedule Statement of Requirements. The standards of accommodation and service are set within the AASC contract and represent a higher standard of quality than the preceding COMPASS contracts.

The new contracts have resulted in significant investment in the accommodation estate and its itinerary – improved facilities in Initial Accommodation, clear requirements on room sharing and greater inventory in Dispersal Accommodation. The new AIRE contract also introduces more independent and transparent oversight of standards through clearer complaints mechanisms for service users and supporting data which allows more intelligent targeting of performance improvement.

We are working closely with local authorities across the UK to secure additional accommodation and ensure service users can move through and ‘move-on’ from the support system. We urge local authorities to work with us to identify new accommodation.

Procurement of properties is being conducted at pace, but in all cases is subject to the consultation process set out within the Asylum Accommodation Support Contracts (AASC), whereby Local Authorities are able to raise objections to procurement of each specific property being proposed for use.

The Home Office is committed to working closely with communities and stakeholders to ensure destitute asylum seekers are housed in safe, secure and suitable accommodation, and they are treated with dignity while their asylum claim is considered.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the change in the number of hate crime incidents since the onset of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales on an annual basis.

The next scheduled release of such data is on 13 October and this will include an analysis of changes in levels of hate crime since the onset of the covid-19 outbreak.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any part of the asylum casework process is outsourced by her Department.

No part of the asylum case work process has been outsourced by her department. Asylum interviews have not been outsourced, at this stage we are only exploring the potential feasibility.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has provided to fire and rescue services on safety and contingency planning to tackle the reduction in the number of home safety assessments conducted by those services due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has provided guidance to Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs), to support the safe resumption of prevention activities, including Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs)

FRSs will adopt a risk- based approach to HFSVs to avoid the spread of Covid-19 to vulnerable groups and to protect staff, while continuing to deliver their statutory duty of promoting fire safety. The NFCC guidance provides factors that FRSs should consider when working in the home setting. The guidance is available on the NFCC website: https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/COVID-19/prevention/Strategic_Intention_COVID-19_Prevention.pdf

During the pandemic the Home Office has continued to collaborate with the NFCC through the Fire Kills campaign to raise awareness of pertinent fire safety messages. Campaign materials were developed and made available online and to fire and rescue services to support local interventions addressing specific and topical issues.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many claims have been made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020.

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush compensation claims have been processed; and how much compensation each claimant has received.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020.

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020.

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long on average it takes her Department (a) to make an initial decision on asylum applications and (b) to carry out substantive interviews with asylum applicants.

The Home Office does not publish data on how long it takes to make an initial decision on asylum applications or to carry out a substantive interview.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration. This data can be found at This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables

The Home Office are committed to ensuring asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay, individuals who need protection are granted asylum as soon as possible and can start to integrate and rebuild their lives, including those granted at appeal.

Whilst we take steps to increase capacity, with focus on process improvements, to deliver better quality decisions, more efficiently, we have moved away from the six-month service standard to concentrate on older claims, cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). Additionally, we are prioritising cases where an individual has already received a decision, but a reconsideration is required. The intention is for this approach to bring balance back to the asylum system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of asylum applications are granted upon first application.

The Home Office routinely publishes information on the total number of initial decisions on asylum applications, by outcome. This data can be found at This data can be found at Asy_02a of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential security threat to the UK of a new Taliban administration in Kabul; and what steps the Government is taking in response to that potential threat.

The principal threat to the UK’s national security stemming from the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan and the new Taliban administration will centre on the extent to which Afghanistan is once again used by terrorist groups to prepare attacks against the West in general and the UK in particular. The future relationship between the Taliban and Al Qaeda remains unclear, but in the short term it is unlikely that they would act contrary to the Taliban’s interest. We do not judge that the Taliban themselves have any intent to carry out attacks outside of Afghanistan.

The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) will highly likely continue to target the Taliban in Afghanistan to exacerbate social and ethnic tensions whilst seeking areas for settlement and sanctuary for their fighters. The UK continues to work to counter ISKP through means other than military presence in Afghanistan, working with partners in the region to diminish the threat they pose.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence amended its policy for civilian employees' annual leave carry-over to comply with the change to the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. This was done immediately and in line with Cabinet Office guidance. This means that none of our key workers should lose their statutory leave entitlement of 20 days (if they work full time) excluding public holidays because the necessary carry-over provision is in place. We collect and analyse metrics on annual leave and discuss our findings with the departmental Trade Unions.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the deadline for withdrawal of the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass in the event that the planned easing of covid-19 restrictions on 21 June 2021 is postponed.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils. In May, further updates were shared with NHS Trusts, the Royal Voluntary Service and local authorities, and the guidance page was updated on gov.uk.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and are already acting on this advice, with some deciding to offer their own concessions. Those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussion he has had with local authorities to understand the impact of withdrawing the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils. In May, further updates were shared with NHS Trusts, the Royal Voluntary Service and local authorities, and the guidance page was updated on gov.uk.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and are already acting on this advice, with some deciding to offer their own concessions. Those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities offered emergency parking provision to NHS key workers following the issuing of health, care and volunteer workers parking pass guidance.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils. In May, further updates were shared with NHS Trusts, the Royal Voluntary Service and local authorities, and the guidance page was updated on gov.uk.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and are already acting on this advice, with some deciding to offer their own concessions. Those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what communications his Department has issued to ensure that NHS staff members, health and social workers and NHS volunteer responders are aware of the withdrawal of the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass by 21 June 2021.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils. In May, further updates were shared with NHS Trusts, the Royal Voluntary Service and local authorities, and the guidance page was updated on gov.uk.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and are already acting on this advice, with some deciding to offer their own concessions. Those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment on the financial effect of the withdrawal of the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass on those eligible for that pass.

At the end of March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government reached an agreement with the Local Government Association that local councils in England would voluntarily offer free car parking to all NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders during the emergency response period.

With the national lockdown drawing to a close, challenges in managing pass fraud and an increasing number of councils moving toward local concessions for health workers and other groups, it was agreed that the national pass guidance should be withdrawn.

This is reflected in new joint parking enforcement advice provided in April to local authorities by the Local Government Association, British Parking Association and London Councils. In May, further updates were shared with NHS Trusts, the Royal Voluntary Service and local authorities, and the guidance page was updated on gov.uk.

Councils are responsible for setting their own local policy and are already acting on this advice, with some deciding to offer their own concessions. Those interested in local parking concessions can check their local councils' website for further details of any local schemes.

NHS staff continue to be eligible for free parking in hospital car parks and funding for this has been provided to NHS Trusts by government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the help-to-buy scheme to enable smaller developers to obtain materials and meet their obligations to buyers.

The Government recognises that there has been market disruption. That is why on 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the Help To Buy building completion deadline from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021. However, the Government also announced some additional flexibility to protect existing reservations made before 30 June 2020. These sales, by agreement with Homes England, must reach practical completion by 30 April 2021 and legal completion no later than 31 May 2021. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended . There are no plans to extend the current Help to Buy scheme beyond 31 March 2021 and a new two-year Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme for first time buyers commences on 1 April 2021. More information on the new scheme can be found at: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/ .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the long-term effects of large concentrations of HMOs in urban centres.

The department has not made an assessment of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in urban centres. However, we have given local authorities strong powers to regulate standards in HMOs.

These powers include HMO licensing, penalties of up to £30,000 for breaches of the law, rent repayment orders and, for the worst offenders, banning orders.

Local authorities also have additional powers through the planning system to regulate the change of use of properties into HMOs. Any change of use from a dwelling-house to a larger HMO housing of more than six people requires an application for planning permission.

Permitted development rights, which are set at a national level, allow a dwelling-house to change use to an HMO for up to six people who share facilities, without the need for a planning application. This process enables the change of use without placing unnecessary burdens on landlords and local planning authorities and we have no current plans to change this.

However, where there is sufficient evidence that it is necessary to protect local amenities or the well-being of the area, local planning authorities may withdraw a permitted development right in a specific area using an Article 4 direction under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, after consultation with the local community.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to reimburse local authorities for costs incurred in housing the homeless during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government provided £4.3 billion to help councils to manage the impacts of COVID-19 which includes their work to support homeless people, £3.7 billion of which is unringfenced, and £600 million to support social care. The Government provided a further £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to support vulnerable rough sleepers.

On 18 July, the Government launched the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, inviting bids for additional funding in 2020/2021 to pay for immediate?support?to ensure that people housed during the pandemic do not return to the streets,?and to?deliver longer-term move-on accommodation.

On 17 September we announced allocations of £91.5 million from the Next Steps Accommodation Programme to 274 councils in England to help vulnerable people housed during the pandemic. An additional £13.5 million will be used to enable local authorities to tackle new and emerging challenges over the winter. Applications for funding for the longer-term accommodation element of the Next Steps Accommodation Programme are currently being considered.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of devolving more powers to local authorities to (a) regulate and (b) ensure higher living standards for people in the private rented sector.

The Housing Act 2004 already gives powers to local authorities to regulate and enforce standards in the private rented sector. We added to these through the Housing and Planning Act 2016 when we introduced Rent Repayment Orders, Banning Orders and the database of rogue landlords. We also gave local authorities the power to serve financial penalties of up to £30,000, and they can keep the proceeds of this to pay for more targeted enforcement of standards in the worst properties.

So that local authorities can continue to apply these powers effectively, we are reviewing the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, the tool used to assess hazards in rented homes. This will provide a future-proofed system that tackles the worst conditions, helping the most vulnerable people and delivering big savings to the NHS.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will allocate additional funding to local authorities for investing in sport and leisure facilities.

MHCLG is providing local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, including £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants. This direct?financial support ?the government has ?provided, is just part of a comprehensive package of support? which includes cashflow measures as well as grants and business rates reliefs for businesses. The Secretary of State for Communities has also announced a co-payment scheme to cover?irrecoverable losses in sales, fees and charges?income?in 20/21; such as revenue from cultural assets which have been depressed by the pandemic.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect on local authority (a) budgets and (b) services of the loss of revenue from the closure of community indoor tennis facilities as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

MHCLG is providing local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, including £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants. This direct?financial support ?the government has ?provided, is just part of a comprehensive package of support? which includes cashflow measures as well as grants and business rates reliefs for businesses. The Secretary of State for Communities has also announced a co-payment scheme to cover?irrecoverable losses in sales, fees and charges?income?in 20/21; such as revenue from cultural assets which have been depressed by the pandemic.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what incentives the Government (a) has implemented and (b) is considering to encourage local authorities to promote the use of UK steel in procurement contracts.

The Government is working hard to make sure that UK producers of steel have the best possible chance of competing for and winning contracts across all Government procurement


In 2019, BEIS published information from departments and their arm’s-length bodies on how much steel they have procured over the last financial year and how they have applied the steel procurement guidance.

All Government departments and arms-length bodies are required to consider socio-economic and environmental factors when procuring steel.

BEIS also published an update of the Steel Pipeline, signalling upcoming steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

In December 2017 BEIS published independent research that identified high value market opportunities for UK steel producers, worth up to £3.8 billion a year by 2030. We are actively encouraging the UK steel sector to invest in their capacity and capability to enable them to grasp these opportunities.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average working days lost was for civil servants who (a) have and (b) have not declared themselves as having a disability in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Average working days lost for 12 months to the end of December 2019 and 2020 by requested characteristics. Coverage: payroll staff within Ministry of Justice and executive agencies.

PQ 156621

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020p

Male

9.3

8.0

Female

8.7

7.4

PQ 156622

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background

9.7

8.9

White

8.6

7.4

Not known/Prefer not to say

10.0

8.2

PQ 156623

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Under 30

8.0

6.8

30-49

8.2

7.0

50-59

10.3

8.6

60+

11.6

10.4

PQ 156624

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Declared disabled

16.7

12.7

Declared not disabled

7.9

6.6

Not known/Prefer not to say

8.8

8.6

The MoJ is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of its employees, and to reducing sickness absence levels.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year (April to December 2020) are provisional and may be subject to change in future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average working days lost was for civil servants aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 30 to 50 (c) 50 to 60 and (d) over 60 in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Average working days lost for 12 months to the end of December 2019 and 2020 by requested characteristics. Coverage: payroll staff within Ministry of Justice and executive agencies.

PQ 156621

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020p

Male

9.3

8.0

Female

8.7

7.4

PQ 156622

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background

9.7

8.9

White

8.6

7.4

Not known/Prefer not to say

10.0

8.2

PQ 156623

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Under 30

8.0

6.8

30-49

8.2

7.0

50-59

10.3

8.6

60+

11.6

10.4

PQ 156624

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Declared disabled

16.7

12.7

Declared not disabled

7.9

6.6

Not known/Prefer not to say

8.8

8.6

The MoJ is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of its employees, and to reducing sickness absence levels.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year (April to December 2020) are provisional and may be subject to change in future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average working days lost was for civil servants (a) from Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background and (b) recording themselves as White in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Average working days lost for 12 months to the end of December 2019 and 2020 by requested characteristics. Coverage: payroll staff within Ministry of Justice and executive agencies.

PQ 156621

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020p

Male

9.3

8.0

Female

8.7

7.4

PQ 156622

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background

9.7

8.9

White

8.6

7.4

Not known/Prefer not to say

10.0

8.2

PQ 156623

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Under 30

8.0

6.8

30-49

8.2

7.0

50-59

10.3

8.6

60+

11.6

10.4

PQ 156624

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Declared disabled

16.7

12.7

Declared not disabled

7.9

6.6

Not known/Prefer not to say

8.8

8.6

The MoJ is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of its employees, and to reducing sickness absence levels.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year (April to December 2020) are provisional and may be subject to change in future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average working days lost was for (a) female and (b) male civil servants in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

Average working days lost for 12 months to the end of December 2019 and 2020 by requested characteristics. Coverage: payroll staff within Ministry of Justice and executive agencies.

PQ 156621

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020p

Male

9.3

8.0

Female

8.7

7.4

PQ 156622

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background

9.7

8.9

White

8.6

7.4

Not known/Prefer not to say

10.0

8.2

PQ 156623

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Under 30

8.0

6.8

30-49

8.2

7.0

50-59

10.3

8.6

60+

11.6

10.4

PQ 156624

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2019

01 Jan to 31 Dec 2020 p

Declared disabled

16.7

12.7

Declared not disabled

7.9

6.6

Not known/Prefer not to say

8.8

8.6

The MoJ is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of all of its employees, and to reducing sickness absence levels.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year (April to December 2020) are provisional and may be subject to change in future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Justice does not centrally record the carry-over of annual leave. This is managed by the local business area.

Whilst we do not hold central data the Department has worked closely with Civil Service Employee Policy to ensure clear guidance to staff on the extended carry-over of annual leave provided for under the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. Whilst employees have been encouraged to continue to take leave since the start of the pandemic where they are able to do so to maintain their wellbeing, the 2-year extension of carry-over limits is available to all staff impacted by Covid-19 who have been unable to use their annual leave by the normal deadline.

This guidance has been disseminated through Departmental communications channels, dedicated Covid-19 intranet pages, and cascaded to business areas through HR Business Partners. For any complex Covid-related queries or concerns, including those relating to carry- over of annual leave, a dedicated team is available to provide advice and support.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the answer of the Minister for Justice to question 266 in oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 14 July 2020, HC 306, what steps he is taking to help ensure that Prospects engages with the Universities and College Union on risk assessments for delivering education at Feltham Young Offenders Institution.

The University and College Union (UCU) is not a recognised Trade Union by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). As such it is the responsibility of the private providers, who deliver education and recognise the UCU, to have discussions on the delivery of education during the Covid-19 recovery period. All providers are fully engaged in local risk assessments to ensure obligations are fulfilled to staff, department and children in custody, and the Youth Custody Service has liaised with Prospects with regard to their obligations on this basis.

With regards to risk assessments on delivering education, the teachers who provide education across the children and young people secure estate are protected by the Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure agreed between HMPPS and its recognised trade unions.

Additionally, HMPPS have consulted with recognised trade unions at both a local and national level on their Exceptional Delivery Models and risk readiness assessments. These assessments considered and encompassed staff working in educational settings, including staff not employed directly by HMPPS.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the answer of the Minister for Justice to question 266 in oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 14 July 2020, HC 306, what discussions his Department has had with (a) Prospects and (b) the Shaw Trust on (i) risk assessments for delivering education and (ii) industrial relations with the University and College Union at Feltham Young Offender Institution.

The University and College Union (UCU) is not a recognised Trade Union by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). As such it is the responsibility of the private providers, who deliver education and recognise the UCU, to have discussions on the delivery of education during the Covid-19 recovery period. All providers are fully engaged in local risk assessments to ensure obligations are fulfilled to staff, department and children in custody, and the Youth Custody Service has liaised with Prospects with regard to their obligations on this basis.

With regards to risk assessments on delivering education, the teachers who provide education across the children and young people secure estate are protected by the Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure agreed between HMPPS and its recognised trade unions.

Additionally, HMPPS have consulted with recognised trade unions at both a local and national level on their Exceptional Delivery Models and risk readiness assessments. These assessments considered and encompassed staff working in educational settings, including staff not employed directly by HMPPS.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the answer of the Minister for Justice to question 266 in oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 14 July 2020, HC 306, what assessment he has made of the (a) level and (b) extent of engagement between Prospects Shaw Trust and University and College Union on risk assessments on delivering education at Feltham Young Offender Institution.

The University and College Union (UCU) is not a recognised Trade Union by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). As such it is the responsibility of the private providers, who deliver education and recognise the UCU, to have discussions on the delivery of education during the Covid-19 recovery period. All providers are fully engaged in local risk assessments to ensure obligations are fulfilled to staff, department and children in custody, and the Youth Custody Service has liaised with Prospects with regard to their obligations on this basis.

With regards to risk assessments on delivering education, the teachers who provide education across the children and young people secure estate are protected by the Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure agreed between HMPPS and its recognised trade unions.

Additionally, HMPPS have consulted with recognised trade unions at both a local and national level on their Exceptional Delivery Models and risk readiness assessments. These assessments considered and encompassed staff working in educational settings, including staff not employed directly by HMPPS.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the oral answer of the Minister of State of 14 July 2020 to the Justice Select Committee, Question 264, what discussions his Department has had with UCU on opening up education (a) at HMYOI Feltham and (b) across the prison estate.

The University and College Union (UCU) is not a recognised Trade Union by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). As such it is the responsibility of the private providers, who deliver education and recognise the UCU, to have discussions on the delivery of education during the Covid-19 recovery period. All providers are fully engaged in local risk assessments to ensure obligations are fulfilled to staff, department and children in custody, and the Youth Custody Service has liaised with Prospects with regard to their obligations on this basis.

With regards to risk assessments on delivering education, the teachers who provide education across the children and young people secure estate are protected by the Health and Safety Risk Assessment Procedure agreed between HMPPS and its recognised trade unions.

Additionally, HMPPS have consulted with recognised trade unions at both a local and national level on their Exceptional Delivery Models and risk readiness assessments. These assessments considered and encompassed staff working in educational settings, including staff not employed directly by HMPPS.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2020
What assessment his Department has made of the effect on children in custody of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

We are very sensitive of the difficulties many children in custody will be having as a result of Covid-19, and the measures taken to protect children and staff.

There has been a focus on delivering essential activities (including regular phone calls, with additional free phone credits allocated). ‘SECURE STAIRS’ - the integrated framework of care jointly led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Youth Custody Service - has adapted its approach to meet the needs of children at this time, whilst adhering to physical distancing.

I am pleased that, following completion of ‘youth-specific’ Exceptional Delivery Models, ‘face to face’ education and visits are commencing this week at our public sector Young Offender Institutions, as part of Covid-19 recovery work.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of overtime hours worked by prison officers at HMP Ranby were compensated for with (a) time off in lieu and (b) overtime payments in each of the last six months.

The data for the overtime hours taken by staff as time off in lieu can only be obtained by disproportionate cost. We would have to look at each individual staff record for the past six months to obtain this level of information.

Table below shows the number of hours for which staff compensated with overtime payment in each of the last six months. Please note that this cost includes overtime hours completed for other establishments.

Months

January

February

March

April

May

June

Hours

1098

1146

3529

6639

5481.5

1745.75

We are making special payments to all of our hard-working prison staff who are going above and beyond the call of duty during these exceptional times.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hours of time off in lieu staff at HMP Ranby have (a) accumulated and (b) been repaid in each of the last six months.

The data regarding the accumulated hours worked by staff as time off in lieu is not held centrally. This information could only be obtained at disproportionate as all individual staff records would need to be scrutinised.

The table below shows the number hours for which staff were paid overtime, or ‘Payment Plus’, in the last six months. Please note this cost includes overtime hours completed for other establishments.

Month

January

February

March

April

May

June

Hours

1098

1146

3529

6639

5481.5

1745.75

We are making special payments to all of our hard-working prison staff who are going above and beyond the call of duty during these exceptional times.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions staff at HMP Ranby have been ordered to extend scheduled shifts in each of the last six months.

Fewer than five staff at HMP Ranby were ordered by the Governor to extend their scheduled shifts in the last six months.

We cannot provide an exact figure where the true number falls between one and five. We believe that the release of some of this information would risk identification of the individuals concerned and it should not be assumed that the actual figure represented falls at any particular point within this scale; ‘five or fewer’ is used as a replacement value from which it would be difficult to isolate or extract any individual data.

Staff in minus hours of their contractual working hours will be asked or, when necessary if they refuse, be ordered to extend their shift when there is a need to maintain safe and decent regimes.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many FTE equivalent Band 3 prison officers there are at HMP Ranby; and what his Department's target is for staffing at that prison.

The number of full time equivalent band 3 prison officers at HMP Ranby as at 31 March 2020 was 204.1.

Governors now have the autonomy to determine staff numbers to best meet the needs of the prison, whilst keeping within the overall budgetary envelope. In August 2019, HMP Ranby had a significant increase in their band 3 prison officers, to help facilitate keyworker activity and improve safety and performance. The next HMPPS Workforce Bulletin can be accessed on this page when it is published on 20 August 2020 - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-offender-management-service-workforce-statistics.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse was in staff payments and awards at HMP Ranby in each of the last six months.

The table below shows the overall staff salary costs and any additional payment awards made to staff at HMP Ranby in the last six months.

We are also making special payments to all of our hard-working prison staff who are going above and beyond the call of duty during these exceptional times.

January to June 2020

Staff Costs - HMP Ranby

January

February

March

April

May

June

Salary

£1,225,097

£1,255,139

£1,301,870

£1,283,881

£1,293,544

£1,264,886

Additional Payments

£158,952

£137,898

£154,645

£150,892

£320,005

£270,260

Total

£1,384,049

£1,393,037

£1,456,515

£1,434,773

£1,613,549

£1,535,146

Note for the table

Salary costs includes National Insurance and employer contributions

Additional payment includes payment plus, overtime and bonus payments

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether HMP Ranby has a regime management plan in place; and if he will make a statement.

There is an Exceptional Regime Management Plan (ERMP) at the prison. This was developed in consultation with Public Heath England at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan outlines a framework to assist with the delivery of services during the pandemic.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)