Rachel Hopkins Portrait

Rachel Hopkins

Labour - Luton South


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 20th September 2021
15:45
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Local government and the path to net zero
20 Sep 2021, 3:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Eddie Hughes MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Rough Sleeping & Housing) at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Emma Fraser - Director, Housing Markets & Strategy at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Siobhan Jones - Director, Local Government & Communities at Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
The Lord Callanan - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility) at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Ffiona Hesketh - Deputy Director for Home Decarbonisation Policy and Strategy at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 21st September 2021
09:25
Building Safety Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
21 Sep 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 21st September 2021
14:00
Building Safety Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
21 Sep 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 23rd September 2021
11:30
Building Safety Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
23 Sep 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 23rd September 2021
14:00
Building Safety Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
23 Sep 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Scheduled Event
Friday 22nd October 2021
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Planning and Local Representation Bill: Second Reading
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Wednesday 15th September 2021
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits

In my two minutes, I want to make a couple of key points.

The Conservatives’ planned £20 cut in universal …

Written Answers
Thursday 16th September 2021
Travel Restrictions: Coronavirus
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department is having with the Department of Health and …
Early Day Motions
Monday 7th December 2020
Government workers' pay
That this House supports the Parliamentary petition signed by over 100,000 people for a fair pay rise for government workers …
Bills
Wednesday 14th July 2021
Planning and Local Representation Bill 2021-22
A Bill to give people who have made representations about development plans the right to participate in associated examination hearings; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th March 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 30 December 2020, unpaid Vice President of the LGA, which works with councils to support, promote and improve local …
EDM signed
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
GKN Automotive alternative plan
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Act 2021
A Bill to impose duties on certain education and training providers in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rachel Hopkins has voted in 260 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Rachel Hopkins 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(20 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(36 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(20 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rachel Hopkins's debates

Luton South 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 Luton South signature proportion
Petitions with most Luton South signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Bring in a law which enforces professional football clubs to have at least 51% fan ownership similar to how the Bundesliga operates this rule.

The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game. This should happen by December 2021.

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.


Latest EDMs signed by Rachel Hopkins

22nd June 2021
Rachel Hopkins signed this EDM as a sponsor 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
20th May 2021
Rachel Hopkins signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 20th May 2021

Fire and rehire

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House notes with alarm the growing number of employers who are dismissing and re-engaging staff on worse pay and terms and conditions, a practice commonly known as fire and rehire; agrees with the Government that such tactics represent an unacceptable abuse of power by rogue bosses, many of …
49 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 36
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Alliance: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Rachel Hopkins's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rachel Hopkins, 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.


Rachel Hopkins has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Rachel Hopkins has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Rachel Hopkins


A Bill to give people who have made representations about development plans the right to participate in associated examination hearings; to require public consultation on development proposals; to grant local authorities power to apply local design standards for permitted development and to refuse permitted development proposals that would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of an individual or community; to make planning permission for major housing schemes subject to associated works starting within two years; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 14th July 2021
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 22nd October 2021
Order Paper number: 16
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

196 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
4th Feb 2021
What steps she is taking with the Lord Chancellor to tackle the court backlog.

I have seen first-hand how innovatively and resiliently criminal justice agencies have responded to the pandemic to boost court capacity – in June 2020, I observed virtual hearings conducted via the Cloud Video Platform in Bristol Magistrates’ Court.

I have also met with various CPS Areas to discuss their approach, and know that the CPS is committed to working closely with the courts service and judiciary on court recovery work. This is an unprecedented challenge, but I have been impressed with the truly collaborative approach criminal justice partners have taken.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions his Department has had with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on the effect of the Places for Growth programme on EHRC staff with protected characteristics.

The Government has committed to relocating 22,000 roles from London across the UK, ensuring the Civil Service is representative of the communities it serves, bringing more diversity of thought into policy-making. The Places for Growth portfolio is at the heart of delivering this agenda.

Places for Growth has adopted an approach that is aimed to capture the broadest view of diversity and inclusion, whilst considering the characteristics protected under law. The portfolio is committed to ensuring that the focus of the portfolio and departments is much wider and remains committed to greater socioeconomic diversity, greater regional diversity and to create clusters and critical mass where we can effectively harness cognitive diversity to enable decision making.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Places for Growth programme equality impact assessment.

The Government has committed to relocating 22,000 roles from London across the UK, ensuring the Civil Service is representative of the communities it serves, bringing more diversity of thought into policy-making. The Places for Growth portfolio is at the heart of delivering this agenda.

Places for Growth has adopted an approach that is aimed to capture the broadest view of diversity and inclusion, whilst considering the characteristics protected under law. The portfolio is committed to ensuring that the focus of the portfolio and departments is much wider and remains committed to greater socioeconomic diversity, greater regional diversity and to create clusters and critical mass where we can effectively harness cognitive diversity to enable decision making.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Places for Growth programme does not disproportionately adversely effect (a) civil servants with protected characteristics and (b) non-departmental public body staff with protected characteristics.

The Government has committed to relocating 22,000 roles from London across the UK, ensuring the Civil Service is representative of the communities it serves, bringing more diversity of thought into policy-making. The Places for Growth portfolio is at the heart of delivering this agenda.

Places for Growth has adopted an approach that is aimed to capture the broadest view of diversity and inclusion, whilst considering the characteristics protected under law. The portfolio is committed to ensuring that the focus of the portfolio and departments is much wider and remains committed to greater socioeconomic diversity, greater regional diversity and to create clusters and critical mass where we can effectively harness cognitive diversity to enable decision making.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the Places for Growth programme on (a) civil servants with protected characteristics and (b) non-departmental public body staff with protected characteristics.

The Government has committed to relocating 22,000 roles from London across the UK, ensuring the Civil Service is representative of the communities it serves, bringing more diversity of thought into policy-making. The Places for Growth portfolio is at the heart of delivering this agenda.

Places for Growth has adopted an approach that is aimed to capture the broadest view of diversity and inclusion, whilst considering the characteristics protected under law. The portfolio is committed to ensuring that the focus of the portfolio and departments is much wider and remains committed to greater socioeconomic diversity, greater regional diversity and to create clusters and critical mass where we can effectively harness cognitive diversity to enable decision making.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th May 2021
What steps his Department is taking to improve democratic inclusion.

We work with experts across sectors and provide funding to a number of initiatives to engage citizens in our democracy, make it more accessible and protect everyone's vote.

The introduction of online registration has resulted in record levels of people registering to vote and the Cabinet Office-chaired Accessibility of Elections Working Group works to enhance inclusiveness in our democracy.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the governance arrangements within the Civil Service for delivering the Shared Services Strategy for Government.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the strategy for the Government Business Services' role is in leading the Shared Services Strategy for Government; and if he will make a statement.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what consultation was undertaken with Civil Service unions on the Shared Services Strategy for Government before that strategy was published.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he has taken to ensure that the equality objectives set out in his Department's single departmental plan are (a) specific, (b) measurable, (c) achievable, (d) realistic and (e) timely.

Information on Cabinet Office’s diversity and inclusion record, and performance against its Equalities Objectives, are set out in the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Cabinet Office will ensure its departmental Equality Objectives continue to be of the highest standard when updated.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason diversity data for his Department on publishing.service.gov.uk has not been updated since 2018.

Information on Cabinet Office’s diversity and inclusion record, and performance against its Equalities Objectives, are set out in the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Cabinet Office will ensure its departmental Equality Objectives continue to be of the highest standard when updated.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Regulation 2 of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, whether his Department has published at the required intervals information to demonstrate its compliance with that regulation; and if he will make a statement.

Information on Cabinet Office’s diversity and inclusion record, and performance against its Equalities Objectives, are set out in the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Cabinet Office will ensure its departmental Equality Objectives continue to be of the highest standard when updated.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has met the equality objectives set out in its single departmental plan; what assessment he has made of his Department's performance against those objectives; and if he will make a statement.

Information on Cabinet Office’s diversity and inclusion record, and performance against its Equalities Objectives, are set out in the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Cabinet Office will ensure its departmental Equality Objectives continue to be of the highest standard when updated.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Office for National Statistics plans to take to help prevent the transmission of covid-19 via the (a) collection, (b) processing and (c) storage of paper census forms.

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

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what items of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to the enumerators of the 2021 census; and what the cost to the public purse is of that PPE.

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

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will outline the (a) safety measures and (b) guidance that will be issued to the enumerators recruited to undertake the 2021 census.

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

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to answer the named day Question tabled by the hon. Member for Luton South on 13 October 2020 on contractor relief.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to PQ 102966. May I apologise for the delay in responding to the question.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether contractor relief identical to that set out in Procurement Policy Notice PPN 02/2 will be given from 31 October as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

I apologise for the delay in replying to this question. PPN 02/20 was critical in ensuring departments provided contractual relief to suppliers to maintain delivery of critical public services. This was replaced by PPN 04/20, published in June, which set out how contracting authorities should put in place transition plans with their suppliers to ensure contracts are flexible enough to deal with potential future lockdowns. Departments remain able to provide contractual relief and can seek approval from HM Treasury for spend where there is a strategic business need.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

Supporting the Government’s objective to provide great places to work, enabling co-working through the Hub’s agenda and driving efficiencies by minimising vacant accommodation, the Government Property Agency manages a number of multi-let properties on the Whitehall Estate.

Details of multi-hub locations in London occupied by Cabinet Office, together with other Departments and agencies, are provided in the attached schedule.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, in which properties in London managed by the Government Property Agency civil servants from more than one Department work in the same building; and what the names are of those Departments.

The Government Property Agency manages a number of multi-let buildings in London on behalf of Government Departments. The Agency supports the Whitehall Campus and Hubs Programme to transform central government’s ageing office estate - creating ‘Great Places to work’ - consolidating to a single interoperable / interconnected campus of shared, flexible, modernised, energy efficient buildings. Building in new capabilities, including technology that supports Smarter Working, the delivery of better public services and driving efficiencies by minimising vacant space. Further details are available online on the Government Property Agency's Business Plan for 2020-2021.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to decarbonise the UK steel industry in the Net Zero Strategy; and what plans his Department has to direct the Clean Steel Fund towards hydrogen-based steelmaking.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. UK steel plays a critical role in the economy as a foundation industry and the Government remains committed to the UK steel industry and a decarbonised future, supporting local economic growth and our levelling-up agenda. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the newly constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process.

The Steel Council offers the forum for Government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. In order to support these efforts, the Government has announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes. The decarbonisation of the steel sector and industry more widely will also be supported through the £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 53 of the Climate Change Committee’s report, The Sixth Carbon Budget Manufacturing and construction, what plan he has to set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near zero emissions by 2035 as pledged in the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. UK steel plays a critical role in the economy as a foundation industry and the Government remains committed to the UK steel industry and a decarbonised future, supporting local economic growth and our levelling-up agenda. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the newly constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process.

The Steel Council offers the forum for Government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. In order to support these efforts, the Government has announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes. The decarbonisation of the steel sector and industry more widely will also be supported through the £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to secure the future of primary steelmaking in the UK.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. UK steel plays a critical role in the economy as a foundation industry and the Government remains committed to the UK steel industry and a decarbonised future, supporting local economic growth and our levelling-up agenda. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the newly constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process.

The Steel Council offers the forum for Government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. In order to support these efforts, the Government has announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes. The decarbonisation of the steel sector and industry more widely will also be supported through the £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department’s long-term plan is to support jobs in the UK steel industry; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of hydrogen-based steelmaking to decarbonise the sector.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. UK steel plays a critical role in the economy as a foundation industry and the Government remains committed to the UK steel industry and a decarbonised future, supporting local economic growth and our levelling-up agenda. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the newly constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’. Hydrogen-based steelmaking is one of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process.

The Steel Council offers the forum for Government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. In order to support these efforts, the Government has announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes. The decarbonisation of the steel sector and industry more widely will also be supported through the £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund.

Nadhim Zahawi
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, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given today to Question UIN 54314.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Luton South based businesses have (a) applied for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme and (b) had their applications to that scheme rejected.

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.

In order to minimise administrative burden and therefore facilitate the issuing of as many loans as possible, the British Business Bank’s system only gathers data from lenders when loans are offered and drawn. Decisions on whether to capture information relating to rejected loans are at the discretion of the lender.

We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if will take steps to ascertain what criteria were used by management at the Imperial War Museum when appointing ZE Global as the holders of its security contract; and if he will make an assessment of ZE Global's effectiveness in that role.

DCMS-sponsored museums operate independently, at arm’s length from government. The Imperial War Museum’s review of its security operations is an operational matter. As such, Ministers and officials have not assessed or discussed it.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with management at (a) the Imperial War Museum and (b) ZE Global on job security following the transfer of staff from Bidfest Noonan to ZE Global which is due to take place on 1 April 2021.

DCMS-sponsored museums operate independently, at arm’s length from government. The Imperial War Museum’s review of its security operations is an operational matter. As such, Ministers and officials have not assessed or discussed it.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the findings of the Imperial War Museum's security review report; and whether he plans to take steps to implement the recommendations of that report.

DCMS-sponsored museums operate independently, at arm’s length from government. The Imperial War Museum’s review of its security operations is an operational matter. As such, Ministers and officials have not assessed or discussed it.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with management at the Imperial War Museum on its (a) recently completed security review and (b) decision to appoint ZE Global as its security provider; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS-sponsored museums operate independently, at arm’s length from government. The Imperial War Museum’s review of its security operations is an operational matter. As such, Ministers and officials have not assessed or discussed it.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Nov 2020
What assessment his Department has made of the effect of the removal of the TV licence concession for the over-75s on the Government’s loneliness strategy.

We remain disappointed with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe the BBC must look at how it uses its substantial licence fee income to support older people.

The government remains committed to working with partners across society to tackle loneliness. During Covid-19 we’ve provided £18 million for loneliness charities, updated our awareness campaign and launched a new Tackling Loneliness Network.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support will be made available to the (a) English football leagues, (b) governing bodies of English football and (c) Professional Footballers’ Association to manage the long-term financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities and many have a great history.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses throughout this period, including a comprehensive and sizable package of direct fiscal support for
business through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. Many football clubs have benefited from these measures.

The Government is in regular dialogue with the football authorities, including the English Football League, to understand their financial position - but has been absolutely clear that it expects football to look first at how it can support itself through these difficult times.I therefore welcomed the Premier League announcement to advance funds of £125 million to the EFL and National League to help clubs throughout the football pyramid.The EFL has also announced a £50m relief fund to help their clubs enduring immediate cash flow problems because of the coronavirus crisis.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the financial sustainability of English Football League clubs in (a) the Championship, (b) League 1 and (c) League 2.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities and many have a great history.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses throughout this period, including a comprehensive and sizable package of direct fiscal support for
business through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. Many football clubs have benefited from these measures.

The Government is in regular dialogue with the football authorities, including the English Football League, to understand their financial position - but has been absolutely clear that it expects football to look first at how it can support itself through these difficult times.I therefore welcomed the Premier League announcement to advance funds of £125 million to the EFL and National League to help clubs throughout the football pyramid.The EFL has also announced a £50m relief fund to help their clubs enduring immediate cash flow problems because of the coronavirus crisis.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

We currently do not occupy any hub locations managed by GPA.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the difference in average per pupil funding was between (a) 5 to 16 year olds and (b) 16 to 19 year olds in each of the last five years.

The Department publishes statistics on school revenue funding annually. The latest publication, from January 2021, covers the financial years 2010/11 through to 2021/22 and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-funding-statistics#dataBlock-10b3bbd5-58b1-401d-9aaf-9daaa184a6df-tables.

The publication shows the average per pupil funding to schools for 5 to 16 year olds.

Table 1 - average per pupil funding, in cash terms, to schools for 5 to 16 year olds.

Financial year

Average per pupil funding, cash terms

2017-18

£5,590

2018-19

£5,730

2019-20

£5,920

2020-21

£6,280

2021-22

£6,490

Table 2 uses the published 16-19 funding allocations [1] to derive the average funding per student for all types of school and college for the last 5 academic years. Funding allocations for further education colleges of 16 to 19 education for the 2021/22 academic year have yet to be finalised.

Table 2 - average per student funding, in cash terms, for 16 to 19 year olds

Academic year

Average per student funding, cash terms

2016/17

£4,488

2017/18

£4,481

2018/19

£4,504

2019/20

£4,516

2020/21

£4,958

5 to 16 year old pupils in schools are funded differently from 16 to 19 students, using two separate systems with different methodologies. The numbers of hours young people spend in learning is also different between the two phases of education, and published data for the 5 to 16 phase is by financial year, and for the 16 to 19 funding by academic year. The figures for 5 to 16 education include high needs funding and additional grants, such as grants to provide help with teacher pay and pension costs, and to support free meals for students, when the equivalents have not been included in the 16 to 19 figures. Therefore, direct comparisons cannot be applied.

[1] The 16 to 19 per student funding calculation only includes institutions that have students receiving total programme funding. Some institutions receive only high needs funding – their students are not included in this calculation. In addition, the Condition of Funding adjustment for English and maths and the Advanced Maths Premium have been incorporated in total programme funding in 2019/20 to make this consistent with the definition in 2020/21. The condition of funding adjustment for English and maths has been incorporated into the total programme funding in 2016/17 to 2018/19 to make this consistent with the definition in 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the information that informed the Government's decision on the return of all remaining students to university campuses on 17 May 2021 as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

We have worked extremely closely with scientists and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to understand and model various scenarios to inform our plan to re-open the country without putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS. We have also examined economic and social data to get a balanced understanding of the impacts of carefully easing restrictions. The government has also carefully considered data on the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on ethnic minority communities, the vulnerable, the young, and low-income groups.

The government considered all the scientific advice and models that suggested that allowing additional indoor mixing at an earlier stage when prevalence was higher and fewer people had been vaccinated could result in significantly higher numbers of infections and that is why restrictions outdoors were eased before restrictions on most indoor activity. As the number of people vaccinated increased, we have been able to take steps to ease restrictions further.

A wealth of data, papers and evidence is being published at the same time as the roadmap, to ensure transparency on the information the government has had available to it in reaching its decisions. This includes the following information from Public Health England:

  • Information on vaccine effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccination
  • A surveillance report with a more detailed summary of the findings so far from the Sarscov2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (SIREN) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI)-Watch
  • A technical paper on the SIREN analysis being published (as a pre-print) by the Lancet

The papers from SAGE include:

  • Minutes from the last 4 SAGE meetings
  • Children’s Task and Finish Group paper: ‘COVID-19 in higher education settings’, 10 February 2021
  • 3 papers from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) with a summary of modelling on scenarios for easing restrictions, together with the supporting papers from modellers at Warwick University and Imperial College London
  • A collection of papers from SPI-M on “relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions and the re-opening of schools” and the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) (the behavioural experts’ sub-group of SAGE) on return to campus for the Spring term and the risk of increased transmission from student migration

Additional papers published by SAGE in relation to Step 3 of the roadmap can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sage-meetings-may-2021.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179740, on Further Education: Expenditure, what the average total (a) programme funding and (b) student funding will be for 16 to 19 year olds in (i) further education colleges and (ii) other colleges and schools in 2021-22.

Funding allocations for providers of 16-19 education for the next academic year 2021 to 2022 have yet to be finalised. While we have now issued allocations to individual schools and colleges, we are still considering business cases from providers where their allocation has been impacted by major data errors in their School Census or Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data returns. Until this process is complete, funding allocations are still subject to change. However, funding rates for 2021 to 2022 will be maintained at the same levels as 2020 to 2021, so we expect that average funding per student next year will be similar to this year.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179739, on Schools: Expenditure, what the average per pupil funding is for 11 to 16 year olds in England; and if he will publish that data for the latest year in which figures are available.

Per pupil funding figures for 5–16-year-olds across England is published annually. The latest publication, from January 2021, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-funding-statistics#dataBlock-10b3bbd5-58b1-401d-9aaf-9daaa184a6df-tables. A breakdown of the published school funding statistics for 11–16-year-olds specifically is not available.

The majority of schools' revenue funding is allocated through the schools national funding formula (NFF). As part of the NFF, a “Secondary Unit of Funding” is calculated for each local authority which determines the amount of funding allocated to local authorities in respect of secondary pupils through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). This is published annually and the most recent was published in July 2020 for the financial year 2021-22, when the average Secondary Unit of Funding was £5,934.86: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2021-to-2022.

The secondary unit of funding does not include premises funding and growth funding that is allocated through the DSG, nor does it include funding through other grants such as the pupil premium. Furthermore, local authorities can set their own local funding formulae, so the amount of funding received by schools in respect of 11-16 pupils in their 2021-22 budgets may be different.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average per pupil funding was for 16 to 19 year olds in (a) further education colleges and (b) other colleges and schools in each of the last five years.

The table below uses the published 16-19 funding allocations to derive the average funding per student for further education (FE) colleges, and all other types of providers, from 2016/17 and the subsequent four academic years.

Average total programme funding per student £

Provider type

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

FE colleges

£4,623

£4,627

£4,653

£4,674

£5,111

Other providers

£4,386

£4,370

£4,390

£4,392

£4,840

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what methodology his Department uses to calculate the allocation of devices to schools to facilitate remote working.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

The laptops and tablets are an injection of support to help schools, academy trusts and local authorities to provide access to remote education and online social care. Schools, colleges, academy trusts, and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

The Department has based allocations on estimates of the need of disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 using data on the number of pupils eligible for Free School Meals data and external estimates of the number of devices that schools already own.

We have extended support to disadvantaged 16-to-19 year olds, including those in further education. Schools with sixth forms, colleges and other further education institutions are being invited to order laptops and tablets to further support disadvantaged students to access remote education.

Where schools need additional devices, in order to support disadvantaged children, they should contact the Department’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of children who require support and an explanation of how they’ve gathered this evidence.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Jan 2021
What assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on (a) the attainment gap and (b) children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Understanding the impact of COVID-19 disruption is a key priority for the Government.

The Department has commissioned an independent research agency to analyse catch-up needs and monitor progress over this academic year. This research is based on a large sample of pupils and will identify whether particular groups of pupils have been more affected by time out of school – including the most disadvantaged, those with historically poor outcomes, and those in particular areas.

The Government is providing a £1 billion catch-up programme, including a ‘Catch-up Premium’ of £650 million, to help address lost teaching time and support pupils’ social and emotional needs. Additionally, the £350 million National Tutoring Programme is an ambitious scheme that will provide additional, targeted tuition support for disadvantaged pupils who need the most help to catch-up.

The Department is working with the Department of Health and Social Care to understand the impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing. Public Health England is monitoring the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including on children and young people, and have published a report about population mental health and wellbeing in England during the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-mental-health-and-wellbeing-surveillance-report.

The Department will also be convening a task force to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system and we will confirm the next steps in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students are studying a (a) T-level and (b) non-T-level study programme on a full-time basis in the 2020-21 academic year.

Figures showing numbers of students aged 16-18 participating in T levels and other study programmes (at end 2020), will be published in the June 2021 release 'Participation in Education, Training and Employment 2020'.

44 providers are now teaching the first three T levels. We have been monitoring T level recruitment closely and are confident that a viable cohort of young people will benefit from taking these new, high quality qualifications, leaving them in a great position to move into skilled employment or further training.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average programme funding per student is for 16 to 19 year olds studying a (a) T-level and (b) non-T-level study programme on a full-time basis in the 2020-21 academic year.

The base funding rate for a full time student (band 5) on a non T level study programme is £4,188 in the current academic year.

For this academic year, the first three T levels are funded in the medium T level band (band 7), which attracts a base funding rate of £5,061 per student, per year. T level students attract a higher funding rate as T levels include more teaching hours. In addition, industry placements are a compulsory element of T levels, which we are funding at £275 per student, for each of the two years of the T level.

The overall average funding per student will be determined by the national 16-19 funding formula and will reflect the characteristics of the students, courses, and institutions.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will extend eligibility for the £1 billion Covid-19 catch-up funding to students studying in sixth form colleges.

It is our ambition that all pupils and students have the chance to make up for lost education. Where breaks in learning have been required, we want to ensure that learners can resume their ‘classroom’ learning and continue to a successful completion.

For many students in post-16 education, we know that remote learning has been working well. We are currently looking at how we can best support 16-19 providers to help their learners catch up and we will provide more details soon.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my hon. Friend, Chloe Smith gave on 12 June 2020 to Question 54314.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support UK universities affected by reduced international recruitment as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We understand that the COVID-19 outbreak and a possible reduction in the number of international students poses significant financial challenges to the sector and are extremely grateful for the work that universities are doing in response.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an unprecedented package of support. This support includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a range of business loan schemes to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. We recently confirmed universities’ eligibility for these schemes.

We are also working closely with the sector, the Office for Students and across the government to understand the financial risks that providers are facing and to stabilise the admissions system and help providers to access the support on offer.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support universities to prevent digital poverty amongst students during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Higher education (HE) providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. When making changes to the delivery of their courses, HE providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Where students do not have access to the Internet, a computer at home, or cannot afford to purchase it, the expectation is that HE providers will provide support through their own hardship funds

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will increase funding for schools in Luton schools in 2020.

The Government is increasing school funding nationally by £14 billion over the next three years. Funding will increase by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, followed by increases of £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively, compared to 2019-20.

The Department will continue to distribute this funding through the National Funding Formula, which ensures that funding is based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. This will ensure that per pupil funding for every school can at least rise in line with inflation next year and faster than inflation for most.

In 2020-21, Luton will attract an additional £5.5 million in total cash funding in its schools block – a 3.1% increase compared to this year. This will take Luton’s total cash funding up to £181.4 million. In addition, Luton will receive £33 million in its high needs block to help support children with complex special educational needs – a cash increase of £4.5 million.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Mar 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on tackling food poverty and insecurity during lockdown.

The Ministerial Taskforce I chaired has helped put in place support for the most vulnerable in our society throughout this pandemic. Whilst initially concerned with physical access to food during lockdown, we quickly shifted focus to tackling economic insecurities. This work carries on across the Government, and will continue to be a priority this year, and we look forward to responding to Henry Dimbleby’s review of our food strategy.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 54314 on 12 June 2020.

[https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-03/54314/]

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of her Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 54314 on 11 June 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2020
What recent discussions she has had with the UK's trade partners on protecting International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

While the details?of?free trade agreements?are?reserved?for formal negotiations,?HM Government has been clear that?increased trade does not have to come at the expense of?our high?labour standards.?The United Kingdom?is an active member of the International Labour Organisation and we?will?continue to uphold our world-leading standards and?international?commitments.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May to Question 43779, in how many multi-hub locations employees of her Department are working together with employees of another department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what those other departments or agencies are; and in which locations that work is taking place.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 54314 on 12th June 2020.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department is having with the Department of Health and Social Care on the red list travel restriction-status of (a) Pakistan and (b) Bangladesh.

The Department for Transport works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and other government departments on matters related to international travel. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account Joint Biosecurity Centre risk assessments of countries and territories, alongside wider public health factors.

These are intended to be temporary measures and the government keeps data for countries and territories under regular review.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to next review the covid-19 travel restrictions placed on (a) Pakistan and (b) Bangladesh.

The government keeps data for countries and territories under regular review, and country allocations under the traffic light system are reviewed every three weeks, unless concerning evidence means we need to act faster to protect public health. The next review of country allocations will happen before 1 October 2021.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the Airport and Ground Operations Support scheme to cover business rates for 2021-22.

Government stands ready to support companies during this pandemic. Companies can draw upon a package of measures, including the Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme (AGOSS) which opened for applications on 29 January to provide support to eligible businesses, covering the equivalent of their business rates liabilities or COVID 19 losses – whichever is lower – in financial year 2020/21, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time.

My Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced this week that we are renewing the Airports and Ground Operations Support Scheme for a further six months from the start of 2021-22.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many meetings he has had with representatives of the aviation industry to discuss the planned Aviation Recovery Package.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Department for Transport has engaged very regularly with the industry, including through both Ministerial meetings and official led sessions.

As announced on 22nd February as part of the roadmap for the phased lifting of restrictions in England, the Secretary of State for Transport will also now lead a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce to develop a framework that can facilitate greater international travel when the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.

The government is also developing a forward looking strategic framework on the recovery of the sector, which we will engage with the industry on and will publish later this year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the wider economy of the downturn in the aviation industry as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Before Covid-19, aviation directly contributed at least £22 billion to GDP to the UK economy and supported around half a million jobs. This included the air transport and aerospace sectors, as well as the wider supply chain. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the aviation sector has been one of the worst affected sectors in the UK. Passenger numbers at UK airports fell by 99% at the height of the pandemic. Overall volumes of flight traffic in the UK is currently around 80% below equivalent 2019 levels. The air transport sector’s contribution to the UK economy dropped by 74% in 2020 compared to 2019 and tens of thousands of redundancy notifications have been made. In addition to the direct impact to the UK air transport sector, the wider supply-chain and economy has also been adversely impacted by the severe reduction in air passenger demand, jobs and air connectivity, with impacts on consumer spending and investment across the rest of the economy.

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to publish the UK's aviation contingency strategy in the event the UK leaves the EU without a a deal on the future relationship.

We have agreed a deal with the EU that provides the rights for UK and EU airlines to fly directly between the UK and EU, Covid restrictions allowing. This provides the air connectivity that is so vital for connecting people and businesses, facilitating tourism and trade.

This agreement means that UK and EU contingency measures for air transport are not required.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the recent £1 billion reduction in Network Rail railway enhancement budget for Control Period 6, what the (a) regions and (b) locations are of the specific planned schemes affected by that matter.

We continue to deliver ambitious improvements, investing in key priorities including the Transpennine Route Upgrade, restoring lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts and in HS2, with an unrelenting focus on levelling up our country and ensuring all communities have the connections they need to support growth and prosperity.

In terms of impacts on individual schemes, it remains the case that no schemes have been cancelled nor formal investment decisions taken as a result of the Spending Review. We are currently working with Network Rail to agree a new baseline for the portfolio that fits with the new funding envelope.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the planned schemes affected by the recent £1 billion reduction in Network Rail railway enhancement budget for Control Period 6, (a) when those schemes were due to start, and (b) whether contracts with contractors and suppliers had already been signed.

We continue to deliver ambitious improvements, investing in key priorities including the Transpennine Route Upgrade, restoring lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts and in HS2, with an unrelenting focus on levelling up our country and ensuring all communities have the connections they need to support growth and prosperity.

In terms of impacts on individual schemes, it remains the case that no schemes have been cancelled nor formal investment decisions taken as a result of the Spending Review. We are currently working with Network Rail to agree a new baseline for the portfolio that fits with the new funding envelope.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £1 billion reduction in Network Rail railway enhancement budget for Control Period 6, what discussions Network Rail executives had, prior to the Spending Review settlement, with (a) his Department and (b) HM Treasury.

The Spending Review involved a considerable amount of detailed discussions between the Department, Network Rail and HM Treasury. As a consequence, Network Rail were heavily involved throughout the Spending Review negotiations, with both the Department and HM Treasury.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the £1 billion reduction in Network Rail railway enhancement budget for Control Period 6 on (a) frequency and reliability of affected services, (b) jobs in Network Rail and the wider supply chain and (c) the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan and carbon reduction targets.

There are no current train services that have been impacted by the outcome of the Spending Review. The Spending Review has not cancelled delivery of any improvement works.

The Spending Review confirmed that the government is supporting the railway and we will continue investing in ambitious improvements to modernise it. We are currently working with Network Rail to agree a new baseline for the portfolio that fits with the new funding envelope. As such we are not yet in a position to fully assess the impact on Network Rail jobs and/ or the wider supply chain.

Furthermore, decarbonisation remains central to investment being made in Rail.

We are committed to building a railway that is greener and fit for the future and that is why we continue to look at ways to decarbonise our network in a way that makes best use of taxpayers funding.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State with responsibility for aviation plans to reply to the letter of 10 September 2020 from the hon. Member for Luton South on Luton's aviation sector.

The Department aims to respond to Invitation requests as soon as practicable. The Department responded to your letter on 22nd September to seek suitable dates for a meeting.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 54314 on 12 June 2020.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Luton South dated 11 February 2020 on investment in Luton Railway Station.

The Secretary of State has asked me in my capacity as Rail Minister to meet with the hon. Member to discuss this investment.

My Private Office has contacted the Member for Luton South’s office and has arranged a mutually convenient date for us to meet to discuss this issue.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what funding has been allocated to improve Luton railway station; and how that funding compares to investment in railway stations in the (a) East of England and (b) UK.

The Department does not hold information on spending on stations in the East of England. Luton station is due to benefit from a share of the £300million Access for All funding. Subject to a feasible design being identified, the station will receive a step free route from the station entrance, to and between all platforms. Luton station has been in the Access for All programme for a number of years, but Network Rail (NR) have been unable to secure Luton Borough Council (LBC) approval for any of their proposed designs.

Furthermore, as part of GTR’s May 2018 Passenger Benefit Fund, Luton was allocated £80,000. Following the passenger consultation last year, toilet refurbishments have been approved at this station. I look forward to meeting with my honourable Friend later this month to discuss this issue further.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to improve Luton train station.

Luton station is due to benefit from a share of the £300m Access for All funding. Subject to a feasible design being identified, the station will receive a step free route from the station entrance, to and between all platforms. The project is due to complete by 2024 at the latest.

Furthermore, as part of GTR’s May 2018 Passenger Benefit Fund, Luton was allocated £80,000. Following the passenger consultation last year, we are assessing the feasibility of the schemes passengers have suggested and will be making a decision on taking these forward shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to reform the National Insurance number application process.

The Department is in the process of reforming the National insurance number (NINo) process and has developed a digital application service.

From 28th April 2021 all employment inspired NINo applicants can make their initial request for a NINo online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

For applicants who have been through an Identity verification process with another government department they are no longer required to attend a face to face identity appointment.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has made an assessment of whether an online application process for a National Insurance number would improve efficiency.

The Department is in the process of reforming the National insurance number (NINo) process and has developed a digital application service.

From 28th April 2021 all employment inspired NINo applicants can make their initial request for a NINo online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

For applicants who have been through an Identity verification process with another government department they are no longer required to attend a face to face identity appointment.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many formal complaints her Department received on the national insurance number application process in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

The Department is unable to provide this information, as to do so would incur disproportionate costs.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of her Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

DWP does not occupy any locations in London that are managed by the Government Property Agency.

I refer you to the answer given by my hon. Friend at the Cabinet Office, PQ54314

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new universal credit applications have been made by Luton South constituents since 23 March 2020.

The information requested is not readily available at constituency level and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support Luton Borough Council to reduce child poverty in Luton South constituency.

The Government is committed to delivering a sustainable long-term solution to child poverty, including reforming the benefits system so that it supports employment and higher pay. Tackling child poverty requires an approach that goes beyond targets, which focus on income alone, to one that addresses the root causes of poverty and disadvantage and improves long-term outcomes for families and children.

The approach we are taking goes beyond focus on income alone. We are seeing to address the root causes of poverty and improve long-term outcome from families and children with a particular focus on parental employment and children’s educational attainment – the two areas that we know can make the biggest difference.

Through our network of Jobcentres, the Department is taking a range of action to support disadvantaged groups, working closely with employers and partners in their local community to provide opportunities to help them move closer and into employment. Examples from Luton include employability and confidence building courses for lone parents, a Domestic Abuse forum involving a range of local stakeholders including the Samaritans and Women’s Aid in Luton, hosted by the Jobcentre; and support for people with English as a second language, including a bespoke course specifically aimed at women.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will implement a plan to improve maternal outcomes for Black women.

The Chief Midwifery Officer, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, is leading work to understand why mortality rates are higher, consider evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and take action to improve equity in outcomes for mothers and their babies. NHS England and NHS Improvement are also working to develop an equity strategy that will focus on reducing disparities for women and their babies from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and those living in the most deprived areas.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring that by 2024, 75% of BAME groups and a similar proportion of women who live in the most deprived areas, will receive continuity of care from their midwife throughout pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is going to implement the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights Eleventh Report of Session 2019–21, Black people, racism and human rights, relating to Black Maternal Health.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights report recommends that the Government introduces a target to end the disparity in maternal mortality between black and white women.

Work is being undertaken by the Chief Midwifery Officer for England to understand why mortality rates are higher, consider evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and take action to improve equity in outcomes and experience of care for mothers and their babies. Research is also being carried by the Policy Research Unit in Maternal and Neonatal Health and Care at the University of Oxford to better understand the reasons for any disparity, assess local variation and also identify areas with less disparity and hence best practice. The Department does not plan to introduce a target to reduce inequalities in maternity outcomes in England whilst this work takes place.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Professor Van-Tam's comments at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday 19 May, whether his Department plans to roll out turbo-boosted vaccination across areas that exhibit levels of enduring covid-19 transmission.

We have implemented measures at record pace to get on top of the B1.617.2 variant and control the spread. We have already implemented targeted new activity to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst eligible cohorts in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen in order to support this move. We are now extending this activity to Bedford, Hounslow, Burnley, Leicester, Kirklees and North Tyneside. The areas chosen for targeted new activity to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst eligible cohorts were chosen on the basis of them being areas with enduring transmission where higher cases have persisted, and vaccination uptake rates are lower.

In order to ensure people across the United Kingdom have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity, appointments for a second dose of the vaccine has now been brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those in cohorts 1-9 who are yet to receive their second dose.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Professor Van-Tam's comments to a Downing Street press conference on 19 May 2021, what criteria he plans to use to prioritise areas for turbo-boosted vaccinations.

We have implemented measures at record pace to get on top of the B1.617.2 variant and control the spread. We have already implemented targeted new activity to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst eligible cohorts in Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen in order to support this move. We are now extending this activity to Bedford, Hounslow, Burnley, Leicester, Kirklees and North Tyneside. The areas chosen for targeted new activity to accelerate vaccine uptake amongst eligible cohorts were chosen on the basis of them being areas with enduring transmission where higher cases have persisted, and vaccination uptake rates are lower.

In order to ensure people across the United Kingdom have the strongest possible protection from the virus at an earlier opportunity, appointments for a second dose of the vaccine has now been brought forward from 12 to 8 weeks for those in cohorts 1-9 who are yet to receive their second dose.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to allocate a proportion of the Spending Review 2020 commitments to tackle (a) diagnostic and (b) treatment backlogs in cancer services.

The Spending Review 2020 confirmed an additional £3 billion for the National Health Service on top of the long-term settlement, to support the recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Cancer patients will continue to be prioritised with the NHS and will benefit from the approximately £1 billion to begin tackling the elective backlog and approximately £1.5 billion to help ease existing pressures caused by COVID-19. This package will be supported by £325 million capital funding for diagnostics, to replace over two thirds of imaging equipment over 10 years old.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the guidance provided to healthcare professionals administering the covid-19 vaccine states that they should inform patients of the impact alcohol can have on the vaccine's efficacy.

There is no specific period of time post vaccination during which people should not consume alcohol.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who have received a covid-19 vaccine should not consume alcohol for a specified period of time post-vaccination.

There is no specific period of time post vaccination during which people should not consume alcohol.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983.

We have committed to publishing a White Paper which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and pave the way for reform of the Act. We will publish our White Paper as soon as it is possible to do so. We will consult publicly on our proposals and will bring forward a Bill to amend the Act when parliamentary time allows.
Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

The Department does not have any employees in London located in properties managed by the Government Property Agency.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
What steps the Government is taking to introduce a new (a) living wage and (b) financial settlement for social care workers.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities to address the pressures on local services caused by the pandemic. This funding can be used to cover the cost of pay for care workers who are currently unable to work because they may be shielding (if they are among the clinically extremely vulnerable) or self-isolating – and this has been included in guidance to local authorities.

My department is working with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to confirm that funding provided to local authorities has been distributed to social care providers, and on to the workforce, in accordance with this guidance.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the British companies manufacturing personal protective equipment for European countries on the production of that equipment for the UK.

We have allowed personal protective equipment (PPE) exports by private companies where such exports do not undermine the level of PPE within the United Kingdom, and no PPE has been issued from pandemic supplies to other countries.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government effort by British industry to manufacture PPE. The Government is currently in contact with over 350 potential UK manufacturers and has signed contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers. More new manufacturers are expected to commit to producing PPE in the coming weeks.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate the Government has made of the number of items of personal protective equipment that will be procured for use in the UK by the end of April.

The combined DIT, FCO and DHSC efforts have resulted in DHSC ordering over 28.7 billion items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), direct from new relationships with suppliers in source countries; and to build up UK manufacturing this includes signed contracts to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers.

The Government has rapidly processed over 24,000 cases from over 15,000 suppliers to ensure they meet the safety and quality standards that our NHS staff need, as well as prioritising offers of larger volumes. The Government has so far actively engaged with over 99% of the companies that have offered PPE and has contracted with over 175 new suppliers able to deliver at the scale and pace the UK requires.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many businesses based in Luton South have (a) made offers to his Department to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment and (b) received orders from his Department to manufacture that equipment.

The Department does not hold the information in the format requested, identifiable to a specific location.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. The Department has entered into contract and placed orders with several manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Morocco claims sovereignty over all of Western Sahara.

That is a matter for the Government of Morocco. As the Foreign Secretary stated on 11 December 2020, the UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/israel-and-morocco-uk-responds-to-announcement-of-normalisation.

The UK supports UN-led efforts to achieve a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. We note the UN's position on the status of Western Sahara, which is set out on its website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/nsgt/western-sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the joint communication issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention addressed to Morocco, expressing serious concerns about the human rights' violations committed against the Sahrawi people in the occupied territories of Western Sahara; and if he will make a statement.

Human rights is a UK priority around the world and we raise human rights issues with Morocco accordingly. The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined. We have consistently supported language in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions which encourages the parties to continue their efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the UN Security Council on a timetable for the referendum of self-determination in Western Sahara.

The UK fully supports UN-led efforts, as made clear in UNSCR 2548, to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. We strongly support the UN Secretary-General's efforts to appoint a Personal Envoy at the earliest opportunity so that consultations between the parties can resume.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Moroccan Ambassador on a referendum on (a) independence from, and (b) integration of Morocco in Western Sahara.

The UK fully supports UN-led efforts, as made clear in UNSCR 2548, to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. We strongly support the UN Secretary-General's efforts to appoint a Personal Envoy at the earliest opportunity so that consultations between the parties can resume.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 128695, what response his Department has received from the Israeli authorities on their investigation into the death of 15-year old Ali Abu Alia; and if he will make further representations to progress a conclusion in this case.

We continue to urge Israel to ensure that its investigation into this case is swift and comprehensive. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Iranian counterparts on reports of members of the Baha’i community being denied access to university through the Iranian state university application process; and if he will make a statement.

We remain deeply concerned by the continuing systematic discrimination, harassment and targeting of the Baha'i community in Iran, including that members of the community are being denied access to university. The Government continues to raise our concerns on this and other persistent human rights violations with Iran.

On 26 October, we made a statement on this matter, during the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. We called on Iran to ensure members of all religious and ethnic groups are treated equally before the law and allowed to participate fully in society.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the employment position is of non-UK national staff who were transferred from the Department for International Development to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

All former DFID staff who are non-UK nationals transferred to the FCDO in their existing roles on 2 September 2020. Further work is underway to agree a long term policy for the FCDO on reserved and unreserved roles, and impacted staff will be communicated with as soon as possible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many fixed-term contract workers there are in his Department by (a) gender, (b) age group and (c) ethnicity.

As of the 30 June 2020, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) had the following percentages of fixed-term contract workers in the department:

  • by gender: Women 57.6%, Men 42.4%
  • by age:

Age

Percentage of Fixed Term Contract Workers

18-29

70.5%

30-39

17.0%

40-49

7.0%

50-59

4.3%

* 60+

-

  • c) by ethnicity:

Ethnic minority

29.3%

White

59.6%

Do not wish to declare

11.1%

Home Civil Service and Diplomatic Service staff employed on a Fixed Term Contract.

*Numbers of 5 or less have been suppressed in order to comply with the GDPR.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he plans to take to ensure that staff in his Department who are non-UK nationals and transferred into his Department as a result of the machinery of Government change will have the same rights and opportunities as other staff.

Further work is underway to agree a long term policy for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on reserved and unreserved roles. This will take account of the considerations around reserved posts as set out in the Civil Service Nationality Rules to ensure the FCDO continues to have access to world class talent and provides varied career paths whilst meeting the necessary security and nationality requirements.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department are employed on a fixed-term contract.

As of 1 September 2020, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office had between 340 and 359 full-time equivalent Home Civil Service & Diplomatic Service staff employed on a Fixed Term Contract.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether an equality impact assessment has been undertaken on the decision to withdraw the opportunity of permanent jobs for fixed-term contact staff in his Department.

The potential diversity impact of the decision not to offer opportunities for permanent employment to current fixed-term contract staff was discussed at length by the Joint Executive Committee of DFID and FCO. As such, the Public Sector Equality Duty was met.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the (a) gender, (b) age group and (c) ethnicity breakdown is of non-UK nationals employed in his Department.

The breakdown of FCDO's non-UK national employees, as at 31 August 2020, is set out in the tables below.

Age group

No. of Staff

Under 35

61

35 - 44

63

45 - 54

23

55+

8

Total

155

Ethnicity

No. of Staff

BAME

20

Not declared/ Prefer not to say

64

White

71

Total

155

Gender

No. of Staff

Female

102

Male

53

Total

155

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many of the fixed-term contract staff in his Department have gone through (a) the deep vetting process, (b) language training and (b) other professional training; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each of those processes.

The FCDO's vetting provider, UKSV, charges £1371 for an initial DV clearance. A small number of FTC officers hold DV clearance but, for security reasons, we are not able to provide a total figure as this may make individuals identifiable.

Language and professional training information for fixed-term contract staff is not held centrally and to compile this information would incur disproportionate cost. We can however confirm that no fixed-term contract staff have received full-time language training.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations his Department has made to the Chinese authorities on reports of the mass sterilisation of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang; and if he will make a statement.

As I set out during an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on 29 June, we are seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We are aware of reports of forced sterilisation of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, which would amount to a gross violation of human rights. We are closely monitoring all available evidence, and have raised the issue with Chinese officials. On 28 July, the Foreign Secretary expressed his serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang to his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Answer given to PQ 54314 on 12 June 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much emergency funding he plans to allocate to the British Council to enable that organisation to continue operating and paying staff after May 2020.

The FCO remains committed to the British Council, who are a key driver of our soft power overseas and a precious part of the FCO family. In order to help stabilise their immediate financial position following the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to operate, we agreed to provide the British Council with £26m of additional funding for the 2019-20 financial year. We have also provided some of their 2020-21 Grant-in-Aid funding upfront this month to further alleviate pressures.

The FCO have also supported the British Council in accessing wider government relief available through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and similar schemes in other countries. This will help them support many of their workforce, and those employed through its partners, funded through the commercial side of their business. We will continue to work closely with the British Council in the coming days and weeks to address the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to operate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of funding required from the Government to enable the British Council to continue to operate following the reduction in the income of that organisation as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The FCO remains committed to the British Council, who are a key driver of our soft power overseas and a precious part of the FCO family. In order to help stabilise their immediate financial position following the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to operate, we agreed to provide the British Council with £26m of additional funding for the 2019-20 financial year. We have also provided some of their 2020-21 Grant-in-Aid funding upfront this month to further alleviate pressures.

The FCO have also supported the British Council in accessing wider government relief available through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and similar schemes in other countries. This will help them support many of their workforce, and those employed through its partners, funded through the commercial side of their business. We will continue to work closely with the British Council in the coming days and weeks to address the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to operate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to protect the future of British Council by providing emergency funding to that organisation until its income from English teaching abroad has returned to the level it was prior to the covid-19 pandemic.

The FCO remains committed to the British Council, who are a key driver of our soft power overseas and a precious part of the FCO family. In order to help stabilise their immediate financial position following the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to operate, we agreed to provide the British Council with £26m of additional funding for the 2019-20 financial year. We have also provided some of their 2020-21 Grant-in-Aid funding upfront this month to further alleviate pressures.

The FCO have also supported the British Council in accessing wider government relief available through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and similar schemes in other countries. This will help them support many of their workforce, and those employed through its partners, funded through the commercial side of their business. We will continue to work closely with the British Council in the coming days and weeks to address the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to operate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the British Council is not required to reduce the (a) wages of its staff and (b) number of jobs in that organisation as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The FCO remains committed to the British Council, who are a key driver of our soft power overseas and a precious part of the FCO family. In order to help stabilise their immediate financial position following the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to operate, we agreed to provide the British Council with £26m of additional funding for the 2019-20 financial year. We have also provided some of their 2020-21 Grant-in-Aid funding upfront this month to further alleviate pressures.

The FCO have also supported the British Council in accessing wider government relief available through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and similar schemes in other countries. This will help them support many of their workforce, and those employed through its partners, funded through the commercial side of their business. We will continue to work closely with the British Council in the coming days and weeks to address the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to operate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Yemen on expediting the release of Hamed bin Haydara from prison following his pardon granted on 25 March 2020.

We are monitoring the case of Hamed bin Haydara closely. On 25 March the Houthis announced that they would release Mr Haydara and his fellow wrongfully detained Baha'i, but we have seen no further action since then. I made public my concerns on 22 April, urging the Houthis to release all political prisoners without delay. We strongly condemn the death sentence and the continued persecution of the Baha'i in Yemen for their religious beliefs. We meet often with the Baha'i representatives in London who keep us updated on the situation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond 30 April 2021 to protect viable jobs in the aviation sector.

The Government will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs at Budget 2021.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Luton South of 24 November 2020 on pay in the civil service and related bodies.

The letter received on 24th November 2020 regarding Civil Service pay concerned a petition in the name of Francesca Heathcote. The government responded to this petition in the debate on the 14th December 2020.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Luton South of 24 November 2020 on pay in the civil service and related bodies.

The Member’s correspondence is receiving attention in line with the Cabinet Office’s guidelines for responding to Ministerial correspondence within 20 working days. HM Treasury will have a response with the member in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employers who have a contractual obligation to pay 100 per cent of employees’ salaries can fulfil this obligation whilst accessing the Job Support Scheme.

The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect jobs in businesses which are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. Further guidance on eligibility will be published shortly.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on protecting access to cash.

The Government remains committed to legislating on cash as announced by the Chancellor at March 2020 Budget. The legislation will ensure continued access to cash for those that rely on it and that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long-term.

The Treasury is working at pace to develop this legislation, and is engaging closely with the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England, including through the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to ensure its approach to legislation reflects the needs of cash users across the economy. The authorities are also currently leading an ambitious programme of work with industry to reach consensus on cash access solutions in line with the Government’s objectives.

The Government and regulators are monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 closely, including monitoring the impacts on cash access, and working with industry so that banks, building societies, credit unions and Post Offices maintain essential banking services as needed, including cash access.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has undertaken an impact assessment of the covid-19 pandemic’s effect on access to cash for (a) disabled and (b) elderly people.

The Government remains committed to legislating on cash as announced by the Chancellor at March 2020 Budget. The legislation will ensure continued access to cash for those that rely on it and that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable in the long-term.

The Treasury is working at pace to develop this legislation, and is engaging closely with the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England, including through the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to ensure its approach to legislation reflects the needs of cash users across the economy. The authorities are also currently leading an ambitious programme of work with industry to reach consensus on cash access solutions in line with the Government’s objectives.

The Government and regulators are monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 closely, including monitoring the impacts on cash access, and working with industry so that banks, building societies, credit unions and Post Offices maintain essential banking services as needed, including cash access.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that furloughed employees of umbrella companies receive a payment that is 80 per cent of the income that they received before the covid-19 outbreak.

Since the Government announced the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), over 8.9m jobs have been furloughed, helping over 1 million employers keep people in employment.

The CJRS covers employees on any type of contract and is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020, provided that HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020. Where agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies) are paid through PAYE, they are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through the scheme.

Depending on the circumstances, either the agency or umbrella company can apply through CJRS for a grant that covers 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

Further guidance for employers and employees can be found on GOV.UK.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 54314 on 12 June 2020.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has plans to provide additional support to people with private pension schemes that have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The government continues to consider appropriate actions that it can take to protect both the public and the economy from the impacts of COVID-19. We have already introduced a range of measure to support businesses and individuals, ensure financial stability and reinforce social safety nets.

We recognise that the value of investments may have fallen, including those held in private pensions. However, investments are for the long term and the government does not believe there are proportionate interventions to be made at this time.

On 1 April the Financial Conduct Authority, Pensions Regulator and the Money and Pensions Service published a joint statement urging savers to take their time when making financial decisions, and to visit the Pensions Advisory Service website for free pensions guidance before making any decisions about their retirement savings.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons the Government extended the eligibility date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 19 March 2020 and not 31 March 2020.

The Government has prioritised help for the greatest number of people as quickly as possible through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will enable millions of people to remain employed. 19 March 2020 has been chosen as the cut-off date for the CJRS as this date is just before the scheme was announced (20 March). Extending the cut-off date beyond 20 March would significantly slow down the system while risking substantial levels of fraud.

Those not eligible for this grant may have access to other Government support, including a package of temporary welfare measures and up to three months’ mortgage payment holidays for those in difficulty with mortgage payments.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme's eligibility cut-off date from 19 March to 31 March 2020.

The Government has prioritised help for the greatest number of people as quickly as possible through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will enable millions of people to remain employed. 19 March 2020 has been chosen as the cut-off date for the CJRS as this date is just before the scheme was announced (20 March). Extending the cut-off date beyond 20 March would significantly slow down the system while risking substantial levels of fraud.

Those not eligible for this grant may have access to other Government support, including a package of temporary welfare measures and up to three months’ mortgage payment holidays for those in difficulty with mortgage payments.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme takes into account (a) wage fluctuation over a period of 6 months and (b) basic income, (c) additional income, (d) overtime payments, (e) commission and (f) pension contributions when calculating 80 per cent of a wage.

The Government seeks, as far as possible, to protect people’s jobs and incomes. This is an unprecedented jobs retention scheme and the Government has been working hard to set out further details on the scheme. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. Full details can be found in the guidance available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme, which provides answers to these questions.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Mar 2021
What steps her Department is taking to protect vulnerable children from county lines drugs networks.

We are determined to roll up county lines and protect vulnerable children from this harmful form of exploitation.

Through our £25m county lines programme we have already seen 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

We have also increased investment in dedicated one-to-one support for county lines victims and their families.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average working days lost was for civil servants who (a) have declared themselves as having a disability, and (b) have not declared themselves to have a disability in her Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The average working days lost was for Home Office members of staff who (a) have declared themselves as having a disability, and (b) have not declared themselves to have a disability

AWDL

Disability

Mar-19

Mar-20

Disabled

13.39

12.86

Not Disabled

6.35

6.98

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average working days lost was for civil servants (a) from BAME backgrounds and (b) recording themselves as White in her Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The average working days lost was for Home Office members of staff (a) from BAME backgrounds and (b) recording themselves as White for 2019 and 2020 is provided in the table below.

AWDL

Ethnicity

Mar-19

Mar-20

BAME

8.70

8.97

White

6.60

7.18

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

The average working days lost was for (a) female and (b) male Home Office staff for 2019 and 2020 is provided in the table below

AWDL

Gender

Mar-19

Mar-20

Female

8.38

8.86

Male

5.70

6.21

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average working days lost was for civil servants aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 31 to 50, (c) 51 to 60, and (d) over 60 in her Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The average working days lost was for Home Office members of staff aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 31 to 50, (c) 51 to 60, and (d) over 60 for 2019 and 2020 is provided in the table below.

AWDL

Age Band

Mar-19

Mar-20

16-24

3.95

5.19

25-29

5.08

6.31

30-34

7.04

7.25

35-39

6.35

7.58

40-44

6.94

6.90

45-49

7.19

7.71

50-54

7.44

7.43

55-59

8.33

8.65

60-64

9.82

10.01

65+

11.03

13.70

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to verify that people travelling to the UK comply with quarantine measures by staying at a specified address.

Unless they fall into an exempt category, anyone travelling to the UK should complete a Passenger Locator Form that specifies where they will be self-isolating. Border Force officers carry out spot checks at the border to ensure this form is completed

Public Health England undertake assurance calls against those not exempt from quarantine arrangements. In cases of concern or where they haven’t been able to reach a passenger, the details are passed to Border Force, who undertake further scrutiny of the data before passing the details to the police for enforcement action. The devolved administrations have their own individual arrangements for enforcement and access to the data captured by the Passenger Locator Form.

Anyone found failing to comply with the quarantine measures may be liable to a fixed penalty notice of £1000 in England.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department is providing to people travelling to the UK without access to quarantine accommodation.

Guidance for traveling to the UK and how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK can be found on the.gov.uk website at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support is available to people who have travelled to the UK without quarantine accommodation.

We have been clear that people should arrange their accommodation before they travel to the UK and the vast majority of travellers have complied.

For the small minority who don’t, the Government will support them in finding appropriate accommodation, upon arrival, and this will be at their own expense.

In the scenario where an arrival presents (at the UK border) as symptomatic, and they do not have suitable accommodation, they will be housed in a government facility for the duration of their self-isolation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, in how many multi-hub locations employees of her Department are working together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

Employees in the Home Office are working together with other Departments in one multi-hub location in London, where the site is managed by the Government Property Agency. The address is Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London EC4Y 8AE.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has undertaken an assessment of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people who have no recourse to public funds.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home, and I can assure you that the applications are being dealt with swiftly and compassionately.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and therefore are available to migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We therefore do not believe it is necessary to suspend the NRPF condition.

The Coronavirus job retention scheme, self-employment income support and statutory sick pay are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Contribution-based benefits are also not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Additionally, measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain.

Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

More information on the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to suspend the no recourse to public funds status during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home, and I can assure you that the applications are being dealt with swiftly and compassionately.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and therefore are available to migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). We therefore do not believe it is necessary to suspend the NRPF condition.

The Coronavirus job retention scheme, self-employment income support and statutory sick pay are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Contribution-based benefits are also not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Additionally, measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain.

Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

More information on the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the UK meets its obligation to reunite child refugees with family members in the UK where their applications have been accepted.

The UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin III Regulation. The Regulation makes it very clear that once a take charge request has been accepted for an unaccompanied child, the transfer is the responsibility of the requesting State.

Despite covid-19 restrictions the UK remains ready to accept transfers under Dublin whenever Member States are in a position to make those arrangements. We are continuing to liaise with our counterparts in Member States so that we can effect transfers as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle anti-social behaviour in Luton.

We recognise the impact that anti-social behaviour can have on victims, which is why we reformed the powers available to tackle it through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Act provides police and local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour.

The powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the circumstances. We keep anti-social behaviour policy under review through the Anti-social Behaviour Strategic Board which brings together key partners.

It is for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, as operational leaders and elected local representatives, to decide how best to respond to individual crimes and local crime priorities but to help ensure that the police have the resources they need to do so, we are recruiting 20,000 officers over the next three years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average working days lost was for civil servants aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 31 to 50, (c) 51 to 60 and (d) over 60 in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested and will therefore need verification before release. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

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

The information is not held in the format requested and will therefore need verification before release. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average working days lost was for civil servants (a) from BAME backgrounds and (b) recording themselves as White in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested and will therefore need verification before release. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average working days lost was for (a) female and (b) male civil servants in his Department in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested and will therefore need verification before release. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK-based staff working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission overseas are not financially adversely affected as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is actively supporting those personnel who are working on UK-based contracts within the European Union (EU), to ensure that new arrangements are in place before the transition period from exiting the EU ends in 2021. Discussions are ongoing and the Commission is committed to ensuring that its personnel have a choice of remaining in the EU on appropriate local terms or returning to work in the UK. There are 30 UK personnel employed by the Commission who are permanently based in Belgium and France, as part of a wider workforce of around 550.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the employment status will be of UK-based staff working for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in France and Belgium from 1 January 2021.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is actively supporting those personnel who are working on UK-based contracts within the European Union (EU), to ensure that new arrangements are in place before the transition period from exiting the EU ends in 2021. Discussions are ongoing and the Commission is committed to ensuring that its personnel have a choice of remaining in the EU on appropriate local terms or returning to work in the UK. There are 30 UK personnel employed by the Commission who are permanently based in Belgium and France, as part of a wider workforce of around 550.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to her on 11 June 2020 by the Minister of State at the Cabinet Office to Question 54314.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the role of local authorities in helping to prevent outbreaks of covid-19.

The Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with our ministerial colleagues regarding local authorities’ role in the COVID-19 response, and our department and Government work closely with local authorities to help strengthen local-national partnerships in helping to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities issued enforcement notices relating to the (a) installation of fire alarms and (b) implementation of a waking watch in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018, (iii) 2019 and (iv) 2020.

Local Authorities and Fire and Rescue Services share responsibility for enforcement relating to fire safety. The Department does not centrally record the data requested.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Luton South of 26 November 2020 on Luton Borough Council's financial situation.

The letter has been received and a response will be sent shortly.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the value of live portfolios with committed guarantees under the ENABLE Build programme.

ENABLE Build is a £1 billion extension of a the pre-existing BEIS-led ENABLE Guarantee programme. It was launched in April 2019 with the primary objective of increasing the availability of debt finance for SME housebuilders, following the initial success of the ENABLE Guarantee programme - which is currently supporting three SME housebuilder transactions.

A number of transactions were, and continue to be, under consideration for the programme but some of these were curtailed by the onset of Covid-19. Activity is resuming and, while there are currently no lenders accredited (and therefore no associated portfolio value) under the new ENABLE Build Programme, it is our expectation that SMEs will have access to ENABLE Build-backed lending shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many lenders are registered to provide finance as part of the ENABLE Build programme.

ENABLE Build is a £1 billion extension of a the pre-existing BEIS-led ENABLE Guarantee programme. It was launched in April 2019 with the primary objective of increasing the availability of debt finance for SME housebuilders, following the initial success of the ENABLE Guarantee programme - which is currently supporting three SME housebuilder transactions.

A number of transactions were, and continue to be, under consideration for the programme but some of these were curtailed by the onset of Covid-19. Activity is resuming and, while there are currently no lenders accredited (and therefore no associated portfolio value) under the new ENABLE Build Programme, it is our expectation that SMEs will have access to ENABLE Build-backed lending shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to remove barriers to small to medium-sized firms accessing developer finance in order to assist those firms in building new homes.

The Government fully recognises the key role small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play in building new homes in this country. My department has put in place a package of funding initiatives, including the £2.5 billion Home Building Fund, which received a £450 million boost in June, and the £1 billion ENABLE Build guarantee scheme.

This investment in the sector will help create skilled jobs and drive economic growth whilst our ongoing planning reforms will reduce burdens on SMEs.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities are required to comply with the Duty to Co-operate to fulfil unmet affordable housing needs.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that local planning authorities are under a duty to cooperate with each other on strategic matters that cross administrative boundaries; and should collaborate to identify the relevant strategic matters which they need to address in their plans. Strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing (including affordable housing).

In July 2018 we introduced the statement of common ground to introduce much needed transparency over strategic planning issues, highlighting where effective cooperation is and is not happening ahead of plans being submitted for examination.

A local plan examination will first assess whether a local planning authority has complied with the duty to cooperate and other legal requirements. In considering whether the tests of soundness have been met, the examination Inspector will need to be satisfied that the Plan is consistent with national policy. We want authorities to work constructively together to ensure housing need is met and Inspectors are able to assess whether unmet need should be taken by other authorities through recommending modifications to a plan.

Some 16 Local Plans have been withdrawn from examination on Duty to Cooperate grounds since it was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. These were often for a range of reasons, but on two occasions these included reference to affordable housing.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government takes to reconcile differences between local authorities under the Duty to Co-operate to fulfil unmet affordable housing need.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that local planning authorities are under a duty to cooperate with each other on strategic matters that cross administrative boundaries; and should collaborate to identify the relevant strategic matters which they need to address in their plans. Strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing (including affordable housing).

In July 2018 we introduced the statement of common ground to introduce much needed transparency over strategic planning issues, highlighting where effective cooperation is and is not happening ahead of plans being submitted for examination.

A local plan examination will first assess whether a local planning authority has complied with the duty to cooperate and other legal requirements. In considering whether the tests of soundness have been met, the examination Inspector will need to be satisfied that the Plan is consistent with national policy. We want authorities to work constructively together to ensure housing need is met and Inspectors are able to assess whether unmet need should be taken by other authorities through recommending modifications to a plan.

Some 16 Local Plans have been withdrawn from examination on Duty to Cooperate grounds since it was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. These were often for a range of reasons, but on two occasions these included reference to affordable housing.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of whether local authorities are co-operating effectively to fulfil unmet housing need.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that local planning authorities are under a duty to cooperate with each other on strategic matters that cross administrative boundaries; and should collaborate to identify the relevant strategic matters which they need to address in their plans. Strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing (including affordable housing).

In July 2018 we introduced the statement of common ground to introduce much needed transparency over strategic planning issues, highlighting where effective cooperation is and is not happening ahead of plans being submitted for examination.

A local plan examination will first assess whether a local planning authority has complied with the duty to cooperate and other legal requirements. In considering whether the tests of soundness have been met, the examination Inspector will need to be satisfied that the Plan is consistent with national policy. We want authorities to work constructively together to ensure housing need is met and Inspectors are able to assess whether unmet need should be taken by other authorities through recommending modifications to a plan.

Some 16 Local Plans have been withdrawn from examination on Duty to Cooperate grounds since it was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. These were often for a range of reasons, but on two occasions these included reference to affordable housing.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local plans have been rejected as a result of a failure of local authorities to co-operate to increase affordable housing, in England, since 2010.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that local planning authorities are under a duty to cooperate with each other on strategic matters that cross administrative boundaries; and should collaborate to identify the relevant strategic matters which they need to address in their plans. Strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing (including affordable housing).

In July 2018 we introduced the statement of common ground to introduce much needed transparency over strategic planning issues, highlighting where effective cooperation is and is not happening ahead of plans being submitted for examination.

A local plan examination will first assess whether a local planning authority has complied with the duty to cooperate and other legal requirements. In considering whether the tests of soundness have been met, the examination Inspector will need to be satisfied that the Plan is consistent with national policy. We want authorities to work constructively together to ensure housing need is met and Inspectors are able to assess whether unmet need should be taken by other authorities through recommending modifications to a plan.

Some 16 Local Plans have been withdrawn from examination on Duty to Cooperate grounds since it was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. These were often for a range of reasons, but on two occasions these included reference to affordable housing.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63565 on Travel: Coronavirus, whether the Government plans to reimburse all costs incurred by local authorities in supporting incoming travellers without accommodation to meet quarantine regulations.

Most arrivals to the UK will have appropriate accommodation for when they arrive and should make such arrangements before they travel. For the small minority that do not, Border Force can help make suitable arrangements, at the traveller’s own expense, and anyone without the ability to self-isolate should approach Border Force upon arrival. The Government plans to discuss with local authorities how best to make arrangements to support incoming travellers who are without the means to self-isolate effectively. Furthermore, the re-opening of the hospitality sector provides new arrivals with even more options to make arrangements before they travel to the UK. Finally, the list of countries which are exempt from these requirements is growing and therefore new arrivals should check the rules which apply from 10 July to see if they need to self-isolate.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on how many occasions since the 18 November 2019 he has met with Richard Desmond in (a) a formal, and (b) an informal capacity.

Details of Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how often training on understanding and applying the Nolan principles is delivered for staff in his Department.

The 7 principles of public life are referenced in Civil Service Learning’s online induction module, which all new civil servants, including those joining MHCLG, are encouraged to undertake.

In addition, new civil servants are familiarised with the Civil Service Code, which outlines that all Civil Servants are expected to commit to the Civil Service’s core values of Integrity, Honesty, Objectivity and Impartiality. Guidance on compliance and how to raise a concern if an individual feels they have been asked to act in a way that might contravene the code is provided on MHCLG’s intranet.

MHCLG also promotes awareness of the code through our induction checklist, relevant communications and has a senior level champion in place for the code and whistleblowing.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many of his Department’s (a) senior civil servants, (b) private office staff and (c) staff have received training on understanding and applying the Nolan principles in each of the last three years.

The 7 principles of public life are referenced in Civil Service Learning’s online induction module, which all new civil servants, including those joining MHCLG, are encouraged to undertake.

In addition, new civil servants are familiarised with the Civil Service Code, which outlines that all Civil Servants are expected to commit to the Civil Service’s core values of Integrity, Honesty, Objectivity and Impartiality. Guidance on compliance and how to raise a concern if an individual feels they have been asked to act in a way that might contravene the code is provided on MHCLG’s intranet.

MHCLG also promotes awareness of the code through our induction checklist, relevant communications and has a senior level champion in place for the code and whistleblowing.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department is providing local councils with direct funding to support incoming travellers without accommodation to meet the Government’s quarantine provisions.

All arrivals, bar a short list of exemptions, will be required to complete an online locator form to supply contact details, travel details and the address of where they will self-isolate for 14 days. Where international travellers are unable to safely self-isolate in their own accommodation, the Government will support them finding appropriate accommodation at their own expense.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 12 June 2020 (UIN 54314).

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with private university accommodation providers on waiving rental fees for students during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is actively engaging with stakeholders across the student accommodation sector, including private student accommodation providers, to understand the challenges posed by the current crisis and to establish the most effective means of supporting the whole of the sector.

During this period tenants, including student tenants, remain liable for rent. Some universities and private accommodation providers have chosen to release students from their contracts early and not charge rent for students returning home. The negotiation of rent waivers and early releases from contracts is a matter between the parties concerned. However, we expect universities to communicate clearly with residential students on rents for the summer term and administer accommodation provision in a fair manner.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in multiple occupancy housing on the family housing stock in Luton.

It is for a local authority to consider the suitability of the composition of housing in their area. An authority may wish to consider whether to have local plan policies in place in relation to the creation of housing in multiple occupation which they can use to inform planning decisions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to increase council housing stock in Luton.

We have given councils, including Luton Borough Council, a range of tools to deliver a new generation of council housing. We have abolished the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap and given councils a longer-term rent deal for 5 years from 2020.

Additionally, councils can bid into the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme to secure funding for new council homes.

Councils across the country are benefiting from these measures and we expect at least 10,000 council homes to be delivered per year by 2021/22.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that offices converted into flats through permitted development rights meet planning permission regulations.

All new homes in England, whether granted permission through a national permitted development right or following a planning application, are required to meet Building Regulations.

Developments granted permission through permitted development rights are required to meet the conditions set out in the General Permitted Development Order.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of children living in temporary accommodation in Luton.

Time spent in temporary accommodation means people are getting help and it ensures no family is without a roof over their head. However, the Government is also committed to reducing the number of households in temporary accommodation and has already invested over £1.2 billion in tackling homelessness. This includes supporting Local Authorities in the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, increasing access to the private rented sector for families in temporary accommodation and supporting London boroughs to procure temporary accommodation more efficiently.

In December 2019 the Government announced a further £263 million in funding to Local Authorities to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness and help households into accommodation. This is an increase in overall funding for homelessness of £23 million on the previous financial year.

Nationally, the number of children living in?temporary accommodation?is down from its peak in June 2006 at 134,470, with 127,370 in?June 2019.

The figures for children living in temporary accommodation in Luton are in the published local authority level tables available here from 2018 onwards:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness

Prior to 2018, the figures for children living in temporary accommodation in Luton can be found in the individual LA level tables (listed under discontinued tables):

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness#discontinued-tables

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his timeframe is for bringing forward legislative proposals on marriage law after the conclusion of the Law Commission’s weddings review.

The Government has yet to receive the Law Commission’s proposals for consideration. The Law Commission expects to deliver its final proposals for reform of the law on marriage ceremonies later this year. The Government will give them careful consideration and decide on next steps.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to his oral Answer on 2 February 2021, Official Report, column 829, whether he has placed any restrictions on future recommendations by the Prison Service Pay Review Body; and if he will make a statement.

It was announced by the Chancellor on 25 November 2020 that, in the interest of fairness, pay rises in the public sector will be restrained and targeted for the coming year (2021/22), whilst also ensuring an uplift for lower earning staff who need it most. This announcement reflects the substantial and unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the economy, labour market, and fiscal position, which combined, have supressed earnings growth and increased redundancies in the private sector.

As such, the remit of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) and other public sector pay review bodies for the 2021/22 pay round has been restricted. The PSPRB will be gathering and considering a range of evidence in the usual way in order to develop recommendations which fall in line with the public sector pay policy

The pay policy involves a pause to any headline uplifts for all public sector workforces outside of the NHS who earn £24,000 or above. Anyone earning less than £24,000 will be protected and will receive a minimum uplift of £250, or the National Living Wage (whichever is the higher) should they qualify. The Departments proposals on how the uplift should apply to prison staff will be published and submitted to the PSPRB shortly.

The pay pause allows Government to protect public sector jobs and investment in public services as Covid-19 continues to have an impact. The position will be reassessed ahead of pay round 2022/23.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to his oral Answer on 2 February 2021, Official Report, column 829, how many and what proportion of prison officers are planned to receive the £250 rise next year, by grade.

It was announced by the Chancellor on 25 November 2020 that, in the interest of fairness, pay rises in the public sector will be restrained and targeted for the coming year (2021/22), whilst also ensuring an uplift for lower earning staff who need it most. This announcement reflects the substantial and unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the economy, labour market, and fiscal position, which combined, have supressed earnings growth and increased redundancies in the private sector.

As such, the remit of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) and other public sector pay review bodies for the 2021/22 pay round has been restricted. The PSPRB will be gathering and considering a range of evidence in the usual way in order to develop recommendations which fall in line with the public sector pay policy

The pay policy involves a pause to any headline uplifts for all public sector workforces outside of the NHS who earn £24,000 or above. Anyone earning less than £24,000 will be protected and will receive a minimum uplift of £250, or the National Living Wage (whichever is the higher) should they qualify. The Departments proposals on how the uplift should apply to prison staff will be published and submitted to the PSPRB shortly.

The pay pause allows Government to protect public sector jobs and investment in public services as Covid-19 continues to have an impact. The position will be reassessed ahead of pay round 2022/23.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to his oral Answer on 2 February 2021, Official Report, column 829, what effect his assessment of the times in which we live has had on the level of his support for the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000, ‘recommendation 3’. This represented a substantial increase for our largest staffing group and was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in the labour market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unpredictable changing state of the economy means that the assumptions made by the PSPRB upon which they based their recommendations have also changed. The decision to reject this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020. Prison officers did however benefit from awards of between 2.5% and 7.5% for the current financial year (2020/21). This delivered an above inflation increase and is the third year in a row that prison staff have benefitted from an award of at least 2%.

The estimated cost of recommendation 3 is £46.8m per year. This includes the cost required to apply the uplift to non-operational prison service colleagues paid within the same band. The total annual cost of recommendation 3 alone represents a higher cost than that of the entire proposals made by HMPPS for the 2020/21 pay round, so presented clear challenges to afforadbilty.

Affordability considerations took into account value for money for the taxpayer, as well as competing funding priorities, such as key investments in prison safety and security, leadership and professionalisation, and staff wellbeing which all impact significantly upon staff.

Prior to the decision to reject ‘recommendation 3’, the Ministry of Justice considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale of doing so. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. These issues are continually under review by the department, as fundamental issues in our policy. There are no plans to publish further analysis on recommendation 3.

We are currently finalising the evidence to the Prison Service Pay Review Body for the 2021/22 pay round, in line with the pay policy set out by the Chancellor in November last year. This will be published and submitted to the PSPRB in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the oral Answer of the Minister of State on 2 February 2021, Official Report, column 824, what criteria his Department used to measure the (a) affordability and (b) value for money for the taxpayer of the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000, ‘recommendation 3’. This represented a substantial increase for our largest staffing group and was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in the labour market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unpredictable changing state of the economy means that the assumptions made by the PSPRB upon which they based their recommendations have also changed. The decision to reject this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020. Prison officers did however benefit from awards of between 2.5% and 7.5% for the current financial year (2020/21). This delivered an above inflation increase and is the third year in a row that prison staff have benefitted from an award of at least 2%.

The estimated cost of recommendation 3 is £46.8m per year. This includes the cost required to apply the uplift to non-operational prison service colleagues paid within the same band. The total annual cost of recommendation 3 alone represents a higher cost than that of the entire proposals made by HMPPS for the 2020/21 pay round, so presented clear challenges to afforadbilty.

Affordability considerations took into account value for money for the taxpayer, as well as competing funding priorities, such as key investments in prison safety and security, leadership and professionalisation, and staff wellbeing which all impact significantly upon staff.

Prior to the decision to reject ‘recommendation 3’, the Ministry of Justice considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale of doing so. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. These issues are continually under review by the department, as fundamental issues in our policy. There are no plans to publish further analysis on recommendation 3.

We are currently finalising the evidence to the Prison Service Pay Review Body for the 2021/22 pay round, in line with the pay policy set out by the Chancellor in November last year. This will be published and submitted to the PSPRB in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the net change in the number of prison officers in England was in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

Prison officers play an essential role in keeping the public safe and protecting those in our care. The Staff in Post and net change in number of Band 3 to 5 prison officers in England only is given in the following tables.

As part of Prison Safety and Reform White Paper published in November 2016, the Prison Officer Recruitment Programme was tasked with delivering a net increase of 2500 prison officers by the end of the 2018 which accounts for the significant staffing increase at end September 2018. This recruitment target was achieved in early 2018 ahead of schedule.

We have continued to deliver recruitment campaigns to fill existing posts and vacancies arising due to attrition however, the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on social distancing and non-essential travel impacted on our ability to recruit and train new officers during 2020.

We have taken a range of measures to mitigate against further delays, including introducing a new online recruitment assessment centre and a targeted project to accelerate recruitment activity. In addition, HMPPS has also invited former prison officers to return to the service temporarily.

Table 1 - Net change in number of Band 3-5 prison officers1 in England2 only

Dates

Net change in headcount

Net change in Full Time Equivalent

12 months to 30 September 2018

3,062

3,034

12 months to 30 September 2019

234

186

12 months to 30 September 2020

-680

-733

Table 2 – Number of Staff in Post of Band 3-5 prison officers1 in England2 only

Dates

Headcount

Full Time Equivalent

Staff in post as at 30 September 2018

22,193

21,420

Staff in post as at 30 September 2019

22,427

21,606

Staff in post as at 30 September 2020

21,747

20,873

Notes to tables:

1. Band 3-5 Officers includes Band 3-4 / Prison Officers (incl. specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officers, and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

2. Excludes Wales, which is usually included in published statistics.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average amount of time per day prisoners in England were confined to their cells was in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

It has not been possible to provide the information requested as it could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services, sets out how we will operate whilst responding to COVID-19. Supporting this, there is more detailed guidance about the nature of regime activity expected at each stage.

There is no central mandate which governs the amount of time that prisoners should spend out of their cells. The decisive action we have taken during the pandemic has meant tens of thousands of officers and prisoners have been kept safe in the face of perhaps the greatest challenge ever to face the service. We introduced a number of necessary restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, however, we have continued to offer as much time out of cells as possible, with necessary adaptions to manage infection. Governors are afforded the flexibility to deliver balanced regimes that maintain an appropriate level of time out of cell on a range of activities, including association, which meet the needs of the establishment’s population, whilst taking into account available resources.

Specifically, we have maintained a requirement in all prisons to provide prisoners with time in the open air. All sites have also set out how they will provide prisoners with time out of cell, and the safe equivalent of association time. Since the beginning of the pandemic, prisons were authorised to use external exercise yards for access to the open air.

The safety, mental health and wellbeing of prisoners has remained a priority. A range of products have been made available to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans designed to mitigate any risks. The increased restrictions have undoubtedly saved lives but we know they are extremely tough on prisoners - and we quickly rolled out video calls, in-cell education and extra support in response.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with trade unions representing Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service staff on risk assessments and safety measures implemented in Government buildings.

HMCTS is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all staff, members of the judiciary and visitors to its sites, as far as it is reasonably practical whilst they are on the premises. From the outset of this public health crisis, HMCTS officials have engaged at a national level with the Departmental Trade Union Side, consulting on policies and processes necessary to make the court and tribunal estate safe, and so to maintain access to justice. This collaboration, alongside that with Public Health agencies, representatives of those using the system and others, has helped HMCTS to ensure its ways of working are as effective as they can be.

The Corporate HMCTS H&S statement of intent confirms that ‘There will be active communication and consultation between employees, Trade Union Side (TUS), judiciary, contractors and other stakeholders in respect of security, health and safety procedures and responsibilities.

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, HMCTS officials have maintained regular meetings and consultation with Departmental Trade Union Side in specific business areas including Human Resources, Operations, Health & Safety and Security, in addition to bespoke or specific consultation such as the Risk assessment tools.

The HMCTS risk assessment tools were developed and reviewed by HMCTS officials in consultation with Departmental Trade Union Side, following a workshop style approach over a period of 4 months from May 2020 to September 2020. The tool is issued to each HMCTS site with instruction that it should be, wherever possible, completed in conjunction and consultation with a Trade Union health and safety representative. I understand that wherever possible our officials did conduct those assessments with trade union colleagues and continue to do so as the assessment tools are reviewed regularly.

In addition to this, HMCTS regional Delivery Directors hold regular meetings with regional TU reps, where safety and security matters are raised and discussed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the (a) social distancing, (b) cleaning, (c) workplace incident control, (d) ventilation arrangements and (e) other safety arrangements in Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service in keeping staff and court users safe; and if he will make a statement.

Maintaining access to justice while keeping people safe is HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) top priority. As an essential public service, courts and tribunals have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have invested an additional £110m so all of our buildings are COVID-secure and can continue to operate safely.

We closely follow all Public Health and government advice on COVID-secure arrangements and update our policies to meet any new guidelines. Our approach to risk assessment is set out in our Organisational Risk Assessment (ORA) published at the start of the pandemic. It’s implemented on the ground by site-specific local risk assessments which are carried out and reviewed at least weekly, to review the measures in place and make sure they continue to meet the safety controls to the standard required.

Our range of control measures include:

  • social distancing floor markings and signage
  • regular touchpoint cleaning of high-traffic areas, including doors, lift buttons and handrails
  • supplies of soap and hand sanitiser
  • ventilation through natural or mechanical ventilation at all times
  • rearranged courtroom layouts
  • plexiglass screens in over 450 courtrooms and jury deliberation rooms
  • limitations on the number of people allowed in our buildings
  • maximum occupancy levels for consultation and courtrooms
  • one-way or one in, one out systems
  • a requirement for face coverings to be worn in public and communal areas of our buildings.

Public health experts have confirmed these are sufficient, including to deal with the new variant of the virus. We’re confident these measures meet COVID-secure guidelines through:

  • regular local risk assessments
  • on site marshalling to monitor social distancing
  • internal management checks
  • spot checks performed by our national Assurance team
  • a contracted external partner to conduct inspections
  • external public health and regulatory visits.

We also have an internal HMCTS Workplace Standards Group which continues to oversee our practice and methodology for maintaining hygienic, safe buildings in line with government guidance.

All suspected incidents and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our court and tribunal buildings in England and Wales, and tribunals in Scotland, are reported to HMCTS. Where there are two or more confirmed cases or an increase in suspected incidents within 14 days linked to a single site, a national team provides additional support and guidance to local court and tribunals in managing the response, and early identification of close contacts so they can be informed to self-isolate in support of NHS Test and Trace.

In line with public health guidance, where there are five or more confirmed cases (for England) or two or more confirmed cases (for Wales and Scotland) within a 14-day period we will refer them to local health protection teams who will assess the individual circumstances and provide any further advice and guidance. COVID-19 cases in HMCTS are in line with national trends and transmission within the estate is limited due to the mitigations in place.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department plans to on increase the IT equipment and connectivity available to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service to support increased remote working.

HMCTS has increased IT equipment and connectivity to support increased remote working. It has deployed 11,000 laptops since the beginning of the pandemic to assist with flexible working arrangements and has, so far, installed new video hardware to 482 court rooms. This is to increase the number of courtrooms capable of holding video-enabled hearings by installing video technology intended for use with strategic video platforms.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the agreement of the G4S board to a £3.8bn takeover bid from Allied Universal, what assessment he has made of (a) the ability of Allied Universal to operate HMP Five Wells and (b) the potential merits of awarding the contract to run HMP Five Wells to the public sector.

We are working closely with G4S to ensure there is no impact or disruption to the delivery of the services and obligations under each of G4S’ contracts with the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. This includes the mobilisation of HMP Five Wells to the agreed delivery plan, ready to accept its first prisoners in January 2022. We will also continue to work closely with the Cabinet Office to ensure we understand and can consider any implications that arise through the takeover process.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hearings have taken place (a) physically, and (b) virtually in court in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

The following table sets out the number of physical compared to remote hearings in 2020. This data is unpublished and for internal management purposes.

May

June

July

August

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Physical

6,927

22,642

51,201

57,012

81,267

87,427

84,853

67,004

Remote

49,857

96,511

94,292

83,410

91,473

86,316

85,008

60,453

Cloud Video Platform (CVP) has been rolled out to over 150 Magistrates and 70 Crown Courts nationally. As of 8 January 2021, there have been over 70,000 hearings over CVP in the magistrates’ and Crown Court.

The decision to deal with a hearing or part of a hearing remotely is a matter for the judiciary, who have been considering restrictions, transmission rates, social distancing concerns and the nature of audio and video since the beginning of the pandemic.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have been transferred (a) between prisons and (b) from prison to court in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) use private contractors to transfer prisoners across the prison estate. A breakdown of the numbers of transfers between prison establishments, and between prisons and courts that took place in each month during the last year is set out in the table below. The data for December 2020 has not yet been collated and therefore not currently available.

Dec 19

Jan 20

Feb 20

Mar 20

Apr 20

May 20

Jun 20

Jul 20

Aug 20

Sep 20

Oct 20

Nov 20

Inter Prison Transfer

4722

5496

5059

4930

972

2375

2776

3198

3509

4099

4434

4414

Prison to Court

11178

13655

12739

9938

523

1310

2691

5552

7300

6910

7788

7457

Private providers continue to play an important role in the prison estate. HMPPS continues to closely monitor the performance of all providers.

The safety of our staff and those under our supervision remains our top priority, and we have taken quick and decisive action – backed by Public Health England and Wales – to limit the spread of the virus. Regular testing of prisoners upon reception at prison establishments continues to be conducted, along with the use of Reverse Cohorting Units to limit possible spread from new arrivals.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his Department’s policy is on the eligibility of bids to provide HMCTS security guarding services from companies that that pay wages below the Living Wage Foundation certified living wage.

The Ministry of Justice requires all of its suppliers to comply with the legal minimum standards of pay as set out in the Government’s National Living Wage legislation. Bids to provide HMCTS security guarding services were required to meet this minimum standard.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether any companies stated during the recent bidding process for the HM Courts & Tribunals Service's security guarding service contract that they would pay employees the Living Wage as certified by the Living Wage Foundation; and if he will make a statement.

The recent tender for security services for HMCTS had two bidders who stated they would pay the guards over the National Living Wage and towards a level approaching the UK Real Living Wage. The offers were a mix of base pay, based on the National Living Wage, and attendance bonuses and therefore not completely aligned to the Real Living Wage.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to publish expected staffing levels for HMP Five Wells; and if he will make a statement.

In response to questions 112152 and 112154, we do not plan to publish staffing levels for HMP Five Wells. The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract.

In response to 112153, mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. As such, the contract for the operation of HMP Five Wells does not include minimum staffing levels or staff-to-prisoner ratios.

However, we rigorously and robustly evaluated staffing levels as part of the evaluation process for the operator competition for HMP Five Wells. We are confident that the new prison operator, G4S has an approach and staffing model that will provide and ensure a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative environment.

In response to question 112155, prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults will feature as contract delivery indicators within the performance framework for HMP Five Wells. Similarly, levels of prisoner self-harm will be covered in the framework through contract delivery indicators compared against HMIP Safety scores and the HMPPS Risk Management Audit. Performance in this area will also be published as part of the standard and regularly published statistics once the prison is operating and at full capacity.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to include levels of (a) prisoner-on-prisoner assaults, (b) prisoner-on-staff assaults and (c) prisoner self-harm in the contractual key performance indicators for the operator of HMP Five Wells from 2022; and if he will make a statement.

In response to questions 112152 and 112154, we do not plan to publish staffing levels for HMP Five Wells. The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract.

In response to 112153, mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. As such, the contract for the operation of HMP Five Wells does not include minimum staffing levels or staff-to-prisoner ratios.

However, we rigorously and robustly evaluated staffing levels as part of the evaluation process for the operator competition for HMP Five Wells. We are confident that the new prison operator, G4S has an approach and staffing model that will provide and ensure a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative environment.

In response to question 112155, prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults will feature as contract delivery indicators within the performance framework for HMP Five Wells. Similarly, levels of prisoner self-harm will be covered in the framework through contract delivery indicators compared against HMIP Safety scores and the HMPPS Risk Management Audit. Performance in this area will also be published as part of the standard and regularly published statistics once the prison is operating and at full capacity.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether contracts for staff of HMP Five Wells from 2022 will contain minimum (a) staffing levels and (b) staff-to-prisoner ratios; and if he will make a statement.

In response to questions 112152 and 112154, we do not plan to publish staffing levels for HMP Five Wells. The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract.

In response to 112153, mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. As such, the contract for the operation of HMP Five Wells does not include minimum staffing levels or staff-to-prisoner ratios.

However, we rigorously and robustly evaluated staffing levels as part of the evaluation process for the operator competition for HMP Five Wells. We are confident that the new prison operator, G4S has an approach and staffing model that will provide and ensure a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative environment.

In response to question 112155, prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults will feature as contract delivery indicators within the performance framework for HMP Five Wells. Similarly, levels of prisoner self-harm will be covered in the framework through contract delivery indicators compared against HMIP Safety scores and the HMPPS Risk Management Audit. Performance in this area will also be published as part of the standard and regularly published statistics once the prison is operating and at full capacity.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many full time equivalent staff of each (a) grade and (b) rank will be employed at HMP Five Wells from 2022.

In response to questions 112152 and 112154, we do not plan to publish staffing levels for HMP Five Wells. The operator contracts between the Department and all private prison providers require the Contractor to be responsible for all staffing matters, including ensuring staff have the training and experience necessary for safe and decent prisons. This is monitored to ensure the standards are maintained across the lifetime of the contract.

In response to 112153, mandating minimum staffing levels for private prison operators would restrict their ability to introduce and foster innovation, and their flexibility to adjust their staffing levels across the lifetime of the contract according to the needs and demands created by any changes to the prison population or in risk. It could also deter them from engaging with expertise and professional support in the local and wider community and hinder their ability to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. As such, the contract for the operation of HMP Five Wells does not include minimum staffing levels or staff-to-prisoner ratios.

However, we rigorously and robustly evaluated staffing levels as part of the evaluation process for the operator competition for HMP Five Wells. We are confident that the new prison operator, G4S has an approach and staffing model that will provide and ensure a decent, safe, secure and rehabilitative environment.

In response to question 112155, prisoner-on-prisoner and prisoner-on-staff assaults will feature as contract delivery indicators within the performance framework for HMP Five Wells. Similarly, levels of prisoner self-harm will be covered in the framework through contract delivery indicators compared against HMIP Safety scores and the HMPPS Risk Management Audit. Performance in this area will also be published as part of the standard and regularly published statistics once the prison is operating and at full capacity.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2020
What steps he is taking to prevent homelessness among prison leavers.

Approximately 13% of offenders released between March and April this year were released homeless; which is comparable to data for 2018/19.

Everyone leaving prison should have somewhere safe and secure to live because accommodation reduces the likelihood of them reoffending.

That is why our accommodation pilots, in Leeds, Pentonville and Bristol, have been operating since August 2019 and we have secured up to £8.5 million to support individuals at risk of homelessness released from prison during Covid-19. This will help them to move into permanent accommodation.

Lucy Frazer
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 12 June 2020 (UIN 54314).

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 12 June 2020 (UIN 54314).

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the Answer on 15 May 2020 to Question 43779 on Civil Servants, at how many multi-hub locations employees of his Department work together with employees of another Department or agency in London managed by the Government Property Agency; what the addresses are of those locations; and what other Departments and agencies employ staff at those locations.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales occupies no properties in London managed by the Government Property Agency.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)