Rachael Maskell Portrait

Rachael Maskell

Labour (Co-op) - York Central

Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

(since April 2020)
Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights
7th Jan 2020 - 6th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Transport)
3rd Jul 2017 - 7th Jan 2020
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
31st Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
28th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
27th Jun 2016 - 1st Feb 2017
Shadow Minister (Defence)
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 26th Oct 2015


Oral Question
Thursday 28th October 2021
10:10
Oral Question No. 1
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners have taken to support refugees from Afghanistan.
Department Event
Thursday 18th November 2021
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 114 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Thursday 21st October 2021
Covid-19 Update

I am sorry, but this is just not good enough. In my constituency, hundreds of children are off school, hundreds …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Third Sector: Finance
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 30th October 2019
York City Knights Rugby League Club
That this House congratulates York City Knights Rugby League Club on achieving third place in the Championship League table in …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB
Address of donor: Grove Hall, 60 College Grove Road, Wakefield WF1 3RN
Amount of donation or …
EDM signed
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Staffing reductions at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
That this House acknowledges the work and dedication of staff employed across the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); …
Supported Legislation
Automatic Electoral Registration (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rachael Maskell has voted in 270 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Rachael Maskell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 135 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Rachael Maskell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 189 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Rachael Maskell Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(30 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(30 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(25 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(55 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(36 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(29 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rachael Maskell's debates

York Central Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest York Central signature proportion
Petitions with most York Central signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

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.

Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.

The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

As students are unable to access facilities or continue with their eduction at their university setting in the following semester, we would like to request that the government considers refunding tuition payments for Semester 3.

The quality of online lectures is not equal to face-to-face lectures. Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life. The Government should require UK universities to partially refund tuition fees while online teaching is implemented.

Students across the UK have returned to University to be told our learning will be predominantly online for the foreseeable future. The Government should therefore lower our tuition fees and we should receive a partial refund for the effects this will have on our learning and university experience.

The University and College Union has repeatedly called on its members to strike. However, strikes are ineffective if students, not employees are the main source of revenue. For this to change, government needs to step in and require universities to reimburse tuition fees lost due to strike action.

Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.

Extend funding to nightclubs, dance music events and festivals as part of the £1.57bn support package announced by the government for Britain's arts and culture sector to survive the hit from the pandemic. #LetUSDance

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.


Latest EDMs signed by Rachael Maskell

22nd September 2021
Rachael Maskell signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Staffing reductions at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House acknowledges the work and dedication of staff employed across the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); notes the agency plays a leading role in protecting and improving public health and supports innovations through research and development; is aware that the MHRA has three centres employing almost …
38 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 27
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Alba Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
22nd June 2021
Rachael Maskell signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Rachael Maskell's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rachael Maskell, 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.


Rachael Maskell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Rachael Maskell has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Rachael Maskell has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


1921 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
33 Other Department Questions
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he will take to ensure that all decisions made by local authorities are compatible with the Government's net zero emissions target.

DLUHC is responsible for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which clearly sets out that the Government expects the planning system to help mitigate and adapt to climate change and implement the move to a decarbonised future. The Framework expects Local Plans to take account of climate change over the longer term; local authorities should adopt proactive strategies to reduce carbon emissions and recognise the objectives and provisions of the Climate Change Act 2008


As part of our current programme of planning reforms we intend to do a fuller review of the NPPF to make sure it contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation as fully as possible


Government departments have provided extensive support for local authorities to act on climate change, including over £1.2 billion in dedicated grants last year, and £12 billion is available to support large scale net zero and levelling up projects through the UK Infrastructure Bank. Not to mention extensive other sources of funding that have the flexibility to be used to support net zero, such as the £4.8 billion Levelling Up fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy to prioritise housing for homeless and displaced people in line with the Housing First programme.

Piloting Housing First was a Government manifesto commitment that was announced in the 2017 Autumn budget. Since its launch, our expert advisers have been working closely with each of the three pilot regions to monitor and support progress. We also commissioned a consortium, led by ICF, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the programme, which will run for the duration of the pilots.The Housing First pilots are now in their fourth year and have supported over 1,050 of the most entrenched and cyclical rough sleepers across 23 local authorities.

We recognise that rough sleeping is a nationwide challenge, and that is why it is important that we consider the findings of our evaluation, together with our experiences from the three pilots, to ensure that we know how it could work best on a larger scale.

The Government committed to expanding Housing First in its latest manifesto and we will use the findings of our evaluation, together with our experiences from the three pilots, to inform next steps.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of City of York Council on their financial situation.

In this year's Settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This saw City of York Council's Core Spending Power increase to over £140 million in 2021-22, an increase of 5%.

The Government also allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic, with more than £6 billion of this un-ringfenced, recognising the value and need for an increase in local leading. City of York Council received £12.8 million in additional unringfenced Covid funding in 2020-21 and a further £4.4 million in 2021-22, a total of £17.2 million.

The Government will set out the future plan for local government funding at the 2021 Spending Review, which will be an opportunity to look at local government funding in the round. Following this DLUHC will provide further details of the proposed allocation of resources to each local authority through the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that all statutory provision, in particular for children and adult social care, will be met by local authorities from April 2022 in addition to other services.

Funding for local government will be agreed as part of the Spending Review. This process is well underway, and the overall level of Local Government funding will be determined in the round, including for children’s and adult’s social care.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he plans to take to tackle the deficits in local government finances in York.

In this year's Settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This saw City of York Council's Core Spending Power increase to over £140 million in 2021-22, an increase of 5%.

The Government also allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic, with more than £6 billion of this un-ringfenced, recognising the value and need for an increase in local leading. City of York Council received £12.8 million in additional unringfenced Covid funding in 2020-21 and a further £4.4 million in 2021-22, a total of £17.2 million.

The Government will set out the future plan for local government funding at the 2021 Spending Review, which will be an opportunity to look at local government funding in the round. Following this DLUHC will provide further details of the proposed allocation of resources to each local authority through the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the state of local government finance (a) nationally and (b) in York.

In this year's Settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This saw City of York Council's Core Spending Power increase to over £140 million in 2021-22, an increase of 5%.

The Government also allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic, with more than £6 billion of this un-ringfenced, recognising the value and need for an increase in local leading. City of York Council received £12.8 million in additional unringfenced Covid funding in 2020-21 and a further £4.4 million in 2021-22, a total of £17.2 million.

The Government will set out the future plan for local government funding at the 2021 Spending Review, which will be an opportunity to look at local government funding in the round. Following this DLUHC will provide further details of the proposed allocation of resources to each local authority through the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on housing of homes purchased for investment rather than accommodation.

Whilst the Government is committed to helping people to own their own home, a healthy housing market is built upon the co-existence of a range of tenures, including the private rented sector (PRS), to meet individual needs and requirements.

The Build to Rent (BtR) sector is one example that has attracted significant institutional investment over recent years. BtR boosts housing supply, diversifies the private rental sector and increases quality and choice for renters in cities and towns across England. We have revised the National Planning Policy Framework and issued a new chapter of planning guidance to support the delivery of more BtR homes, including affordable rental homes. Our Build to Rent Fund provided over £630 million of development finance for the supply of new homes built specifically for private rent. We are also providing support to the sector through the £3.5 billion PRS Guarantee Scheme.

This Government is committed to supporting the supply of new homes. We have made strong progress towards our aim of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s - delivering around 244,000 last year, the highest in over 30 years. This is backed by nearly £20 billion in investment: initial funding of £7.1 billion for the National House Building Fund over the next four years to unlock up to 860,000 homes over the lifetime of the projects.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment has he made of the adequacy of the contract procurement processes used by local authorities for house building.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not assess the local authority contract management process for house building. The Government supports local authorities to deliver new housing. Local authorities are independent statutory bodies, accountable to their local electorate and have the autonomy to develop their own housebuilding programmes. The National Procurement Policy Statement, published in June, sets out strategic priorities for public procurement and the expectation that contracting authorities will benchmark procurement capability.

We encourage local authorities to develop housebuilding plans and have taken a number of steps to support councils to deliver new homes. In March 2021 we announced greater freedoms for councils to spend the money they receive from Right to Buy sales on replacement homes. In May 2021, Homes England launched a Local Government Capacity Centre to provide councils with practical support to build their housebuilding skills and capacity. This is on top of Government's commitment to invest over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade, which includes the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme that councils are able to bid for. We want to see local authorities using the range of tools available to deliver a new generation of council housing.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) properties used for airbnb, (b) other short term holiday let properties and (c) the number of second homes (i) nationally and (ii) in York.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of properties used for AirBnB, other short term let properties and the number of second homes nationally or in York.

At household level, the English Housing Survey in 2017/18, reported that 12% of households rented part or all of their home out in the 12 months prior to the survey using home sharing organisations, such as AirBnB. The frequency or length of period is not known.

Some details are available in the 2017/18 Home ownership report at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2017-to-2018-home-ownership and the 2018/19 Second homes fact sheet at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2018-to-2019-second-homes-fact-sheet.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy to ensure that all future planning legislation prioritises house building according to local need for (a) tenure, (b) size, and (c) houses with gardens or flats.

As set out in our National Planning Policy Framework, local authorities should assess the size, type and tenure of housing needed for different groups in the community and reflect this in their local planning policies.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to take steps with local authorities to develop workforce plans to help ensure that they are able to recruit staff with the skills they need, including in their works departments, to support communities.

Local authorities are independent employers, accountable to local people. They are responsible for their own workforce arrangements. The department does not have a national workforce plan for local government but offers a range of support to help build a sustainable, resilient sector.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to support local authorities to (a) invest in apprenticeships and (b) identify Kickstart placements in their maintenance departments in order to tackle potential skills shortages in those teams.

Officials in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities work closely with their counterparts in the Department for Education and Department for Work and Pensions, to collectively engage at regional and local levels with organisations such as mayoral combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships and local government on skills and labour market challenges.

There are currently 637 high-quality employer-designed apprenticeship standards available, supporting employers, including local authorities, to develop the skilled workforces they need, which include maintenance skills. To support employers in creating new apprenticeship opportunities, a higher incentive payment of £3,000 for each new apprentice they recruit as a new employee between 1 April and 30 September 2021, has been introduced in England.

In addition, the Department for Work and Pensions is working closely with over 100 local authorities across Great Britain to deliver the Kickstart Scheme. Local authorities are acting as gateway organisations helping to source Kickstart jobs from local employers, with some local authorities also having Kickstart jobs within their own organisations.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to assist local authorities to build maintenance capacity in order that void properties are brought rapidly into use.

Local authorities have many powers and strong incentives to tackle empty homes. Through the New Homes Bonus, they receive the same amount for bringing an empty home back into use as building a new one. Billing authorities in England also have the power to charge additional council tax - on top of the standard bill - on properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for at least two years, on properties that have been empty for at least five years, and on properties that have been empty for at least 10 years.

In certain circumstances, local authorities can exercise powers to take over the management of long-term empty homes in order to bring them back into use in the private rented sector.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will publish the (a) available data on carbon dioxide levels in locations in the House of Commons and (b) risk assessment of the effect of levels of carbon dioxide in the House of Commons on the transmission of covid-19.

Guidance has been published by the Health and Safety Executive on ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This, along with the latest Government guidance has been incorporated into the Parliamentary Covid risk assessment.

Carbon Dioxide monitoring has been carried out across the estate in recent months. No readings on the estate have met or exceeded Government thresholds, which would recommend further action be taken. Should any readings exceed recommended levels these would then be managed and mitigated against, in line with other risks, and consulted on in the normal way.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, if he will ensure that the potential merits of a carbon border tax or carbon border adjustment mechanism is discussed at the COP26 summit.

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM) are not on the agenda for discussion at COP26. The agenda at COP26 will be determined by mandates as agreed by Parties at previous COPs and adopted by consensus.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, if the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is on the agenda for COP26.

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAMs) are not on the agenda for COP26. The agenda at COP26 will be determined by mandates as agreed by Parties at previous COPs and adopted by consensus.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what provisions will be put in place for people who remain concerned about covid-19 infection as singing is reintroduced in churches.

The National Church Institutions as part of the DCMS and MHCLG Places of worship Task Force has produced fresh guidance for Parishes to help navigate the current situation. It reflects Government guidance as we move to step 4 of their roadmap as well as that from public health bodies and will continue to be updated as that evolves.

The guidance provided by the National Church Institutions it is hoped will inform local clergy and PCC’s in their decision-making. The circumstances in each parish may differ due to space, age and heath demographic, ability to ventilate the building or a variety of other concerns.

The full guidance can is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
1st Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to engage school age children in the lead up to COP26.

On 10 June, we published the Together for our Planet Schools Pack which was sent to schools across the UK. The pack is designed to encourage conversations about climate change, engage students on COP26, and help schools celebrate students who are going “One Step Greener” by recycling, walking to school, or taking other steps to tackle climate change. In April, we partnered with Blue Peter to launch a writing competition which asked children to submit a story about something that is affecting our planet today. We will transform the winning work into an animated film which will premiere at COP26 to inspire urgent climate action.

The COP Unit has a dedicated youth engagement team who are working to ensure youth voices are heard at COP26 and in its legacy. I have set up a Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council so that young activists are informing our planning for an inclusive COP26. The UK is also working in partnership with the Italian government Government, who will host the Pre-COP and Youth4Climate event, bringing together 400 young climate leaders from across the world.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what recent discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have to halt deforestation on the planet; and what estimate he has made of when that will be achieved.

As incoming President of COP26 and recently as President of the G7, the UK is putting nature and forests at the heart of our response to tackling climate change.

In the recently published G7 Leaders’ ‘2030 Nature Compact’, we set out a G7 ambition to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and to tackle deforestation, including by supporting sustainable supply chains and demonstrating clear domestic action. To achieve this, the UK has brought together agricultural commodity consumer and producer countries in the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue. The UK is also helping to build the LEAF coalition, which aims to mobilise $1 billion in financing, and is expected to become one of the largest ever public-private efforts to protect tropical forests and support sustainable development.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he has taken to incorporate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into his outcome planning for COP26.

The UK Presidency set out four goals for COP26, outlining what needs to be achieved at the summit. Through COP26, we aim to accelerate climate action by securing global net zero and keeping 1.5 degrees in reach; adapting to protect communities and natural habitats; and mobilising finance. We must also work together to deliver, through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

These goals support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 13, related to climate action, and SDG 15, protecting forests and halting biodiversity loss. We are working closely with all countries to take action to tackle climate change and to protect our natural habitats.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he will take to involve all the regions of the UK in the COP26 summit.

We are committed to ensuring an inclusive, whole of society COP26, representative of all of the UK. This will be a key objective as we select organisations to be represented in the Green Zone and on the UK Pavilion. Through our domestic ‘Together for our Planet’ campaign we are building awareness and understanding of COP26 across the UK, giving people the chance to get involved in the run-up to the Summit. For example, we recently ran our Creative Earth art competition inviting young people from around the UK to design artwork setting out their vision for the planet, and the winners will be showcased at COP26 in November. We have also encouraged stakeholders who would like to be involved in events or showcasing in UKG managed spaces at COP26 to submit bids through an Expression of Interest process, and we have received proposals from stakeholders from across the UK.

We are working with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to ensure an inclusive and ambitious summit for the whole of the UK. All parts of the UK will have important roles to play in ensuring the summit’s success. I have invited climate change Ministers from the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to participate in a regular devolved administrations Group to ensure effective engagement and collaboration on COP26 in support of the delivery of an inclusive and welcoming COP26. The third meeting was held last week.

I also chair the COP26 UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council with mayors and local leaders from across the UK. The most recent meeting was on 15 March. Additionally, we work closely with several Non-State Actor organisations such as UK100 to further engage with local leaders.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to help ensure there are opportunities for civil society to engage with the COP26.

Civil society, with their links to on-the-ground communities and practitioners, are key partners to achieve the goals we have set for COP26. We want to work with civil society to amplify and learn from the voices of those most affected by climate change, to inspire increased climate ambition and to deliver a truly all-of-society and inclusive COP.

This is why I have set up an International COP26 Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council so that we can hear and act on the expertise of civil society groups. I have also committed to, and have been meeting young people and civil society in every country that I visit in the run up to November. Finally, I have a dedicated civil society engagement team in the COP26 Unit to ensure civil society voices are heard at COP26. My officials run regular calls with a large network of civil society organisations to share updates on our planning for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
Pay
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to require employers to display the salary range when advertising employment opportunities.

Supporting employers through robust insights and evidence is at the heart of our commitment to gender equality in the workplace. As the Behavioural Insights Team guidance sets out, if employers clearly communicate the salary range on offer for a role it encourages better informed salary negotiations. There is no formal policy on how employers should communicate salary ranges for job offers but it is clear that transparency and better designed processes contribute to better workplace outcomes.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the report of the Behavioural Insights Team, Reducing the gender pay gap and improving gender equality in organisations: Evidence-based actions for employers, whether it is Government policy to encourage employers to clearly communicate the salary range on offer for a role to encourage women to negotiate their salary as an effective action to close the gender pay gap.

Supporting employers through robust insights and evidence is at the heart of our commitment to gender equality in the workplace. As the Behavioural Insights Team guidance sets out, if employers clearly communicate the salary range on offer for a role it encourages better informed salary negotiations. There is no formal policy on how employers should communicate salary ranges for job offers but it is clear that transparency and better designed processes contribute to better workplace outcomes.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on the review of the Clergy Discipline Measure.

The review group at Lambeth Palace is working to bring forward proposals to the General Synod for the replacement of the Clergy Discipline Measure. Sadly, because of the pandemic, the public consultations that were planned to take place at the end of 2020 have only just happened. A wide range of individuals and groups have responded to the interim proposals that the Working Group has put forward. The review group are now collating those responses and intend to formulate their proposals into a new piece of legislation. This new Measure will include an early triaging process, an alternative route for mediation, and ensure that adequate resources are made available to make the administration of discipline more efficient and transparent for all involved.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have lost their job in each month in the last 15 years.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what support is being made available to cathedrals to tackle the financial challenges they are facing as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Church of England's 42 cathedrals contribute over £220million to the national economy and have, on average 10 million visitors in a typical year. The closure of churches and cathedrals due to Covid-19 has severely reduced both their ability to support the local and national economy. Estimates suggest that cathedrals are facing anticipated losses due to the pandemic of around £28million in 2020 and a projected further £15million in 2021.

Cathedrals are eligible and are being encouraged to apply for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, and the Government's £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund.

The Church Commissioners have made money available to cathedrals in response to the pandemic, including through the £10 million cathedral sustainability fund, of which £1million is to support cathedrals wage bills, £1million to support Lay Clerks and cathedral music, £1million to support specialist heritage trades and a further £5 million on other projects to make cathedrals more sustainable. The Church Commissioners are currently consulting all cathedrals about their current circumstances and potential future financial and non-financial support needs.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on a trade agreement 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
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department spent on scoping a potential move of the House of Lords to York.

The Prime Minister wrote to the CEOs of the Sponsor Body and Delivery Authority requesting that the strategic review of the Restoration and Renewal Programme give consideration to decant locations outside of London, including York. The Government looks forward to the findings of the strategic review. It will be Parliament that will take the final decision on how to proceed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of whether non-covid deaths in care homes at the peak of the outbreak were accurately recorded.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of (a) trends in the level of non-covid-19 deaths during the peak of the outbreak and (b) the level of those deaths which resulted directly from that outbreak.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Commissioners' timetable is for enabling churches to reopen safely for funeral services after the covid-19 lockdown.

The Church Commissioners do not have responsibility for setting a timetable for the reopening of church buildings for funeral services. Current guidance from the House of Bishops is not to conduct funeral services in church buildings because of widely expressed concerns about parishes having capacity to conduct such funerals safely, including being able to clean churches thoroughly between services to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. This is guidance, not instruction.

We are acutely aware of the anguish of those not able to have or attend a funeral in their parish church in the current circumstances. Where it is requested a priest will be present to conduct a funeral service, either at a crematorium or at the churchyard. The House of Bishops meets regularly to review its guidance which will be updated in line with changing circumstances, and published on the Church of England website.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, for what reason does the CPS withdraw its support for rape cases going to full trial after a trial date has been set.

When deciding whether to prosecute a criminal case, prosecutors must follow the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This is the starting point for every decision they make and requires prosecutors to apply two key tests: the evidential test and the public interest test.

Prosecutors have a continuous duty to review cases, and there are a range of reasons that may mean a case no longer meets the Code test. The most common changes that result in a discontinuance include new undermining evidence, existing evidence being ruled as inadmissible, and victim withdrawal from proceedings.

The CPS is committed to improving victims’ confidence in and experience of the criminal justice process. The CPS is working tirelessly with its cross-government and criminal justice partners to make sure victims are supported from the moment they report a rape or sexual assault through the criminal justice process.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to ensure that environmental protections are not diminished as a result of the commission looking at regulation following the UK's departure from the EU.

The Government is committed to high standards of workers’ rights and environmental protections. The initiative referred to by the hon. Member is about ensuring that we have a regulatory environment which is the right fit for the UK as an independent nation.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to ensure that workers' rights are not diminished as a result of the commission looking at regulation following the UK's departure from the EU.

The Government is committed to high standards of workers’ rights and environmental protections. The initiative referred to by the hon. Member is about ensuring that we have a regulatory environment which is the right fit for the UK as an independent nation.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the scope of the covid-19 public inquiry.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the chair of the covid-19 public inquiry will be appointed.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the decision by the Netherlands to reintroduce covid-19 restrictions.

I refer the hon. Member to the statement given by the Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment on 22 July 2021.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) relevant stakeholders on (i) keeping and (ii) expanding the National Security Vetting Agency in York.

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) now sits within the Government Security Group in Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office is committed to growth in both York and Glasgow. The majority of new roles within UKSV will be advertised in York and Glasgow although some specialised roles may be advertised elsewhere, for example such as in Milton Keynes, an original FCO location.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, under what circumstances he would introduce a local lockdown after the lifting of covid-19 restrictions in England on 19 July 2021.

In September, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance as we approach the winter, including on face coverings and test, trace and isolate, and will review the remaining regulations.

The Government will maintain contingency plans for reimposing economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant. Such measures would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of abolishing fixed terms for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive alongside proposals to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

The use of fixed terms in elections to the Scottish Parliament and Senedd Cymru is a devolved matter and for the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales to consider. The fixed terms set for Northern Ireland Assembly elections are not a devolved matter and there are currently no plans to change the law.

The UK Government continues to engage with the Scottish and Welsh Administrations, as well as considering the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland, with regards to any impact of the departure from fixed terms in the UK Parliament on the administration of elections in devolved areas.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria he will use to determine whether covid-19 secure measures should be reintroduced in the future.

In September, the Government will undertake a review to assess the country’s preparedness for autumn and winter, which will consider whether to continue or strengthen public and business guidance as we approach the winter, including on face coverings and test, trace and isolate, and will review the remaining regulations.

The Government will maintain contingency plans for reimposing economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant. Such measures would only be re-introduced as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish all the data on which the Government has based its decision to lift all covid-19 restrictions from 19 July 2021.

On 12 July, the Government announced we would proceed to step 4 after assessing the data against the four tests. The decisions as to whether the four tests were passed was based on an analysis of a range of information and the conclusion drawn will be in line with advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

Data is regularly shared publicly via the COVID Dashboard, which can be accessed at the following link.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether footage from CCTV cameras or audio recording devices has been used as evidence in disciplinary cases against departmental staff in the last five years.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether security cameras are used in Government buildings for the purposes of the surveillance of staff working in those buildings.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure his public communications on covid-19 over summer 2021 are effective.

The cross-government COVID-19 public information campaign is our primary method for communicating what businesses and the public need to do to keep safe, stop the spread of the virus and protect the NHS. Cabinet Office continuously monitors effectiveness of our communications and gains insight on public awareness to maximise impact. Our campaign has reached 95% of adults on average 17 times per week. Regular communication has maintained high levels of public engagement for over 15 months, with an average of 84% aware of and up to 82% trusting in the information in government advertising. Up to 90% of people have also adopted key behaviours, such as opening their windows to let fresh air in when they have visitors over.


The Government will continue to make every effort to communicate the latest COVID-19 policy and guidance as clearly and simply as possible. All updated guidance is also published on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether, from 21 June 2021, weddings of any size will be able to take place, providing social distancing measures are put in place.

The Government announced a four-week pause at Step 3 of the roadmap following an assessment of the data against the four tests.

After carefully considering the potential impacts, on 14 June the Government announced that there will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees at wedding and civil partnerships, and receptions set out in law. From 21 June, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

The changes allow people to celebrate their union with their families and loved ones, and aligns the wedding sector with the way most other COVID Secure venues operate - such as restaurants and pubs - where social distancing determines a venue’s capacity. Additionally, changes also bring commemorative events, such as wakes, in line with existing rules on funerals so people can say goodbye to those they have lost.

This change does not enable a wedding of any size to take place. To manage the risks around the virus the exact number of attendees will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of each venue or outdoor space, and measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

At Step 3, social distancing and COVID-secure rules apply to all businesses, venues and workplaces. While we feel it is safe to make some easements, we have not made the decision to move to Step 4. We will only lift remaining restrictions on weddings, civil partnerships and commemorative events when the decision is taken to move to the next stage of the roadmap. We know this pause will be disappointing to many people, including those planning weddings and other events, but we hope that these cautious changes will enable some more people to attend these special events.

We have published extensive guidance on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations on GOV.UK, which can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-receptions-and-celebrations

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether, after 21 June 2021, social distancing and face coverings will still be advised.

On 12 July, the Government announced we would proceed to step 4 after assessing the data against the four tests.


I refer the hon. Member to the guidance for Moving to step 4 of the roadmap.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to appoint the chair of the proposed public inquiry into the covid-19 outbreak; and what consultation process he plans to hold prior to appointing that role.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been guided by data and scientific advice and have acted quickly and decisively to save lives and livelihoods.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Throughout the pandemic, senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure that representatives of local (a) authorities and (b) resilience forums are consulted on the scope of the proposed public inquiry into the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been guided by data and scientific advice and have acted quickly and decisively to save lives and livelihoods.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Throughout the pandemic, senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure that NHS staff are consulted on the scope of the proposed public inquiry into the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been guided by data and scientific advice and have acted quickly and decisively to save lives and livelihoods.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Throughout the pandemic, senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to ensure that hon. Members are consulted on the scope of proposed public inquiry into the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been guided by data and scientific advice and have acted quickly and decisively to save lives and livelihoods.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Throughout the pandemic, senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how he plans to engage with families that have been bereaved as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to ensure that they can contribute to the scope of the proposed inquiry into that outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been guided by data and scientific advice and have acted quickly and decisively to save lives and livelihoods.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed to this House that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details, including terms of reference, will be set out in due course.

Throughout the pandemic, senior ministers, including the Prime Minister, have met and will continue to meet with bereaved families.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many excess deaths there have been in each month since January 2018.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons more than 30 people are allowed to attend a worship service while weddings are restricted to 30 people during stage three of the covid-19 roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of lifting that limit in line with worship service restrictions.

The Events Research Programme aims to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely. To achieve this, the programme will explore how a combination of testing and non-pharmaceutical interventions (actions that people can take to mitigate the spread of coronavirus) can inform decisions on safely lifting restrictions at events from Step 4. The initial research pilots have already started and are taking place throughout May.

At Step 4, which will be no earlier than 21 June, the Government aims to remove all limits on weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme and the Social Distancing Review. Further guidance will be issued ahead of Step 4.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, (a) what assessment he has made of adequacy of communication on the need for students to complete Census forms for both their home and term-time address, and ((b) whether fines will be administered to students who have not completed both versions of the Census.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason Census 2021 did not include gender identity on the forms required to be completed by students at their term-time address.

Students should complete the household or individual census questionnaires depending on whether or not they have a different address at term time. Both questionnaires contain the voluntary question on gender identity.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many cases of voter fraud have been identified in (a) York, (b) Yorkshire, (c) England and (d) UK in each of the last 10 years.

The Electoral Commission works with police forces to collect data on the number of allegations and cases of electoral fraud and publishes the data on its website.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to develop a Government conference centre on York Central development site.

The Government Property Agency recently studied the feasibility of locating a Government Conference Centre in York to provide an appropriate venue in the North of England to host international summits and conferences for the G7, G20 and Nato. An update will be provided in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the extent to which people seeking support to complete Census 2021 experienced technical and communication problems in accessing that support.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he has taken to establish the Civil Society Forum since the end of the transition period.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for a Civil Society Forum - composed of a balanced representation of UK and EU business and civil society groups - to discuss the implementation of the trade, transport and fisheries part of the Agreement.

We expect to agree with the EU at the Partnership Council the operational guidelines for the conduct of this Forum, and work with the EU to facilitate its first meeting this year.

We will of course continue to engage with business and civil society in the usual way, including on issues relating to TCA implementation.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have taken their own life in each month of the last five years.

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

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the information provided on the number of his Department's jobs that will be moved to York was different in the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179241 and his oral contribution of 25 March 2021, Official Report, column 1038.

As outlined in both the answer to PQ 179241 on 15 April and in the oral contribution of 25 March, Cabinet Office Ministers have consistently informed the House of the Government’s commitment to relocating roles to regions and nations of the UK. More detailed plans for growth in York will be set out in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether people who have requested but not received paper Census 2021 forms will be subject to a fine.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason there has been a delay in distributing paper census forms.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Cabinet Office jobs he plans to relocate to York; and by when those jobs will be so relocated.

Places for Growth was established to contribute towards the government’s levelling up aims and commits to relocating 22,000 civil service roles from central London to the regions and nations of the UK by the end of the decade.

The Government wants to increase senior policy and decision making roles in all regions and nations of the UK and therefore all UK Civil Service roles are in scope to relocate. Thorough workforce and location analysis will inform departments decisions, helping them to select places that have the skills and capacity to meet their needs and flourish in their chosen locations.

Plans for growth in York will be announced by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what framework the Government uses to determine which civil service jobs are relocated to which locations.

Places for Growth was established to contribute towards the government’s levelling up aims and commits to relocating 22,000 civil service roles from central London to the regions and nations of the UK by the end of the decade.

The Government wants to increase senior policy and decision making roles in all regions and nations of the UK and therefore all UK Civil Service roles are in scope to relocate. Thorough workforce and location analysis will inform departments decisions, helping them to select places that have the skills and capacity to meet their needs and flourish in their chosen locations.

Plans for growth in York will be announced by the Cabinet Office in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will set up a helpline for MPs to seek guidance on constituency queries related to the reopening of the economy.

The Government’s recently published ‘Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021’ sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions in the coming months. Guidance for businesses as we progress through the roadmap can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will publish further COVID-Secure guidance as the economy reopens.

In addition, throughout the pandemic, I have hosted regular calls for Honourable Members to provide updates and respond to queries on the Government’s response to the pandemic. My colleagues in other departments also host regular calls for Members which provide opportunities to raise constituency concerns.

These calls are in addition to the regular statements, debates and correspondence channels that are available to Members. We will continue to keep all engagement under review.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) people and (b) people who are (i) women, (ii) disabled, (iii) BAME, (iv) under 25 years old, (v) who are over 55, (vi) who are over 60, (vii) who are over 65 years old have been made redundant in each month in 2020.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the suitability of York as a location for a Government hub as part of the Government's levelling up agenda.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ73093 on 21 July 2020. Further details will be announced in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) Government departments and (b) other public bodies his Department has considered for reloaction to York while assessing the potential merits of creating a Government hub in that city as part of the Government's levelling up agenda.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ73093 on 21 July 2020. Further details will be announced in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish (a) the (i) number and (ii) type of underlying health conditions among and (b) the socio-economic status of people who have died from covid-19.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to extend payments for transmitting public service broadcasts to community broadcasters at the same level as commercial broadcasters.

The Government is strongly supportive of the community radio sector and recognises the great value that it offers to communities across the UK.

In response to COVID-19, the Government has developed a national campaign to provide information, guidance and reassurance to the public.

The campaign utilises a wide range of channels to maximise reach and engagement and to ensure our messaging reaches as many people as possible. This includes the use of paid-for advertising on community radio. We currently work with over 35 community radio stations on a weekly basis.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the framework for the future relationship with the EU.

On 19 May the Government published our draft legal texts, which have previously been shared with the EU negotiating team.

These twelve documents cover the full set of negotiating texts, including a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement as well as side agreements.

We have decided to publish these now as a constructive contribution to the negotiations to ensure they are available to all and to enable the Commission to share the texts with the Member States, in case helpful.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the outstanding issues to be tackled in negotiations for a future UK-EU trade deal.

The UK and EU have engaged in three full and constructive negotiating rounds. Discussions covered all workstreams including trade in goods and services.

Discussions also showed that a standard Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement could be agreed without major difficulties in the time available.

A Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS245) made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 19 May updated the progress of negotiations.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date (a) weddings and (b) civil partnerships with (i) a small number of guests and (ii) social distancing measures can resume.

A Plan To Rebuild, the Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, is published on gov.uk and includes details on plans for weddings.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the evidence base on which the Prime Minister made his statement to (a) the media on 10 May 2020 and (b) the House of Commons on 11 May 2020.

Scientific advice and analysis have underpinned the Government's policy making in the development of current social distancing measures and our recently published strategy. A wide range of advice and analysis was considered to inform the most recent review of measures announced by the Prime Minister in May.

In previous emergencies, such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, papers were published only at the end of the emergency. By contrast, in recognition of the importance of transparency in these unprecedented times, SAGE has been publishing statements and accompanying evidence to demonstrate how the scientific understanding of COVID-19 has continued to evolve as new data emerges, and how SAGE’s advice has adapted to findings that reflect a changing situation. The documents are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response. This list will be updated as SAGE releases further papers.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what equalities impact assessment the Government has made of the effect of (a) each financial package and (b) its approach to managing the public health risk in its response to the covid-19 outbreak.

It is vital that our response to COVID-19 takes account of the different needs of people depending on their circumstances. The government has fulfilled its requirements stemming from the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) for all elements of its response to COVID-19.

The Government pays due regard to the equality impacts of its policy decisions, in line with legal requirements. There are internal procedural requirements and support in place for ensuring that such considerations inform decisions taken by Ministers.

The Government also fulfilled its requirements in relation to the Coronavirus Restrictions Regulations which were brought into force 23 March 2020, as well as for subsequent changes to the policy.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the daily Government briefing on the covid-19 outbreak has live British Sign Language interpretation.

It is vital that key information is accessible to all. Since the daily press briefings began, British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation has been available on the national broadcaster. The BBC provides BSL interpretation at the daily No10 press conference via its News channel, Youtube channel and iPlayer. This is available free to air.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people in (a) York Central constituency, (b) the City of York and (c) Yorkshire and the Humber were employed on a zero-hours contract in (a) 2010-11 and (b) each subsequent year; and what steps his Department are taking to reduce that number.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of the workforce in (a) York Central constituency and (b) City of York local authority area were employed on zero hours contracts in (a) 2015 and (b) each subsequent year.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people under 24 years of age that are in (a) training, (b) employment and (c) education in (i) York Central constituency, (ii) York Unitary Authority and (iii) England.

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

The data contained in the previous answer has been identified as incorrect. I have asked the UK Statistics Authority to provide an updated response.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the average weekly gross earnings of (a) men, (b) women and (c) people working full-time in York in each year since 2015.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the pay gap has been for each ethnic minority community recorded in each of the last 20 years.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Cabinet Office, what the pay gap for disabled people has been in each of the last 20 years.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people (a) aged under 16, (b) aged under 18, (c) aged under 21, (d) aged under 25 and (e) who are apprentices are employed on zero-hour contracts.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many women are employed on zero-hour contracts.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people are employed on zero-hour contracts.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the gender pay gap has been in each of the last 20 years.

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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a regional impact assessment on a rise in energy prices.

In order to protect customers, the Government introduced a price cap in 2019 which saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year on average. The level of the price cap is set by Ofgem, the independent regulator, and is based on a range of factors including regional network costs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps has he taken to address bullying in the workplace; and if he will bring forward measures to tackle bulling in the proposed Employment Bill.

The Government is clear that bullying and harassment has no place in today’s workplace and we are taking steps to better understand the scale of the problem, including:

  • We commissioned IFF research to conduct the forthcoming Employee Rights survey. The survey asked respondents to recount instances of problems with fair treatment at work in the past two years and whether it was bullying and harassment related.
  • We announced in the summer that it will be taking further action to address persistent issues of sexual harassment in the workplace.

There is guidance available at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment and Acas provides free and impartial advice for employers and employees.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment has he made of the effect of (a) negative behaviours and (b) bullying at work on the cost to the economy each year.

The Government is clear that bullying and harassment has no place in today’s workplace and we are taking steps to better understand the scale of the problem, including:

  • We commissioned IFF research to conduct the forthcoming Employee Rights survey. The survey asked respondents to recount instances of problems with fair treatment at work in the past two years and whether it was bullying and harassment related.
  • We announced in the summer that it will be taking further action to address persistent issues of sexual harassment in the workplace.

There is guidance available at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment and Acas provides free and impartial advice for employers and employees.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment on the effect of workplace bullying on trends in the levels of lost days of work per employee in each calendar year.

The Government is clear that bullying and harassment has no place in today’s workplace and we are taking steps to better understand the scale of the problem, including:

  • We commissioned IFF research to conduct the forthcoming Employee Rights survey. The survey asked respondents to recount instances of problems with fair treatment at work in the past two years and whether it was bullying and harassment related.
  • We announced in the summer that it will be taking further action to address persistent issues of sexual harassment in the workplace.

There is guidance available at https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment and Acas provides free and impartial advice for employers and employees.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a risk report of the (a) economic and (b) other impacts of shortages in gas.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out in a statement to the House on 20 September, higher natural gas prices have been seen internationally in 2021 for a number of reasons, however the diversity and reliability of GB’s sources of gas continues to minimise the risk of gas shortages.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of skills shortages in the construction industry on progress in delivering the Government's house building and infrastructure programmes.

The Government continues to review matters related to skills on a regular basis. At the current time, output in the construction sector, with regard to Government-funded infrastructure or housing projects, continues to be solid. Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that construction output recovered quickly during 2020, and has been at a similar level to that before the pandemic since March 2021. There is also a strong pipeline of demand. Between Q2 2020, and Q2 2021, orders for new housing increased by 154%, and for infrastructure by 98%.

The Government is working closely with the construction industry to ensure that it can attract, retain and develop the skilled workforce it needs for the future. This includes the introduction of a Talent Retention Scheme, which is now being taken forward by industry, to help workers move into construction jobs; and work with the Construction Industry Training Board and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to ensure effective and appropriate support for skills development.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of a potential rise in energy prices; and what assessment he has made of the impact of any such rise on household disposable income (a) of people who are (i) on low pay and (ii) in receipt of social security and (b) in general.

The Government is committed to ensuring fair energy prices for consumers. We therefore introduced the energy price cap in 2019, which saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year on average. The level of the price cap is set by Ofgem, the independent regulator.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional new global funding for science research he has secured for the UK after leaving the EU.

The Government recognises the critical importance of global research partnerships and supporting UK researchers to collaborate across the world. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as set out in the Integrated Review, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

On 1st April, the Department set out an additional £250m of funding for the R&D sector. As a result, UK scientists will have access to more public funding than ever before. This takes total Government investment in R&D to £14.9 billion in 2021/22 and follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21.

For example, our commitment is demonstrated through the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, of which the UK is a founding country. In June 2021 the start of construction in Australia and South Africa was announced at a total cost of £1.7 billion, to which the UK is committing over £270 million. When complete, this radio telescope network will be the most advanced on Earth, and its headquarters are in the UK, at Jodrell Bank just south of Manchester.

Additionally, the Department administers approximately £10m in tactical funds to enable agile, catalytic R&D collaborations with international partners. The funds support Integrated Review ambitions, Government research priorities including Net Zero, and Innovation.

Given we are currently conducting a Spending Review, it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome and comment on future spending plans.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps is he taking to ensure that the EIT Health Investor Network is meeting its commitments under the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The UK and the EU agreed the terms for our association to Horizon Europe under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This includes participation in 2021 projects run by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The UK stands ready to formalise our participation at the earliest opportunity. UK entities are eligible and are strongly encouraged to apply for Horizon Europe funding, which the Commission has made clear in the Q&A on their website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with UKRI Innovate UK to ensure that science research which should be in receipt of a grant under the EIT Health Investor Network will be reimbursed in full for 2021.

The UK and the EU agreed the terms for our association to Horizon Europe under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This includes participation in 2021 projects run by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The UK stands ready to formalise our participation at the earliest opportunity. UK entities are eligible and are strongly encouraged to apply for Horizon Europe funding, which the Commission has made clear in the Q&A on their website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that science research is fully funded from January 2022.

Future funding decisions are subject to the outcome of the Spending Review which will set budgets from 2022/23 to 2024/25. The Spending Review process will conclude on 27 October. We are working with HM Treasury to agree an ambitious R&D package. In announcing the Spending Review, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer reiterated the Government’s commitment to cement the UK’s position as a science superpower.

The Government is already investing £14.9bn in R&D across government in 2021/22, putting public investment at its highest level for four decades. We are committed to achieving our target of total UK investment in R&D increasing to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure that research projects will be reimbursed their full grants for 2021, when the agreement is signed with Horizon Europe.

The UK and the EU agreed the terms for our association to Horizon Europe under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

UK entities are eligible to apply for Horizon Europe funding; the Commission has made this clear in the Q&A section on their website.

The UK stands ready to formalise our participation at the earliest opportunity. UK entities are eligible and are strongly encouraged to apply for Horizon Europe funding, which the Commission has made clear in the Q&A on their website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to conclude the agreement to associate to Horizon Europe.

The UK and the EU agreed the terms for our association to Horizon Europe under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

As the underpinning EU legislation was not yet adopted when the TCA was agreed, this was accompanied by a Joint Declaration on Participation in Union Programmes and Access to Programme Services, which set out the parties’ intention to formalise UK participation at the earliest opportunity.

Now that the EU legislation underpinning the Horizon Europe programme is in force, the UK stands ready to formalise our participation at the earliest opportunity. UK entities are eligible and are strongly encouraged to apply for Horizon Europe funding, which the Commission has made clear in the Q&A on their website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the science research budget under Horizon Europe will be maintained at the same levels as Horizon 2020 funding for the UK; and what steps he is taking to secure that level of funding.

Future funding decisions are subject to the outcome of the Spending Review which will set budgets from 2022/23 to 2024/25. The Chancellor has reiterated the Government’s commitment to cement the UK’s position as a science superpower through an ambitious R&D package.

The Government increased investment in R&D to £14.9bn for 2021/22, putting public investment at its highest level for four decades. We are committed to achieving our target of total UK investment in R&D increasing to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The UK and the EU agreed the terms for our association to Horizon Europe under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

As the underpinning EU legislation was not yet adopted when the TCA was agreed, this was accompanied by a Joint Declaration on Participation in Union Programmes and Access to Programme Services, which set out the parties’ intention to formalise UK participation at the earliest opportunity.

Now that the EU legislation underpinning the Horizon Europe programme is in force, the UK stands ready to formalise our participation at the earliest opportunity. UK entities are eligible and are strongly encouraged to apply for Horizon Europe funding, which the Commission has made clear in the Q&A on their website.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to tackle fuel poverty before (a) the removal of the temporary £20 universal credit uplift and (b) winter 2021-22.

During winter months we continue to support low income, fuel poor and vulnerable consumers with their energy bills through a number of existing schemes. The Warm Home Discount provides over 2 million low income and vulnerable eligible households with a £140 discount. In addition, the energy price cap, on average, saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year.

Furthermore, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will help ensure those most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of installing photovoltaic cells on all upward facing surfaces of electric car charging points.

Solar energy is a key part of the Government’s strategy for decarbonisation of the energy sector and the Energy White Paper, published in December 2020, committed to ‘sustained growth’ in solar photovoltaics (PV) across the next decade.

Installing solar PV alongside electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints, particularly if also paired with battery storage, has a number of benefits. Smart and flexible solutions such as this can increase the use of renewable electricity and reduce demand on the grid. Reducing demand can in turn reduce the cost of connecting the chargepoints to the electricity network and avoid costly electricity network reinforcement.

The Government promotes the use of smart and flexible solutions for those seeking to install EV chargepoints. The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles provided grant funding to the UK’s first solar electric forecourt demonstrator project which is led by Gridserve and opened at the end of 2020. The Government has also published guidance on connecting EV chargepoints to the electricity network, which highlights that businesses should consider implementing flexible solutions. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/connecting-electric-vehicle-chargepoints-to-the-electricity-network/connecting-electric-vehicle-chargepoints-to-the-electricity-network.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the economic impact on businesses of closures resulting from staff required to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Test, Trace and Isolate system has been a core element of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHS app has been proven to work, breaking chains of transmission and saving lives. Whilst the requirement to isolate presents challenges to some businesses, isolation following contact with a person with COVID-19 remains an important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus. This will help to protect businesses, their employees, and their customers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 August 2021 to Question 33969 on EU External Trade: Carbon Emissions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of a carbon border tax or carbon border adjustment mechanism on tackling carbon used in the production and manufacturing of imported goods.

As set out in our Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, we are continuing to assess a range of potential options on the issue of carbon leakage. We will be publishing more analysis on the possible risks of carbon leakage to the UK and possible mitigation options in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what alternatives to a Carbon Border Tax or a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism she is considering to incentivise behaviour change in producers and manufacturers.

As set out in our Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, we are continuing to assess a range of potential options on the issue of carbon leakage. We will be publishing more analysis on the possible risks of carbon leakage to the UK and possible mitigation options in due course.

The UK’s ambitious carbon pricing mechanism - including our new UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) and Carbon Price Support mechanism – is also a fundamental component of our Strategy. We are committed to reviewing the UK ETS to ensure it aligns with our Net Zero commitments. This will include reviewing our current approach to providing at risk sectors with free allocations.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to propose a Carbon Border Tax or Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism at COP26; what steps he plans to take to ensure that companies pay for the carbon used in the production and manufacturing of imported goods to help prevent carbon leakage.

As set out in our Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, we are continuing to assess a range of potential options on the issue of carbon leakage. We will be publishing more analysis on the possible risks of carbon leakage to the UK and possible mitigation options in due course.

As incoming COP president and G7 president, our instinct is to work together with our international partners, including developed and developing countries, on how we tackle climate change together.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the financial challenges faced by pubs.

The Department regularly meets with representatives from across the hospitality sector to discuss how it can recover and build back from the pandemic and we regularly review financial and economic impacts data for sectors. We have provided an unprecedented support package of £352 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme, which hospitality businesses have access to. We have published a new Hospitality Strategy: Reopening, Recovery, Resilience to ensure England’s pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues can thrive long-term. We are also working on new rules to ringfence COVID-19 commercial rent arrears and guide tenants and landlords to agree repayment plans.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on reducing the level of (a) duty on drinks and (b) VAT on food in pubs and restaurants to help support the recovery of those businesses from the covid-19 outbreak.

All alcohol duties will be frozen across the board for the second year running saving drinkers £1.7 billion.

At the Budget we extended the 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT for a further six months until the end of September. Even then, the rate will only increase to 12.5 per cent for a further 6 months and will not return to the normal 20 per cent rate until April 2022. That means, across last year and this, a tax cut of over £7 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the Good Business Foundation's proposed Good Business Charter.

The Government recognises the importance of many of the issues covered by the Good Business Charter. This includes employee well-being, environmental responsibility, diversity and inclusion. We encourage business to use voluntary approaches where helpful to meet the specifics of their business model and supply chains, rather than simply taking a ‘tick box’ approach to comply with legislation.

Large companies and groups already report on environmental, social, and employee matters as well as respect for human rights. Many UK companies already provide high quality reporting in this area. We intend to build on this in areas such as sustainability disclosures, audit and diversity.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to rising cases of covid-19 in the UK, what steps he will take to prevent the spread of covid-19 in (a) retail and (b) hospitality venues.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance was updated on 14 July in advance of moving to step 4 happening on 19 July. It sets out a range of mitigations businesses should consider when carrying out their risk assessment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the less than 100 per cent efficacy of covid-19 vaccines, what steps he will take to enable workers who are at greater risk to covid-19 to continue to work from home after stage four of lockdown roadmap restrictions are lifted.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated in advance of moving to step 4 which will happen on 19 July. We will update the ‘Working Safely’ guidance with the latest advice to help employers take reasonable steps to manage the risks and support their staff and customers. It is up to employers to use this guidance to update their working arrangements in line with Step 4 and communicate this to their staff.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the planned easing of covid-19 restrictions on face coverings and social distancing from 19 June 2021, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people will be able to continue to exercise individual judgment on protective measures they wish to take when at work.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated in advance of moving to step 4 which will happen on 19 July. It will set out a range of mitigations businesses should consider when carrying out their risk assessment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure that businesses remain covid-19 secure after lockdown restrictions are eased.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated in advance of moving to step 4 which will happen on 19 July.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of digital marketing skills to businesses.

Through the 3-year Help to Grow: Digital scheme, a learning platform to help SMEs understand their technology needs and successfully adopt them into their business will be created, alongside support for eligible SMEs to receive a voucher worth up to £5000 and providing a 50% discount on e-commerce software, as well as CRM and accounting technology.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport continues to support Digital Boost which is providing much-needed digital support for small businesses and charities in the UK that have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The platform is building a community of skilled digital expert volunteers, who are providing free one-to-one mentoring to small businesses and charities to help them improve their digital capability, build sustainable incomes through digital channels, and stay competitive during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Digital Boost is also providing free workshops, courses and content on all topics of digitisation to help small businesses and charities understand digital better. Digital Boost has conducted more than 2800 mentoring sessions on digital marketing related topics. They have also held many workshops on these topics, attracting more than 500 participants.

Digital skills are as important to employability and participation in society as English and maths, yet an estimated one in five adults lack basic digital skills.

In order to address this, from August 2020, alongside the existing legal entitlements to English and maths, the Department for Education introduced a new digital entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills to undertake specified digital qualifications, up to Level 1, free of charge. We also support the provision of basic digital skills training for adults in community settings through the Adult Education Budget.

The Government is also investing £138 million to fund in-demand technical courses for adults, and to expand the employer-led bootcamp training model, in high value areas such as digital and technical skills. The £138 million investment will come from the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund, and will include £95 million funding for a new Level 3 adult offer and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps.

The Level 3 adult offer, available from April 2021, will support any adult aged 24 and over, who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification to access around 400 fully funded courses. The offer includes a range of qualifications that are valuable across the economy in multiple sectors. The qualifications list currently includes 33 digital qualifications in areas such as cyber security, coding, network architecture, systems support, and aspects of digital design for the creative industries. We will keep this list under review to ensure it adapts to the changing needs of the economy.

Complementing the Level 3 adult offer, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Skills Bootcamps offer digital skills training in areas such as software development, digital marketing and data analytics, and also technical skills training. We have introduced the Skills Bootcamps in six local areas so far, and we are investing a further £43 million from the National Skills Fund to extend them across England.

We have also introduced the Skills Toolkit, an online platform providing free courses to help individuals build the skills that are most sought after by employers. People can now choose from over 70 courses, covering digital and coding, adult numeracy, employability and work readiness skills, which have been identified as the skills employers need the most. These courses will help people stay in work, or take up new jobs and opportunities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of covid-19 business support grants that has been allocated by the Government to non-resident landlords.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

We do not hold any of the further data requested. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, for Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria he uses to measure high street activity.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State is informed by a range of data on retail and hospitality sales, restaurant bookings, retail footfall and community mobility, as well as intelligence from businesses and business representative organisations, to understand how high street activity is recovering relative to pre-pandemic baselines.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to continue to support SMEs experiencing a slow recovery as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods in businesses across the UK.

The Government put in place an economic package of support totalling £352 billion through the furlough and self-employed income support schemes, support for businesses through grants and loans, business rates and VAT relief.

At the Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a generous extension of economic support to reflect the easing of restrictions and enable the private sector to bounce back as quickly as possible. Most of our schemes do not end until September or after, in order to provide continuity and certainty for businesses.

The Recovery Loan scheme which launched on 6 April 2021 will ensure UK businesses of any size, including small businesses can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10million per business as they grow and recover from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.

At Budget, it was also announced that Local Authorities in England will receive a top-up worth a total of £425m to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund. This, combined with the £1.6 billion previously allocated, means that Local Authorities will have received over £2bn in discretionary grant funding, to support businesses which are experiencing severe impact due to public health restrictions.

In order to aid businesses and employees through the next stage of the pandemic, at the Budget the Government extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for a further five months from May until the end of September 2021, when the CJRS will close. Furloughed workers in the UK will continue to receive generous support as the CJRS ensures employees receive 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 per month. From November 2020 to the end of June 2021, employers were only required to pay NICs and pension contributions. As the economy reopens and demand returns, the Government is asking employers to make a small additional contribution, of 10 per cent towards the cost of paying for unworked hours, from July. As the economy reopens further, this employer contribution will increase to 20 per cent in August and September.

In line with the extension to the CJRS, the Government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS will continue to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

In order to further support small businesses to prosper after Covid, and improve their growth, productivity and resilience, the Government is introducing the £520m Help to Grow programme. Announced at Spring Budget, the Help to Grow programmes will support UK small businesses scale and grow as they recover from the pandemic. Help to Grow: Management will provide intensive leadership and management skills support to 30,000 small businesses. Help to Grow: Digital could support 100,000 small businesses with online advice and a voucher for software costs.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on supporting local authorities to provide discretionary grants to struggling businesses.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with Ministerial Colleagues on a number of issues.

We continue to work closely with all local authorities to deliver funding to businesses that are in scope of these schemes as quickly as possible, while safeguarding public funds. As part of this, we have provided detailed guidance and FAQs to local authorities, as well as regular briefings and one-to-one support from ministers and officials.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure hand sanitiser manufacturers provide clear information on the labels of their products on whether those products kill the covid-19 virus.

BEIS has no plans to place additional requirements on manufacturers of hand sanitiser.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish legislative proposals on fire and rehire.

This Government has been clear that we expect employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Using threats about firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is unacceptable. We expect employers and employees to negotiate new terms and conditions and there are laws around how this must be done, and legal protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

We asked Acas to conduct an evidence-gathering exercise to improve our evidence base. We welcome Acas’ report on this work which was published on 8 June.

It finds general agreement that fire and rehire should only be used in limited circumstances – such as to prevent job losses when other options have been exhausted. At times, negotiations will sometimes fail and employers may need to make difficult decisions, in order to avoid redundancies and to ensure their business can survive and succeed. We have therefore asked Acas to produce clearer and more comprehensive guidance to help employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on ending precarious work.

The Government is committed to bringing forward an Employment Bill when the time is right, to protect and enhance worker’s rights as we build back better from the pandemic. In the meantime, we will continue to take necessary action to support businesses and protect jobs.

We have already made good progress in bringing forward legislation to protect workers’ rights including:

  • Closing a loophole which sees agency workers employed on cheaper rates than permanent workers.
  • Quadrupling the maximum fine for employers who treat their workers badly.
  • Giving all workers the right to receive a statement of their rights from day one.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to require landlords that have received covid-19 business support grants from the Government to support their tenants in the event that a tenant business goes into administration because it can no longer afford its lease due to financial difficulties resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Both non-rate paying and rate paying businesses have been invited to apply for Covid business grants individually. The different elements of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the mandatory grant schemes are designed so that both rate paying and non-rate paying businesses have access to grants. The ARG is a discretionary grant scheme and Local Authorities will decide whether to pay the business ratepayer or the occupying business (or both).

The Government has introduced a range of measures to support tenants struggling to pay rent: we introduced legislation that provides a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases owing to the non-payment of rent, reducing the ability of landlords to evict tenants if they cannot pay their rent due to Covid-19 restrictions. Government has also restricted landlords’ abilities to seize goods in lieu of unpaid rent by making changes to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery. We are protecting businesses from insolvency introducing, via the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, restrictions on the service of statutory demands and winding-up petitions.

All these measures are in place until 30 June and we will make an announcement before then on their future. Government published a Code of Practice to help support rent negotiations and on 6 April published additional guidance to help landlords and tenants that have not yet been able to reach agreement about accrued rent arrears and ongoing lease terms.

Both BEIS and UKRI have refused grant payments to companies that cannot get a UK bank account in their own name. The BEIS Grant funding agreement template includes the condition that payments must be into a bank located in the UK.

We do not hold any of the further data requested. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, for Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what data his Department holds on (a) landlords that are the ultimate recipients of covid-19 business support grants and (b) the UK tax status of those landlords.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Both non-rate paying and rate paying businesses have been invited to apply for Covid business grants individually. The different elements of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the mandatory grant schemes are designed so that both rate paying and non-rate paying businesses have access to grants. The ARG is a discretionary grant scheme and Local Authorities will decide whether to pay the business ratepayer or the occupying business (or both).

The Government has introduced a range of measures to support tenants struggling to pay rent: we introduced legislation that provides a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases owing to the non-payment of rent, reducing the ability of landlords to evict tenants if they cannot pay their rent due to Covid-19 restrictions. Government has also restricted landlords’ abilities to seize goods in lieu of unpaid rent by making changes to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery. We are protecting businesses from insolvency introducing, via the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, restrictions on the service of statutory demands and winding-up petitions.

All these measures are in place until 30 June and we will make an announcement before then on their future. Government published a Code of Practice to help support rent negotiations and on 6 April published additional guidance to help landlords and tenants that have not yet been able to reach agreement about accrued rent arrears and ongoing lease terms.

Both BEIS and UKRI have refused grant payments to companies that cannot get a UK bank account in their own name. The BEIS Grant funding agreement template includes the condition that payments must be into a bank located in the UK.

We do not hold any of the further data requested. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, for Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of Government grants that are held in off-shore bank accounts by business landlords.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Both non-rate paying and rate paying businesses have been invited to apply for Covid business grants individually. The different elements of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the mandatory grant schemes are designed so that both rate paying and non-rate paying businesses have access to grants. The ARG is a discretionary grant scheme and Local Authorities will decide whether to pay the business ratepayer or the occupying business (or both).

The Government has introduced a range of measures to support tenants struggling to pay rent: we introduced legislation that provides a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases owing to the non-payment of rent, reducing the ability of landlords to evict tenants if they cannot pay their rent due to Covid-19 restrictions. Government has also restricted landlords’ abilities to seize goods in lieu of unpaid rent by making changes to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery. We are protecting businesses from insolvency introducing, via the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, restrictions on the service of statutory demands and winding-up petitions.

All these measures are in place until 30 June and we will make an announcement before then on their future. Government published a Code of Practice to help support rent negotiations and on 6 April published additional guidance to help landlords and tenants that have not yet been able to reach agreement about accrued rent arrears and ongoing lease terms.

Both BEIS and UKRI have refused grant payments to companies that cannot get a UK bank account in their own name. The BEIS Grant funding agreement template includes the condition that payments must be into a bank located in the UK.

We do not hold any of the further data requested. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, for Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of covid-19 business support grants that were paid directly to property owners whose tenants were granted that funding.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Both non-rate paying and rate paying businesses have been invited to apply for Covid business grants individually. The different elements of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the mandatory grant schemes are designed so that both rate paying and non-rate paying businesses have access to grants. The ARG is a discretionary grant scheme and Local Authorities will decide whether to pay the business ratepayer or the occupying business (or both).

The Government has introduced a range of measures to support tenants struggling to pay rent: we introduced legislation that provides a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases owing to the non-payment of rent, reducing the ability of landlords to evict tenants if they cannot pay their rent due to Covid-19 restrictions. Government has also restricted landlords’ abilities to seize goods in lieu of unpaid rent by making changes to the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery. We are protecting businesses from insolvency introducing, via the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, restrictions on the service of statutory demands and winding-up petitions.

All these measures are in place until 30 June and we will make an announcement before then on their future. Government published a Code of Practice to help support rent negotiations and on 6 April published additional guidance to help landlords and tenants that have not yet been able to reach agreement about accrued rent arrears and ongoing lease terms.

Both BEIS and UKRI have refused grant payments to companies that cannot get a UK bank account in their own name. The BEIS Grant funding agreement template includes the condition that payments must be into a bank located in the UK.

We do not hold any of the further data requested. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, for Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to end the practice of fire and rehire.

This Government has been clear that we expect employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Using threats about firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is unacceptable. We expect employers and employees to negotiate new terms and conditions and there are laws around how this must be done, and legal protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

As we had limited evidence of how firing and rehiring tactics are used, we asked Acas to conduct an evidence-gathering exercise. We welcome Acas’ report on this work which was published on 8 June.

It finds general agreement that fire and rehire should only be used in limited circumstances – such as to prevent job losses when other options have been exhausted. At times, negotiations will sometimes fail and employers may need to make difficult decisions, in order to avoid redundancies and to ensure their business can survive and succeed. We have therefore asked Acas to produce clearer and more comprehensive guidance to help employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to bring forward legislative proposals to end the practice of fire and rehire.

This Government has been clear that we expect employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Using threats about firing and rehiring as a negotiation tactic is unacceptable. We expect employers and employees to negotiate new terms and conditions and there are laws around how this must be done, and legal protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

As we had limited evidence of how firing and rehiring tactics are used, we asked Acas to conduct an evidence-gathering exercise. We welcome Acas’ report on this work which was published on 8 June.

It finds general agreement that fire and rehire should only be used in limited circumstances – such as to prevent job losses when other options have been exhausted. At times, negotiations will sometimes fail and employers may need to make difficult decisions, in order to avoid redundancies and to ensure their business can survive and succeed. We have therefore asked Acas to produce clearer and more comprehensive guidance to help employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that investment in research is linked to economic growth.

The Government is investing £14.9 billion in research and development in 2021/22. This puts UK Government Research & Development (R&D) spending at its highest level in four decades. We are continuing to take forward commitments from last year’s R&D Roadmap, which set out our vision to ensure the UK is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live and work, while helping to power the UK’s economic and social recovery and level up the UK. The R&D Places Strategy, due to be published later this year, will ensure that R&D benefits the economy and society in nations, regions and local areas across the UK contributing to the Government’s wider levelling-up ambitions.

As announced in the Plan for Growth at Budget 2021, we will also publish a new Innovation Strategy in the Summer. Building on the R&D Roadmap, the strategy will identify how we can enhance innovation even further working closely with business.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what tools his Department uses to calculate to effect of investment in research funding on economic growth in the UK.

The Department requires a business case be prepared for funding proposals to assess value for money and subsequently monitors and evaluates programmes to understand their impact including any impact on jobs and productivity where possible.

The Department also commissions studies to assess the impact of research funding. For example, macroeconomic modelling of the 2.4% target by Cambridge Econometrics for BEIS suggested that there would be increases in GDP, employment, and productivity from increased R&D. It is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/research-and-development-macroeconomic-modelling-of-24-target

Other research conducted shows that public investment in R&D achieves high social rates of return, with £1 of public investment in R&D eventually leveraging around £2 of additional private sector investment.

Reports are available at:

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his plans to abolish the Industrial Strategy Council, what plans he has to ensure the delivery of the employment measures in the Loneliness Strategy that relate to the Industrial Strategy.

The Employer Leadership Group, chaired by the Campaign to End Loneliness and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was established in November 2018.

The work of the Employer Leadership Group has now been taken over by the government's Tackling Loneliness Network, with members of the group invited to join the new network. A subgroup of the network, led by the Campaign to End Loneliness, has produced a short report bringing together emerging good practice on how employers can support social connections amongst their staff, drawing on the expertise of Network members and employers.

The report was published in May 2021 and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employers-and-loneliness.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of allocating funding to the charity-led Life Sciences Charity Partnership Fund.

The Government recognise that this is a particularly difficult time for medical research charities, given the impact of COVID-19 on their fundraising activities. We appreciate the globally recognised expertise of these charities, and the substantial contributions they make to our world-leading life sciences sector.

The Government already provides significant funding to charities’ research, for example through Research England’s Quality Related (QR) charity support funding. This year charity QR will amount to £204m, to support charity funded research in universities in England and equivalent support is provided in Scotland through devolved funding arrangements.

The Government has demonstrated its ambitions for research by committing £14.9bn to R&D in 2021/22. This funding will support the life sciences sector within which medical research charities operate alongside other research areas.

BEIS and DHSC regularly discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on charity-funded research with the Association of Medical Research Charities in order to review how we might provide support for medical research charities this financial year.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to address the national shortage of steel preventing construction companies from fully operating.

We are aware of concerns about the supply of steel, which is of critical importance to construction and other sectors. This is a global market issue which we are monitoring closely.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to address the national shortage of building materials affecting construction companies in the UK.

The Government is aware that a range of building materials are in short supply nationally. This is driven by demand and increased global competition to secure supplies.

In light of this, and in view of more local disruptions in the supply of some products, the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force has established a Product Availability Working Group, comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force continues to monitor the supply and demand of products, and identify those in short supply.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Restart Grant scheme, whether bridal shops, that exclusively provide personal 1-2-1 dress fittings, should be categorised as (a) strand one non-essential retail or (b) strand two personal care.

Bridal Shops are categorised as non-essential retail for the purposes of the Restart Grant Scheme.

The definition of non-essential retail for the purposes of Restart Grants is as follows: a business that is open to the public and is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether local authorities are permitted to award Additional Restrictions Grant funding to companies that began trading after 5 January 2021.

Yes, Local Authorities are permitted to do this.

All businesses that are trading and meet other eligibility criteria may apply to receive funding under this scheme. There is no starting date from which businesses must have been trading in order to qualify for Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to ensure that couriers and delivery drivers are protected from the risk of covid-19 transmission.

We have published guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers and delivery drivers. As couriers and delivery drivers cannot work from home, they should continue attending their workplace. Employees should work in the same team or shift pattern every day, maintain social distancing, limit time to load and unload vehicles, use electronic paperwork where possible and be trained on Covid-19 safety measures.

When attending other peoples’ homes, couriers and delivery drivers should socially distance as much as possible, wear a face mask and sanitise their hands frequently.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that members of the public protect themselves from the risk of covid-19 transmission from couriers and tradespeople calling at their homes.

On 6 January, the Government updated its guidance for the public, couriers and tradespeople, on how to interact with households. During interactions, maintaining social distancing, using face masks (as appropriate), and ventilating areas, is vital to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Couriers and tradespeople are asked to minimise contact with households during deliveries, and to utilise electronic methods of payments where possible. They should also communicate with households prior to arrival, and on arrival, should maintain social distancing and good hygiene practices. Businesses should also establish if anyone is vulnerable in a home before entering. No work should be carried out in a household if anyone is vulnerable or at risk.

Businesses need to ensure they take steps to protect both their customers and workers from the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to expand the State Aid Temporary Framework and financial cap, in line with the EU expansion announced on 28 January 2021, for existing business support measures such as the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

The EU State aid rules and limits no longer apply in the UK, except in respect of aid in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, for example, Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Subsidies must instead meet the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) as well as the other Free Trade Agreements we have reached with the rest of the world and our WTO commitments.

The State aid Temporary Framework provisions set out in previous iterations of local authority grant support guidance should still be applied to these schemes until further guidance on domestic subsidy control related to these schemes is issued.

The Government is currently consulting on its proposed approach for establishing a bespoke UK-wide subsidy control regime. The Government is keeping under close review the impact of subsidy control rules on the ability of businesses to access grants and will publish new guidance as and when circumstances require it.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timetable is for the development of the new subsidy control regime to replace EU state aid rules; and whether he plans to introduce a formal consultation process on that regime.

On 3rd February 2021, the Government published a consultation on designing a new subsidy control regime for the UK. The consultation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/subsidy-control-designing-a-new-approach-for-the-uk

The consultation will run for 8 weeks, until 31st March 2021, and invites views on the best way to design a bespoke approach to subsidy control that reflects the UK’s strategic interests and particular national circumstances.

Subject to the outcomes of this consultation, the Government will bring forward primary legislation in due course to establish, in domestic law, a system of subsidy control that works for the entirety of the UK. This system will advance both the growth of the UK’s economy and the interests of its citizens, while reflecting our international obligations.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether there is a deadline for businesses to claim support via the Local Restrictions Support Grants (Closed) Addendum announced on 5 January 2021.

The application closure date for the 42-day payment, in respect of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum applicable from 5th January, is 31st March 2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether businesses are eligible to apply for additional Government-backed loans from £2,000 up to the value of £10,000 to increase their borrowing in the event that they have already taken out (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme loan, (b) Bounce Back Loan and (c) both such loans in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses with an existing Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facility may be eligible to apply for additional Government-backed funds to increase their borrowing, depending on the circumstances of the business.

a) Where a borrower already has a CBILS facility it is possible, depending on the size of their existing loan, to refinance in order to increase their borrowing. Refinancing can be sought with the same or a different accredited lender. It is at the discretion of the lender whether to consider a borrower’s request for refinancing, and a lenders’ refinancing activity is also subject to certain limits.

b) The Government amended the rules for BBLS in November 2020 to allow businesses to apply to ‘top-up’ their existing BBLS facility – from a minimum of £1,000, up to either 25% of the originally self-certified annual turnover or £50,000, whichever is lesser. Businesses which have received State Aid under another Temporary Framework scheme, or who originally self-declared as being a “business in difficulty”, may only be eligible for a lower loan amount. Top-ups are only available from a borrower’s existing BBLS lender.

c) A borrower can only make use of one of BBLS, CBILS, or Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) at one time. However, a business that has, for example, a CBILS facility can apply for a BBLS facility, or vice versa, in order to refinance the original loan in full.

The maximum facility size for any business borrowing under any of the three Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes is subject to affordability limits specific to each business, as determined by the lender.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, prior to announcing the Bounce Back Loan Top Up facility in November 2020, what estimate he had made of how many businesses had already taken out a Bounce Back Loan and (a) would and (b) would not be eligible for a Bounce Back Loan Top Up; and what estimate he had made of how much would be borrowed through Bounce Back Loan Top Ups.

The Government has amended the scheme rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum loan (the lower of 25% of their turnover or £50,000) to top-up their existing loan. We understand that some businesses didn’t anticipate the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long; this will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended.

Prior to the Top Up facility becoming operational, 1,336,320 loans had been approved, with a total value of £40.20 billion (figures as at 18 October 2020).

The Department estimated that around 360,000 businesses could be eligible for a Top Up based on the parameters of the scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as of 22 December 2020 how many businesses have (a) applied and (b) secured a Bounce Back Loan Top Up; and how many Bounce Back Loan Top Up loans are being processed by accredited Business Bank Loan banks.

As of 13 December 2020, 62,311 Bounce Back Loan Scheme top-ups had been approved, worth £0.56 billion.

Bounce Back Loan figures are also available on the Government website: www.gov.uk/government/collections/hm-treasury-coronavirus-covid-19-business-loan-scheme-statistics

Decisions on whether to capture information relating to the processing of loan applications are at the discretion of the lender.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of businesses who had secured a Bounce Back Loan had borrowed the maximum amount of 25 per cent of their estimated turnover, up to 10 November 2020.

As of 10 November 2020, 27% of businesses offered a Bounce Back Loan were offered one of a value equivalent to exactly 25% of their stated turnover.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses that have applied to Top Up their initial Bounce Back Loan since November 2020 have had their applications rejected.

As of 13 December 2020, 62,311 Bounce Back Loan Scheme top-ups had been approved, worth £0.56 billion.

Decisions on whether to capture information relating to rejected loans are at the discretion of the lender.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish guidance for local authorities on the criteria for dispensing the £1,000 grant to wet-led pubs in lieu of Christmas trade in Tier 2 and 3 local covid alert level areas.

Guidance for the Christmas Support for ‘wet-led’ Pubs was published on 9th December 2020 for local authorities and businesses. The criteria for qualification and funding is detailed in the guidance. Local authorities are responsible for the distribution of the grant to qualifying businesses.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946376/christmas-support-payment-la-guidance.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what date and at what time hairdressing salons in tier 2 covid-19 areas are allowed to re-open after the November 2020 lockdown restrictions come to an end.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Monday 23 November setting out Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan. The COVID-19 Winter Plan sets out that the current national restrictions will be lifted on 2 December. Close Contact Services, including hairdressing salons, can open in all tiers from 2 December at 00:01.

Our Safer Working guidance has been updated ahead of the new tiering regime.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will to extend the domestic Green Homes Grant scheme for twelve months to March 2022 to allow the full uptake of the scheme and to help stimulate new green jobs.

The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme is designed to help stimulate economic recovery and to support and create tens of thousands of jobs. The time-limited nature of the Scheme is determined by the nature of the funding available from HM Treasury. Any potential funding allocations for future years will be determined in the next Spending Review.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the domestic Green Homes Grant through to March 2022 in the context of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make it his policy to extend that scheme.

We understand that COVID-19 restrictions may affect the availability of installers, along with their ability to install measures in households. We have therefore stated installers must follow government guidance on ‘Construction and other outdoor work’ and any other relevant COVID-19 guidance when undertaking installations. Based on the latest advice from my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister, tradespeople may continue to work as they are unable to do so from home.

The Green Homes Grant voucher scheme is designed to help stimulate economic recovery and to support and create tens of thousands of jobs. The time-limited nature of the Scheme is determined by the nature of the funding available from HM Treasury. Any potential funding allocations for future years will be determined in the next Spending Review.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's guidance is for employers in the event that an employee is unable to go into work as a result of their dependants having been instructed by a school to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak.

In the first instance, people who are unable to go into work because they have childcare responsibilities resulting from coronavirus should discuss their situation with their employer. It may be that they can come to an agreement which works well for both parties.

Additionally, employees have?the right to take time off work to help someone who depends on them (a 'dependant') in an unexpected event. The courts have been clear that a failure in childcare provision can constitute an unexpected event – even if it is known about in advance. Time off for dependants can be taken for a reasonable period of time depending on the particular circumstances.

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working, provided they have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. Employers can only reject a request where they have sound business reasons for doing so. Having flexible start and finish times, or working from home can help parents to balance work and childcare needs.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £10 million Green Distilleries Competition funding has been allocated.

The BEIS Energy Innovation Team recently launched the first phase of the Green Distilleries competition. The application window closed very recently, and applications are currently being assessed. This feasibility phase will award a total of £500,000 for engineering studies, with the most promising projects going on to receive further funding next year to develop their technologies as part of phase 2. The competition will help the distillery sector innovate for a Net Zero future and has received a large amount of interest from the industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill will help the UK achieve commitments agreed under the 2015 UN Paris Climate Agreement.

The Climate Change Act 2008 was the first of its kind in the world and made the UK the first country to introduce a legally binding, long-term emissions reduction target. In June 2019, following advice from the Committee on Climate Change, the UK Government set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. In doing so, the UK became the first major economy to legislate for a net zero target. This will bring an end to the UK’s contribution to climate change.

The Government is deeply committed to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. This year alone, the Government has committed billions in spending as we increase support for our low-carbon economy and green jobs. In November 2021, the UK will provide global leadership on climate change as President Designate and host of COP26 in Glasgow. We are determined to use this platform to raise global climate ambitions to achieve the transformational change required by the Paris Agreement.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions has he had on unemployment levels in York in the next 12 months.

York has been an economic success story over the past decade. Unemployment in the wider local enterprise partnership area halved between 2010 and March 2020, and is almost 50 per cent lower than the average for England.

At a local level, the Government’s Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) have enabled City of York Council to pay out over £46.5m in grant payments to over 3,500 business premises in York. The Government is also continuing to invest in York and North Yorkshire’s long term economic potential including a three-year Local Growth Deal worth over £145m, a £15.4m share of the Getting Building Fund, and investment in the York Central Enterprise Zone which will support 6,500 new jobs in the next few years.

These local investments supplement our unprecedented support for businesses and employees on at the national scale, including the measures announced on 24 September in my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Winter Economy Plan. This package includes a new Jobs Support Scheme to protect millions of returning workers, an extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans. We have also strengthened the welfare the safety net to help people who need it, including by increasing the standard allowance for Universal Credit and the Working Tax Credit by up to £1,000 this year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, of the £15m allocated for Citizens Advice to respond to the covid-19 outbreak, how much has been (a) allocated to and (b) received by each organisation.

Of the £15m, £13.5m has been allocated to Citizens Advice and £1.5m allocated to Citizens Advice Scotland.

To date, Citizens Advice have received £10,947,678.00, and Citizens Advice Scotland have received £1,282,921.00.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people have been made redundant from voluntary and community organisations in each week since January 2020 for organisations where there were (a) more and (b) less than 20 redundancies.

The Government does not hold this information:

  • Employers are required to report their intention to make over 20 redundancies at any individual establishment to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Proposed redundancies do not always become actual redundancies, and may be prevented through restructuring or sale of the company.

  • The Government’s Redundancy Payments Service pays redundant employees when the employer has either demonstrated financial difficulties or is insolvent. Therefore, not all redundancies made are recorded.

  • The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes used to categorise business activities is not required for the Redundancy Payments Service. Only 9% of employers on their records have a logged SIC. Therefore, they cannot identify redundancies within the voluntary or community organisation SIC.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional support the Government is providing to help start up businesses establish themselves in the current economy.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) aims to make?the UK the best place to start, scale up and grow a business.

The Start Up Loans Company, part of the British Business Bank, provides government-backed business loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6% per annum with repayment terms of 1 to 5 years. As well as finance, every loan recipient is also offered a dedicated mentoring service and access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business. At the end of March 2020, the Start Up Loans programme had delivered more than 71,500 loans, providing more than £586 million of funding.

For new businesses starting up or for existing businesses wishing to scale up, all advice and guidance – including employee support, tools to identify the right finance, and checklists for setting up the business in line with regulations – the main source of information is the GOV.UK website, with support also available via the Business Support Helpline on FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 and the British Business Bank online Finance Hub.

Start up businesses may also contact the network of 38 local Growth Hubs in England. These are a gateway for local information, guidance, and expertise for businesses across England, including on taxes, finance and funding schemes.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what value of grants from the Discretionary Grant Fund have been awarded to (a) small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces, (b) regular market traders with building costs, (c) bed and breakfast businesses and (d) charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates.

On 1 May, the Government announced up to £617 million available in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to support certain small businesses that are not liable for business rates or rates relief and are therefore out of scope of the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. Local authorities were responsible for defining precise eligibility for the scheme in their area, subject to businesses meeting the national eligibility criteria set out in the guidance. Local authorities continue to pay grants to eligible businesses. We will publish data on Discretionary Grants Fund payments to businesses in due course and once all payments have been made. We do not receive management information from local authorities broken down by sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £617 million of the Government's Discretionary Grant fund has been granted to businesses by local authorities.

On 1 May, the Government announced up to £617 million available in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to support certain small businesses that are not liable for business rates or rates relief and are therefore out of scope of the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. Local authorities were responsible for defining precise eligibility for the scheme in their area, subject to businesses meeting the national eligibility criteria set out in the guidance. Local authorities continue to pay grants to eligible businesses. We will publish data on the amount granted to businesses under the Discretionary Grants Fund in due course and once all payments have been made.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason (a) day nurseries and (b) children's indoor play centres were not identified as priority business types in the Discretionary Grant programme.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund was primarily and predominantly aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses, as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and the Companies Act 2006;
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs;
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

A number of priority groups were identified, including small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, following consultation with local authorities.

Recognising that economic need varies across the country, local authorities have had the discretion to exercise their local knowledge and have been responsible for defining the precise eligibility for this Fund. Mandatory criteria requires that a business was trading as of 11 March, however local authorities have been allowed to determine which cases to support within those criteria.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Bounce Back Loan scheme accredited lenders are providing access to that scheme to new customers.

In order to offer the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), finance providers must be accredited by the Government-owned British Business Bank. Accrediting new lenders for BBLS is a priority for the Bank. It is working at pace to accredit more lenders to further extend the scheme’s reach and provide more choice for businesses.

There are currently 26 accredited lenders for the BBLS. Several of these lenders are currently accepting applications from new customers and this is changing frequently. More information on all accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will fund innovation and skills hubs as part of the economic recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

Ensuring that our businesses have access to the skills they need will be key to supporting economic recovery. We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury on ensuring that skills support is an important part of the response to impact of Covid-19 on the economy. As part of our recovery and our wider R&D ambitions, we will be supporting University-Business engagement through a range of approaches, including collaborative research, innovation and skills activity.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure the economic resilience of supply chains during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to help with business continuity and to give businesses and their suppliers the support they need to help ensure they can get back up and running after the Covid-19 crisis.

We have also worked closely with businesses, business bodies, trade unions, Public Health England and workplace safety experts to develop “national consensus” on the safest ways of working across the economy, with specific guidance drafted for different types of workplaces.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to extend employment protection rights for pregnant women to people that are in the process of adopting children.

Pregnancy is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. Pregnant women also get additional consideration under Health and Safety legislation because of the different risks they may face in the workplace. The Government has no current plans to extend these rights to people who are in the process of adopting children.

Employees looking to adopt are already entitled to paid time off to attend adoption appointments. They are also entitled to up to 52 weeks Adoption Leave. When on Adoption Leave, they have additional redundancy protections which equate to those for Maternity Leave.

Following consultation last year, the Government has committed to extend the redundancy protection which a parent currently enjoys while on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave, for a period for six months following a return to work.

We will bring these measures forward as soon as there is an appropriate opportunity.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a green and sustainable economic programme on the level of economic recovery after the covid-19 outbreak.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Government intends to deliver a UK economy which is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient.

The UK has shown that growing our economy and cutting emissions can be achieved at the same time. We have grown our economy by 75% while cutting emissions by 43% over the past three decades. Low carbon businesses and their supply chains support hundreds of thousands of existing jobs and will be key to future job growth.Many of the actions we need to take to reach our target of net zero emissions by 2050 will support the future growth of our economy.

The Government recently launched a £40 million venture capital fund to supercharge the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies, and since lockdown was announced, we have published the first stage of our Transport Decarbonisation plan and have announced a £2 billion package for cycling and walking.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support and enable self-employed business people to return safely to trading.

The guidance we have published on safer working is designed to help employers, workers and the self-employed understand how to work safely, including what employers need to think about to adapt a workplace to manage risk in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

We know that every organisation is different. Employers and the self-employed can use the guidance to create specific plans for their business in consultation with those who are affected by their operations, including workers and contractors. Plans will depend on the nature of the business, such as the sector, and the details of the workforce and operations.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the provision of additional funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships to support the local regeneration of the economy.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) continue to play a crucial role in driving economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That is why Government has invested heavily through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to unlock economic growth and regeneration opportunities.

The March 2020 Budget confirmed up to £387 million in 2021 and2022 for local areas to continue with existing priority Local Growth Fund projects.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support local economies in broadening their economic base.

It is clear that the UK economy will face significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. It is important to ensure that decisions to support the economy in the short term also support our longer term economic vision for a stronger, fairer, greener economy that builds on UK strengths in science, international relations and ease of doing business.

We recognise that some sectors and regions are likely to be harder hit than others, so we will continue work on the levelling up agenda, building on the strengths of local places and creating new opportunities for long-term economic growth in parts of the country that have been worst affected.

Government will work with places across England to build on the development of their Local Industrial Strategies to define a local vision for economic recovery and renewal. Officials in the Cities and Local Growth Unit will work with places to understand the full scale of the challenges they face in the short- to medium-term, through the MHCLG-led Economic Recovery Working Group.

Achieving Net Zero also remains a priority and we will consider how transitioning to a carbon neutral economy and creating new sources of competitive advantage in green technology and sustainable business can be achieved.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of investment in innovation and skills on the regeneration of local economies.

Innovation and skills will play a vital role in the regeneration of local economies. However, they are only part of the picture in the regeneration of local economies. We are considering how we can support the UK create good jobs, tackle weak growth and productivity, level-up our regions to deliver a UK economy which is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient.

As we look to build back better, it is crucial that we listen to what business is telling us about what they need and how Government should approach recovery and renewal. Last week, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State led a series of roundtables, bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics to consider the measures needed to support the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19. The insight gathered through these roundtables will help identify ways in which Government can work together with business and other stakeholders to support a green and resilient recovery, and ensure the UK is at the forefront of new and emerging industries.

Innovation and Research & Development (R&D) play a crucial role in supporting local economies to recover and renew. The Government is committed to increasing R&D investment across the economy to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, building on existing strengths in areas with high potential for future growth, and providing innovation-led support in less R&D intensive regions to support their continued growth. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), working together with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), is engaging with local partners to assess the current impacts being felt in local economies to build a strong understanding of how investment in research and innovation will contribute to the regeneration of local economies going forward through the development of local recovery plans and an ambitious R&D Place Strategy.

Matching high quality skills provision with local economic need is crucial to improving regional productivity and contributing to the regeneration of local economies. The Government takes a multi-faceted approach to addressing this challenge.

In response to the impact of Covid-19 on national and local economies, the Department for Education (DfE) is developing proposals that target skills support at those who will be hardest hit. Any new support will flex in response to local demand and will assist places in their economic recovery.

DfE has also established Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs). These have helped places to identify local skills priorities, based on analysis of the local area, and agree how these will be met through local education and training provision. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is also working closely with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education on the developing skills proposals. Through this work Government is continuing to work with local areas to identify local labour market priorities and enable an effective response.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent an increase in unemployment in (a) York and (b) England as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs and prevent an increase in unemployment in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This package of support includes?the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) and the?Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF).

The SBGF and RHLGF have supported many thousands of small businesses?with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19.?As of 7 June, £10.23 billion has been paid out to over 954,000 business properties under the two schemes, and the City of York Council has paid grants to 3,280 business premises, totalling £43,675,000.

In addition, on?1 May,?the Business Secretary announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities?in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants.?The?Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs.

We are working closely with all local authorities to get remaining funding to businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to establish an independent judge-led inquiry into the Post Office Horizon Accounting System case.

Postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office, and their branches are vital to communities across the country. That is why Government takes POL's relationship with its postmasters very seriously.

Government is committed to establishing an independent review to consider whether the Post Office has learned the necessary lessons from the Horizon dispute and court case and to provide an independent and external assessment of its work to rebuild its relationship with its postmasters.

We are continuing to make progress on the scoping of the Independent Review and on the identification of a suitable Chair. We will announce further details on this shortly.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support business to comply with social distancing measures when covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.

On Monday the Government published guidance on how to work safely in a number of different working environments so that employers can use the guidance which is most relevant to them. This guidance will help organisations meet their obligations under health and safety law, and the Government will continue to engage across the economy as this guidance beds in.

If work cannot be carried out from home then it is important that social distancing is maintained, as per the scientific advice. If social distancing cannot be carried out, employers should consider whether the task can go ahead, or if it can be altered to allow for social distancing.

The Government has also announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency, including a Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a risk analysis of the potential effect easing the covid-19 lockdown on local businesses.

The Government has published guidance to help businesses make their workplaces as safe as possible to allow employees to return. This requires a risk assessment to be carried out, in line with health and safety legislation.

The guidance was developed with business representatives, unions, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive to consider what might be needed to adapt workplaces in order to minimise the risk of transmission as much as possible while accommodating a return to work at the appropriate time – to make them safer places in the current climate. The variation in types of local business and working environments mean that risk assessments are more appropriately carried out by the business itself.

If businesses do not take action to comply with the relevant legislation and guidance, they could face a range of actions from the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have accessed the business interruption loan scheme; and what the value is of loans made to date.

As of 29 April, in total over £4.1 billion worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to over 25,262 businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support her Department has provided to small and medium-sized enterprises in (a) the City of York local authority and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber in each year since 2010-11.

The below table lists the number of start-ups according to ONS Business Demography UK data (the most recent of which is for 2018). Please note, this data refers to the number of VAT/PAYE registrations, and is available at the following links:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/businessdemographyreferencetable/current/previous/v2/businessdemographyexceltables2015.xls

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/businessdemographyreferencetable

Number of start-ups

Year

York UA

Yorkshire and the Humber

England

2010

665

16,630

207,520

2011

655

17,235

232,460

2012

720

17,990

239,975

2013

945

23,120

308,565

2014

880

23,465

312,920

2015

830

25,140

344,065

2016

870

26,775

373,580

2017

775

22,600

339,345

2018

850

23,405

340,045


We want to make the UK the best place to work and grow a business. The Government-owned British Business Bank’s programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 SMEs, the majority outside London and the South East. The BBB in collaboration with ten Local Enterprise Partnerships, combined authorities and growth hubs manages the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). By September 2019, NPIF had invested £135m in over 500 ambitious SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region, in deals that have attracted an additional £123m of investment from the private sector. This support seeks to address the disparity in the availability of finance across the UK and was further bolstered last autumn, with the launch of the £100m Business Angel investment programme designed to support clusters of business angels outside London. The BBB also established a UK-wide network of relationship managers to help tackle regional imbalances in access to finance.

The number of loans made by the BBB’s Start Up Loans programme in York local authority and Yorkshire & Humber is as follows:

Start-Up Loans:

FY

York LA

Yorkshire & Humber

2012-13

3 loans - £22,000

160 loans - over £726,000

2013-14

26 loans - £139,000

1,083 loans - over £5.5m

2014-15

24 loans – over £167,000

965 loans – over £5.1m

2015-16

26 loans – over £215,000

765 loans - over £5.8m

2016-17

25 loans - £244,000

762 loans – over £8m

2017-18

32 loans – over £448,000

774 loans – over £10.2m

2018-19

26 loans – over £264,000

783 loans – over £7.8m

2019- 31 December 2019)

17 loans – over £154,000

583 loans – over £6.3m

The local York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and Leeds City Region Growth Hubs provide a free, impartial, ‘single point of contact’ to help businesses in these areas identify and access the right support for them at the right time no matter their size or sector.

SMEs across Yorkshire and Humber are also benefiting from over £1.3 billion investment over the years 2015-2021 through Yorkshire and Humber LEP Growth Deals. This includes over £145m through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP Growth Deal and £695m through the Leeds City Region LEP Growth Deal.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small and medium-sized enterprise start-ups there were in (a) York, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England in each year since 2010.

The below table lists the number of start-ups according to ONS Business Demography UK data (the most recent of which is for 2018). Please note, this data refers to the number of VAT/PAYE registrations, and is available at the following links:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/businessdemographyreferencetable/current/previous/v2/businessdemographyexceltables2015.xls

https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/businessdemographyreferencetable

Number of start-ups

Year

York UA

Yorkshire and the Humber

England

2010

665

16,630

207,520

2011

655

17,235

232,460

2012

720

17,990

239,975

2013

945

23,120

308,565

2014

880

23,465

312,920

2015

830

25,140

344,065

2016

870

26,775

373,580

2017

775

22,600

339,345

2018

850

23,405

340,045


We want to make the UK the best place to work and grow a business. The Government-owned British Business Bank’s programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 SMEs, the majority outside London and the South East. The BBB in collaboration with ten Local Enterprise Partnerships, combined authorities and growth hubs manages the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). By September 2019, NPIF had invested £135m in over 500 ambitious SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region, in deals that have attracted an additional £123m of investment from the private sector. This support seeks to address the disparity in the availability of finance across the UK and was further bolstered last autumn, with the launch of the £100m Business Angel investment programme designed to support clusters of business angels outside London. The BBB also established a UK-wide network of relationship managers to help tackle regional imbalances in access to finance.

The number of loans made by the BBB’s Start Up Loans programme in York local authority and Yorkshire & Humber is as follows:

Start-Up Loans:

FY

York LA

Yorkshire & Humber

2012-13

3 loans - £22,000

160 loans - over £726,000

2013-14

26 loans - £139,000

1,083 loans - over £5.5m

2014-15

24 loans – over £167,000

965 loans – over £5.1m

2015-16

26 loans – over £215,000

765 loans - over £5.8m

2016-17

25 loans - £244,000

762 loans – over £8m

2017-18

32 loans – over £448,000

774 loans – over £10.2m

2018-19

26 loans – over £264,000

783 loans – over £7.8m

2019- 31 December 2019)

17 loans – over £154,000

583 loans – over £6.3m

The local York, North Yorkshire and East Riding and Leeds City Region Growth Hubs provide a free, impartial, ‘single point of contact’ to help businesses in these areas identify and access the right support for them at the right time no matter their size or sector.

SMEs across Yorkshire and Humber are also benefiting from over £1.3 billion investment over the years 2015-2021 through Yorkshire and Humber LEP Growth Deals. This includes over £145m through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP Growth Deal and £695m through the Leeds City Region LEP Growth Deal.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate she has made of the number of people paid below the Real Living Wage in (a) London and (b) the rest of the UK.

This Government is committed to building an economy that works for everyone. Through the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) the Government protects the lowest paid within our society and ensures they are fairly rewarded for their contribution to the economy.

The NMW and NLW rates are legal minimum thresholds. These rates are different from the Living Wage which is a voluntary minimum rate of pay endorsed by the Living Wage Foundation. The Government commends the work of the Living Wage Foundation and those employers who commit to paying the Living Wage rates.

In April 2020, we will be increasing the NLW by 6.2% to £8.72 meeting the Government’s target of reaching 60% of median earnings by 2020. The Low Pay Commission estimates that these increases to the NMW and NLW will directly benefit over 2.8 million people. Last year, the Chancellor pledged to raise the NLW further, to two-thirds of median earnings, to an expected £10.50 by 2024, making the UK the first major economy in the world to set such an ambition.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment she has made of the financial state of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

DCMS is regularly gathering intelligence from departments across the government and partners in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided and how these are being addressed.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The government will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to ensure that the new Chair of the Charity Commission is independent.

DCMS are in the process of appointing a new Chair to the Charity Commission board, which is being run in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

One of the essential criteria in the person specification for the role, which will be tested in interviews, is a commitment to the charity sector’s effective, independent, proportionate, and impartial regulation.

The candidate will also be required to attend a pre appointment hearing in front of the DCMS Select Committee.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her timescale is for appointing a new Chair of the Charity Commission.

DCMS are in the process of appointing a new Chair to the Charity Commission board, which is being run in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. The preferred candidate will attend a pre-appointment hearing in front of the DCMS Select Committee.

Ian Karet is the interim Chair of the Commission until 26th December or until a new Chair is appointed.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent progress he has made on delivering the Loneliness Strategy.

Over the last eighteen months, the government has continued to take action in line with the loneliness strategy, including through delivering a response to COVID-19 that recognises the value of social connection.

We have invested over £34 million in charities focused on reducing loneliness and a further £50 million to organisations supporting people with their mental health. This is part of the government's unprecedented £750 million package of support for the sector during the pandemic, which has benefited over 14,000 charities.

We also set up the £4 million Local Connections Fund in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund. Through the Local Connections Fund, we have awarded over 1,300 microgrants to charities and community groups that help people to connect via the things they enjoy. For example, we’ve supported songwriting workshops in Devon, dance classes in Bedfordshire, and online chat services in Durham.

We established the Tackling Loneliness Network, bringing together over 80 organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors to share expertise and develop innovative ways to tackle loneliness. The Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan was published in May 2021 and sets out actions that government and Network members are taking to support social connection in response to COVID-19. A copy of this report will be placed in the Libraries of the House and is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emerging-together-the-tackling-loneliness-network-action-plan

We have continued to share practical tips and signpost support through the ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ campaign. During Loneliness Awareness Week in June this year, our campaign activity reached over 21 million people, including through partnerships with TikTok, BT, Royal Mail and Electronic Arts.

The government publishes a report on its work on loneliness every year. The latest was published in January 2021 and is available online at: [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/loneliness-annual-report-the-second-year/loneliness-annual-report-january-2021 ] The next report will be published in early 2022.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department is taking steps to prevent people from developing a problematic relationship with gambling by adopting a public health approach to that matter.

The government views gambling-related harm as a public health issue. Gambling legislation and the requirements placed on operators by the independent regulator, the Gambling Commission, are intended to offer a wide range of protections, from those which make gambling safer for the population as a whole, such as controls on gambling products, to tailored protections for groups such as children and specific targeted interventions and support for those at most risk of harm. We are reviewing the Gambling Act to ensure that the protections in place are appropriate for the digital age.

In 2019, the government secured a commitment from industry to contribute £100m over four years to problem gambling treatment, alongside NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care continuing their work to improve and expand specialist treatment services. Up to 15 new clinics are set to open by 2023/24, 3 of which are already in operation.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of people who have a problematic relationship with gambling that receive support to tackle that matter.

Treatment and support for problem gambling is offered by a number of different treatment providers, including NHS England and third sector organisations such as the independent charity GambleAware. In its annual GB Treatment and Support survey for 2020, the independent charity GambleAware found that more than six in ten (63%) problem gamblers surveyed said they had used some form of treatment, advice or support in the past 12 months, compared to just over half (54%) in November 2019. The survey also found year-on-year increases in reported usage of treatment services (from 43% to 53%) and support and advice (from 39% to 48%) among problem gamblers.

While the government does not hold information regarding the numbers seeking help and/or support in the city of York, we remain committed to preventing gambling-related harm and ensuring those experiencing it are able to access the right treatment and support whenever and wherever they need it. The NHS Long-Term Plan, published in July 2019, announced the creation of up to 15 specialist problem gambling clinics by 2023/24, with up to £15 million of funding over the same period. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the NHS to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

While there is no specialist NHS gambling clinic based in York, individuals are able to access the Northern Gambling Service, based in Leeds with satellite clinics in Manchester and Sunderland, as well as national treatment services commissioned by GambleAware.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 10501 on Gambling: York, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have a problem with gambling in the city of York; and what steps he is taking to help tackle problem gambling in that city.

Treatment and support for problem gambling is offered by a number of different treatment providers, including NHS England and third sector organisations such as the independent charity GambleAware. In its annual GB Treatment and Support survey for 2020, the independent charity GambleAware found that more than six in ten (63%) problem gamblers surveyed said they had used some form of treatment, advice or support in the past 12 months, compared to just over half (54%) in November 2019. The survey also found year-on-year increases in reported usage of treatment services (from 43% to 53%) and support and advice (from 39% to 48%) among problem gamblers.

While the government does not hold information regarding the numbers seeking help and/or support in the city of York, we remain committed to preventing gambling-related harm and ensuring those experiencing it are able to access the right treatment and support whenever and wherever they need it. The NHS Long-Term Plan, published in July 2019, announced the creation of up to 15 specialist problem gambling clinics by 2023/24, with up to £15 million of funding over the same period. Work continues on the phased expansion of these services, enabling the NHS to explore how best to use existing treatment models to reach those most in need of support.

While there is no specialist NHS gambling clinic based in York, individuals are able to access the Northern Gambling Service, based in Leeds with satellite clinics in Manchester and Sunderland, as well as national treatment services commissioned by GambleAware.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the ability of charities to conduct fundraising activities.

Charities and volunteers have played a huge role in the national effort against coronavirus. We recognise that the restrictions that have been necessary over the last year have impacted on the ability of many in the charity and social enterprise sectors to generate income, including from fundraising. We continue to assess the impact of the pandemic on the sector, drawing on a range of sources of intelligence and data.

Government has worked with the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising to produce guidance around safe fundraising practises, in line with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and subsequent lifting of restrictions. This guidance was produced to allow the sector to maximise opportunities for fundraising activities to take place at all stages of the pandemic, in a safe and responsible way. My officials will continue to work with the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising to support safe and responsible fundraising to take place, recognising that this will be vital in helping charities to rebuild their income streams in the months ahead.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the £750 million allocated by the Government to support the charitable sector on 8 April 2020 that has been returned to Her Majesty's Treasury as a result of underspending.

Of the £750 million package for charities and voluntary organisations, £200 million was allocated to the Department for Health and Social Care specifically for hospices, and £60 million was allocated to the Devolved Administrations. £160 million was distributed by a range of government departments to organisations working in their sectors.

In total, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) was responsible for administering £347 million (which includes £17 million additional funding in relation to the Big Night In).

As at the end of the first quarter of 2021/22, £0.19 million has been identified as underspend from the funding administered by DCMS. A small number of grants are not closed down so it is possible that additional underspends may arise.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the findings of the Charity Commission's investigation into the Runnymede Trust's analysis of the report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the Sewell Report.

Where concerns are raised that a charity is acting outside of its charitable purposes, it is right that such concerns are considered by the Charity Commission as the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales.

The Charity Commission has concluded its compliance case involving the Runnymede Trust, and a statement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-commission-concludes-compliance-case-involving-the-runnymede-trust

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to announce the appointment of the new Chair of the Charity Commission.

DCMS are in the process of appointing a new Chair to the Charity Commission board, which is being run in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. The preferred candidate will attend a pre-appointment hearing in front of the DCMS Select Committee.

Ian Karet is the interim Chair of the Commission until 26th December or until a new Chair is appointed.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional support his Department is making available to charities over the summer for young people who have had their education disrupted due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government fully recognises the difficulties Covid-19 has imposed on charities and in particular those charities that support young people and has taken a number of actions to mitigate these.

On 8 April 2020 the Chancellor announced a £750 million funding package for charities. This included £360 million of targeted funding for charities unable to furlough their staff due to the provision of vital services. In addition, part of this package included an open fund aimed at smaller charities and social enterprises working with vulnerable people affected by the crisis in England delivered through the National Lottery Community Fund.

One example is the £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund established by my department. This fund supported 551 grassroots youth clubs, uniformed youth groups, and national youth and umbrella organisations, helping to mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that services providing vital support to young people remain open.

In addition, the National Citizen Service continues to provide adventures away from home and skills for life and work for tens of thousands of young people every year. It has an established network of c.120 suppliers, more than three quarters of which are charities. It directly and indirectly supports c.10,000 youth sector jobs and provides vital support to young people. This summer, that has included two-week programmes focused on life skills, employability, and social action alongside the Changemaker programme, where young people volunteer in their local communities.

With specific regard to disrupted education, out-of-school settings, such as youth clubs, supplementary schools and extracurricular clubs – including those that are charities – can currently offer provision to all children, without restriction on the reasons for which they may attend. It is the government’s priority that these providers can continue to deliver face-to-face, high quality activities and tuition to all children and young people.

These settings have continued to be open throughout the pandemic, for vulnerable children and children of critical workers in particular; and we have provided updated guidance for these settings to support them to operate as safely as possible.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to help ensure that charities have sufficient resources to respond to isolation in the context of increased covid-19 infections.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities in the national effort against coronavirus. It has provided a multi-billion-pound package of support for Britain's charities to continue their vital services, including for those self-isolating.

My Department has awarded nearly £7 million in grant funding to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP), a partnership of sector organisations established in 2017 to respond to domestic emergencies. The grant includes over £1.5 million for onward grants to over 200 local grassroots organisations. The current grant runs to March 2022 and is in part in recognition of the VCSEP’s and voluntary sector’s work to help people who need to self-isolate.

My Department works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, which continues to provide support to those who are isolated at home. We have also been working with DHSC and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop the Self Isolation Practical Support Framework, which supports local authorities to collaborate with the voluntary and community sector to support people who are self-isolating.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) the NHS volunteer programme and (b) other national volunteering programmes do not conflict with or undermine programmes run by local organisations.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) aims to empower local volunteering and ensure national efforts to encourage volunteering do not detract from locally-led responses.

DCMS is closely engaged with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England & NHS Improvement on NHS volunteer programmes, including the national NHS Volunteer Responders programme. In the course of those discussions, we consider local volunteering mechanisms, and how best to ensure that national NHS volunteering works with those, and that NHS volunteers and recipients of NHS volunteer services can be referred to local organisations.

In recognition of the vital role that local organisations have played in the volunteer response to COVID-19, DCMS has commissioned research on local models of mobilising volunteers across England during the pandemic. The research aims to improve the evidence base of the various models of coordinating volunteers at a local level, including the ways in which local organisations collaborated with national volunteering programmes to support community volunteering.

DCMS continues to work closely with the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector to assess the needs of the sector and how the government can best support it to continue its vital work. The Minister for Civil Society and DCMS officials are engaging regularly with civil society stakeholders to highlight and address key issues for the sector in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the level of resources available to the Councils for Voluntary Services sector to shadow Integrated Care System boards.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not held any discussions with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) about the level of resources needed by Councils for Voluntary Service to shadow Integrated Care System boards.

Each government department is responsible for considering how the resourcing needs for civil society partners are impacted by policy decisions. As DHSC is responsible for Integrated Care Systems policy, it is for DHSC to decide what, if any role there will be for civil society partners, and whether this requires additional resources.

As the department with overall responsibility for civil society, DCMS regularly brings together other government departments to discuss civil society, with the aim of ensuring that the views and needs of the sector are considered in the development of policy across government.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with businesses on support for local charities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses have played a significant role in supporting charities up and down the country during the pandemic. Officials in my department and across government, have held a number of conversations with business and charity sector representatives throughout the pandemic.

Government has published guidance for businesses setting out how they can best support the charity sector, and separate guidance for civil society organisations on how to access support. This included information on pro-bono professional services, digital support to aid service transformation, enabling staff volunteering, and funding. Government has also linked up businesses with suitable brokers, including Business in the Community and Volunteering Matters. These brokers have specialist skills in making connections between businesses and charities.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to (a) ensure and (b) improve public access to local (i) indoor and (ii) outdoor swimming pools.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and we agree that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy.

Government has provided a range of support for swimming pools during the pandemic. The £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country. In addition, Sport England have made 127 Covid support awards to the Swimming & Diving community (totalling £1,100,560), and a further 20 awards to multi-sport projects (totalling £211,171) where swimming and diving are expected to benefit.

Beyond Covid, Sport England have awarded £8,529,154 to swimming and diving projects since April 2017, and have provided £16,123,002 of funding to Swim England in the same period.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to assist charities with delivering community services and support in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities and civil society in the national effort against coronavirus, and the significant challenges that many have experienced. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the £750 million package for charities and voluntary organisations.

DCMS is committed to working with sector representatives on shared priorities for supporting a strong, sustainable and healthy sector during the covid-19 pandemic and beyond. We have also awarded grant funding to the VCS Emergency Partnership to help provide vital on-going coordination and insights-building within the voluntary sector. This included funding to the National Association of Voluntary and Community Associations (NAVCA) of more than £1.5 million for onward grants to over 200 local grassroots organisations.

My department is also working across government to understand how they are working with and supporting key subsectors, such as community services. We will continue to have ongoing conversations with both the charity sector and key government partners to help monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector.

16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of recent rises in rates of covid-19 infection on the tourism and travel industry in summer 2021.

We recognise that COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the tourism industry. We will keep gathering sector intelligence to monitor pandemic-related trends over the summer in order to support the sector’s safe reopening and recovery.


In total, over £25bn has been provided during the pandemic to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks. In May, we published the Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector recover back to pre-pandemic levels and build back better for the future. The plan aims to recover domestic tourism to pre pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023; both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will review his policy of lifting covid-19 lockdown restrictions on 19 July 2021 in (a) theatres and (b) concert halls.

On 19 July, England moved to Stage 4 of the Roadmap with many of the remaining legal restrictions being lifted. However, given the continued risks of the virus, the Government has been clear that this is not yet a return to normal and that people should remain cautious given the continued risks of the virus.

While there is no perfect time to relax existing restrictions, moving to step 4 means that relaxations coincide with the end of the school term, and will take place over the summer when both more activities can take place outdoors and pressures on the NHS are lower than in the autumn and winter months.

The Government may need to take measures to help manage the virus during periods of higher risk, such as winter, but will as far as possible prioritise strengthened guidance and seek to avoid imposing restrictions that have significant economic, social and health costs.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will review his policy of lifting covid-19 restrictions on 19 July 2021 at sporting venues including (a) football stadiums and (b) horse racing venues.

On 19 July, England moved to Stage 4 of the Roadmap with many of the remaining legal restrictions being lifted. However, given the continued risks of the virus, the Government has been clear that this is not yet a return to normal and that people should remain cautious given the continued risks of the virus.

While there is no perfect time to relax existing restrictions, moving to step 4 means that relaxations coincide with the end of the school term, and will take place over the summer when both more activities can take place outdoors and pressures on the NHS are lower than in the autumn and winter months.

The Government may need to take measures to help manage the virus during periods of higher risk, such as winter, but will as far as possible prioritise strengthened guidance and seek to avoid imposing restrictions that have significant economic, social and health costs.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps is he taking to help promote diversity in junior local football clubs.

The Government is clear that racism has no place in football, sport, or society at large. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity, including football. We are in regular dialogue with the football authorities across a range of matters, including tackling racism and increasing diversity at all levels from grassroots to elite football.

Following a DCMS-led summit attended by footballing bodies and relevant sector partners,the football authorities introduced multiple measures to tackle discrimination in the game. This included increasing the minimum sanctions for discriminatory behaviour and improving reporting systems at all levels of the game.

We also welcomed the launch of The FA’s ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ last year, which is a step in the right direction to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society, on and off the pitch. The FA has committed to following this with a version adapted for the National League System and grassroots clubs this year.

Opportunities for participation are crucial too. The Government invests £18m a year into football facilities, through the Football Foundation, to improve access to quality facilities across the country with an additional £75m announced this year as well. Inclusivity forms a part of the assessment criteria for any application for funding from the Foundation, with it being a core value of the organisation.

The Government will continue to liaise closely with the football authorities on their efforts to improve diversity in the sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much public funding is available to support antiracism education at local football clubs.

The Government is clear that racism has no place in football, sport, or society at large. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity, including football. We are in regular dialogue with the football authorities across a range of matters, including tackling racism and increasing diversity at all levels from grassroots to elite football.

Following a DCMS-led summit attended by footballing bodies and relevant sector partners,the football authorities introduced multiple measures to tackle discrimination in the game. This included increasing the minimum sanctions for discriminatory behaviour and improving reporting systems at all levels of the game.

We also welcomed the launch of The FA’s ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ last year, which is a step in the right direction to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society, on and off the pitch. The FA has committed to following this with a version adapted for the National League System and grassroots clubs this year.

Opportunities for participation are crucial too. The Government invests £18m a year into football facilities, through the Football Foundation, to improve access to quality facilities across the country with an additional £75m announced this year as well. Inclusivity forms a part of the assessment criteria for any application for funding from the Foundation, with it being a core value of the organisation.

The Government will continue to liaise closely with the football authorities on their efforts to improve diversity in the sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to prevent racism at local football clubs.

The Government is clear that racism has no place in football, sport, or society at large. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity, including football. We are in regular dialogue with the football authorities across a range of matters, including tackling racism and increasing diversity at all levels from grassroots to elite football.

Following a DCMS-led summit attended by footballing bodies and relevant sector partners,the football authorities introduced multiple measures to tackle discrimination in the game. This included increasing the minimum sanctions for discriminatory behaviour and improving reporting systems at all levels of the game.

We also welcomed the launch of The FA’s ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ last year, which is a step in the right direction to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society, on and off the pitch. The FA has committed to following this with a version adapted for the National League System and grassroots clubs this year.

Opportunities for participation are crucial too. The Government invests £18m a year into football facilities, through the Football Foundation, to improve access to quality facilities across the country with an additional £75m announced this year as well. Inclusivity forms a part of the assessment criteria for any application for funding from the Foundation, with it being a core value of the organisation.

The Government will continue to liaise closely with the football authorities on their efforts to improve diversity in the sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to tackle racism in sports other than football.

The Government is clear that racism has no place in sport, or society at large. The sport and physical activity strategy ‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation’ has diversity and inclusion at its heart.

Sport England, UK Sport and the other home nations’ sports councils have recently published the results of a detailed, independent review into tackling racism and racial inequality in sport. Each Council is working to develop their own specific action plans to deliver on the initial commitments relating to people, representation, investment, systems and insight. This will involve working closely with relevant groups or communities to tackle racism in sport.

One area which is important in increasing inclusion in sport is the diversity of the sporting workforce and governance structures.The recently reviewed Code for Sport Governance requires all sporting bodies in receipt of substantial public funding from UK Sport and Sport England to have a detailed and ambitious diversity and inclusion action plan, which we hope will foster positive and lasting change.

The Government will continue to work with our arm’s length and national governing bodies, as well as sector partners such as Sporting Equals, to effectively tackle racism in sport at all levels. However it is ultimately for all individual sports’ national governing bodies, to decide on the specific aims and appropriate initiatives in their organisations, and to evaluate progress with these.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional support he will make available for charities supporting people who are continuing to self-isolate as a result of the rise in covid-19 infection rates.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities and the voluntary sector in the national effort against coronavirus. It has provided a multi-billion-pound package of support for Britain's charities to continue their vital services, including for those self-isolating.

Charities continue to benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and many will have benefited from government grants where they have been required to close non-essential retail. This support is in addition to the £750 million targeted support package which has helped over 13,000 organisations continue to maintain vital services for those most affected by the pandemic.

At this time, government does not have plans to offer additional targeted funding for these sectors, but does continue to monitor sector health closely. The government is committed to working with charity sector representatives to support a strong and resilient sector.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Events Research Programme, what assessment he has made of the covid-19 viral load people who tested (a) negative before and (b) positive after an event were exposed to.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission at any event will depend on several biological, behavioural and environmental factors including the prevalence of disease at the time, venue design, extent and effectiveness of venue ventilation (including whether events are held indoors or outdoors), numbers and characteristics of attendees, type, nature and purpose of contact, and length of time spent close to others.

Details of the risk of COVID-19 transmission are available in the Events Research Programme: Phase I findings report which was published on Friday 25 June and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/events-research-programme-phase-i-findings

The ERP pilots demonstrated how risk mitigation measures could be put in place to reduce and manage the risks identified for events. Mitigation options include: communications, crowd and audience management strategies, face coverings and ventilation.

It is challenging to generate robust, generalisable evidence of the transmission risk associated with particular events from the first phase of the ERP, including those associated with the event. Phase I pilots were necessarily limited in scale, and took place during a period of low prevalence of the virus. Further, they were insufficient in scale, scope and study designs to generate any direct evidence based on transmission data. Therefore, evidence on case numbers should be treated with caution.

Our independently chaired Science Board agreed that we needed to run more events over multiple dates, in order to gather and generate stronger data that consolidates our evidence base. The third phase of the ERP is currently taking place and will continue to produce additional scientific research and evidence, as well as implementation considerations for government, event organisers, and consumers on reopening events safely with a greater number of attendees.

Public safety is our main priority, and we continue to work closely with the local authorities, DHSC, and PHE to closely monitor attendees. This includes monitoring any potential prevalence of COVID-19 as a result of the events. The Test and Trace team are working closely with the ERP on our pilot events to ensure that any attendee who tests positive for the virus is contacted, and understands the requirement to self-isolate.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether covid-19 testing for indoor and outdoor sporting events will continue after 19 July 2021.

Testing will continue throughout Phase III of the Events research programme in order to gain entry to events, all attendees must either provide proof of a negative NHS Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test taken within 48 hours of entering the event; OR proof of two vaccinations with the second vaccination being given at least 14 days prior to entry of the event via the NHS App; OR must have natural immunity, based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of the event.

The Prime Minister set out plans on Monday 5th July for the final step of the Roadmap in England, giving businesses and the public more time to prepare. Step 4 is expected to begin on Monday 19th July if the government’s four tests for easing COVID restrictions have been met. This will be confirmed on Monday 12th July following a review of the latest data.

At step 4 there will be no Covid certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event, although businesses and events can make use of certification, and the NHS app gives you a Covid pass as one way to show your Covid status.

The Government will maintain contingency plans for reimposing economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant. It is possible that certification could provide a means of keeping events going and businesses open, if the country is facing a difficult situation in autumn or winter. Any future implementation would involve consultation and appropriate parliamentary scrutiny.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of attendees at each of the Events Research Programme pilots reported post-event covid-19 test results.

Details of testing rates and test results for the pilot events in the first phase of the Events Research Programme (ERP) are available in the Events Research Programme: Phase I findings report which was published on Friday 25 June and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/events-research-programme-phase-i-findings

As with the first phase of ERP, scientific studies are led by a number of scientists and the ERP’s research partners, who will publish the results of the second and third phases of ERP in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of attendance at sporting or mass gathering events on levels of covid-19 infection in the (a) hospitality sector and (b) wider community.

The Government is drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact the effects of the pandemic has had on our sectors.

Since 17 May, events have been able to reopen subject to capacity caps which vary depending on whether the event is indoors or outdoors. There has been COVID guidance in place for all settings, including the hospitality industry to ensure every precaution is taken to minimise the risk of infection. This guidance includes social distancing, the use of face masks, ventilation and general COVID 19 precautions.

From Step 4 of the roadmap all settings will be open, including nightclubs. Large events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.

There will be an ongoing assessment of data, and public safety is our main priority. We will continue to work closely with the local authorities, DHSC, and PHE to closely monitor attendees. This includes monitoring any potential prevalence of COVID-19 as a result of the events. The Test and Trace team are working closely with the ERP on our pilot events to ensure that any attendee who tests positive for the virus is contacted, and understands the requirement to self-isolate.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment his Department has made of (a) trends in the level of advertising in local media outlets and (b) the financial viability of local media outlets.

The government has been engaging closely with local media outlets and with market experts to continue to inform our understanding of the financial pressures that local media sectors have been facing, including with respect to reductions in advertising revenues during the pandemic, and the impact of this on business continuity. We are aware in particular that, in some cases, these pressures have led local news publishers to make difficult decisions with regard to title closures or suspensions and staff redundancies.

It remains a priority of the Government to support local media sectors at this time of financial instability. Alongside our wider economic measures, many local newspapers have also benefited from a unique and unprecedented government advertising partnership, designed to deliver important messages to UK citizens and worth up to £35 million in additional government advertising revenue in its first phase. The government has also taken steps to help local radio stations, in particular through support on transmission costs. We will maintain our dialogue with local media as the situation continues to develop, and we continue to consider all possible options in the interests of supporting them.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to measure the reduction in services provided by charities as a result of reduced funding since March 2020 due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that have been lost in the charities sector as a result of funding challenges since March 2020.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on charities in the retail sector with reference to the (a) loss of revenue to and (b) financial stability of those charities.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the level of fundraising by charities since the start of that outbreak.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to assess the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the finances of charities.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the reserves of charities.

The government understands that the pandemic has created significant challenges for many in the charity sector. This is why we made available a multi billion pound package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to protect against job losses in the sector.

There is no single source of data which can provide a real time picture of the financial and operational health of the sector. Government is therefore drawing evidence from a range of sources in order to shape our understanding of the overall impact.

A number of established surveys are providing a picture of the nuanced impact of the pandemic on financial outlook, workforce and levels of service delivery. These include the Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer from Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. While some respondents indicate increased financial and operation hardship, many others report a stable or improving position.

The Charity Commission has started to provide intelligence on the impact on reserves emerging from charitable returns, indicating the number of organisations with negative or no reserves has increased over the last year. My department is also continuing to gather intelligence from departments across government to understand risks and issues relating to critical services provided by charities and how these are being addressed.

My department will continue to monitor the health and resilience of the charity sector, and will explore ways to strengthen the evidence available to support our assessment. The government is working with the partners in the sector to shape a forward looking agenda that will support a strong and resilient civil society.

24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on opportunities for businesses to allow employees to volunteer with civil society organsiations.

Employer-supported volunteering can bring considerable benefits to individual wellbeing as well as the broader workforce, help to build stronger communities and enable charities and community groups to do more through employer-supported contributions.

Government wants to see employers with strong corporate responsibility programmes and to encourage businesses, the public sector and charities to consider the role employer-supported volunteering can play as part of their impact on society.

Employees already have the right to reasonable time off work to carry out specified public duties such as those of a magistrate, as established in Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. However, in the absence of a statutory requirement to provide time off for all voluntary duties, this is a matter for individual employers.

Employer-supported volunteering programmes have made an important contribution to our community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Business Response Network established by Business in the Community has coordinated the need for volunteers with local businesses, and their efforts have benefitted over 1 million people across the country to date.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason women's football was classified as a non-elite sport during the recent covid-19 lockdowns; and if he will review that classification in the event of a future lockdown.

It is up to the respective governing bodies to determine what constitutes the boundary between elite and non-elite within their sports. Government regulations relating to arrangements for sport during the COVID-19 pandemic do not distinguish between men’s and women’s sport.

We are absolutely committed to women’s sport. I meet regularly with the Football Association to discuss a range of issues, and we continue to liaise closely with them on women’s football.

It is also worth noting that in February we announced £2.25 million support for Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship, alongside a further announcement in March for £680,000 in grant funding for six women’s football clubs.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the potential merits of volunteering for people on universal credit and other legacy benefits.

Government is always interested in understanding and maximising the benefits of volunteering for all individuals.

Increasingly, we know that volunteering can bring considerable benefits to the individual themselves, in addition to the social value they generate for the people and causes they support through their activity. The What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s Rapid Evidence Review of volunteering and wellbeing (October 2020) found that while the context of volunteering is an important factor, there is ‘high quality evidence that volunteering is positively linked to enhanced wellbeing, including improved life satisfaction, increased happiness and decreases in symptoms of depression’. (What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Institute for Volunteering Research Universities of Sheffield, Salford, UEA and Manchester, The Impacts of Volunteering on the Subject Wellbeing of Volunteers: A Rapid Evidence Assessment, 2020.)

Beyond wellbeing, other studies have examined the links between volunteering and employability, particularly for young people and though socioeconomic factors are thought to be key, these also demonstrate positive benefits. A study by the Behavioural Insights Team for the #iwill youth social action campaign in 2019 found that employers prefer employees who have undertaken social action, since they demonstrate better skills. Accordingly, 81% of young people who have participated in social action believe that this will help them develop new skills.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment has he made of the effectiveness of local volunteer centres.

Local Volunteer Centres play an important role in many areas, providing support and expertise on volunteering within the local community.


DCMS has not conducted a specific assessment of local volunteer centres but the MoVE project, a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Hull and Leeds (Lessons from Lockdown, October 2020) found that ‘existing local infrastructure and community support networks have underpinned successful community responses.’

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has of the comparative effectiveness of volunteering opportunities organised through (a) local and (b) national schemes.

Volunteering opportunities organised both nationally and locally have been an integral part of the community response to COVID-19.

Out of the various ways that people stepped up to respond to the pandemic, the Talk Together report Our Chance to Reconnect (March 2020) estimates that 12.4 million people across the UK volunteered to support their communities (Talk/Together: Our Chance to Reconnect, February 2021), with up to 4.6 million volunteering for the first time. Of these first time volunteers, 75% say they wish to continue volunteering. With reference to volunteering opportunities organised nationally, it is worth noting that NHS Volunteer Responders have now completed more than 1.9 million tasks to support over 171,000 people at risk from Covid-19. (NHS Volunteer Responder Success Measures (12 June 2020 - 16 May 2021)

In addition to volunteer responses organised through formal channels locally and nationally, the pandemic saw huge growth in informal volunteering. The DCMS Community Life Recontact Survey (December 2020) found that the proportion of the population offering informal help on a regular basis (at least once a month) increased from 28% to 47% (DCMS, Community Life COVID-19 Recontact Survey, December 2020). We saw communities rapidly mobilising to help local people, who were particularly at risk or hardest hit by the effects of isolation. Pro Bono Economics’ Civil Action report (December 2020) estimated that over 2.5 million people volunteered with over 4,000 mutual aid groups (Pro Bono Economics, ‘Civil Action: Exploring Civil Societies Potential in the 2020s’, December 2020), a unique grassroots movement which has seen communities demonstrate their strength, resourcefulness and adaptability.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £750 million allocated to charities on 8 April 2020 has been spent on tackling loneliness; and whether the funding strand can be identified from which that funding was spent.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic. £35m of the £750m funding package has been spent on tackling loneliness. This includes:

  • Big Night In - £1,174,257

  • Coronavirus Community Support Fund - £17,228,490

  • Community Match Challenge - £3,344,170

  • VCSE Winter Loneliness Fund - £7,512,143

    • Comprising: a £2m uplift to the Loneliness Covid-19 Fund; £5.03m to Arts Council England (including £3.5m to The Reading Agency); £300k to the Audio Content Fund; and £200k to the Community Radio Fund.

  • Other Government Departments - £5,725,743

    • Includes the £5m Loneliness Covid-19 Fund, launched May 2020, to enable national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections to continue and adapt their critical wor

All of the above funding had been spent by 31st March 2021.

In addition to this, we have launched the £4m Local Connections Fund, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, to provide targeted funding to small grassroots organisations, to build relationships in communities to help reduce loneliness. £2m of government funding was spent by 31st March 2021, and the second round comprising £2m of Lottery Funding will be launched on 28th June 2021. This funding was from DCMS core budgets.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the (a) amount of funding and (b) source of funding his Department spent on tackling loneliness since March 2021.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic. £35m of the £750m funding package has been spent on tackling loneliness. This includes:

  • Big Night In - £1,174,257

  • Coronavirus Community Support Fund - £17,228,490

  • Community Match Challenge - £3,344,170

  • VCSE Winter Loneliness Fund - £7,512,143

    • Comprising: a £2m uplift to the Loneliness Covid-19 Fund; £5.03m to Arts Council England (including £3.5m to The Reading Agency); £300k to the Audio Content Fund; and £200k to the Community Radio Fund.

  • Other Government Departments - £5,725,743

    • Includes the £5m Loneliness Covid-19 Fund, launched May 2020, to enable national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections to continue and adapt their critical wor

All of the above funding had been spent by 31st March 2021.

In addition to this, we have launched the £4m Local Connections Fund, in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, to provide targeted funding to small grassroots organisations, to build relationships in communities to help reduce loneliness. £2m of government funding was spent by 31st March 2021, and the second round comprising £2m of Lottery Funding will be launched on 28th June 2021. This funding was from DCMS core budgets.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £750 million allocated to charities on 8 April 2020 has been returned to HM Treasury by way of underspend on the fund.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic.

The financial reconciliation for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is currently being completed. This process will determine any underspends on the VCSE Covid-19 Support Package which may need to be returned to the Exchequer.

Over the past year, DCMS has been as flexible as possible under the terms of the grant agreements to allow charities to repurpose or reprofile funding in order to meet the needs of their communities arising from the pandemic, and minimise potential underspends.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government's announcement of 14 June 2021 not to move ahead with Step 4 of the Government's roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions from 21 June 2021, what assessment he has made of potential changes in the levels of demand for support from charities by the public.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities in the national effort against coronavirus, and the significant challenges that many have experienced.

My department continues to work closely with other government departments, academic institutions and stakeholders to review evidence on the impact of ongoing restrictions on charities in terms of financial resilience and demand for services.

The sector continues to benefit from a multi-billion-pound package of government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Government has provided a £750 million package for charities and social enterprises, which has helped support organisations providing key services to those most in need. Many organisations have used funding to make changes that will continue to benefit their work over the longer term.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government's announcement of 14 June 2021 not to move ahead with Step 4 of the Government's roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions from 21 June 2021, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of providing additional resources to support charities .

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities in the national effort against coronavirus, and the significant challenges that many have experienced.

My department continues to work closely with other government departments, academic institutions and stakeholders to review evidence on the impact of ongoing restrictions on charities in terms of financial resilience and demand for services.

The sector continues to benefit from a multi-billion-pound package of government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Government has provided a £750 million package for charities and social enterprises, which has helped support organisations providing key services to those most in need. Many organisations have used funding to make changes that will continue to benefit their work over the longer term.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of commissioning a comprehensive statutory youth service.

The Government recognises the transformational impact that youth services can have on the wellbeing of young people. This is even more crucial given the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the important role of youth services in supporting them.

Local authorities are directly responsible for allocating public funding to youth services in their areas, and working with youth stakeholders, communities and young people are best placed to know what is needed in their communities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been reviewing the guidance which accompanies the statutory duty placed on Local Authorities to secure local youth services. Officials held consultations with the youth sector and young people, and ran a public call for evidence, which closed in December 2019. The conclusions of the review were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now being considered as part of a wider review of out of school youth programmes. The review will inform the future out of school offer for young people which will be set out at the 2021 Spending Review.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment to level up access to youth services over the course of this Parliament. £30m of this has been committed as capital funding in 2021/22, to support investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people in left behind places.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on young people's wellbeing, what recent assessment he has made of the importance of local authorities providing a comprehensive youth service.

The Government recognises the transformational impact that youth services can have on the wellbeing of young people. This is even more crucial given the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the important role of youth services in supporting them.

Local authorities are directly responsible for allocating public funding to youth services in their areas, and working with youth stakeholders, communities and young people are best placed to know what is needed in their communities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been reviewing the guidance which accompanies the statutory duty placed on Local Authorities to secure local youth services. Officials held consultations with the youth sector and young people, and ran a public call for evidence, which closed in December 2019. The conclusions of the review were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now being considered as part of a wider review of out of school youth programmes. The review will inform the future out of school offer for young people which will be set out at the 2021 Spending Review.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment to level up access to youth services over the course of this Parliament. £30m of this has been committed as capital funding in 2021/22, to support investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people in left behind places.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the adequacy of the statutory provision of youth services.

The Government recognises the transformational impact that youth services can have on the wellbeing of young people. This is even more crucial given the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the important role of youth services in supporting them.

Local authorities are directly responsible for allocating public funding to youth services in their areas, and working with youth stakeholders, communities and young people are best placed to know what is needed in their communities.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been reviewing the guidance which accompanies the statutory duty placed on Local Authorities to secure local youth services. Officials held consultations with the youth sector and young people, and ran a public call for evidence, which closed in December 2019. The conclusions of the review were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now being considered as part of a wider review of out of school youth programmes. The review will inform the future out of school offer for young people which will be set out at the 2021 Spending Review.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment to level up access to youth services over the course of this Parliament. £30m of this has been committed as capital funding in 2021/22, to support investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people in left behind places.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the extension of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on loneliness.

Government is monitoring the level of loneliness via the Community Life Survey; the most robust source for assessing the level of loneliness across the UK. As this survey only produces yearly data, our understanding of loneliness over the various lockdowns is supplemented by more timely tracking data from the UCL COVID Study and the ONS Social Impacts of Coronavirus Study.

We will continue to work closely with the civil society sector and across government to assess how we can best support the continuation of vital work to tackle loneliness.

Government is committed to tackling loneliness. We have delivered £34 million of funding to tackle loneliness over the past year, are encouraging organisations to take action and are aiming to reduce the stigma of loneliness through our campaign ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his priorities are for tackling loneliness in 2021.

In the Tackling Loneliness Strategy, published October 2018, government set out three overarching goals which guide its work on loneliness: reducing stigma by building a national conversation on loneliness; driving a lasting shift so that loneliness is considered in the work of government and other organisations across society; and improving the evidence base on loneliness. Delivering progress against these three goals remains a priority, particularly as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Over the coming year, we will carry out a range of activity to make progress against our three goals. We will deliver communications activity to amplify loneliness messaging and reduce the stigma associated with loneliness. We will continue to work across government and support organisations to tackle loneliness through our Tackling Loneliness Network. We will convene a new group of funders interested in social connection, meeting regularly to share learning and look for opportunities to align and join up funding where possible. Finally, we will convene organisations interested in coordinating research activity so that we can fill priority gaps in our understanding of the issues surrounding loneliness.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has commissioned research into the effect of covid-19 on the civil society sector.

My department regularly engages with representatives of the charity and social enterprise sectors and reviews emerging evidence to understand the impact of ongoing restrictions. My officials have reached out to stakeholders following the Prime Minister’s announcement to seek feedback and offer an opportunity to discuss potential implications further.

We recognise that the restrictions that have been necessary over the last year have impacted on the ability of many in the charity and social enterprise sectors to generate income, including from trading and fundraising. While many of these restrictions have already been lifted, including allowing the return of non essential retail, we understand that this extension will continue to limit certain activities. Guidance is available on a range of activities that will be relevant to charities and social enterprises including, for example organised events and grassroots sport and sports facilities. We have also worked with the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator to support the development of guidance on the safe return to fundraising activities, and will continue to do so as events unfold.

We have not commissioned independent research into the impact of the pandemic on the charity and social enterprises sectors. However, we are working closely with stakeholders and academic institutions looking into the effect on these sectors, including Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University. We will also carefully consider the findings of the independent inquiry into the impact of the crisis on social enterprises, launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprises on 10 June. This work will collectively enable government to generate a complete picture of the impact of the crisis on charities and social enterprises.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government's announcement of 14 June 2021 not to move ahead with Step 4 of the Government's roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions from the 21 June 2021, what assessment he has made of the effect of that announcement on social enterprises.

My department regularly engages with representatives of the charity and social enterprise sectors and reviews emerging evidence to understand the impact of ongoing restrictions. My officials have reached out to stakeholders following the Prime Minister’s announcement to seek feedback and offer an opportunity to discuss potential implications further.

We recognise that the restrictions that have been necessary over the last year have impacted on the ability of many in the charity and social enterprise sectors to generate income, including from trading and fundraising. While many of these restrictions have already been lifted, including allowing the return of non essential retail, we understand that this extension will continue to limit certain activities. Guidance is available on a range of activities that will be relevant to charities and social enterprises including, for example organised events and grassroots sport and sports facilities. We have also worked with the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator to support the development of guidance on the safe return to fundraising activities, and will continue to do so as events unfold.

We have not commissioned independent research into the impact of the pandemic on the charity and social enterprises sectors. However, we are working closely with stakeholders and academic institutions looking into the effect on these sectors, including Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University. We will also carefully consider the findings of the independent inquiry into the impact of the crisis on social enterprises, launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprises on 10 June. This work will collectively enable government to generate a complete picture of the impact of the crisis on charities and social enterprises.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the extension of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on charities' ability to fundraise.

My department regularly engages with representatives of the charity and social enterprise sectors and reviews emerging evidence to understand the impact of ongoing restrictions. My officials have reached out to stakeholders following the Prime Minister’s announcement to seek feedback and offer an opportunity to discuss potential implications further.

We recognise that the restrictions that have been necessary over the last year have impacted on the ability of many in the charity and social enterprise sectors to generate income, including from trading and fundraising. While many of these restrictions have already been lifted, including allowing the return of non essential retail, we understand that this extension will continue to limit certain activities. Guidance is available on a range of activities that will be relevant to charities and social enterprises including, for example organised events and grassroots sport and sports facilities. We have also worked with the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator to support the development of guidance on the safe return to fundraising activities, and will continue to do so as events unfold.

We have not commissioned independent research into the impact of the pandemic on the charity and social enterprises sectors. However, we are working closely with stakeholders and academic institutions looking into the effect on these sectors, including Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University. We will also carefully consider the findings of the independent inquiry into the impact of the crisis on social enterprises, launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprises on 10 June. This work will collectively enable government to generate a complete picture of the impact of the crisis on charities and social enterprises.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment has he made of the effect of the extension to covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the charity sector.

My department regularly engages with representatives of the charity and social enterprise sectors and reviews emerging evidence to understand the impact of ongoing restrictions. My officials have reached out to stakeholders following the Prime Minister’s announcement to seek feedback and offer an opportunity to discuss potential implications further.

We recognise that the restrictions that have been necessary over the last year have impacted on the ability of many in the charity and social enterprise sectors to generate income, including from trading and fundraising. While many of these restrictions have already been lifted, including allowing the return of non essential retail, we understand that this extension will continue to limit certain activities. Guidance is available on a range of activities that will be relevant to charities and social enterprises including, for example organised events and grassroots sport and sports facilities. We have also worked with the Institute of Fundraising and Fundraising Regulator to support the development of guidance on the safe return to fundraising activities, and will continue to do so as events unfold.

We have not commissioned independent research into the impact of the pandemic on the charity and social enterprises sectors. However, we are working closely with stakeholders and academic institutions looking into the effect on these sectors, including Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University. We will also carefully consider the findings of the independent inquiry into the impact of the crisis on social enterprises, launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprises on 10 June. This work will collectively enable government to generate a complete picture of the impact of the crisis on charities and social enterprises.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the UK ceasing its participation in the European Solidarity Corps programme on UK charities which benefit from participation in that scheme; and what plans his Department has to support those charities.

The UK government set out its approach to negotiations with the European Union in February 2020. This stated that the UK government was open to considering participation in some EU programmes where it is in the UK and the EU’s interests that we do so. The decision was taken not to seek participation in the next European Solidarity Corps (2021-27) programme.

The UK continues to participate fully in the 2018-2020 European Solidarity Corps programme. This means that projects that successfully bid for funding during the 2018-2020 programme will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

Looking to the future, international opportunities for young people outside of formal education settings, such as the types of activities funded under the European Solidarity Corps and Erasmus+ (Youth) programmes, are being considered as part of the DCMS-led Youth Review. Future funding is subject to decisions at the next Spending Review.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically to charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector to ensure that charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, were able to continue their vital work.

9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether, from 21 June 2021, outdoor singing can take place, including for choirs.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

Following the move to Step 3 on 17 May, non-professional groups of up to six people can now sing indoors, in line with the rule of 6 applying to many other indoor activities and gatherings. They can also perform or rehearse in groups of up to 30 outdoors, or in multiple groups of 30 outdoors provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity, in line with other large events that follow the organised events guidance for local authorities.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review. Further detail on Step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with stakeholders on additional funding for (a) social enterprises and (b) charities over the last 12 months.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities and social enterprises in the national effort against coronavirus, and the significant challenges that many have experienced.

The Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran, DCMS officials, and the VCSE Crown Representative, Claire Dove, have been engaging with civil society stakeholders on a regular basis throughout the pandemic. This has included engagement with the major membership bodies, as well as those specifically representing ethnic minority, women’s, and disabled communities. A core Civil Society Stakeholder Group (CSSG) has provided a crucial channel for strategic engagement between government and sector leaders. These discussions have helped ensure the particular needs of the charity and social enterprise sectors are considered fully.

The sector continues to benefit from a multi-billion-pound package of government support. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and grants for premises required to close. This support builds on over £1 billion in targeted funding, including the £750 million package for charities and social enterprises. At this time government does not have plans to offer additional targeted funding for these sectors.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the impact of Local Trust initiatives on tackling inequality in (a) local communities and (b) local communities in York.

Big Local is funded (£200m) by the National Lottery Community Fund and managed by Local Trust, who work nationally with a range of partners. The Local Trust targets places that have been overlooked for funding and resources in the past and may face issues like the decline of local industry, high levels of unemployment, or a pressing need for new support services or activities. There are 150 Big Local areas with more than 1,600 local people directly involved in the governance of them. Up to a third of those who join Big Local have never been involved in community volunteering in the past. Each Big Local area has until 2026 to spend at least £1million with residents in charge of deciding how the money is spent.

In 2012, Tang Hall in York was selected as a Big Local area and was given £1m to spend over 10 years to make Tang Hall a better place to live. Since 2015, Tang Hall has been building a relationship with the local community, by: providing advisory and support services; creating opportunities for the community to grow; supporting social, educational and recreational projects through small grants; and by commissioning large projects, such as Youth Provision, The Tang Hall Food Cooperative and TAPTY Creative Play.

The Big Local programme has a substantial evaluation plan, spanning its lifetime to 2026; early findings of which can be viewed on the Local Trust website.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the proportions of problem gambling disorders that result from gambling (a) in person and (b) online.

The Health Survey for England 2018 showed that the problem gambling rate for Yorkshire and the Humber was 0.5% and 0.7% for the North East. The rate for England was 0.5%.

According to the 2016 Combined Health Surveys, the overall rate of problem gambling for adults in Great Britain was 0.6%. Among those who had engaged in any gambling activity the rate was 1.2% and for those who gambled online the rate was 3.5%. The surveys do not show causation but the proportion of those taking part in an activity who are considered problem gamblers.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of problem gambling in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England.

The Health Survey for England 2018 showed that the problem gambling rate for Yorkshire and the Humber was 0.5% and 0.7% for the North East. The rate for England was 0.5%.

According to the 2016 Combined Health Surveys, the overall rate of problem gambling for adults in Great Britain was 0.6%. Among those who had engaged in any gambling activity the rate was 1.2% and for those who gambled online the rate was 3.5%. The surveys do not show causation but the proportion of those taking part in an activity who are considered problem gamblers.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he made of the potential merits of establishing a community wealth fund from the Dormant Assets scheme.

The Dormant Assets Scheme currently dedicates the English portion of funding to youth, financial inclusion, and social investment initiatives. The Dormant Assets Bill, introduced to the House of Lords on 12 May, seeks to expand the Scheme to a wider range of assets and enables these causes to be reviewed. Provided the Bill passes, the government has committed to launching a consultation to give the public and industry stakeholders a say in how funds are spent in England. No decisions will be made on whether the causes in England should change until the responses to this consultation have been duly considered.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing more than 30 people in a community choir to sing outside as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I want to assure you that everyone across the government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published. Professional activity can take place in larger numbers because it is work based activity and is exempt from legal gathering limits.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reasons the limit on the number of people singing together is different for professional and amateur singers in step three of the roadmap easing covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I want to assure you that everyone across the government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published. Professional activity can take place in larger numbers because it is work based activity and is exempt from legal gathering limits.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what evidence has been used to reach a decision that community singing cannot commence at Step 3 of the covid-19 lockdown easement roadmap.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. As set out in the roadmap, we hope to remove all legal limits on social contact at step 4. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Dormant Bank and Building Society Acounts Act 2008, Reclaim Fund Ltd scheme, how many reclaims from the scheme there have been since it was set up; and how many have ended up in dispute and been referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL) is legally obliged to retain a portion of the funds it receives as a result of the Dormant Assets Scheme in order to repay owners who come forward to reclaim their money. Data provided by RFL indicates that it has processed reclaims for 134,031 accounts, totalling £106m in value, up to 31 December 2020.

RFL is part of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) scheme. However, as participating banks and building societies hold the customer relationships, RFL does not have any data on how many reclaim disputes, if any, have been referred to FOS by participating firms. RFL has had no direct referrals to FOS.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of people were reconnected with their assets (a) before and (b) after they were transferred to the Reclaim Fund Ltd in each year since the inception of that scheme.

The Dormant Assets Scheme is voluntary and industry-led. Neither the government nor Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL) hold data on how many people have been reconnected with their assets prior to them being classed as dormant and transferred to RFL. This data is held by the individual banks and building societies that choose to participate in the Dormant Assets Scheme.

RFL data indicates that circa 7.5% of funds transferred from dormant accounts – a total of £106m since the Scheme’s inception in 2011 – has been reclaimed by customers after their dormant assets were transferred to Reclaim Fund Ltd.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £750 million in funding announced for the voluntary and community sector on 8 April 2020 came from Reclaim Fund Ltd.

None of the £750 million funding announced for the voluntary and community sector in April 2020, came from the Reclaim Fund Ltd transferred under the Dormant Assets Scheme. All of the funding was central government funding.

Separate to the £750m funding package, in May 2020 the DCMS Secretary of State announced the unlocking of £150m of dormant assets funding to help charities, social enterprises and individuals in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what initiatives have been supported by the £150 million in funding allocated from Reclaim Fund Ltd during the covid-19 outbreak.

In May 2020 the DCMS Secretary of State announced that £150 million of dormant assets funding would go to help charities, social enterprises and individuals in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak. This funding was completely separate to the government’s £750 million support package for the voluntary and community sector, announced in April 2020.

The £150 million of dormant assets funding – consisting of £71 million of new funds alongside repurposing £79 million already unlocked – has supported a variety of initiatives focused on youth, financial inclusion, and social investment:

  • £10 million was used by Youth Futures Foundation to launch an emergency levelling up fund for young people from the communities hit hardest by this crisis, including those from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic groups.

  • £65 million was used by Fair4All Finance to create a robust programme to tackle the heightened needs of the financially marginalised as a result of the crisis.

  • £45 million was used by Big Society Capital to allow better access to investment, including emergency loans for charities, social enterprises and some small businesses facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading.

  • £30 million was used by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, making up to £10 million available for emergency support through social lenders, while also developing a wider £20 million programme of flexible recovery finance for the social sector.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £150 million of funding from Reclaim Fund Ltd which was allocated to good causes during the covid-19 outbreak contributed to the £750 million in funding announced on 8 April 2020.

In May 2020 the DCMS Secretary of State announced that £150 million of dormant assets funding would go to help charities, social enterprises and individuals in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak. This funding was completely separate to the government’s £750 million support package for the voluntary and community sector, announced in April 2020.

The £150 million of dormant assets funding – consisting of £71 million of new funds alongside repurposing £79 million already unlocked – has supported a variety of initiatives focused on youth, financial inclusion, and social investment:

  • £10 million was used by Youth Futures Foundation to launch an emergency levelling up fund for young people from the communities hit hardest by this crisis, including those from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic groups.

  • £65 million was used by Fair4All Finance to create a robust programme to tackle the heightened needs of the financially marginalised as a result of the crisis.

  • £45 million was used by Big Society Capital to allow better access to investment, including emergency loans for charities, social enterprises and some small businesses facing cash-flow problems and disruption to their trading.

  • £30 million was used by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, making up to £10 million available for emergency support through social lenders, while also developing a wider £20 million programme of flexible recovery finance for the social sector.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of whether a higher proportion of funds from dormant bank and building society accounts transferred to the Reclaim Fund Ltd could potentially be transferred to the National Lottery Community Fund.

Reclaim Fund Ltd (RFL) is legally obliged to retain a portion of the funds it receives as a result of the Dormant Assets Scheme in order to repay owners who come forward to reclaim their money. Overseen by HM Treasury, it is RFL’s responsibility to determine the appropriate proportion of funding that it can prudently release.

RFL currently releases 60% of the money it receives to social and environmental initiatives through The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF), and reserves 40% for meeting reclaims. RFL’s approach is based on actuarial modelling and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance. Over time, this has enabled RFL to change the proportion of funds transferred to TNLCF: in 2016, RFL decreased their reclaim provision from 60% to 40%.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his priorities are for delivering the loneliness strategy.

In the Tackling Loneliness Strategy, published October 2018, government set out three overarching goals which guide its work on loneliness: reducing stigma by building a national conversation on loneliness; driving a lasting shift so that loneliness is considered in the work of government and other organisations across society; and improving the evidence base on loneliness. Delivering progress against these three goals remains a priority, particularly as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the coming year, we will make progress against our three goals by: delivering communications activity to amplify loneliness messaging; supporting organisations to tackle loneliness through our Tackling Loneliness Network; and convening organisations interested in coordinating research activity so that we can fill priority gaps in our understanding of the issues surrounding loneliness.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to measure delivery of the Government's loneliness strategy.

In the Tackling Loneliness Strategy, published October 2018, the government committed to publishing annual progress reports to provide an update on the implementation of policies set out in the strategy.

The first annual report was published in January 2020 and the second in January 2021. The two reports set out progress to date, including action by frontline workers across the public sector to recognise and act on loneliness, the launch of the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign, and the inclusion of standardised loneliness measures in a range of national surveys. The 2021 report also set out the government’s response to tackling loneliness during Covid-19, including investing over £34 million to charities focused on reducing loneliness in response to the pandemic.

Copies of the progress reports are available in the Libraries of the House and online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/loneliness-annual-report-the-first-year

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/loneliness-annual-report-the-second-year

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the upgraded York exchange to provide fibre to the cabinet service, how many cabinets in York have not yet been upgraded to deliver fibre to households and businesses.

There are no cabinets involved, as full fibre brings fibre direct from the exchange to the premise. It would only go via a cabinet in a Fibre On Demand scenario, where existing infrastructure was used as a stop-gap, but there are none of these in York under this LFFN project.

13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of when all seated outdoor stadiums will re-open to sports fans.

The government recognises the importance of spectators to competitive sport and remains committed to working towards their full return to stadiums as soon as it is safe to do so.

We have now entered a period of loosening restrictions under Step 3 of the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ which permits fans to return to both indoor and outdoor elite sporting events, albeit under capacity caps.

Large seated outdoor stadiums with over 16,000 seated capacity, where crowds can be safely distributed, are eligible to utilise a special provision allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity (whichever is lower), helping more fans to return safely to some of our iconic venues.

Government further welcomes the return of spectators at selected events as part of the science-led Events Research Programme (ERP). The ERP is currently running its first phase of April and May pilot events to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at Step 4 of the roadmap. The pilots are running across a range of settings, venues, and activities, so that findings support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

As stated in the roadmap, we hope to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact later this summer, no earlier than 21 June. This will be subject to the outcomes of the 4 government-led reviews, including the ERP.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement that the Government will be doing much more over the winter to support the voluntary sector, Official Report, 2 November 2020, Vol. 683, col. 41, what recent assessment he has made of the progress the he has made on that commitment.

Government recognises the huge contribution of charities in the national effort against coronavirus, and the significant challenges that many in the sector have experienced.

Charities continue to benefit from a multi-billion-pound package of government support. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, now extended to the end of September. Many charity shops have benefited from the Chancellor’s £4.6 billion in lockdown grants for premises required to close, and will have been able to access Restart Grants to safely relaunch trading. My department has also worked with the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising to support the development of guidance to help make responsible and safe fundraising a possibility.

This support builds on over £1 billion in targeted funding, including the £750 million charities package, which has helped more than 14,000 organisations across the country respond to the impact of Covid-19.

We will continue to work with the sector to assess their emerging needs as we move into recovery.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his announcement of 8 April 2021 on the allocation of £750 million of funding for civil society organisations in response to the covid-19 outbreak, how much of the underspend of that allocation (a) has been submitted and (b) he estimates will be submitted to his Department.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic.

The financial reconciliation for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is currently being completed. This process will determine any underspends on the VCSE Covid-19 Support Package which may need to be returned to the Exchequer.

Over the past year, DCMS has been as flexible as possible under the terms of the grant agreements to allow charities to repurpose or reprofile funding in order to meet the needs of their communities arising from the pandemic, and minimise potential underspends.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement of 8 April 2021 on the allocation of £750 million of funding for civil society organisations in response to the covid-19 outbreak, how much of that funding has been returned to the Exchequer.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic.

The financial reconciliation for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 is currently being completed. This process will determine any underspends on the VCSE Covid-19 Support Package which may need to be returned to the Exchequer.

Over the past year, DCMS has been as flexible as possible under the terms of the grant agreements to allow charities to repurpose or reprofile funding in order to meet the needs of their communities arising from the pandemic, and minimise potential underspends.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to transfer assets residing in dormant accounts to the Community Trust Fund.

Following the government's commitment to expand the Dormant Assets Scheme, the Dormant Assets Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on Wednesday 12 May. This will enable the Dormant Assets Scheme to accept a wider range of dormant assets – expanding from bank and building society accounts to include certain assets in the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors.

The Government recognises the public interest in how this funding is spent in England, and has concluded that some increased flexibility in determining this would be beneficial. The Bill therefore amends the approach to restrictions in England in the 2008 Act to mirror the model used for the devolved administrations.

Subject to this measure passing, the Government will be launching a public consultation on the way that funds are spent in England to give people a say in how future funds are spent. The consultation will inform English expenditure only, and the current restrictions on initiatives focused on youth, financial inclusion, or social investment will continue until or unless a new order is made.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the creation of a European Super League on football clubs in the National League North division.

The Government has been vocal in its opposition to the European Super League, which would have been to the detriment of the whole football pyramid including the English Football League and the National League System.

Before the announcements on 19th April, the department had not had any discussions on these proposals. Once announced, the Government met with multiple football stakeholders, including the Football Association, to discuss the issue and what action was needed.

The Government was pleased to see the withdrawal of all English teams from the project - the right result for football fans, clubs and communities across the country.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced an independent fan-led review of football governance on 19 April. This will be chaired by the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to release guidance on the holding of sporting events with crowds present as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Government has committed to taking a cautious approach to easing restrictions, guided by data rather than dates, to avoid a surge in infections that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. The roadmap sets out indicative, “no earlier than” dates for each step which are five weeks apart. This allows four weeks for the data to begin to reflect the impact of the previous step and a further week’s notice for individuals and businesses to prepare. ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ sets out a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. Each full step of our roadmap will be informed by the latest available science and data and will be five weeks apart in order to provide time to assess the data and provide one week’s notice to businesses and individuals.

We will ensure that interim results gathered from research programmes are fed into policy development swiftly to avoid missing reopening opportunities because of insufficient data.

Current guidance for DCMS sectors in relation to Covid-19 is available on gov.uk and we will continue to provide updated guidance on reopening safely as we progress through the Steps of the roadmap.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport owns the overarching guidance for grassroots and elite sport and is working closely with other government departments to ensure the return of spectators is covid-secure. Guidance updates will be published prior to the commencement of Step 3 to allow organisers time to comply with the changes.

For guidance on any individual sports you should refer to guidance produced by the relevant national governing body.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what communications he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with hon. Members on venues in their constituencies hoping to run pilot sporting events with spectators in attendance as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Events research programme (ERP) is overseen by an industry-led steering group co-chaired by Nicholas Hytner and David Ross and working closely with national and local public health authorities. The board will consider the evidence from the pilot events and make recommendations to the Prime Minister and the Secretaries of State for DCMS, BEIS and DHSC on how restrictions could be safely lifted.

As part of our stakeholder engagement, we liaise with a number of companies and organisations in DCMS sectors, and will continue to engage with stakeholders and the scientific community to help shape ERP plans. The ERP delivery team is also working closely with the event operators, local Directors of Public Health and local authorities. I wrote to you on 16 April offering a conversation, and am happy to speak with any member with a pilot event being run within their constituency.

We have selected our pilots to examine a range of settings, venue types, and activity types (e.g. seated or not, indoor/outdoor etc) so that the data is generalisable and findings can inform thinking on the reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

An independently-chaired Science Board of cross-Whitehall Chief Scientific Advisors, independent scientists, and public health experts established the pilot approach to generate usable data across a variety of settings and sectors. Priority has been given to settings which allow for testing of mitigations in varying configurations. The ambition of the ERP remains, building a set of replicable data that can be extrapolated to other settings and sectors. To achieve this goal, focus will be given to settings identified by our Science Board.

There may be the opportunity to feed in options for our second phase of pilots over May-June. We will share more information with stakeholders on this process and what scientific criteria we will need these events to cover in due course.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he is providing to venues hoping to run pilot sporting events with spectators in attendance as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Events Research Programme (ERP), working closely with local authorities and organisers, will undertake studies to get fans and audiences back safely as restrictions are gradually eased. The pilot programme will be used to provide key scientific data and research into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown as part of Step 4, commencing no earlier than 21 June. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that findings could support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

The ERP delivery team is working closely with the event operators, local Directors of Public Health, local authorities and police to ensure each pilot is conducted safely. All events will be supported by highly capable safety teams and have the full support and buy-in from the relevant local authorities, police and Directors for Public Health

In terms of financial support on 19 November 2020 the Government announced a rescue package worth £300 million to help major spectator sports which have been affected by the pandemic, In the recent budget a further £300m was announced for the recovery package across all sports. The Culture Recovery Fund and Sports Recovery packages have provided close to £2.5 billion in sector specific support to date. 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.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether busking is permitted under covid-19 rules.

Indoor and outdoor performance events with a socially distanced audience are permitted from Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap (not before 17 May). Busking is permitted from Step 3.

Busking may involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific performance or activity, and may risk audiences gathering in an uncontrolled environment.

We will continue to work with stakeholders on reopening the live music sector, in line with the timetable set out in the Roadmap.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether holiday apartments that are accessed via a publicly shared hallway within a residential block of flats are permitted to reopen as covid-19 restrictions are lifted on businesses on 12 April 2021.

From Step 2, no earlier than 12 April, self-contained holiday accommodation will be open for leisure stays. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms and indoor communal areas such as: lifts, staircases, lounges, sitting areas and internal corridors for entry and exit) are restricted to exclusive use of a single household/support bubble. A reception area is not to be treated as a shared facility or indoor communal area if they are required in order to be open for check-in purposes, but should only be used for the purposes of check-in.

The Government’s phased approach to reopening means that any holiday accommodation that relies on sharing the facilities listed above must remain closed until Step 3, no earlier than 17 May. This will require the continued closure of any holiday lets or serviced accommodation within apartment buildings that share any of the facilities listed above.

From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, all remaining accommodation will be permitted to reopen for leisure stays.

The Government’s COVID-19 Secure guidance for hotels and guest accommodation and the visitor economy will be kept up to date over the coming months, in line with the reopening process for the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason isolated apartments used for holiday accommodation with a shared lobby area not permitted to open on 12 April.

Self contained accommodation can open in Step 2 of the Roadmap, which will be no earlier than the 12th April. This is defined as accommodation in which facilities (such as kitchens, sleeping facilities and indoor communal areas such as lobbies, staircases and corridors) are exclusive to single households and their support bubbles.

This means certain types of holiday accommodation cannot open until Step 3, including apartments that can only be accessed via a shared lobby area.

The Government’s reopening plan is to take a cautious, gradual and phased approach to reopening. This will reduce the risk of unsustainable pressure on the NHS, potentially leading to another lockdown. In aggregate, Step 2 prioritises outdoor activity over indoor activity, and activity within households rather than between them, based on the scientific advice about likelihood of transmission. Travel and tourism inherently involves a lot of travel across the country, as well as household mixing. Allowing all guest accommodation and household mixing to reopen at Step 2, before more of the population is vaccinated, could substantially increase the risk of the NHS being put under unsustainable pressure.

The Government has put in a number of measures to assist the sector prior to reopening, including the extension of the furlough scheme, VAT cut and business rates relief as well as the new restart grants.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support venues in the nighttime economy during the imposition of covid-19 restrictions.

Many businesses that operate within the nighttime economy, including nightclubs and music venues, have received support via the Government’s wider £280bn business support package, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and grants to businesses forced to close due to Covid-19.

In addition, the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) has also provided support for venues that operate in the nighttime economy, such as nightclubs and music venues. So far, £170m has been awarded from the CRF to over 690 organisations classed as ‘music’. Within that over £54m has been awarded to over 300 music venues specifically. Examples of venues that have received CRF funding so far include Motion, Night People, Village Underground, Ministry of Sound and Fabric.

Additionally, a second round of CRF funding was announced in December 2020 with application portals closing on 26 January 2021. As in round one, nighttime economy businesses were eligible to apply and we know that many businesses have done so. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by the end of March 2021.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 145062, for what reason data is not available on levels of employment in the voluntary and community sector.

Employment data for the voluntary and community sector is currently collected and published quarterly. Due to existing survey and reporting requirements, there is currently a 3 month lag between publication and the reference period. VCSE organisations are not easily identifiable in other, more timely data sources such as ONS BICS due to the way industries are categorised under the current Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. The most recent employment estimates for the sector cover the period October 2019 - September 2020 and was published in January 2021. Existing official estimates for the sector also do not specifically cover jobs lost due to COVID and instead are intended to provide an overall stock figure for employment within the sector.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average increase in demand for the services of voluntary and community organisations has been since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

While robust and representative data is not available on the average increase in demand for services of voluntary and community organisations, we recognise that many charities are experiencing pressures as a result of Covid-19, including increasing demand for some services.

The government has committed £750 million of targeted support to enable voluntary and community sector organisations to maintain and enhance services for those affected by the crisis during this difficult time. This package continues to support the vital work of these organisations.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the amount of funding for voluntary and community organisations lost since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and what comparative assessment he has made of the level of funding for those organisations in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

A complete picture of the impact of covid-19 outbreak on the finances of the voluntary and community sector is not available at this time. However, we recognise that many charities are experiencing pressures as a result of Covid-19, including having to adapt usual forms of income generation, such as fundraising and trading.

Government’s £750 million sector funding package is allowing charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and support our national response to the pandemic. This was in addition to the unprecedented package of support available across the economy to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which continues to be a lifeline to a multitude of organisations, as well as grants to support those operating premises that have been required to close due to national restrictions.

We continue to work closely with the voluntary and community sector to assess the impact of the crisis and their emerging needs.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of volunteering in the voluntary and community sector since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Volunteers around the country are making vital contributions to the COVID-19 response, supporting people in need and complementing the delivery of essential public services. The Government is grateful to all volunteers for their energy, compassion and willingness to support the country through these challenging times.

Through the NHS Volunteer Responders programme alone, volunteers have undertaken over 1.4 million tasks in support of over 144,000 unique clients, as of 25 January 2021.

As part of ongoing work to assess trends in volunteering during the pandemic, DCMS published the results of the Community Life COVID-19 Re-contact Survey in December 2020. The survey estimated that, across England, 21% of people volunteered through an organisation or group (formal volunteering) between March and July 2020. 9% of respondents were new volunteers and 6% had volunteered previously, but now gave more time. People who identified as ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities) were more likely to start volunteering for the first time during COVID-19. 47% of people informally volunteered, giving unpaid help to other people who are not relatives and 52% of informal volunteers were helping people affected by COVID-19. 72% of COVID-19 informal volunteers started their activities during the pandemic

The full results of the survey can be found at GOV.UK and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on allocating additional funding for voluntary and community organisations during the covid-19 outbreak.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic.

On top of this, the Government continues to make an unprecedented package of support available across the economy to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. Charities continue to access these schemes, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the scheme to defer VAT bills to the end of June, and the business rate holiday for shops as well as government backed loan schemes.

We will continue to work with the sector to assess their emerging needs and understand how we can best support them during the current period.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to provide an additional funding support package for charities during the covid-19 outbreak in the first three months of 2021.

The £750 million sector funding package offered unprecedented support to allow charities and social enterprises to continue their vital work and adapt their service delivery to support our national response to the pandemic.

On top of this, the Government continues to make an unprecedented package of support available across the economy to enable organisations to get through the months ahead. Charities continue to access these schemes, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the scheme to defer VAT bills to the end of June, and the business rate holiday for shops as well as government backed loan schemes.

We will continue to work with the sector to assess their emerging needs and understand how we can best support them during the current period.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many jobs have been lost in the voluntary and community sectors since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

While reliable live data is not available on levels of employment in the voluntary and community sectors, we recognise that many charities are experiencing pressures as a result of Covid-19, including having to adapt fundraising and trading activities to take account of local and national restrictions.

Government has made available an unprecedented Covid-support package to protect jobs and livelihoods. In addition, we have committed a £750 million of targeted support to enable voluntary and community sector organisations to maintain and enhance services for those affected by the crisis during this difficult time. This package continues to support the vital work of these organisations.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to plan for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

DCMS is leading the cross government support to the Royal Household as it plans to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The Jubilee, along with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the Festival of the UK, will contribute to an outstanding year of national events in 2022.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding his Department allocated to the National Railway Museum in the financial year (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) is part of the Science Museum Group (SMG). DCMS allocates Grant-in-Aid (GIA) to the SMG who distribute the funding across all their sites.

GIA funding information for 2018/19 and 2019/20 is published in SMG’s Annual Report and Accounts. Estimates for this financial year are published in Central Government Supply Estimates 2020/21. SMG is allowed to access additional resource GIA funding over the financial year 2020/21 in order to mitigate possible deficits as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 over the financial year. Funding is not yet fully confirmed for 2021/22.

In addition NRM has been awarded £18.5m over three years, from 2020/21 to 2022/23, from the Culture Investment Fund to support NRM’s Vision 2025 transformation project.

Search Engine, which launched in 2008, has dramatically opened up access to the museum’s archive collection and library. Since opening, 400,000 people have used the facility, which now includes more than 1,000 paintings, 2,350 prints and drawings and 1.75m photographs. DCMS does not hold information on the funding allocated to Search Engine stock purchases but the SMG has confirmed that it is adequate to meet all current and anticipated needs.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding his Department allocated to the National Railway Museum for stock purchases by its library Search Engine in the financial year (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) is part of the Science Museum Group (SMG). DCMS allocates Grant-in-Aid (GIA) to the SMG who distribute the funding across all their sites.

GIA funding information for 2018/19 and 2019/20 is published in SMG’s Annual Report and Accounts. Estimates for this financial year are published in Central Government Supply Estimates 2020/21. SMG is allowed to access additional resource GIA funding over the financial year 2020/21 in order to mitigate possible deficits as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 over the financial year. Funding is not yet fully confirmed for 2021/22.

In addition NRM has been awarded £18.5m over three years, from 2020/21 to 2022/23, from the Culture Investment Fund to support NRM’s Vision 2025 transformation project.

Search Engine, which launched in 2008, has dramatically opened up access to the museum’s archive collection and library. Since opening, 400,000 people have used the facility, which now includes more than 1,000 paintings, 2,350 prints and drawings and 1.75m photographs. DCMS does not hold information on the funding allocated to Search Engine stock purchases but the SMG has confirmed that it is adequate to meet all current and anticipated needs.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the projected funding allocation is from his Department to the National Railway Museum for the financial year (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) is part of the Science Museum Group (SMG). DCMS allocates Grant-in-Aid (GIA) to the SMG who distribute the funding across all their sites.

GIA funding information for 2018/19 and 2019/20 is published in SMG’s Annual Report and Accounts. Estimates for this financial year are published in Central Government Supply Estimates 2020/21. SMG is allowed to access additional resource GIA funding over the financial year 2020/21 in order to mitigate possible deficits as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 over the financial year. Funding is not yet fully confirmed for 2021/22.

In addition NRM has been awarded £18.5m over three years, from 2020/21 to 2022/23, from the Culture Investment Fund to support NRM’s Vision 2025 transformation project.

Search Engine, which launched in 2008, has dramatically opened up access to the museum’s archive collection and library. Since opening, 400,000 people have used the facility, which now includes more than 1,000 paintings, 2,350 prints and drawings and 1.75m photographs. DCMS does not hold information on the funding allocated to Search Engine stock purchases but the SMG has confirmed that it is adequate to meet all current and anticipated needs.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding he plans to allocate to the National Railway Museum for stock purchases by the library Search Engine in the financial year (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

The National Railway Museum (NRM) is part of the Science Museum Group (SMG). DCMS allocates Grant-in-Aid (GIA) to the SMG who distribute the funding across all their sites.

GIA funding information for 2018/19 and 2019/20 is published in SMG’s Annual Report and Accounts. Estimates for this financial year are published in Central Government Supply Estimates 2020/21. SMG is allowed to access additional resource GIA funding over the financial year 2020/21 in order to mitigate possible deficits as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 over the financial year. Funding is not yet fully confirmed for 2021/22.

In addition NRM has been awarded £18.5m over three years, from 2020/21 to 2022/23, from the Culture Investment Fund to support NRM’s Vision 2025 transformation project.

Search Engine, which launched in 2008, has dramatically opened up access to the museum’s archive collection and library. Since opening, 400,000 people have used the facility, which now includes more than 1,000 paintings, 2,350 prints and drawings and 1.75m photographs. DCMS does not hold information on the funding allocated to Search Engine stock purchases but the SMG has confirmed that it is adequate to meet all current and anticipated needs.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has been made on implementing the Arts Council 10 Year Plan.

The detail of how ACE will deliver the Let’s Create strategy is set out through Delivery Plans, lasting for 3-4 years each. ACE was due to publish its Delivery Plan for 2020-23 in May, but this has been delayed due to the current crisis. A new timetable for publication has not yet been set. Given that Delivery Plans are shorter-term documents which set out how ACE will deliver the strategy, reflecting the priorities of the current government, ACE and DCMS are working closely to develop ACE’s 2020-23 Delivery Plan and will publish in due course.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he is taking steps to ensure that local authorities support public local museums and galleries during the next phases of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Local authority owned museums and galleries, who have exhausted other avenues for funding, were entitled to apply for support through the government’s major £1.57 billion support package for cultural organisations. This funding is designed to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic, available until spring 2021.

Culture and Heritage are at the heart of communities across the country, enriching the lives of millions and this financial investment is testament to the role this sector plays in our lives.

This fund will protect cultural assets of international, national and regional importance, including supporting the levelling up agenda by preventing the loss of valuable cultural fabric from our towns and regions.

In addition, MHCLG is providing local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, including £3.7bn 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 2020/21, such as revenue from cultural assets which have been depressed by the pandemic.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of these and other measures and both my department and Arts Council England, the sector’s development body, are in regular touch with local authority museums to engage them on such issues.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he is taking steps to ensure that local authorities support local libraries during the next phases of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is providing local councils with unprecedented support during the pandemic with a £4.3 billion package, including £3.7 billion which is not ringfenced and £600 million to support social care providers. This is part of a wider package of almost £28 billion which the Government has committed to support local areas, with funding going to councils, businesses and communities.

DCMS has a statutory duty to superintend, and promote the improvement of, the public library service provided by local authorities in England. To assist delivery of this statutory duty, DCMS issued a joint letter with the Local Government Association to all local authorities in England requesting detail of restoration of their library services given the opening of physical library buildings is now permitted. This detail will assist the department’s engagement with local authorities and its ongoing monitoring of library service provision.

DCMS continues to work closely with Libraries Connected and other key stakeholders to ensure that the Libraries Connected Service Recovery Toolkit remains relevant and continues to assist libraries with their opening and reintroduction of their services during the pandemic.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the £5 million allocated to the Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund has been (a) allocated to and (b) received by organisations.

On 13 May 2020, government launched the £5 million Loneliness Covid-19 grant fund to enable national organisations working to tackle loneliness and build social connections to continue and adapt their critical work. On 15 June 2020, nine grants, totalling £4,920,000, were announced. Further details on successful organisations, including project descriptions and grant amounts, can be found here. The remaining £80,000 has been set aside for an independent evaluation of the Loneliness Covid-19 Fund.

As of Thursday 17th September, £2,029,599.80 has been disbursed to organisations. The remaining £2,890,400.20 of grant funding will be disbursed to and spent by organisations by end-December 2020. The £80,000 of evaluation costs will be spent by end-March 2021.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional (a) business and (b) financial support for the tourism industry he has discussed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

We are in regular contact with the Treasury regarding the impact of Covid-19 on tourism and hospitality. We continue to monitor the situation and are taking steps to support the sector as it moves to the autumn season.

As well as providing business support and stimulating consumer demand via domestic marketing activity and through the recent Eat Out To Help Out scheme, the Government has implemented a series of financial measures that will assist tourism business over the coming months. This includes the cut to VAT which will last into January and business rates relief for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses, which will last until the end of March.

We are continuing to engage across Government and with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the recovery of tourism and hospitality across the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional (a) business and (b) financial support for the hospitality industry he has discussed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

We are in regular contact with the Treasury regarding the impact of Covid-19 on tourism and hospitality. We continue to monitor the situation and are taking steps to support the sector as it moves to the autumn season.

As well as providing business support and stimulating consumer demand via domestic marketing activity and through the recent Eat Out To Help Out scheme, the Government has implemented a series of financial measures that will assist tourism business over the coming months. This includes the cut to VAT which will last into January and business rates relief for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses, which will last until the end of March.

We are continuing to engage across Government and with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the recovery of tourism and hospitality across the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he is taking steps to ensure that local authorities support local theatres during the next phases of the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government recognises how severely regional theatres, and the wider Arts sector, have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Local authority owned theatres, who have exhausted other avenues for funding, were entitled to apply for support through the government’s major £1.57 billion support package for cultural organisations. This funding is designed to support organisations through the coronavirus pandemic until spring 2021.

In addition, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is providing local authorities with an unprecedented package of support, including £3.7bn of non-ring fenced grants. This direct financial support provided by the government is just part of a comprehensive package of support which includes cash flow measures as well as grants and business rates reliefs for businesses.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of these and other measures, and both my department and Arts Council England, the sector’s development body, are in regular contact with local authorities to engage them on such issues.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how his Department is recording redundancies from voluntary and community organisations making fewer than 20 people redundant during the covid-19 outbreak.

Employers proposing to make fewer than 20 redundancies are not required to report this. DCMS continues to engage closely with the community and voluntary sector to understand the impact of covid-19 on the sector and its important work. However, DCMS does not record redundancy data.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the £370 million National Lottery Community funding has been (a) allocated and (b) received by organisations to date.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the £750m, £200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). As of 13th September 2020, £116,162,678 million has been awarded to organisations through this Fund, which is being disbursed to them in accordance with the payment profiles set out in the onward grant agreements. Of this amount, £58,332,938 has been allocated to medium sized organisations and £25,795,260 to small organisations.

The eligibility criteria used by NLCF to assess CCSF funding applications can be found on the NLCF’s website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k#section-2. A list of all organisations that have been awarded funding from the CCSF will be published once the allocation process is complete.

£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In' (BNI), the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with a grant for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million which was shared between Comic Relief (CR) and Children in Need (CiN). As of 11 September, £16,641,702.24 has been allocated by all three funds with awards disbursed to charities through the usual process. The eligibility criteria used to assess applications for BNI funding can be found here for the NET element of the funding: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes and here for CR and CiN funding: https://www.comicrelief.com/funding

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. The remaining funding has been allocated and awarded, as follows, with distribution to charities undertaken by the relevant department in accordance with the relevant grant agreements:

Fund/Department/Allocation

Awarded (as at 11 September 2020)

£5m Loneliness Fund, DCMS

£4.92m

£14m Zoos Support Fund, DEFRA (with top-up of £86m from HMT in July)

£2.19m

£6m Homelessness Fund, MHCLG

£5.92m

£34.15m Vulnerable Children Fund, DfE and Home Office

£11.8m through HO £21.8m through DfE

£27m Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence, MoJ and Home Office

£22.1m through MoJ £1.7m through HO

£1.8m Survivors of Modern Slavery, Home Office

£1.7m

£5.4m Legal Advice, MoJ

£5.2m

£16m Meals for Those in Need, DEFRA

£15.7m

£15m Support for the Citizens Advice service, BEIS

£15m

£22m Support for Health Charities, DHSC

£23.7m (includes additional DHSC match funding over minimum requirements)

£6m Support for Armed Services, MoD

£6m

£10m Domestic Abuse safe accommodation fund, MHCLG

£8.8m

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the funding allocated to small and medium organisations has been (a) allocated and (b) received by organisations to date; and what the regional allocation is of that funding.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the £750m, £200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). As of 13th September 2020, £116,162,678 million has been awarded to organisations through this Fund, which is being disbursed to them in accordance with the payment profiles set out in the onward grant agreements. Of this amount, £58,332,938 has been allocated to medium sized organisations and £25,795,260 to small organisations.

The eligibility criteria used by NLCF to assess CCSF funding applications can be found on the NLCF’s website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k#section-2. A list of all organisations that have been awarded funding from the CCSF will be published once the allocation process is complete.

£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In' (BNI), the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with a grant for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million which was shared between Comic Relief (CR) and Children in Need (CiN). As of 11 September, £16,641,702.24 has been allocated by all three funds with awards disbursed to charities through the usual process. The eligibility criteria used to assess applications for BNI funding can be found here for the NET element of the funding: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes and here for CR and CiN funding: https://www.comicrelief.com/funding

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. The remaining funding has been allocated and awarded, as follows, with distribution to charities undertaken by the relevant department in accordance with the relevant grant agreements:

Fund/Department/Allocation

Awarded (as at 11 September 2020)

£5m Loneliness Fund, DCMS

£4.92m

£14m Zoos Support Fund, DEFRA (with top-up of £86m from HMT in July)

£2.19m

£6m Homelessness Fund, MHCLG

£5.92m

£34.15m Vulnerable Children Fund, DfE and Home Office

£11.8m through HO £21.8m through DfE

£27m Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence, MoJ and Home Office

£22.1m through MoJ £1.7m through HO

£1.8m Survivors of Modern Slavery, Home Office

£1.7m

£5.4m Legal Advice, MoJ

£5.2m

£16m Meals for Those in Need, DEFRA

£15.7m

£15m Support for the Citizens Advice service, BEIS

£15m

£22m Support for Health Charities, DHSC

£23.7m (includes additional DHSC match funding over minimum requirements)

£6m Support for Armed Services, MoD

£6m

£10m Domestic Abuse safe accommodation fund, MHCLG

£8.8m

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the £370 million allocated to the National Lottery Community Fund and held back for emergencies has been allocated to date; what criteria was used to allocate that funding; and which organisations have received an allocation of that funding.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the £750m, £200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). As of 13th September 2020, £116,162,678 million has been awarded to organisations through this Fund, which is being disbursed to them in accordance with the payment profiles set out in the onward grant agreements. Of this amount, £58,332,938 has been allocated to medium sized organisations and £25,795,260 to small organisations.

The eligibility criteria used by NLCF to assess CCSF funding applications can be found on the NLCF’s website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k#section-2. A list of all organisations that have been awarded funding from the CCSF will be published once the allocation process is complete.

£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In' (BNI), the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with a grant for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million which was shared between Comic Relief (CR) and Children in Need (CiN). As of 11 September, £16,641,702.24 has been allocated by all three funds with awards disbursed to charities through the usual process. The eligibility criteria used to assess applications for BNI funding can be found here for the NET element of the funding: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes and here for CR and CiN funding: https://www.comicrelief.com/funding

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. The remaining funding has been allocated and awarded, as follows, with distribution to charities undertaken by the relevant department in accordance with the relevant grant agreements:

Fund/Department/Allocation

Awarded (as at 11 September 2020)

£5m Loneliness Fund, DCMS

£4.92m

£14m Zoos Support Fund, DEFRA (with top-up of £86m from HMT in July)

£2.19m

£6m Homelessness Fund, MHCLG

£5.92m

£34.15m Vulnerable Children Fund, DfE and Home Office

£11.8m through HO £21.8m through DfE

£27m Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence, MoJ and Home Office

£22.1m through MoJ £1.7m through HO

£1.8m Survivors of Modern Slavery, Home Office

£1.7m

£5.4m Legal Advice, MoJ

£5.2m

£16m Meals for Those in Need, DEFRA

£15.7m

£15m Support for the Citizens Advice service, BEIS

£15m

£22m Support for Health Charities, DHSC

£23.7m (includes additional DHSC match funding over minimum requirements)

£6m Support for Armed Services, MoD

£6m

£10m Domestic Abuse safe accommodation fund, MHCLG

£8.8m

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the £20 million allocated as match funding to the Big Night In initiative has been (a) allocated and (b) received by organisations to date; and what criteria was used to allocate that funding.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the £750m, £200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). As of 13th September 2020, £116,162,678 million has been awarded to organisations through this Fund, which is being disbursed to them in accordance with the payment profiles set out in the onward grant agreements. Of this amount, £58,332,938 has been allocated to medium sized organisations and £25,795,260 to small organisations.

The eligibility criteria used by NLCF to assess CCSF funding applications can be found on the NLCF’s website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k#section-2. A list of all organisations that have been awarded funding from the CCSF will be published once the allocation process is complete.

£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In' (BNI), the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with a grant for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million which was shared between Comic Relief (CR) and Children in Need (CiN). As of 11 September, £16,641,702.24 has been allocated by all three funds with awards disbursed to charities through the usual process. The eligibility criteria used to assess applications for BNI funding can be found here for the NET element of the funding: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes and here for CR and CiN funding: https://www.comicrelief.com/funding

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. The remaining funding has been allocated and awarded, as follows, with distribution to charities undertaken by the relevant department in accordance with the relevant grant agreements:

Fund/Department/Allocation

Awarded (as at 11 September 2020)

£5m Loneliness Fund, DCMS

£4.92m

£14m Zoos Support Fund, DEFRA (with top-up of £86m from HMT in July)

£2.19m

£6m Homelessness Fund, MHCLG

£5.92m

£34.15m Vulnerable Children Fund, DfE and Home Office

£11.8m through HO £21.8m through DfE

£27m Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence, MoJ and Home Office

£22.1m through MoJ £1.7m through HO

£1.8m Survivors of Modern Slavery, Home Office

£1.7m

£5.4m Legal Advice, MoJ

£5.2m

£16m Meals for Those in Need, DEFRA

£15.7m

£15m Support for the Citizens Advice service, BEIS

£15m

£22m Support for Health Charities, DHSC

£23.7m (includes additional DHSC match funding over minimum requirements)

£6m Support for Armed Services, MoD

£6m

£10m Domestic Abuse safe accommodation fund, MHCLG

£8.8m

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the news story, Chancellor sets out extra £750 million coronavirus funding for frontline charities, published on 8 April 2020, how much of the £360 million allocated to Government departments for further distribution has been allocated to each department to date; and how much has been spent by each Government department.

The Government has made available an unprecedented £750 million package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. This will ensure charities and other civil society organisations, including those at risk of financial hardship, can continue their vital work during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the £750m, £200 million of this money is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF). As of 13th September 2020, £116,162,678 million has been awarded to organisations through this Fund, which is being disbursed to them in accordance with the payment profiles set out in the onward grant agreements. Of this amount, £58,332,938 has been allocated to medium sized organisations and £25,795,260 to small organisations.

The eligibility criteria used by NLCF to assess CCSF funding applications can be found on the NLCF’s website: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k#section-2. A list of all organisations that have been awarded funding from the CCSF will be published once the allocation process is complete.

£85 million has been allocated to the ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations to further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

A further £4.8 million will be distributed to the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership - a group that comes together to improve national and local coordination before, during and after emergencies - to help strengthen the voluntary sector’s response to coronavirus and future emergencies.

To support the BBC’s 'Big Night In' (BNI), the Government matched the generous donations of the public across the country with a grant for £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which is working in Partnership with the UK Community Foundations and a further £17 million which was shared between Comic Relief (CR) and Children in Need (CiN). As of 11 September, £16,641,702.24 has been allocated by all three funds with awards disbursed to charities through the usual process. The eligibility criteria used to assess applications for BNI funding can be found here for the NET element of the funding: https://www.ukcommunityfoundations.org/our-programmes and here for CR and CiN funding: https://www.comicrelief.com/funding

£360 million has been allocated by central government departments with £200 million of this directly supporting hospices across the country. The remaining funding has been allocated and awarded, as follows, with distribution to charities undertaken by the relevant department in accordance with the relevant grant agreements:

Fund/Department/Allocation

Awarded (as at 11 September 2020)

£5m Loneliness Fund, DCMS

£4.92m

£14m Zoos Support Fund, DEFRA (with top-up of £86m from HMT in July)

£2.19m

£6m Homelessness Fund, MHCLG

£5.92m

£34.15m Vulnerable Children Fund, DfE and Home Office

£11.8m through HO £21.8m through DfE

£27m Domestic Abuse Survivors and Survivors of Sexual Violence, MoJ and Home Office

£22.1m through MoJ £1.7m through HO

£1.8m Survivors of Modern Slavery, Home Office

£1.7m

£5.4m Legal Advice, MoJ

£5.2m

£16m Meals for Those in Need, DEFRA

£15.7m

£15m Support for the Citizens Advice service, BEIS

£15m

£22m Support for Health Charities, DHSC

£23.7m (includes additional DHSC match funding over minimum requirements)

£6m Support for Armed Services, MoD

£6m

£10m Domestic Abuse safe accommodation fund, MHCLG

£8.8m

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the tourism sector on extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

We recognise the significant impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector. We continue to monitor the situation and the Government has put in place an unprecedented economic package to support the sector, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Visitor Economy Working Group, we continue to engage with stakeholders from the tourism sector on the economic support packages available, and to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery on an ongoing basis.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the effect of changes in local government funding on resources available to voluntary sector organisations in the 2021-22 financial year.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with my cabinet colleagues to discuss a broad range of issues. Future funding decisions remain subject to the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) which was launched by the Chancellor in July. The Review, which will be published in the autumn, will set out the government’s spending plans for the parliament.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the continued allocation of funding to medical research charities.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has committed a £750m targeted funding package to ensure the Voluntary, Community and social Enterprise sector can continue its vital work.

Ministers and officials in DCMS have maintained regular contact with other departments throughout the pandemic, including DHSC and BEIS, as we develop our response. BEIS and DHSC have been closely liaising with the Association of Medical Research Charities, as well as individual charities, to understand the impact of the pandemic on this sector and identify how best Government and charities can work together to ensure that patients continue benefiting from charity funded research.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that all redundancies made in the community and voluntary sector are being recorded.

Any employer, including an employer within the community and voluntary sector, that is proposing to make 20 or more redundancies must notify the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Failure to do so is an offence. As charities are independent organisations, it is for them and their trustees to ensure that any proposed redundancies at this scale are reported in a timely manner.

DCMS has had and continues to have regular engagement with the community and voluntary sector. However, DCMS does not record redundancy data.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he last conducted a review of the effectiveness of the Charity Commission.

DCMS has regular discussions with the Charity Commission around the regulatory framework for charities in England and Wales.

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 gave the Charity Commission extra regulatory powers including strengthening the protection of charities against abuse. DCMS carried out a Post-Implementation Review of the Act which was published on 16th March 2020. Based on the evidence within the Post-Implementation Review, DCMS concluded that the Charity Commission had used these new powers effectively. The National Audit Office published a progress update on the Commission in November 2017, recognising that it "has improved significantly" since its 2013 report.

Increased use of the Commission’s powers also shows progress: In 2019/20 the Commission concluded 6,246 regulatory action cases, of which 181 were statutory inquiries, and opened 67 new inquiries. It used its regulatory powers almost 2,000 times. This is compared with 15 statutory inquiries and 200 uses of legal powers in 2012-13.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the financial challenges faced by the voluntary and community sector as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS is continuing to work closely with the civil society sector to assess the needs of the sector and how the government can best support it to continue its vital work. The Government has committed an unprecedented £750m targeted funding package to support the Voluntary and Community Sector, which builds on the significant package of support available across sectors, including the Job Retention Scheme. A further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts has been unlocked to support urgent work tackling youth unemployment, providing emergency loans for civil society organisations and improving the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

The ‘Community Match Challenge’ which is matching funds raised by philanthropists, foundations and grant making organisations will further support small to medium sized organisations from across the country working with those who are most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. This Fund closed for bids on 2nd August and the outcome will be announced shortly.

Ensuring charities can begin fundraising activities will be a crucial part of the sector’s recovery. On the 24th June, DCMS published a collection of guidance for DCMS sectors relating to COVID-19. This includes practical guidance and resources from the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising supporting charities to safeguard the public, staff and volunteers as they plan to return to fundraising activities in a safe and responsible way. This can be viewed at;

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-dcms-sectors-in-relation-to-coronavirus-covid-19

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on support from charities and social enterprises to the Kickstart programme.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has held discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, including on how DCMS sectors have been impacted by Covid-19, particularly in relation to unemployment and where new opportunities may arise so that workers could be helped to pivot into new roles. Throughout Kickstart policy development, Government officials have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including a number of voluntary sector organisations.

Employers from all industries and across the private, public and voluntary sectors will be able to get involved in creating new jobs, funded by the Kickstart scheme. Government will continue to engage with organisations in order to encourage a wide range of delivery partners to support the scheme and make it a success.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on adapting the Kickstart scheme to make it easier for charities and social enterprises to participate in that scheme.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has held discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, including on how DCMS sectors have been impacted by Covid-19, particularly in relation to unemployment and where new opportunities may arise so that workers could be helped to pivot into new roles. Throughout Kickstart policy development, Government officials have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including a number of voluntary sector organisations.

Employers from all industries and across the private, public and voluntary sectors will be able to get involved in creating new jobs, funded by the Kickstart scheme. Government will continue to engage with organisations in order to encourage a wide range of delivery partners to support the scheme and make it a success.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to help ensure resources from the £1.57 billion funding for cultural, arts and heritage institutions are distributed to groups supporting under represented people with protected characteristics.

The Culture Recovery Fund will provide targeted support to critical cultural, arts and heritage organisations to help them survive and recover through the coronavirus pandemic. Funding will be prioritised to institutions of national and international significance and those that are crucial to levelling up places and communities, including smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities.

Key organisations in England are able to apply for grants or loans. When making funding decisions, the Arms Length Bodies delivering the funding will be taking into account an organisation’s track record of delivering social benefit and welcoming diverse audiences. Organisations in receipt of this funding will also be expected to demonstrate progress in diversity and outreach over the coming years.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that diversity is prioritised in support for (a) organisations and (b) people working in the arts and creative industries.

The Government’s aim is to see cultural and creative sectors that are strong, vibrant and inclusive, and this can only be achieved through a diverse and representative workforce. We recognise there is still much to be done to improve diversity and inclusion across the arts and creative industries, and are working with industry and sector bodies - including the BFI, Arts Council England and the Creative Industries Council - on a range of measures to ensure the sector better reflects the diversity of the UK through the current pandemic and beyond.

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, DCMS ministers and officials have been regularly engaging with stakeholders across the cultural and creative industries to ensure that their issues are fully understood in government. As part of this engagement, we have spoken with a number of organisations and individuals that are representative of the diverse nature of the nation, including at a roundtable I hosted which specifically examined the impact of Covid-19 on diversity in these sectors.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which BAME charities are in receipt of (a) (i) direct or (ii) indirect funding from a Government department or (b) direct funding from a local authority.

On 8 April the Chancellor announced a £750 million funding package for charities.This includes £360 million of targeted funding by central government departments for charities providing vital services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Individual government departments have allocated this funding in line with their usual internal procedures. In addition, part of this package will include an open fund aimed at smaller charities and social enterprises working with vulnerable people affected by the crisis in England delivered through the National Lottery Community Fund.

My department and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF - our distribution partners for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund) have been - and continue to - engage extensively with diverse and underrepresented groups during the development of the response and are working with a number of organisations to improve the reach of the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. A diverse advisory panel has been set up to support the distribution process for the fund.

No DCMS funds have been allocated to local government for onward distribution. The department does not hold information on direct funding allocated by local government.

Announcements and the breakdown of government funding can be found on the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19 . Details of the funds awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund and by DCMS will be published in due course. Individual departments will be responsible for publishing their own data.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which LGBTQ+ charities are in receipt of (a) (i) direct or (ii) indirect funding from a Government department or (b) direct funding from local authorities.

On 8 April the Chancellor announced a £750 million funding package for charities.This includes £360 million of targeted funding by central government departments for charities providing vital services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Individual government departments have allocated this funding in line with their usual internal procedures. In addition, part of this package will include an open fund aimed at smaller charities and social enterprises working with vulnerable people affected by the crisis in England delivered through the National Lottery Community Fund.

My department and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF - our distribution partners for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund) have been - and continue to - engage extensively with diverse and underrepresented groups during the development of the response and are working with a number of organisations to improve the reach of the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. A diverse advisory panel has been set up to support the distribution process for the fund.

No DCMS funds have been allocated to local government for onward distribution. The department does not hold information on direct funding allocated by local government.

Announcements and the breakdown of government funding can be found on the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19 . Details of the funds awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund and by DCMS will be published in due course. Individual departments will be responsible for publishing their own data.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which charities supporting women in receipt of (a) (i) direct or (ii) indirect funding from a Government department or (b) direct funding from local authorities.

On 8 April the Chancellor announced a £750 million funding package for charities.This includes £360 million of targeted funding by central government departments for charities providing vital services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Individual government departments have allocated this funding in line with their usual internal procedures. In addition, part of this package will include an open fund aimed at smaller charities and social enterprises working with vulnerable people affected by the crisis in England delivered through the National Lottery Community Fund.

My department and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF - our distribution partners for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund) have been - and continue to - engage extensively with diverse and underrepresented groups during the development of the response and are working with a number of organisations to improve the reach of the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. A diverse advisory panel has been set up to support the distribution process for the fund.

No DCMS funds have been allocated to local government for onward distribution. The department does not hold information on direct funding allocated by local government.

Announcements and the breakdown of government funding can be found on the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19 . Details of the funds awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund and by DCMS will be published in due course. Individual departments will be responsible for publishing their own data.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which charities supporting disabled people are in receipt of (a) (i) direct or (ii) indirect funding from a Government department or (b) direct funding from local authorities.

On 8 April the Chancellor announced a £750 million funding package for charities.This includes £360 million of targeted funding by central government departments for charities providing vital services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Individual government departments have allocated this funding in line with their usual internal procedures. In addition, part of this package will include an open fund aimed at smaller charities and social enterprises working with vulnerable people affected by the crisis in England delivered through the National Lottery Community Fund.

My department and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF - our distribution partners for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund) have been - and continue to - engage extensively with diverse and underrepresented groups during the development of the response and are working with a number of organisations to improve the reach of the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. A diverse advisory panel has been set up to support the distribution process for the fund.

No DCMS funds have been allocated to local government for onward distribution. The department does not hold information on direct funding allocated by local government.

Announcements and the breakdown of government funding can be found on the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19 . Details of the funds awarded by The National Lottery Community Fund and by DCMS will be published in due course. Individual departments will be responsible for publishing their own data.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the evidence used to determine that swimming pools are not yet considered safe to open with social distancing in place.

The consideration of different venues and the activities involved are underpinned by understanding the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with particular activities.

We recognise the importance of re-opening our indoor and outdoor pools and we agree that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. There are concerns about transmission around points of contact within such facilities, like changing rooms due to the high volume of contacts. As such, we need to provide reassurance that these facilities will be safe, and are working hard to achieve this in the coming weeks.

The Government is actively working towards a safe way to re-open these facilities, with supporting guidance.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to ensure that universal credit claimants participating in the Innovation in Democracy Programme do not receive deductions to their universal credit as a result of that participation.

The Innovation in Democracy Programme supported three local authorities to trial innovative models of deliberative democracy to involve citizens in local decision-making through the use of citizens’ assemblies. The programme ran from November 2018 to March 2020. The citizens’ assemblies took place between September and December 2019.

All participants were offered £300 for the 4 days of the citizens assembly. In addition, participants were reimbursed for costs of travel, childcare and other caring costs.

With regards to people on Universal Credit or other means-tested benefits, we advised all prospective assembly members to speak to a trusted source of welfare benefits advice.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish a covid-19 recovery strategy for voluntary and community sector organisations.

The Government has published its Covid-19 Recovery Strategy and its phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions. The Roadmap is a three-step timetable of policy measures, for lifting restrictions. It will seek to do so in as limited and targeted a way as possible, including reacting by re-imposing restrictions in specific geographic areas or in limited sectors where most proportionate.

DCMS is working with the civil society sector on potential recovery scenarios and will continue to assess the needs of the sector and how we can best support it. A number of task forces are being established to work closely with stakeholders in different sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure. DCMS is working to ensure that charities and social enterprises interests are represented in the cross-government process to recovery, including the relevant task forces.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what further steps he is taking to provide additional financial support for the Voluntary and Community Sector in addition to the £750 million announced on the 8th April 2020.

The Government has announced a broad package of support for businesses and charities to ensure that organisations that need support are able to access it. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020.

In addition to the broad package of support and the £750m to specifically support the Voluntary and Community Sector, the government has also unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts. These will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work for groups in need to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what research his Department has commissioned on the effect of 5G technology on (a) older people and (b) young children.

Electromagnetic radiation is not new and research on the topic has found no credible evidence that radio waves, including those from 5G, have an impact on public health, including that of the elderly, young people, children and babies. Government is guided by Public Health England’s (PHE) independent advice, who are committed along with Ofcom to continually monitoring and assessing the evidence applicable to this and other radio technologies. Central to PHE’s advice are the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organisation and its guidelines underpin health protection policies at UK and European levels.

Ofcom continues to monitor the levels of electromagnetic radiation near mobile base stations, and in all cases, including the recent measurements taken near 5G-enabled base stations, the levels recorded were well below the limits for general public exposure outlined by the ICNIRP Guidelines. The highest level recorded was approximately 1.5% of these guidelines. While a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves under 5G is possible, such an increase would remain well within guidelines and is anticipated to have no consequence for public health.

With regard to animals, electromagnetic radiation has the potential to impact insect movement, but there is currently no evidence that human-made electromagnetic radiation has population level impacts on insects. In 2015, UK researchers were involved in a major global review of the status and threats to wild and managed insect pollinators for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). In their report, the team of leading scientists did not identify mobile phone signals as significant threats to insect populations.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of electro magnetic frequency radiation from 5G technology on (a) physical health and (b) mental health.

Electromagnetic radiation is not new and research on the topic has found no credible evidence that radio waves, including those from 5G, have an impact on public health, including that of the elderly, young people, children and babies. Government is guided by Public Health England’s (PHE) independent advice, who are committed along with Ofcom to continually monitoring and assessing the evidence applicable to this and other radio technologies. Central to PHE’s advice are the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organisation and its guidelines underpin health protection policies at UK and European levels.

Ofcom continues to monitor the levels of electromagnetic radiation near mobile base stations, and in all cases, including the recent measurements taken near 5G-enabled base stations, the levels recorded were well below the limits for general public exposure outlined by the ICNIRP Guidelines. The highest level recorded was approximately 1.5% of these guidelines. While a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves under 5G is possible, such an increase would remain well within guidelines and is anticipated to have no consequence for public health.

With regard to animals, electromagnetic radiation has the potential to impact insect movement, but there is currently no evidence that human-made electromagnetic radiation has population level impacts on insects. In 2015, UK researchers were involved in a major global review of the status and threats to wild and managed insect pollinators for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). In their report, the team of leading scientists did not identify mobile phone signals as significant threats to insect populations.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effects of the high frequency of signals from 5G technology on (a) babies, (b) young people and (c) animals.

Electromagnetic radiation is not new and research on the topic has found no credible evidence that radio waves, including those from 5G, have an impact on public health, including that of the elderly, young people, children and babies. Government is guided by Public Health England’s (PHE) independent advice, who are committed along with Ofcom to continually monitoring and assessing the evidence applicable to this and other radio technologies. Central to PHE’s advice are the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organisation and its guidelines underpin health protection policies at UK and European levels.

Ofcom continues to monitor the levels of electromagnetic radiation near mobile base stations, and in all cases, including the recent measurements taken near 5G-enabled base stations, the levels recorded were well below the limits for general public exposure outlined by the ICNIRP Guidelines. The highest level recorded was approximately 1.5% of these guidelines. While a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves under 5G is possible, such an increase would remain well within guidelines and is anticipated to have no consequence for public health.

With regard to animals, electromagnetic radiation has the potential to impact insect movement, but there is currently no evidence that human-made electromagnetic radiation has population level impacts on insects. In 2015, UK researchers were involved in a major global review of the status and threats to wild and managed insect pollinators for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). In their report, the team of leading scientists did not identify mobile phone signals as significant threats to insect populations.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what emergency funding his Department is making available to community radio stations throughout the UK to help prevent their closure as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Community Radio Fund was set up in 2005 and has an annual budget of £400,000, which is used to help support community radio stations across the UK. It is administered by Ofcom, and applications are assessed by an independent panel.

For the financial year 2020-21, we have worked with Ofcom to use this Fund to provide emergency cash grants to help community radio stations to meet urgent liabilities and to keep themselves in business. Ofcom announced details of 81 awards on 4 June - allocating a significant proportion of the Fund’s budget for the year - and will be inviting applications for a further emergency funding round shortly to ensure that the full amount goes to those stations most in need of support at this time.

We are continuing to liaise with stakeholders across the sector regarding ways in which the Government can support community radio through Covid-19 and beyond.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) overseas and (b) internal tourist trade; and what support he plans to provide to (i) York and (ii) other cities which are dependent on tourism.

We are aware that COVID-19 has significantly impacted the tourism industry. We remain in regular contact with outbound and domestic tourism stakeholders to closely monitor COVID-19’s economic effect on UK tourism, and continuously assess the impact.

We have supported Destination Management Organisations - including in Yorkshire - to continue their vital business support roles via a £1.3 million VisitEngland scheme. Two Yorkshire Destination Management Organisations (Make it York and Welcome to Yorkshire) have combined received over £40,000 in support from the VisitEngland scheme.

My Department has launched the Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help our sectors to safely reopen. To inform this taskforce, I chair a Visitor Economy Working Group which specifically focuses on developing guidance for restarting tourism activity.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery in cities across the country. We are actively considering all the recovery ideas suggested to us by stakeholders.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his announcement of £150 million charity funding in the covid-19 press conference on 20 May 2020, how much of that funding is new money; and from which sources that money is derived.

£71 million of the £150 million of funding announced on 20 May 2020 is new money. Government has worked with the dormant assets organisations to repurpose £79 million of their allocations in response to the crisis. Combined, the £150 million will support urgent work in England to tackle youth unemployment; expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations; and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

This funding comes from the dormant assets scheme. The scheme enables banks and building societies to voluntarily transfer funds from dormant accounts. Dormant accounts are those that have not been touched for at least 15 years and where the bank or building society is unable to get in touch with the customer to reunite them with their money. Customers can reclaim their money at any time. Since its inception in 2011, over £745 million has been released to social or environmental causes through the scheme.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how small (a) national and (b) local charities specialising in loneliness can access the £5 million covid-19 loneliness grant fund.

As part of a major effort to tackle loneliness during the Covid-19 outbreak, on 13th May the government launched a £5m grant fund. This closed for applications on 29th May.

Applications were invited from national organisations and umbrella organisations able to fund local organisations in their networks. The grants will support them to adapt and continue their work to tackle loneliness and to deliver effective, targeted relief for those most at risk of loneliness as a result of Covid-19.

Loneliness is also a priority category of the £200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund provided by The National Lottery Community Fund, targeted at small and medium sized VCSE organisations to help them maintain and enhance services for vulnerable people affected by the current crisis.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on enabling furloughed charity staff to (a) volunteer for their organisation, (b) volunteer for their organisation in a different role from that of their substantive work, (c) volunteer to assist with fundraising and (d) engage in raising funds for their organisation by participating in fundraising events akin to other members of the public.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working with other Government departments and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to identify areas where volunteers can contribute to the COVID-19 response.

To mitigate the risk of fraudulent claims and to protect individuals, the Government made it clear that under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, those furloughed cannot work or volunteer for their own organisation. If workers were allowed to volunteer for their employer, the employer could ask them to work in an effectively full time way while only paying 80% of the wages.

The Government recognises and values the role volunteers are playing in the Covid-19 response and their contribution to broader charitable causes; furloughed employees can take part in volunteer work, provided that it does not provide services or generate revenue for their employer or another company associated or linked to their employer.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional access to digital connectivity will he provide to ensure that those from lower socio-economic communities have equal access to broadband.

The UK broadband market is very competitive with a variety of packages at different price points to meet the needs of different consumers. In addition, both BT and KCOM offer lower cost landline and broadband packages for those in receipt of qualifying state benefits.

The Government is also committed to improving broadband across the country to ensure that all communities have the access that they need, including those from lower socio-economic groups. We have introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation, which gives everyone the right to request decent broadband providing at least 10 Mbps download speeds up to a Reasonable Cost Threshold of £3,400 per premise. In addition, we are committed to delivering even faster, nationwide gigabit capable broadband as soon as possible. We will be investing £5 billion to subsidise deployment to the least commercial 20% of premises in the country.

In recognition of the particular challenges that communities are facing at the current time as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Government has also agreed a package of measures with the UK's fixed and mobile providers to support consumers, particularly the most vulnerable. As part of these commitments, providers have agreed to provide new and generous offers to their vulnerable customers, ranging from free mobile data boosts to free landline calls, and to lift all broadband data caps.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that community and voluntary organisations core funding needs are met in the next 12 months.

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure the voluntary and community sector continues its vital work supporting the country during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes £360m distributed through government departments and £200m for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, being delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. The government has unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, which will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

We have published clear and comprehensive guidance on the £750 million, plus other sources of support, at

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

This is a package of emergency response funding targeted at supporting VCSE organisations on the frontline of responding to Coronavirus, or providing other essential services. We are continuing to assess the medium and long-term impact on VCSE organisations and engaging with sector groups to inform our plans for future support.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Charities Commissioner to ensure that charities are do not go into administration as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS and the Charity Commission are proactively engaging across the sector to maintain a complete picture of the impact of coronavirus, and working to identify the additional support charities require through this time of financial instability. The Government announced an unprecedented £750million package to ensure VCSE organisations can continue their vital work during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Charity Commission is ensuring its approach to regulation during the Covid-19 crisis is as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest. In line with this approach, the Charity Commission has published guidance for charities which covers a range of topics such as the use of reserves to manage financial difficulties and extensions to account filing deadlines. The guidance is available on the Gov.uk and is being updated regularly: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector

The Government has also introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill which will relieve the burden on businesses, including charities, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Bill will introduce temporary easements on company filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs), introduce new corporate restructuring tools, and temporarily suspend parts of insolvency law, allowing businesses, including charities to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to introduce a financial recovery programme for voluntary and community organisations.

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure the voluntary and community sector continues its vital work supporting the country during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes £360m distributed through government departments and £200m for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, being delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. The government has unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, which will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

We have published clear and comprehensive guidance on the £750 million, plus other sources of support, at

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19. This guidance will be updated frequently.

This is a package of emergency response funding targeted at supporting VCSE organisations on the frontline of responding to Coronavirus, or providing other essential services. We are continuing to assess the medium and long-term impact on the sector.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of reduction in finances to voluntary and community organisations over the last (a) 12 weeks, (b) 6 month and (c) 12 months.

We have been working closely with the sector to understand the financial impacts of the crisis. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimated that the sector could lose £4.3bn in the first 12 weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is too early to determine whether this is an accurate assessment.

My department will continue to monitor the health of the sector, its contribution to the nation’s Covid-19 response and the financial impacts on organisations.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the equity of distribution of funding allocated to voluntary and community organisations in areas of deprivation.

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure the voluntary and community sector continues its vital work supporting the country during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes £360m distributed through government departments and £200m for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. The government has unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, which will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Funding will support organisations working with communities experiencing disproportionate challenges during the crisis and providing services and support for vulnerable people across the country.

It is vital that funding reaches organisations in areas of deprivation. However, as applications are still open for several of the funds and there are announcements yet to be made, it is too early to assess distribution to organisations in areas of deprivation.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he last made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Compact with the Voluntary and Community Sector.

The Government recognises the importance of working together with civil society organisations to support them, maintain their independence and involve them in policy making. We continue to work closely with the sector to ensure meaningful engagement and a productive and effective relationship.

This has been particularly important in the Covid-19 crisis throughout which the Government has been engaging regularly with charities, social enterprises and their representative bodies to respond to the current situation.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of enabling furloughed staff from charities to participate in fundraising activities for their organisations.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughed employees can take part in voluntary work, provided that volunteering tasks do not supply services or generate revenue for their employer or a company linked or associated to their employer. This would therefore prevent charity employees who are furloughed from volunteering for the organisation they are employed by. The core focus of the scheme is to help those who otherwise would have been made unemployed and provide support to businesses as quickly as possible.

The system has been carefully designed to encourage employees who have been furloughed to take up opportunities to support the delivery of essential services through volunteering, while avoiding the possibility of individual employees being put in a situation where they are doing their contracted work for little or no payment.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to issue guidance on the £750m funding for the voluntary and community sector; and what the timeframe is for (a) local authorities and (b) national funders to be able to distribute that funding,

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure the voluntary and community sector continues its vital work supporting the country during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes £360m distributed through government departments and £200m for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, being delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. The government has unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, which will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

We have published clear and comprehensive guidance on the £750 million, plus other sources of support, and how organisations can apply for funding -

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19. This guidance will be updated frequently.

This is a package of emergency response funding and we are working with other government departments and other funding partners to ensure the funding is distributed as quickly as possible.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on (a) charities going into administration and (b) emergency support to prevent that situation occurring.

The Government recognises the importance of working together with civil society organisations to support them, maintain their independence and involve them in policy making. We continue to work closely with the sector to ensure meaningful engagement and a productive and effective relationship.

This has been particularly important in the Covid-19 crisis throughout which the Government has been engaging regularly with charities, social enterprises and their representative bodies to respond to the current situation.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on allocating funding from the public purse to ensure the financial sustainability of (a) voluntary and (b) community organisations.

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure the voluntary and community sector continues its vital work supporting the country during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes £360m distributed through government departments and £200m for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, being delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund. The government has unlocked a further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, which will be distributed to organisations to support urgent work to tackle youth unemployment, expand access to emergency loans for civil society organisations and help improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

We have published clear and comprehensive guidance on the £750 million, plus other sources of support, at

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

This is a package of emergency response funding targeted at supporting voluntary and community sector organisations on the frontline of responding to Coronavirus, or providing other essential services. It builds on the significant package of support available across sectors, including the Job Retention Scheme.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional financial support he plans to provide in response to the covid-19 outbreak to support local economies that depend on (a) tourism, (b) the hospitality sector and (c) the heritage sector.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support local economies by helping these key sectors through this crisis.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. For example, we recently announced a Bounce Back Loan scheme to support small businesses, and have extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

We have also allocated additional funding to Local Authorities in England in the form of a discretionary grant fund of up to £617m. This is aimed at certain small businesses who were not eligible for the existing business grants fund schemes.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Historic England (HE), DCMS ALBs, have made emergency funding available for the heritage sector. The NLHF £50 million Heritage Emergency Fund and HE’s £2 million Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund extend a safety net to small heritage organisations struggling with financial losses

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on voluntary and community organisation finances.

My department is aware of the financial impact that covid - 19 has on charities finances and is continuously monitoring the overall health of the sector.

The £750 million package of support announced by the Chancellor on 8 April is available for all charities, irrespective of size, providing frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic and at risk of financial hardship, due to the increase in demand for services.

We will continue to work closely to assess how we can support charities in doing their important work.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with voluntary and community organisations on their future resilience in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the voluntary sector and are establishing mechanisms to collate robust and ongoing insights into the overall health of the sector.

We are aware that many charities continue to face a significant loss of income due to Covid-19, through reductions in fundraising, trading and investment income.

Support measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can assist with easing the burden placed on organisations that are unable to operate due to social distancing restrictions. The £750 million package of support for charities announced by the Chancellor on 8 April provides targeted support to organisations providing frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.


We will continue to work closely to identify further support charities require through this time of financial instability.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to allocate additional funding to cover the overhead costs of charities and other not-for-profit organisations facing reduced income during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware of the financial challenges charities are facing during the coronavirus outbreak. This is why the £750m funding we have announced is specifically aimed at supporting those who need to continue providing their services as part of the national coronavirus response.

In addition, many charities and not-for-profit organisations will have access to cross-cutting support already announced. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which enables them to furlough staff. They can also defer VAT bills to the end of June, pay no business rates for their shops next year and can get a Business Interruption Loan. Many charity shops are already eligible for 80% charitable rate relief, and will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100%.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many organisations in (a) York and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber have received funding from Arts Council England in each year since 2015-16.

Funding awarded to arts organisations and individuals in (a) York and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber from Arts Council England since 2015-16 is as follows:

(a) York

  • 2015/16 - 26

  • 2016/17 - 25

  • 2017/18 - 24

  • 2018/19 - 29

(b) Yorkshire and the Humber

  • 2015/16 - 448

  • 2016/17 - 462

  • 2017/18 - 405

  • 2018/19 - 476

Note that some organisations may receive funding under different names - for example, they may be part of a larger consortium or local council. These figures could therefore include duplicates, and may be slightly inflated.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding was awarded to organisations in (a) York and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber from Arts Council England in each year since 2015-16.

Funding awarded to (a) York and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber from Arts Council England since 2015-16 is as follows:

(a) York

  • 2015/16 - £4,282,815

  • 2016/17 - £4,484,841

  • 2017/18 - £4,103,363

  • 2018/19 - £3,663,769

(b) Yorkshire and the Humber

  • 2015/16 - £63,523,976

  • 2016/17 - £80,184,676

  • 2017/18 - £61,387,922

  • 2018/19 - £65,354,904

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding was awarded to the Royal Opera House from Arts Council England in each year since 2015-16.

Funding awarded to the Royal Opera House from Arts Council England since 2015-16 is as follows:

  • 2015/16 - £26,064,991

  • 2016/17 - £25,577,828

  • 2017/18 - £25,498,841

  • 2018/19 - £24,845,615

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of a tourist tax.

The Secretary of State has had no discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a tourist tax.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions has he had with the Office of Independent Adjudicator on the appeals process for students against academic judgment within the appeal process for students at universities, alongside (a) exceptional circumstances and (b) procedural irregularity.

Office for Students (OfS) registered providers are independent and autonomous organisations. However, OfS registration conditions require every provider to have fair and transparent procedures for handling academic complaints and appeals. This is to ensure that students are given the opportunity to seek clarification of an assessment or an examination board decision.

In addition, it is an OfS registration condition that all providers co-operate with the requirements of the student complaints scheme run by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), and that they make students aware of their ability to use the scheme.

The OIA is independent of government and has a Good Practice Framework for higher education providers, including information relating to the handling of academic appeals. This is available here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/resources-and-publications/good-practice-framework/handling-complaints-and-academic-appeals/the-academic-appeals-process.

The OIA Good Practice Framework sets out that the provider should clearly state the scope of the academic appeals process and the grounds on which an academic appeal may be lodged.

The OIA is precluded, by primary legislation, from considering complaints related to academic judgement on the grounds that appeals that relate to matters such as marks awarded, or the classifications of degrees, require the opinion of an academic expert. However, the OIA can consider the provider’s policies and procedures which may have led to that judgement and whether they are fair and reasonable under a given set of circumstances.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling students to appeal against academic judgment within the appeal process for students at universities, alongside (a) exceptional circumstances and (b) procedural irregularity.

Office for Students (OfS) registered providers are independent and autonomous organisations. However, OfS registration conditions require every provider to have fair and transparent procedures for handling academic complaints and appeals. This is to ensure that students are given the opportunity to seek clarification of an assessment or an examination board decision.

In addition, it is an OfS registration condition that all providers co-operate with the requirements of the student complaints scheme run by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), and that they make students aware of their ability to use the scheme.

The OIA is independent of government and has a Good Practice Framework for higher education providers, including information relating to the handling of academic appeals. This is available here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/resources-and-publications/good-practice-framework/handling-complaints-and-academic-appeals/the-academic-appeals-process.

The OIA Good Practice Framework sets out that the provider should clearly state the scope of the academic appeals process and the grounds on which an academic appeal may be lodged.

The OIA is precluded, by primary legislation, from considering complaints related to academic judgement on the grounds that appeals that relate to matters such as marks awarded, or the classifications of degrees, require the opinion of an academic expert. However, the OIA can consider the provider’s policies and procedures which may have led to that judgement and whether they are fair and reasonable under a given set of circumstances.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to take steps to secure future capital funding for All Saints Roman Catholic School in York to enable a new build school.

The department is aware of the condition issues facing the All Saints Roman Catholic School. The former Minister for the School System, my noble Friend, Baroness Berridge, met with the hon. member for York Central, as well as representatives from the school, the Diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council in June to discuss this matter, and a capital adviser from the department visited the school in July to understand the condition need of the school. My noble Friend, the Minister for the School System, will also write to the hon. member for York Central to cover the issues in more detail.

Overall, the department allocated £1.8 billion in funding in 2021-22 to maintain and improve school condition. Local authorities, large multi academy trusts and large voluntary-aided bodies receive a School Condition Allocation to invest in priorities across the schools for which they are responsible.

Our aim for this condition funding is to ensure that responsible bodies receive a fair share of the available budget that takes into account their relative investment needs. The funding methodology for 2021-22 has been updated with the latest data from the school Condition Data Collection, which provides a high-level assessment of the relative condition of state funded schools. We expect responsible bodies to use their own detailed condition reports and knowledge to prioritise investment across their schools to address condition issues, including structural issues.

The Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough received a combined School Condition Allocation of £3,112,383 in 2021-22 to invest in improving the condition of their schools.

All Saints Roman Catholic School also received a Devolved Formula Capital payment of £32,247 in 2021-22 to spend on their capital priorities.

Over and above condition allocations, the department has also launched a new School Rebuilding Programme with a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade and has already announced the first 100 schools. We are consulting on how we will prioritise future places on the School Rebuilding Programme, and we welcome views from those with an interest in how the condition of the school estate is maintained and funded, including bodies responsible for school buildings. The department encourages All Saints Roman Catholic School, the diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council to take part in the consultation and share their views on the future prioritisation of projects for the programme.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to assess the financial position of schools in York.

The schools sector remains financially stable, with high standards of financial management and governance.

The primary responsibility for the oversight of each academy trust, including their financial position, rests with the trustees themselves. The department expects trustees to deliver strong governance, monitor the financial health of their trust and ensure every pound is well spent. The department plays an important role to build the financial capacity and the capability of academy trusts. This includes using a range of data, including audited accounts and three-year budget forecasts, to identify where there may be issues, and taking a risk-based approach, working with the sector to support and intervene proportionately on the rare occasions when needed.

Local authorities are accountable for maintained schools’ finances. The department’s role is to support local authorities in their efforts to strengthen the financial accountability and efficiency of the maintained schools sector.

The department supports both maintained schools and academies through the School Resource Management programme. This helps schools improve outcomes for pupils by offering a suite of services to support greater financial efficiency. Details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/schools-financial-health-and-efficiency.

The department publishes individual school and academy financial data, including for all schools in York, and this is easily accessible on the schools financial benchmarking website, available here: https://schools-financial-benchmarking.service.gov.uk/.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the capital budget of faith-based schools when they are ringfenced within holding budgets.

The department is aware of the condition issues facing the All Saints Roman Catholic School. The former Minister for the School System, my noble Friend, Baroness Berridge, met with the hon. member for York Central, as well as representatives from the school, the Diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council in June to discuss this matter, and a capital adviser from the department visited the school in July to understand the condition need of the school. My noble Friend, the Minister for the School System, will also write to the hon. member for York Central to cover the issues in more detail.

Overall, the department allocated £1.8 billion in funding in 2021-22 to maintain and improve school condition. Local authorities, large multi academy trusts and large voluntary-aided bodies receive a School Condition Allocation to invest in priorities across the schools for which they are responsible.

Our aim for this condition funding is to ensure that responsible bodies receive a fair share of the available budget that takes into account their relative investment needs. The funding methodology for 2021-22 has been updated with the latest data from the school Condition Data Collection, which provides a high-level assessment of the relative condition of state funded schools. We expect responsible bodies to use their own detailed condition reports and knowledge to prioritise investment across their schools to address condition issues, including structural issues.

The Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough received a combined School Condition Allocation of £3,112,383 in 2021-22 to invest in improving the condition of their schools.

All Saints Roman Catholic School also received a Devolved Formula Capital payment of £32,247 in 2021-22 to spend on their capital priorities.

Over and above condition allocations, the department has also launched a new School Rebuilding Programme with a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade and has already announced the first 100 schools. We are consulting on how we will prioritise future places on the School Rebuilding Programme, and we welcome views from those with an interest in how the condition of the school estate is maintained and funded, including bodies responsible for school buildings. The department encourages All Saints Roman Catholic School, the diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council to take part in the consultation and share their views on the future prioritisation of projects for the programme.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to assess the energy use of schools in York.

Responsible bodies, including local authorities and academy trusts, have a responsibility to ensure assets are operated and maintained effectively. This includes energy efficiency improvements. Since 2008, all school buildings are legally required to have Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Display Energy Certificates (DECs). These are intended to raise awareness of energy use in buildings and provide recommendations associated with energy efficiency.

The Department for Education collects data, including Display Energy Certificates data across the estate, as well as energy data on new school buildings. However, there are currently no plans to assess the energy use of schools in York specifically. The department provides the sector with guidance on energy efficiency such as minimising energy, water and waste within the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/good-estate-management-for-schools.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set up the £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) in 2020 which provided grants for eligible public sector bodies, including schools, to fund energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures across their estate. Phase 3 of the PSDS is now open for applications and we encourage schools in York to apply for this scheme. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-sector-decarbonisation-scheme-phase-3.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the financial viability of universities.

Higher education (HE) providers have faced a period of significant risk to their financial sustainability and continue to face challenges. The government has provided funding support through various support schemes and has maintained regular contact with the sector to understand the ongoing impacts and changing landscape of financial sustainability in the sector.

I work closely with the the Office for Students (OfS) who are responsible for monitoring provider financial sustainability. The OfS report dated 8 June 2021 shows that the overall financial position of the registered HE provider sector remains sound, with generally reasonable financial resilience, despite the many operational and financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the financial cost of the covid-19 outbreak to universities.

Higher education (HE) providers have faced a period of significant risk to their financial sustainability and continue to face challenges. The government has provided funding support through various support schemes and has maintained regular contact with the sector to understand the ongoing impacts and changing landscape of financial sustainability in the sector.

I work closely with the the Office for Students (OfS) who are responsible for monitoring provider financial sustainability. The OfS report dated 8 June 2021 shows that the overall financial position of the registered HE provider sector remains sound, with generally reasonable financial resilience, despite the many operational and financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to institute financial skills education into the national curriculum; and whether he plans for that to include education about cooperatives and mutuals.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed.

Financial education forms part of the citizenship national curriculum which can be taught at all key stages and is compulsory at key stages 3 and 4: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent. Schools have the freedom to ensure the curriculum meets the needs of their pupils and they may choose to teach about cooperatives and mutuals if they wish.

The department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic knowledge that pupils should be taught. This knowledge is vital, as a strong grasp of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money. The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding and skills in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.

The department works closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders, such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be discovered from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of senior mental health leads that have been trained in York from the £9.5 million fund announced on 10 May 2021; and at which schools those posts are based.

Schools and colleges in the City of York will be able to apply for a grant to pay for Department for Education quality assured senior mental health lead training from this autumn term.

The government is providing £9.5 million in grants this financial year, allowing up to 7,800 school and college senior leaders in England to attend training, providing the knowledge and skills to implement a whole school or college approach to mental health in their setting. This is part of the government’s commitment to offer senior mental health lead training to all state schools and colleges by 2025.

More information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/senior-mental-health-lead-training#which-staff-can-get-the-training.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to identify buildings on the schools estate which could be repurposed to house refugees from Afghanistan.

A generous resettlement package has been developed to support Afghan citizens to acclimatise and settle in the UK, including support to secure settled accommodation.

The government, alongside local authorities, is considering all appropriate options to identify suitable accommodation for Afghan families as soon as possible.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has taken steps to release housing from universities to house refugees from Afghanistan.

The government is working swiftly with local authorities to identify suitable permanent accommodation for Afghan families as soon as possible.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from government. The government plays no direct role in the provision of student accommodation.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he take steps to ensure that all pupils at (a) primary and (b) secondary school have access (i) home IT equipment and (ii) an internet connection.

Ofcom runs an annual survey which publishes data on children’s access to technology, available here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/media-literacy-research/childrens. This data informed the Department for Education’s COVID-19 response through the Get Help with Technology programme.

The department has invested over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care. Over 1.35 million laptops and tablets have been distributed to schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities, supporting disadvantaged children and young people who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The department has provided support for over 110,000 families to get online through uplifts in mobile data and 4G wireless routers. This included partnering with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help over 33,000 disadvantaged children get online and delivering over 77,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

The department has recently announced new funding to support schools and colleges in providing internet access for disadvantaged pupils whose face-to-face education is disrupted during the autumn term. We have continued to enable ordering of 4G wireless routers for pupils without internet access.

The department supports the role of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in leading digital inclusion across government. We are working closely with DCMS to improve broadband connections in schools. DCMS has powers to address some affordability issues for some telecoms services.