Richard Fuller Portrait

Richard Fuller

Conservative - North East Bedfordshire

4 APPG memberships (as of 25 Aug 2021)
American Football, Family Business, Immigration Detention, Trailer and Towing Safety
3 Former APPG memberships
American Football., East-West Rail, Nigeria
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee
17th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Regulatory Reform
12th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 17th Oct 2016
Regulatory Reform
3rd Dec 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 21st September 2021
09:45
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Net Zero Governance
21 Sep 2021, 9:45 a.m.
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Simon Bittlestone - Director, Value for Money at National Audit Office
Jill Rutter - Senior Fellow at Institute for Government
Tom Sasse - Associate Director at Institute for Government
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Information Commissioner (Remuneration)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 359 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 2
Speeches
Monday 13th September 2021
Covid-19 Vaccinations: 12 to 15-year-olds

My hon. Friend has again cited Gillick competence as a reason why parental consent can be overridden, but many people …

Written Answers
Monday 13th September 2021
Coronavirus: Vaccination
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 30 July 2021 to …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Hare Coursing Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about hare coursing offences; to increase penalties for such offences; and for connected purposes.
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 26th April 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Until further notice, Chairman of OpSec Security, brand protection. Address: 40 Phoenix Road, Washington, NE38 0AD. Payments were suspended from …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Richard Fuller has voted in 273 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Richard Fuller voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Richard Fuller voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Richard Fuller voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Richard Fuller voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Richard Fuller 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
Kit Malthouse (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office)
(10 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
Alok Sharma (Conservative)
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(37 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(24 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Richard Fuller's debates

North East Bedfordshire 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 North East Bedfordshire signature proportion
Richard Fuller has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Richard Fuller

Richard Fuller has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Richard Fuller, 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.


Richard Fuller has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Richard Fuller has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Richard Fuller


A Bill to make provision about hare coursing offences; to increase penalties for such offences; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 21st January 2022

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the installation of closed circuit television in licensed Hackney carriages and private hire vehicles; to establish a minimum standard for such installations; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 29th October 2013

Richard Fuller has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


136 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
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of intelligent electrical heating on the effectiveness of Energy Performance Certificate gradings.

The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is used to assess the energy performance of homes. It produces an annual estimate of a dwelling’s energy consumption, running cost and carbon emissions and these calculations form the basis of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). At present, we do not have a standard way of reflecting intelligent electric heating systems in SAP, so they are treated the same way as normal electric heating systems when calculating an EPC. The Department will consider how to better reflect the impact of intelligent electrical heating for the next version of SAP, SAP 11.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to costs to private rented properties for achieving grade C on their Energy Performance Certificates, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of staging that progress in line with economic returns of private rented properties.

The consultation on improving the energy performance of the privately rental homes to EPC band C is open until 30 December 2020. As part of the consultation we are seeking views on affordability and are inviting stakeholders to submit relevant evidence. The Government will set out its response following the closure of the consultation.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support off grid homes in rural areas decarbonise their home heating.

As stated in the Clean Growth Strategy (2017), the Government is committed to ‘phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in homes not connected to the gas grid, starting with new homes, during the 2020s.’ The first part of this commitment, to decarbonise?new homes, is being met through the Future Home Standard, on which government consulted earlier this year. The Future Homes Standard will require new build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency, and is set to be introduced in 2025. We are developing proposals for phasing out fossil fuel heating in existing homes in off-gas-grid areas and will be consulting on them in due course.

Additionally, we are providing financial support to help decarbonise homes of the gas grid. This is being done through:

  • The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – a support scheme for low carbon heat installations in domestic buildings that will remain open to new applicants until March 2022. As of July 2020, the domestic RHI has supported around 80,300 homes make the transition to low carbon heat.
  • The Green Homes Grant – a government-funded voucher scheme launched in September 2020 to help consumers install energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures in their homes. This is available for domestic buildings in England, including rural properties, until March 2021. Under this new scheme, the government will fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements for over 600,000 homes.

Further support will be provided from 2022 to 2024 through the Clean Heat Grant scheme. This will provide financial support to help consumers and small businesses transition to low carbon heating through the installation of heat pumps?and, in limited circumstances, biomass.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what comparative assessment he has made of the average cost for an (a) off grid rural home and (b) urban home to meet average energy efficiency standards.

In the Clean Growth Strategy, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated the aspiration for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable. As a result, it focusses its analysis on the cost of bringing homes up to this standard, rather than the current stock average. The recent PRS Regulations Consultation stage Impact Assessment shows the expected cost of upgrading rented homes up to EPC band C under different cost cap scenarios (table 12). It also shows costs assumptions for energy efficiency and heating systems (Tables 31-32).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the coronavirus local authority discretionary grants scheme, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of the introduction of additional criteria by local authorities in addition to those criteria set by his Department.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) announced on 1 May has supported many thousands of small businesses in England not liable for business rates or rates reliefs and therefore out of scope of the main Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHGLF) schemes. The Department asked local authorities to prioritise certain types of businesses through the LADGF, but we also allowed them the discretion to add additional local eligibility criteria according to local economic need. Local authorities naturally took different approaches to this since they differ in scale and local requirements.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many landlords have registered an exemption from having to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards.

As of 1 July 2020, 9580 exemptions had been registered on the Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register. Of these, 9269 were for domestic properties and 311 for non-domestic properties.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to implement the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) proposed reforms to the statutory audit market published on 18 April 2019.

The Government supports effective and proportionate action to address key issues in the audit market, including the lack of competition and resilience, misaligned incentives, and a lack of public trust.

The Government has analysed the responses to the 2019 Government consultation on the CMA’s study and we intend to set out our comprehensive proposals in response to that consultation in the coming months, seeking views on them where the Government have not already done so. We will then consider bringing forward legislation in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timescale is for responding to the Statutory audit services: initial consultation on the Competition and Markets Authority recommendations which closed in September 2019.

The Government has analysed the responses to the 2019 consultation and we intend to set out our response to the consultation alongside comprehensive proposals in the coming months, seeking views on them where the Government has not already done so.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to reform of the statutory audit market in the current session of Parliament.

The Competition and Markets Authority study of the statutory audit market made a series of far-reaching and ambitious recommendations. Our intention is to set out our comprehensive proposals in the coming months, seeking views on them where the Government has not already done so. We will then consider bringing forward legislation in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) guidance and (b) eligibility criteria are for the covid-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now live.

Eligible businesses can apply for a loan or other form of finance through one of 40-plus providers accredited by the British Business Bank to offer the scheme. These include all the major UK banks.

The application process is typically online for smaller amounts and the lending decision is made by the provider concerned.

Full guidance, including eligibility criteria, is available on the British Business Bank website at www.british-business-bank.co.uk/cbils.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on sole traders; and what steps he is taking to support sole traders with reduced income during the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to help UK businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak, we have made an unprecedented level of support available in the form of cash grants and business loans.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), delivered by the British Business Bank, is now available for eligible smaller businesses including unincorporated businesses, such as partnerships and sole traders. Decision-making on whether a business is eligible to access CBILS will be fully delegated to the 40+ accredited lenders. The Scheme covers overdrafts, loans, asset finance, and invoice finance. Full guidance, including eligibility criteria, will be published at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/cbils.

In addition, HMRC have set up a tax helpline on 0800 0159 559 to support and advise businesses and self-employed people concerned about missing tax commitments due to Coronavirus. Further detail on the Government’s support package for businesses is at: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of business start-ups in (a) North East Bedfordshire constituency, (b) Bedfordshire and (c) the UK in each year since 2010.

The table below provides ONS data on new business registrations for VAT and/or PAYE (ONS Business Demography 2018 – Enterprise births, deaths and survivals).

Notes:

1) Timeseries data for business births is not available at Parliamentary Constituency level but we can provide figures as below for the three districts which make up Bedfordshire.

2) Data is not available for periods earlier than 2013 or later than 2018.

Year

UK

Bedfordshire (county)

Bedford (district)

Central Bedfordshire (district)

Luton (district)

2013

346275

3450

875

1540

1035

2014

350305

3560

870

1550

1140

2015

382755

3990

980

1585

1425

2016

413900

10370

1065

4865

4440

2017

381885

4915

925

2245

1745

2018

380580

4710

910

2200

1600

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on (a) businesses and (b) employment of the proposed advertising restrictions on products high in fat, sugar and salt.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that tackling obesity is a priority for this Government. In July 2020 the Government outlined it’s Tackling Obesity strategy which details a host of measures aimed at empowering people to live the healthier lives they want to live.

The Government proposed various options for restricting HFSS advertising in the 2019 and 2020 consultations targeted at protecting children from being exposed to advertising of unhealthy food products.

Balanced against the priority of protecting children and tackling obesity, we have carefully considered the impact that any restrictions will have on industry and in particular the potential for market distortion or disproportionate effects on key business sectors.

The final policy will be set out in our consultation response due to be published shortly. This will be accompanied by a final impact assessment. We will support businesses, individuals and organisations to prepare for changes to the rules around HFSS advertising.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve mobile phone coverage in (a) North East Bedfordshire constituency and (b) other rural areas.

The Government announced in-principle support in October 2019 for the mobile network operators’ (MNOs) Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal. The proposal would share investment costs between the MNOs and government and increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the United Kingdom to 95% by 2025. It will be underpinned by a legally binding coverage commitment from each operator.

The Government's in-principle support is subject to detailed negotiations. While this is not yet a done deal, the Prime Minister has made improvements to rural mobile coverage part of his first 100 days pledge. I will continue to work with the sector to make that happen, but I will also explore all possible options to meet our mobile coverage ambitions, including rural roaming.

The exact site deployment plans and timescales will be managed by the MNOs themselves in order for them to best deliver the agreed coverage outcomes. So until the operators’ final radio planning exercise is complete, neither the Government nor the operators will know the precise location or number of new or upgraded masts. However, the operators will be consulting with local communities as their roll out plans become clearer.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve broadband coverage in North East Bedfordshire constituency.

The government has made significant progress in North East Bedfordshire, with over £8 million of central government funding allocated to the Bedford and Milton Keynes project area. As a result, 95.9% of premises now have access to superfast broadband - up from 54.3% in February 2012.

There are a range of options available to those in North East Bedfordshire suffering from slow speeds. The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is available to those who are not due to receive an upgrade from a publicly funded rollout programme. Small to medium sized businesses can claim a voucher worth up to £2,500, and residents can claim a voucher worth up to £500 as part of a group project to offset the costs of installing gigabit-capable infrastructure. Increased funding is available to rural premises.

In addition to this, the government has pledged £5 billion to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to the most difficult to reach areas of the UK.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2021 to Question 138427 on Schools: Discipline, what progress his Department has made on establishing the criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the behaviour hubs programme; and if he will publish (a) those criteria and (b) the advice his Department received from the independent evaluator it procured to assess the effectiveness of that behaviour hubs programme.

The Department has procured an independent evaluator to assess the effectiveness of the behaviour hubs programme. The evaluator is in the process of developing an evaluation framework and set of indicators that will underpin the study. Key measures of success are likely to include improved school behaviour cultures and fewer incidents of disruption, truancy, and bullying. In the longer term, key measures of success are likely to include improved pupil attainment and outcomes, pupil and staff wellbeing, staff recruitment and retention.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the impact on children of different local authority policies on school age start dates; and what he plans he has to amend the school admissions code to enable summer-born children to start reception at age five where that is what their parents want.

Local authorities do not set policies on school age start dates. Compulsory school age is the start of the term following a child’s fifth birthday. Admission authorities must provide for the admission of children in the September following their fourth birthday, but it is for parents to decide whether to send their child to school before compulsory school age.

For summer born children this means that they do not need to start school until the September after their fifth birthday. It is then the decision of the admission authority whether to admit the child to Year 1 or, at the parents' request, to Reception.

In May, the Department published the results of our latest research surveys of local authorities and parents into the delayed admission of summer born children to school.

It remains our intention to legislate, when an opportunity becomes available, so that summer born children can automatically be admitted to a Reception class, where that is what their parents want, and remain with that cohort throughout their education.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to provide asymptomatic covid-19 testing to all Ofsted registered childminders.

Childminders currently have access to community testing and should continue to use local community testing programmes for regular asymptomatic testing until further notice. More information on where and how these can be accessed is found here: https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site. The Department is continuing to work closely with colleagues in local authorities and across Government to explore the most effective approach for testing childminders.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 147056, on Childminding: Coronavirus, how he plans to prioritise the steps outlined; and if he will set out a timetable for taking those steps.

Childminders currently have access to community testing and should continue to use local community testing programmes for regular asymptomatic testing until further notice. More information on where and how these can be accessed is found here: https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site. The Department is continuing to work closely with colleagues in local authorities and across Government to explore the most effective approach for testing childminders.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of wearing of face coverings on the learning of children with hearing loss; what guidance has been provided to schools and colleges on that matter; and whether he plans to make it his policy to ensure the availability of clear face coverings for pupils with hearing loss.

The Department’s guidance on face coverings can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, during national lockdown, in schools where Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults, such as staff and visitors, pupils, and students. Face coverings should be worn when moving around indoors, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors, and in communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Based on current evidence and the measures that schools are already putting in place, such as the system of controls and consistent bubbles, face coverings will not generally be necessary in the classroom.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools.

Face coverings can make it more difficult to communicate with pupils and students with additional needs or those who may rely on lip reading or facial expressions for understanding. We expect staff to be sensitive to these needs when teaching and interacting with pupils and students.

The Department continues to provide information to the sector on our guidance, and any changes to it, through regular departmental communications. The Department will also continue to work with Public Health England, as well as stakeholders across the sector, to monitor the latest scientific and medical advice and to understand the impact of the system of controls on staff, pupils and parents.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria was applied for the distribution of the funding of £10 million to improve school discipline announced on the 28 February 2020.

On 28 February 2020, £10 million was announced to fund the behaviour hubs programme, which will begin this year and run for three years. The programme aims to improve pupil behaviour and behaviour practices in at least 500 schools by enabling schools and multi academy trusts with exemplary behaviour to work in close partnership with those that need and want to improve, alongside a central offer of support and a taskforce of behaviour advisers.

Schools receiving support must be Ofsted Requires Improvement, have adequate leadership, and be motivated to improve. Schools providing support must meet stringent eligibility criteria including being Ofsted Outstanding, have above average progress for Read, Writing and Maths for two of the past three years for all pupils or disadvantaged pupils, and have exemplary behaviour management practices and culture.

All schools in the country, including those in the programme, will have access to a free online repository of good practice resources curated and developed by the behaviour advisers. Resources may include good practice case studies and tools for schools to audit their own behaviour practice.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on children with ADHD and autism of being mis-described as having behavioural issues; and what estimate he has made of the number of children with autism spectrum condition who have been (a) excluded and (b) isolated in schools in the last 12 months.

Diagnosis and the assessment of needs can offer an understanding of why a child or young person is different from their peers and can open doors to support and services in education, health services and social care, and a route into voluntary organisations and contact with other children and families with similar experiences. Diagnosis of conditions, including ADHD and autism, is carried out by clinical assessment. However, the special educational needs system does not rely on a clinical diagnosis in order to access support. Schools have a statutory duty to use their best endeavours to make suitable provision available for children with special educational needs. This forms part of their broader responsibility to support all children who have a whole range of needs.

While we have not made a formal assessment of the effect on children with ADHD and autism of being viewed as having behavioural issues, to support those working in education, the department has funded the Autism Education Trust (AET) since 2011 to deliver autism awareness training to staff in early years settings, schools and colleges. To date [1], the AET has trained more than 277,000 people – not just teachers and teaching assistants, but also receptionists, dining hall staff and caretakers, promoting a whole-school approach to support for pupils with autism. Regional networks have also been established to promote the use of the training developed by the AET in schools and we would always encourage schools to access this training. The AET has also developed national standards for autism support and a progression framework for those who work with children who have autism. These are available from their website at www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk.

The Department publishes guidance to schools on behaviour, suspension and expulsion to reinforce the benefits of arranging multi-agency assessments for pupils who display continuous disruptive behaviour. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-exclusion. A key aspect of these assessments will be to pick up any unidentified special educational needs or health problems, such as ADHD or autism.

The law does not prevent a pupil with SEN or a disability (which could include ADHD or autism) from being suspended or expelled. However, schools have a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 not to discriminate against disabled pupils by suspending or expelling them from school because of their disability. Any suspension or expulsion must be lawful, reasonable and fair but schools must balance their responsibilities for children with SEN with their responsibility to ensure that all children are able to experience good quality teaching and learning without disruption in the classroom, and without being exposed to risks to their health or safety. The guidance also sets out that schools should, as far as possible, avoid expelling pupils who have an Education Health and Care plan.

According to our data, 155 children with a SEN primary need of autistic spectrum disorder were expelled and 12,287 received a suspension in 2018/19 (the last year we hold this data for). This is published in the publication ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England’ available at https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england.

The Department does not collect central data on the use of isolation in schools.

[1] As at 30 September 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of schools in the North East Bedfordshire constituency were rated by Ofsted as (a) good and (b) outstanding in (i) 2010 and (ii) at their last inspection.

The information requested is published by Ofsted.

For the North East Bedfordshire constituency, Ofsted’s data shows that the percentage of schools rated as either good or outstanding has remained stable; 82% in 2010 and 83% in 2019.

As of 31 August 2010, 53% of schools in the constituency were rated as good and 29% of schools were rated as outstanding. The equivalent figures for England were 50% and 18% respectively.

The latest available data is for 31 August 2019, which shows 68% of schools in the constituency were rated as good and 15% of schools were rated as outstanding. The equivalent figures for England were 66% and 20% respectively.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of alternative curricula for children with special educational needs.

The ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years’ makes clear our expectation that all pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils with special educational needs should usually be taught the same curriculum as other pupils, with those needs being addressed through how lessons are planned and delivered. The Code states:

“The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum.”

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 30 July 2019 to Question 280227 on Rodents: Gough Island, what (a) recent steps have been taken since 2019 and (b) are planned as part of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to eradicate non-native mice to protect the Tristan albatross on that island.

The UK Government has continued to provide support to RSPB for its programme to eradicate invasive non-native mice from Gough Island, to help save critically endangered seabirds such as the Tristan Albatross from extinction.

I am pleased to report that the RSPB has completed the eradication stage of the programme and will be continuing to monitor its impact.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2021 to Question UIN 132840, what steps have been taken since the response to that question to seek views on making separate regulations in relation to private waste-water pumps similar to the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 concerning the adoption of those assets by sewerage companies; and what steps his Department plans to take to ensure publication of that consultation.

Since my Answer of 15 January 2021 to PQ 132840, my officials have established the timeline for taking forward the work to seek to implement Section 42 and to consider the question of supplementary regulations to adopt existing sewerage assets, such as private wastewater pumps, constructed since 2 July 2011.

We will be engaging with key stakeholders from May 2021. This will enable us to develop possible policy options with the necessary public consultation on those options and our assessment of costs and benefits for early 2022.

The consultation will be public and will be available on Citizen Space.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 October 2020 to Question 106951 on Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, what (a) plans he has and (b) his timeframe is for completing that review.

Further to my Answer of 29 October 2020 to PQ 106951, I have now reviewed the case for implementing section 42 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

Section 42 implementation would cover the automatic adoption by sewerage companies of new, not existing, sewerage assets, constructed from the date of implementation.

This year, my Department will start the work necessary to implement section 42. Part of that work will include a consultation on our implementation approach as well as determining the timing for implementation.

Regarding existing sewerage assets, such as private waste-water pumps referenced in PQ 106951, the consultation will seek views on making separate regulations, similar to the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, concerning the adoption of those assets by sewerage companies.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether an impact assessment was carried out by the Chemicals Regulation Division on each of the chemicals that were withdrawn by manufacturers during investigation of those chemicals by the (a) EU and (b) Chemicals Regulation Division; and what the (i) economic and (ii) environmental findings were of each of those impact assessments.

The Chemicals Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive assesses applications for UK authorisation of pesticides against the legal requirements concerning risks to human and environmental health and product efficacy. If an application is withdrawn or if a manufacturer asks for an authorisation to be ended, no further assessment is carried out.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will list the chemicals that have been banned from use in the UK as a result of EU legislation over the last five years.

EU legislation requires that pesticides can only be sold or used if the active substance has been approved by the EU and the product containing it has been authorised nationally. Approval and authorisation depend on scientific assessment of risks to health and the environment. The assessment is based on the information available at the time and, if approval or authorisation is refused, it remains open for a fresh application to be made if new data addresses the safety concerns.

Information on approvals and on active substances that are no longer approved, can be found on the European Commission’s database at https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/pesticides/eu-pesticides-database/public/?event=homepage&language=EN. Information on UK authorisations can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/databases/index.htm. This does not include information about authorisations that have been withdrawn.

Companies that see limited sales from a pesticide can of course withdraw an active substance or product at any point. These cases cannot readily be identified from the databases.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of chemical bans by the (a) EU and (b) Chemicals Regulation Division in the last five years on (i) crop yields, (ii) costs of alternative chemicals, (iii) prices to consumers and (iv) farm profitability in the UK since the implementation of those bans.

The removal of banned pesticides from sale can adversely affect crop yields if alternative crop protection products or techniques are less effective. Alternative pesticides can sometimes be more expensive. Often these problems may reduce over time as new products become available or farmers find and adopt new approaches. The impact on consumer prices will depend on the degree to which overall market supply is affected. The impact on farm profitability will depend upon a number of factors including yield changes, farm gate price changes and input costs.

The Government’s review of the National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides will take a holistic approach centred on Integrated Pest Management which can reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and help farmers to combat pest resistance and support agricultural productivity. The Plan aims to support measures to minimise pesticide use and to reduce risks to human health and the environment. We will consult on the updated Plan later in the year.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011; and whether he plans to extend the provisions of those Regulations to include private waste water pumps not otherwise included within the Regulations.

Section 42 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 allows for the automatic adoption of private sewers for new developments by sewerage companies if implemented.

The Government is currently reviewing the economic case for implementation of Section 42 and will take into account the lessons learnt from The Water Industry (Schemes of Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, which expired in June 2018, when considering the scope of any new regulations and their application to sewerage infrastructure such as private waste water pumps.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals on animal sentience.

The Government is committed to further strengthening our world-leading animal welfare standards. We have committed to bringing in new laws on animal sentience. Any necessary changes required to domestic legislation will be made in an effective and credible way and will be brought forward when parliamentary time allows.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to East West Rail's report entitled 2019 Bedford to Cambridge Route Option Consultation: Public Feedback Report, whether his Department has (a) had discussions with representatives of the East West Rail Company on the provision to the public of data demonstrating the geographic distribution of consultation postcards to postcodes during the 2019 non-statutory consultation into the East West Rail route and (b) plans to require East West Rail Company to release that data.

The Department has had no specific discussions on the provision of this data; however I am aware that East West Rail Company is in the process of removing any personal details to ensure the data complies with data protection regulations, and will publish it on its website once this process is complete.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the latest cost estimates are for each phase of the East West Rail project; and how those costs compare with the cost estimates first submitted for each phase of the project to the Treasury.

Connection Stage One of East West Rail, enabling services from Oxford to Milton Keynes, was originally part of the ‘Western Section Phase 2’ of the programme before it was configured into Connection Stages. In the Phase 2 Outline Business Case submitted HM Treasury in 2019, the Anticipated Final Costs for Phase 2 were estimated at £1.1bn.

The current Anticipated Final Cost of Connection Stage One outlined in its Full Business Case is £1.3bn.

Plans, including costs for the other connection stages are at an early stage of maturity and still in development. We will release further details in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has instructed Highways England to review their speed of response for providing permits for roadworks to enable water companies to meet their targets set by Ofwat in relation to leakage reduction.

Water companies are not required to seek permission from Highways England to work on the strategic road network (SRN), only to give notice. In cases where planned work would cause disruption or clash with other plans, Highways England may ask the water company to adjust the day or time of the planned works.

Highways England is in dialogue with the utilities industry to forge closer relationships, in order to proactively support its roads delivery programme and the industry’s requirements on the SRN.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many journeys have been undertaken on average on each day on the A1 in Bedfordshire in each of the last three years; and at which locations those traffic measurements have been taken.

The table attached contains the data on how many journeys have been taken, on average, each day on the A1 between junctions 6 and the A1/A14, in each of the last three years. These traffic measurements have been taken from sensors embedded in the road surface at those locations also identified in the table attached.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken of the options for improvements or realignment of the A1 in Bedfordshire.

The first Road Investment Strategy (RIS), published in 2014, committed to examining the case for improvements to the A1 between the M25 and Peterborough. Following an initial study of the whole stretch, work focused on the sections between junctions 10 (Stotfold) and 14 (Alconbury), where the challenges on the route are most acute.

The findings have shown that improvements, including some new alignment, would offer poor value for money. However, as recognised in the second RIS, published in March 2020, substantial plans for future local growth could change that assessment. Therefore, we expect there will be opportunities to re-examine the case for potential improvements along this section, particularly as proposals for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, including East West Rail, develop.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Questions 34321 and 38037, when the audit trail which his Department is undertaking with the Rail Delivery Group to identify and validate whether the information on station classification contained in the access map is accurate will be completed; and when changes resulting from that audit trail are planned to be implemented.

The Department is not undertaking any audit work with the Rail Delivery Group. We are currently trialling some accessibility audits on a small number of stations which if successful will better inform our accessibility investment decisions in the future. This is due to complete in the autumn. The Rail Delivery Group remain responsible for ensuring the accessibility data on the National Rail Enquiries website remains accurate and up to date.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what type of measurements of air quality are taken along the A1 in Bedfordshire; in which locations those measurements are so taken; what recent assessment has been made of the air quality in those locations; and if he will publish the results of the measurements taken at each of those locations in each of the last three years.

A monitoring station that is part of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)’s Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) is located at the roadside alongside the A1, north-west of Sandy, Bedfordshire (52.132417, -0.300306). This monitoring site measures levels of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, PM10 particulate matter and PM2.5 particulate matter. The measurement data from this monitoring site is reported in near real-time and is updated every hour and is available online on DEFRA’s UK Air website. The monitoring site was compliant with air quality limit values for the past three years.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to (a) increase flexible season ticketing options and (b) increase the cost effectiveness of travel for rail users who are required to travel but with less frequency as a result of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Government recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a fundamental change in working patterns and that this could have long-term effects on commuter behaviour. As we move from lockdown to recovery, it is important that we get the balance right in the short and medium term between managing demand and ensuring that we provide better value for money for passengers going forward. The Department is working with industry to explore already available options for flexible commuters, such as carnets, and what steps could be taken quickly to make these as useful and convenient for passengers as possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's announcement entitled, £2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking, published on 9 May 2020, when he plans to publish the (a) criteria for eligibility and (b) date of commencement of the cycle repair voucher scheme.

On 23rd May the Secretary of State announced £25 million of funding to provide up to £50 to members of the public wanting to get their old cycles roadworthy again.

The Government is working with representatives from the cycle industry to design a scheme that can support up to half a million cyclists over the age of 18, including those using adapted cycles, who want to get their old bikes back in working order.

We are also working to enable and encourage as many competent mechanics to participate as possible, to ensure there is sufficient repair capacity and so that independent shops can benefit from the scheme.

We aim for the scheme to launch for members of the public by the end of June, and we will release eligibility criteria for customers at this time. In advance of this we will be opening the scheme to bike shops and mechanics to register and will provide further information on participation at this point.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide details of the accessibility criteria for stations on the National Rail Accessibility Map; and whether he has plans to update those criteria in each of the next 12 months.

The Rail Delivery Group are responsible for collecting and publishing accessibility data on stations in Great Britain and for keeping this up to date on the National Rail Enquiries website. Details of the accessibility criteria used will also be held by them.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the definition of step-free access used by the Network Rail Access Map only includes stations with cross-platform accessibility.

Network Rail publish a map showing stations in the Access for All programme which, where feasible, receive an accessible step free route into the station and to and between each platform. The information and maps on the National Rail Enquiries website is published by the Rail Delivery Group, the industry body representing the train operating companies. They are responsible for collecting data on accessibility at each station across the network.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether there is independent validation on station classification for the Network Rail Access Map.

The Rail Delivery Group are responsible for collecting and publishing accessibility data on stations in Great Britain and for keeping this up to date on the National Rail Enquiries website. Details of any independent verification will also be held by them.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the number of electric vehicle charging points in (a) North East Bedfordshire constituency, (b) Bedford Borough Council local authority area and (c) Central Bedfordshire local authority area.

The figures requested are in the table below. Figures are accurate as of 1st January, 2020.

Public Charging Devices1

Grant Awards for Private Charging Devices2

Area

(a) North East Bedfordshire Constituency

12

372

(b) Bedford Borough Council Local Authority

34

391

(c) Central Bedfordshire Local Authority

37

711

1) Source: Zap-Map

2) Data on private charging devices comes from three Office for Low Emission Vehicle grant schemes: the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) for businesses; the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and its predecessor, the Domestic Recharge Scheme (DRS) for private domestic charging devices.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to increase the funding of the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme, and how many grant applications for that scheme (a) have been approved since that scheme began and (b) were successfully made in Bedfordshire in each of the last two financial years.

We have already doubled the funding available for the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme (ORCS) over the last two years (to £5m in August 19, up from £2.5m, and to £10m for 2020/21, up from £5m) to ensure that more local authorities and residents can benefit from the scheme.

We have approved 73 grant applications since the scheme began, including one successful application from Luton Borough Council in 2018/19. We have not received any other applications from local authorities within Bedfordshire.

The scheme has supported over 60 local authorities to deliver over 2,000 chargepoints for residents who do not have off-street parking. Uptake of the scheme increased rapidly in 2019/20. In October, the Secretary of State wrote to all local authorities encouraging them to send their strategies for infrastructure deployment and to take advantage of ORCS funding.

We are currently consulting on bringing forward an end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. This includes looking at the package of measures that are required to support an earlier date, such as support required for those who do not have off-street parking. Budgets for ORCS beyond 2020/21 have not yet been set, but responses to the consultation, especially from local authorities, will help to inform our understanding of what might be required.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding will be available to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Grant Scheme in the financial year 2020-21 and in each of the subsequent five financial years.

We have already doubled the funding available for the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme (ORCS) over the last two years (to £5m in August 19, up from £2.5m, and to £10m for 2020/21, up from £5m) to ensure that more local authorities and residents can benefit from the scheme.

We have approved 73 grant applications since the scheme began, including one successful application from Luton Borough Council in 2018/19. We have not received any other applications from local authorities within Bedfordshire.

The scheme has supported over 60 local authorities to deliver over 2,000 chargepoints for residents who do not have off-street parking. Uptake of the scheme increased rapidly in 2019/20. In October, the Secretary of State wrote to all local authorities encouraging them to send their strategies for infrastructure deployment and to take advantage of ORCS funding.

We are currently consulting on bringing forward an end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. This includes looking at the package of measures that are required to support an earlier date, such as support required for those who do not have off-street parking. Budgets for ORCS beyond 2020/21 have not yet been set, but responses to the consultation, especially from local authorities, will help to inform our understanding of what might be required.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he plans to introduce changes to the Blue Badge parking scheme to provide eligibility for applicants with temporary disabilities or conditions.

The Department currently has no plans to extend eligibility to people with temporary disabilities or conditions. With around 2.3 million badges already on issue in England, a further widening of the criteria could place undue pressure on the scheme. It is important that the Blue Badge scheme remains sustainable and protects preferential parking facilities for those who rely upon them for their long-term independence.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will list the accessibility improvements that have been made to train stations in (a) the East of England and (b) Bedfordshire in each of the last five years.

In Control Period 5 (2014-2019), the Access for All programme delivered step free routes at 6 stations in the East of England, including Leighton Buzzard. In Control Period 6 (2019-2024) 8 of the 73 stations due to benefit from Access for All funding are in the East, including Luton and Biggleswade.

This is in addition to access improvements delivered as part of other major projects, and by the industry itself, which must meet current accessibility standards whenever it installs, replaces or renews station infrastructure.

Details of all of this work is held by the individual organisations and the information on the facilities available at stations is collected and held by the Rail Delivery Group, who you can contact using info@raildeliverygroup.com.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to (a) publish and (b) implement the recommendations from the Department’s review of the benefits system for terminally ill people and the Special Rules for Terminal Illness scheme announced in July 2019.

The Department is committed to delivering an improved benefit system for claimants that are nearing the end of their lives and is working across Government to bring forward proposals following the evaluation. I remain committed to implementing the key areas identified in the evaluation; a consensus to change the six-month rule; improving ​consistency with other services used by people nearing the end of their lives; and raising awareness of the support that is available.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to prevent silo working and improve information sharing within the Child Maintenance Service.

The Child Maintenance Service is committed to keeping an open dialogue and providing a cohesive service with other departments and stakeholders. We also continue to take opportunities to improve sharing of information where legislation allows.

Some examples of this are obtaining Real Time Income information from HMRC to inform Maintenance Calculations and ongoing negotiations to share information relating to self-employed parents who have been furloughed as a result of COVID-19

In addition, we have worked closely with HM Passport Office and Border Agency to taken forward the removal of passports to enhance our enforcement powers. The Service is also creating closer working with HMCTS, as Courts Services are being digitised, to deliver a more efficient and cost effective service for our customers.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service's Financial Investigations Unit.

The Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) is equipped with powers to conduct full and in depth investigations in to allegations made against a paying parent’s financial circumstances. They will then determine the most appropriate action to get Child Maintenance Payments flowing to the receiving parent.

Please find attached statistics of actions taken by FIU. These can be found on Table 12 of the National Tables available on Gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-march-2020-experimental

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she will take to improve the ability of the Child Maintenance Service to scrutinise effectively new claims of hardship from a paying parent who has previously been proven by the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) to falsify their financial records.

Maintenance liabilities broadly continue to be based on the NRP’s historic income; this is largely gross annual income information provided by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for the latest available tax year. This will enable calculations to be made more quickly minimising opportunity for inaccuracies.

The scheme is designed so that liabilities remain consistent over the year, with limited changes. The calculation is reviewed annually, and generally only changes during the year if a parents’ income increases or decreases by at least 25%. This threshold ensures calculations are relative stable for both the paying parent and receiving parent, so both parents know what to expect in terms of payments.

The Department recognises that some parents have more control over providing false income records which we use to calculate maintenance. In the first instance, we are working more closely with HMRC and making changes to prevent fraudulent behaviour. The CMS recently introduced changes to improve channels of communication between the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) who investigate cases with complex earnings queries and HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service (FIS).

Where an NRP’s gross income has been disputed, the Child Maintenance Group (CMG) can request a breakdown of the income figure provided by HMRC.

Those found to be abusing the system at this difficult time are subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate. The department remains committed to an effective child maintenance scheme that ensures all parents contribute financially for their children.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to exclude future increases to the State Pension from the calculation of income for the purpose of housing benefit eligibility.

Housing Benefit is an income-related benefit which is intended to assist people who need help to pay their rent. Any income that is available to meet those expenses, such as a State Pension, is normally taken fully into account when working out how much Housing Benefit can be paid.

There are no plans to amend regulations to allow a disregard for State Pension income, including any increases each year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether people with a reduced income after following guidance on coivd-19 are eligible for assistance with rented housing costs through the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme; and whether additional funding has been allocated to local authorities for that payment scheme.

We have increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Discretionary Housing Payments are made at local authority discretion, including the amount and duration of any award.

Local authorities administer the scheme as they are best placed to make informed judgements about relative priorities and needs in their area to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported and the limited funds are targeted effectively.

As we have announced at the spending round for 2020/21 there is £179.5m in DHPs for Local authorities to support renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sector. The increase to the Local Housing Allowance rates will help alleviate shortfalls in the private rented sector and relieve pressure on DHPs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take through the benefits system to support tenants to meet their rent payments during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus. With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

From 26 March, landlords have had to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.

This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the 3 month notice period can be extended if needed.

From 27 March, the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go in to it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 30 July 2021 to Question 31551, when UK residents vaccinated against covid-19 while overseas with a (a) Pfizer, (b) Oxford-AstraZeneca and (c) Moderna vaccine are able to be certified as vaccinated by the UK.

Work is underway to determine which non-Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency authorised vaccines we will recognise with confidence to enable United Kingdom residents vaccinated abroad to demonstrate their vaccination status. A solution will be rolled out in England as a pilot from the end of September.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) feasibility and (b) efficacy of providing monthly covid-19 antibody tests to care homes.

No assessment has been made on the feasibility and efficacy of providing monthly COVID-19 antibody tests to care homes. However, social care workers in England have been eligible for a free antibody test at National Health Service test sites through and the at-home testing service since Summer 2020 for adult social care staff to access antibody tests if they wish to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the medical needs of recipients of solid organ donations within the covid 19 booster programme; what priority will be given to such recipients in that booster programme; and when the Cov-Boost study, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will be published; and what the planned timescale is for the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations to publish its decision on the plans for that booster programme.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published interim advice on a potential COVID-19 booster vaccination programme on 30 June 2021, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-interim-advice-on-a-potential-coronavirus-covid-19-booster-vaccine-programme-for-winter-2021-to-2022/jcvi-interim-advice-potential-covid-19-booster-vaccine-programme-winter-2021-to-2022

As stated in the interim advice, adults who are severely immunosuppressed, such as those who have had solid organ transplants, may not respond as well to COVID-19 vaccines. The advice states that those adults who are severely immunosuppressed should be offered COVID-19 booster revaccination at the start of the booster programme. It should be noted that this advice may be subject to change before being finalised.

Final decisions on the timing and scope of the vaccine booster programme will be made later in the year, informed by further independent advice from the JCVI. The JCVI will review the emerging scientific evidence to inform the Government in our final decision-making process, which includes further data on the durability of protection from vaccines, data supplied by manufacturers and clinical trial data from the Cov-Boost trial on immune responses following a third vaccination. It is anticipated that primary data from the initial stages of this trial will be reported to the JCVI by the end of summer 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to add asthma to the list of long-term medical conditions that are exempt from prescription charges.

The Government has no plans to review or extend the prescription charge medical exemptions list. Around 89% of prescriptions are dispensed free of charge and extensive arrangements are already in place to help people, including those with asthma. To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, the cost of prescriptions can be spread by purchasing prescription pre-payment certificates. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just over £2 per week.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many coronavirus lateral flow device products were evaluated at phase 2 in the test development and evaluation programme of the SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow antigen tests; and how many of those products were fully manufactured in the UK.

The Department has evaluated 142 lateral flow antigen tests at phase two. Of these, 24 were manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department allocated to dementia research in the 2020-21 financial year; how much funding he plans to allocate to such research in the 2021-22 financial year; and what steps he is taking to increase funding allocated to such research.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The usual practice of the NIHR is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics. The NIHR welcomes research into any aspect of human health, including dementia. In 2018/19, the most recent year for which complete data is available, the NIHR’s total spend was £31.6 million. Total Government spend was £82.9 million. We are looking at ways to boost further research into dementia and to enable spending to increase significantly over the current Parliament. In March 2021, the NIHR launched a highlight notice on dementia which invited proposals for research, including meeting the needs of underserved communities.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to reassess the age groups targeted in the shingles vaccination programme to include people over the age of 60.

The United Kingdom’s vaccination programmes are based on expert review of the evidence and advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI made an initial recommendation in June 2019 that the vaccine for shingles was offered to those aged 60 years old and over, which had triggered further analysis. The Department is currently conducting further analysis and exploring the implications of delivering this recommendation with health system partners.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to prioritise the parents of children who are clinically extremely vulnerable for receipt of the covid-19 vaccine in the event that those parents do not meet the eligibility criteria for receipt of that vaccine under the terms of any other priority cohort for the delivery of that vaccine.

There are no current plans to offer the vaccine to the parents of clinical extremely vulnerable (CEV) children.

In line with current advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), adult members of a household that includes someone who is CEV are prioritised for vaccination according to their own age and clinical risk. They are not prioritised on the basis of sharing a household with someone who is CEV whether this person is an adult or a child. Children under 16 years of age, even if they are CEV, are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality and given the absence of safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, are not recommended for vaccination.

The JCVI continues to look at the emerging evidence on COVID-19 and will offer further advice if and when evidence is found that vaccinating a particular group, including household members of individuals most at risk from COVID-19, would further reduce overall mortality, morbidity and hospitalisation which is the overarching objective.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what arrangements are in place for the children of separated parents where one parent or child lives overseas to be able to move between their parents during the period of covid-19 restrictions on international travel; and what requirements are in place for the (a) self isolation and (b) quarantine of those children.

From 15 February, anyone permitted to arrive into the United Kingdom will have to isolate for ten days. If they been in a ‘red list’ country, this will be in a Government-approved managed quarantine hotel or, if arriving from an ‘amber’ country, self-isolation at home or the home of a friend or family member. It will be mandatory for all arrivals to take a test on day two and eight of their 10 day quarantine period. This will provide an additional layer of protection against the risk posed by variants.

There are no exemptions for joint custody parental visits. However, in situations where it would not be reasonable for a parent/guardian to stay in a managed quarantine hotel with a child who has entered the country, alternative arrangements can be made at the approval of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. This would be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is on the covid-19 vaccination priority for carers of children with SEN who are (a) in receipt of carers allowance and (b) not in receipt of carers allowance.

Eligible unpaid carers have been invited for vaccination as a part of cohort six of phase one of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. This follows the advice the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination (JCVI).

There is no distinction in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s standard operations procedure (SOP) between eligibility of those who are and are not, in receipt of carers allowance. The SOP is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/C1182-sop-covid-19-vaccine-deployment-programme-unpaid-carers-jcvi-priority-cohort-6.pdf

The SOP sets out a number of existing sources used by the National Health Service to identify unpaid carers as follows:

- Those in receipt of or entitled to a carer’s allowance;

- Those known to general practitioners who have a ‘carer’s flag’ on their primary care record;

- Those known to local authorities who are in receipt of support following a carer’s assessment; and

- Those known to local carers organisations to be actively receiving care and support.

The JCVI’s definition of an unpaid carer has been clarified in Public Health England’s Green Book for COVID-19 as “carers who are eligible for carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable”.

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, what assessment he has made of the effect on care homes of insurance companies refusing to provide insurance cover in relation to visits to care homes; and whether he has plans to publish an assessment on the effect of decisions made by insurance companies not to grant indemnity on care homes during the covid-19 pandemic.

We are aware that the adult social care insurance market is changing in response to the pandemic and recognise that some care providers may encounter difficulties as their policies come up for renewal. We are introducing temporary and targeted state-backed indemnity arrangements which will help fill gaps in commercial insurance cover and support care homes registered, or intending to register, as Designated Settings. These are care homes designated and assured by CQC for the discharge of COVID-19 positive individuals from hospitals.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on patients of the time limitations for bringing a claim against a manufacturer of (a) mesh, (b) essure sterilisation and (c) breast implants.

The Department has made no direct assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to (a0 monitor the delivery of Continuing Health Care (CHC) assessments and (b) ensure that CHC assessments are carried out by an appropriately constituted multi-disciplinary team with adequate knowledge of the condition to make an informed decision.

There are currently no plans to review the effectiveness of the Decision Support Tool (DST). The DST was originally developed in 2007 and has been reviewed periodically since then, with the most recent iteration being published in 2018.

The National Framework for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS Funded Nursing Care (the Framework) encourages eligibility appeals to be processed in a timely manner. It also lays out the expectation for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to engage in a person-centred approach, ensuring the individual, and/or their representative, is fully aware of, and involved in, the processes. Upon completion of the assessment, a clear explanation of how the decision of eligibility was reached should be provided, as well as an explanation of the appeals process.

There are Assurance Standards in place, which allow NHS England to monitor the performance of CCGs on the delivery of CHC assessments. The Framework sets out that CHC assessments must be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will review the effectiveness of the Decision Support Tool used for assessing Continuing Health Care eligibility.

There are currently no plans to review the effectiveness of the Decision Support Tool (DST). The DST was originally developed in 2007 and has been reviewed periodically since then, with the most recent iteration being published in 2018.

The National Framework for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS Funded Nursing Care (the Framework) encourages eligibility appeals to be processed in a timely manner. It also lays out the expectation for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to engage in a person-centred approach, ensuring the individual, and/or their representative, is fully aware of, and involved in, the processes. Upon completion of the assessment, a clear explanation of how the decision of eligibility was reached should be provided, as well as an explanation of the appeals process.

There are Assurance Standards in place, which allow NHS England to monitor the performance of CCGs on the delivery of CHC assessments. The Framework sets out that CHC assessments must be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to reduce the (a) length of time taken for the Continuing Health Care eligibility appeals process and (b) effect of that process on individuals and families going through it.

There are currently no plans to review the effectiveness of the Decision Support Tool (DST). The DST was originally developed in 2007 and has been reviewed periodically since then, with the most recent iteration being published in 2018.

The National Framework for Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS Funded Nursing Care (the Framework) encourages eligibility appeals to be processed in a timely manner. It also lays out the expectation for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to engage in a person-centred approach, ensuring the individual, and/or their representative, is fully aware of, and involved in, the processes. Upon completion of the assessment, a clear explanation of how the decision of eligibility was reached should be provided, as well as an explanation of the appeals process.

There are Assurance Standards in place, which allow NHS England to monitor the performance of CCGs on the delivery of CHC assessments. The Framework sets out that CHC assessments must be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, what proportion of patients identified to have suffered the effects of the prescribed drug promodos reported that their medical records between the years 1958 and 1978 have gone missing, what assessment he has made of the difficulties presented to patients as a result of those missing records; and what investigations his Department has undertaken in respect of those missing records.

The Department is aware that some patients who took Primodos between the years of 1958 and 1978 have stated that their medical records are incomplete or missing. However, the Department does not hold data on what proportion of patients who allege they have suffered adverse effects as a result of taking of the prescribed drug Primodos have missing medical records. It should be noted that medical records are generally held by general practitioners and not centrally by the Department. The Department has made no assessment or investigation into the reports that patient medical records from the period between 1958 and 1978 are missing.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to modify the NHS covid-19 app to ensure that the app is compatible with phone handsets that are unable to run the iOS 13.5 software.

The NHS Test and Trace app requires users to be owners of smartphones that are able to use Apple iOS 13.5 and above and Android Marshmallow and above. This is because the app needs the Exposure Notification framework developed by Apple and Google, which is only available in these versions.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, what proportion of patients identified to have suffered the effects of the prescribed drug sodium valporate reported that their medical records between the years 1958 and 1978 have gone missing, what assessment he has made of the difficulties presented to patients as a result of those missing records; and what investigations his Department has undertaken in respect of those missing records.

The Department does not hold data on the proportion of patients identified to have suffered the effects of sodium valproate who reported their medical records missing between the years of 1958 and 1978. There has been no assessment or investigation into this issue.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 August 2020 to Question 78605, whether the weekly covid-19 testing of care home staff and testing of residents every 28 days in all care homes without outbreaks through Pillar 2 referred to in that Answer commenced from 6 July 2020 onwards; and whether the supply of covid-19 tests is adequate to meet demand.

We started rolling out regular retesting for residents and staff of care homes for over 65s and dementia from 6 July. We provided testing kits to all care homes for older people and people with dementia who have registered for regular retesting kits by 7 September.

All remaining adult care homes were able to apply for regular retesting from 31 August.

We are meeting demand and issuing more than 100,000 tests a day to care homes across the country.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allow family members to visit relatives in residential care homes; on what date will those visits be allowed to resume; and if he will publish updated guidance to support those visits.

On 22 July 2020 the Government published updated guidance on visiting arrangements for care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus

Our priority has been to enable residents to be reunited safely with their loved ones. This guidance will be updated as the risk posed by COVID-19 continues to change.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether hospice (a) staff and (b) patients are eligible for antibody testing for covid-19.

We are rolling out millions of antibody tests to help us better understand how COVID-19 is spreading across the country which will be vital for future decisions about how to best control the virus. We are now testing National Health Service and care staff as well as patients where there is an identified clinical need.

For care staff, the antibody testing programme is being rolled out in a phased way across regions in England.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which categories of health and social care providers are eligible for antibody testing for covid-19.

NHS England has made antibody tests available to all its staff including those working on National Health Service premises but not directly employed by the NHS, and those in primary, community, and mental health care including community pharmacists. Further information is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/antibody-testing-programme-roll-out-for-nhs-staff-and-patients-letter-from-pauline-philip-and-professor-steven-powis

Antibody testing is also being made available for all paid social care staff in England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) improve the supply of testing kits to care homes, (b) put in place a system which allows for testing kits to routinely and automatically be provided to care homes at regular intervals; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the current application process for covid-19 tests for a care home.

The Department has rolled out whole home testing to all care homes registered on the portal. Since its launch we have been able to provide whole home testing to over 13,500 care homes in England.

On routine testing, we have launched this in care homes from 3 July. From 6 July onwards, we will start to roll out weekly testing of staff and testing of residents every 28 days in all care homes without outbreaks through Pillar 2. Bank, agency and visiting staff such as social workers and Allied Health Professionals working in care homes should be included in the weekly staff tests in care homes.

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, if he will publish on a daily basis the number of deaths from covid-19 in care home settings.

On 29 April 2020 the Government introduced a new method of reporting daily COVID-19 deaths so that it now includes reporting of deaths in all settings, including care homes. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/daily-death-reporting-now-includes-all-positive-covid-19-deaths

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes all deaths registered with COVID-19 in each week including in care homes. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending24april2020

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken since 11 February 2020 to maintain the supply of over the counter non-prescription medicines during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Weaver Vale on 13 March to Question 27668:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-03-10/27668/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on patient care of the variation in prescribing policies for coeliac disease across clinical commissioning groups.

The Department has made no such assessment.

A wide range of gluten-free (GF) products are available in most supermarkets and online.

Following consultation with major stakeholders such as Coeliac UK, changes were made to legislation in 2018. As a result, gluten free bread and mixes can be prescribed on the NHS to support people with established coeliac disease. This ensures the best use of NHS resources while maintaining availability of staple GF foods for patients on prescription.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which clinical commissioning groups provide funding for prescriptions for the purchase of food for patients diagnosed with coeliac disease; and what proportion of clinical commissioning groups that equates to.

This information is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent (a) general practitioners, (b) other doctors and (c) nurses employed by the NHS in Bedfordshire in (a) 2010 and (b) the most recent year for which figures are available.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care or in general practitioner (GP) surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the full time equivalent (FTE) number of doctors, and nurses and health visitors employed in the Bedfordshire area as at October 2019, the latest available data, compared to October 2010.

October 2010

October 2019

Change

% Change

Doctors

303

360

57

19

Nurses and health visitors

905

698

207

23

The Bedfordshire area is defined as those working at Bedford Hospital NHS Trust or NHS Bedfordshire CCG in 2019, and at Bedford Hospital NHS Trust or Bedfordshire Primary Care Trust in 2010.

The following table shows the number of GPs and nurses employed in the area covered by NHS Bedfordshire CCG as at September 2019 compared to September 2015, FTE.

-

-

All Regular GPs (excludes Locums)

All Nurses

NHS Bedfordshire CCG

September 2019

245

138

September 2015

227

133

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the proportion of households that have financial reserves to cover basic costs for (i) three months and (ii) six months.

The Government is committed to monitoring and understanding households’ personal finances in order to inform policy making to help people manage their money well, encourage them to save and access support if they need to get their finances back on track. As such, the Government works closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and engages regularly with many other stakeholders on their research and findings.

The FCA conducts biennial Financial Lives Survey of 16,000 adults which provides a comprehensive insight into the finances of the UK population. The latest findings from the survey were published in February 2021. MaPS monitor financial difficulty through an annual survey of 22,000 people. MaPS will publish the results of the survey later in 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to increase the number of households that have financial reserves to cover basic costs for three or more months.

It is important that consumers have sufficient financial resilience to be able to manage short-term shocks to income or expenditure to help avoid these events causing them to fall into financial difficulty or problem debt.

The Government is committed to supporting people at all income levels and at all stages of life to save, including working families and individuals on low incomes, to put money aside for a rainy day. The Help to Save scheme was launched in September 2018 and is intended to support working people on low incomes and in receipt of certain benefits to build their financial resilience while also encouraging them to develop a regular, long-term savings habit.

The Government has also agreed to maintain record levels of debt advice funding for the Money and Pension Service in 2021-22 to help people in problem debt get their finances back on track.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Green Book Supplementary Document: Social discount rates for Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Report for HM Treasury, published 16 November 2020, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed changes to social discount rates on (a) productivity of the economy and (b) other key economic factors.

The Green Book Social Time Preference Rate (STPR), or discount rate, is applied by all government departments in the formulation of policy appraisal. The rate has been set at 3.5% since 2003 and has been regularly reviewed by independent academic experts. There are no proposed changes to this headline discount rate, which will continue to be regularly reviewed in line with the evolution of appropriate evidence.

As part of the Green Book Review 2020, we have committed to an expert review into the application of the discount rate for environmental impacts. This will scrutinise the current guidance on environmental valuation and discounting and investigate the case for using the same discount rate as currently applied to the valuation of life and health effects. We have no proposals for changes to this rate at present.

The paper referenced, “Social discount rates for Cost-Benefit Analysis: A Report for HM Treasury”, was originally published in 2018. As noted in the paper, the views displayed in this document are those of the authors and do not reflect those of HM Treasury.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has recommended changes to the social discount rates that his Department applies; and whether those changes will be applied retrospectively to projects in the Government's Major Projects Portfolio.

The Green Book Social Time Preference Rate (STPR) or discount rate is applied by all government departments in the formulation of policy appraisal and has been 3.5% since 2003 following regular independent expert reviews. There are no forthcoming changes to the headline discount rate, which is regularly reviewed in line with the evolution of appropriate evidence in consultation with academic experts.

As set out in the Green Book Review 2020, HMT will however, be conducting an expert review into the application of the discount rate for environmental impacts. This review will scrutinise the current guidance on environmental valuation and discounting and investigate whether there is a case for using the same discount rate as currently applied to the valuation of life and health effects.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps UK regulatory agencies are taking in response to (a) the bankruptcy of German Property Group (formerly Dolphin Capital and Dolphin Trust) and (b) its effect on UK-based investors.

The UK regulatory agencies are aware of the bankruptcy of German Property Group (GPG), formerly known as Dolphin Trust, and the effect on UK-based investors.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a joint statement with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service. The statement sets out what UK consumers should do if they invested in GPG via an FCA authorised firm – either a financial adviser firm or a Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) operator – and they believe they were mis-sold. This includes how to complain to the Ombudsman service or submit a claim to the FSCS. The statement can be accessed on the FCA’s website (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/gpg-companies-preliminary-bankruptcy-proceedings).

Companies under the German Property Group are incorporated in Germany and have never been authorised by the FCA. However, consumers should be assured that the FCA is working closely with all relevant external stakeholders on this matter and will share any further updates as and when possible.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the Government of Germany on the oversight of BaFin.

HM Treasury Ministers and Officials regularly speak with their counterparts in Germany. The UK and Germany share high standards of prudential regulation and work together to promote these internationally through fora such as the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision. Oversight of BaFin is the responsibility of the Government of Germany.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing additional provisions on (a) the due diligence required of financial intermediaries prior to making recommendations to investors and (b) public disclosure of the fees paid to intermediaries.

The Treasury works closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the financial advice market works well, competitively and fairly for firms and consumers. As the regulator, the FCA expect financial advisers to understand their client’s knowledge and experience of the transaction being considered, to be fully aware of their clients’ financial situation, and to fully appreciate what the client is trying to achieve.

Financial advisers must disclose their charges to customers prior to any transaction, using a price list or tariff, confirming the specific amounts they will be charged, so customers understand what service they are paying for at what price. In the area of defined benefit (DB) pensions transfer advice, new rules came into effect on 1 October 2020 to ensure that costs and charges are clearly disclosed, and that charges are not contingent on a positive recommendation to transfer. This removes any incentives for an advice firm to act in their own interests, rather than their client’s, and places a value on professional advice, regardless of whether it results in a transaction.

In December 2020, HM Treasury and the FCA published an evaluation of the Retail Distribution Review and the Financial Advice Market Review to understand how the market has evolved since these reviews were undertaken, and to establish what the key remaining policy challenges are. The FCA also launched a “Call for Input: Consumer Investments” last year which looks across the whole investment market and considers systemic issues which may need to be fixed. The FCA are now considering responses.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of enabling information from the 2019-20 financial year tax return only to be used for eligibility for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme in (a) the hospitality sector and (b) other sectors of the economy that are unable to reopen in a timely manner as the covid-19 restrictions are eased.

There would be significant risks for the public purse if the Government relied on 2019-20 returns for the SEISS, as this would create an opportunity for fraudulent activity through the manipulation of trading profit figures. The Government cannot expose the tax system to these risks.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) continues to be one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world as the economy reopens.

The SEISS is one element of the unprecedented financial support provided by the Government. This support includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to support people who are examiners and have lost income due the cancellation of GCSE and A-level examinations due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has launched an unprecedented package to protect people’s incomes affected by COVID-19 including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for employees and support for the self-employed. Examination boards are independent organisations. As such, they are responsible for deciding on payment arrangements and discussing with HMRC as appropriate. The situation is complex, as the employment status of examiners varies, but the Government is aware that examination boards are providing information and updates to those affected.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance he had issued to HMRC on the (a) eligibility for and (b) operation of the Time To Pay service during the covid-19 outbreak.

HMRC are delivering an enhanced Time to Pay offer to fit the specific impacts of Covid-19. Time to Pay is available to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and are unable to pay their tax on time or have existing liabilities. The bespoke arrangement, which is agreed depending on circumstances, can cover all debts owed to HMRC. Taxpayers may be able to defer payments for as long as they need if they are unable to make a payment immediately. To this end, HMRC have set up a dedicated Covid-19 helpline to enable those eligible to get practical help and advice. This can be reached by calling: 0800 0159 559. HMRC will keep all operations under constant review as the situation develops.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information he holds on the number of people who have taken up a Help to Buy ISA in the North East Bedfordshire constituency.

The information requested is not available.

HM Treasury releases Help to Buy: ISA data on a quarterly basis and have made this information available in the latest quarterly statistics publication which was released on 27 February 2020. This publication is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/help-to-buy-isa-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2015-to-30-september-2019

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the impact on places of worship of the requirements of the Protect Duty; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of mitigation measures for people in voluntary positions in places of worship and other organisations potentially required to comply with the Protect Duty.

The responses to the Protect Duty consultation, which closed on 2nd July, provides a basis for Government to consider the scope and requirements of the Protect Duty, alongside assessing the impacts on those parties potentially within scope. These considerations will also consider the potential for unintended consequences and indirect implications of introducing the Duty.

The Government is mindful places of worship differ significantly in the nature of their function and operation from other locations potentially within the scope of the Protect Duty proposals. This is balanced against the threat posed by terrorism, and a need to ensure there are effective security measures at public places, regardless of their nature.

The Government will be carefully considering the issues raised within the consultation and our engagement events, including those discussed with representatives of different faith communities, before considering next steps.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what costs have been incurred to date to provide temporary accommodation for asylum seekers at Yarl's Wood.

The Home Office have stood down plans to use Yarl’s Wood as a temporary accommodation site for asylum seekers.

Accommodation costs are considered to be commercially sensitive and we would not provide this information for that reason.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to extend the Action Access pilot scheme in response to the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the numbers of women participating in that scheme.

Now in its second year, the Action Access pilot has provided women who would otherwise be detained with a programme of support in the community, including case management support. We are working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and they have appointed the National Centre for Social Research to independently evaluate this work, once the pilot concludes in March 2021. The evaluation is scheduled for publication Summer 2021. We will use the evaluation to inform our future approach to case-management focused alternatives to detention.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were detained at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre for each night from 1 March 2020 to 15 July 2020.

The Home Office publishes statistics on people in detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). Data on people in detention under immigration powers as at 31 March 2020 by place of detention, are published in Table Det_03a of the ‘Summary tables’ (attached). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

A report on Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, May 2020 (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-covid-19-and-the-immigration-system-may-2020), released on 28 May 2020, provides further high-level information relating to immigration detention and the impact of Covid-19.

Figures on numbers in detention at 30 June 2020 will be published on 27 August 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure people in immigration detention (a) at increased risk and (b) with an underlying health condition are able to (i) isolate in line with Government advice and (ii) access adequate medical treatment during the covid-19 outbreak.

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in immigration removal centres.

The safety and health of people in the detention estate is of the utmost importance. The Home Office is working closely with NHS England health and justice teams and regional commissioning teams to support the planning and delivery of healthcare services in immigration removal centres during the COVID-19 outbreak. All immigration removal centres have communicable disease contingency plans, based on PHE advice, and dedicated health facilities run by doctors and nurses which are managed by the NHS or appropriate providers. All receptions into detention receive an assessment within two hours by a nurse and can see a doctor within 24 hours.

NHS England have identified all people with known vulnerabilities across the immigration detention estate, who by age, underlying health conditions or both are at greater risk from COVID-19. Each of these detainees will be shielded using protective isolation measures as far as practicable. Detainees can also self-declare any vulnerabilities to healthcare or centre staff.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the design maturity of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme; and what the planned timescale is for providing design acceptance.

A comprehensive suite of rigorous tests continues, with Design Acceptance due in autumn 2021. Design Acceptance consists of Reliability Growth Trials, which are 75% complete, and Qualification and Verification trials. The Qualification and Verification trials, designed to test the system requirements, have allowed the Army customer to accept 52% of the design to date, with 95% of the requirements due to be submitted and accepted by summer 2021.

HM Government is undertaking the deepest and most radical Review of Britain’s foreign, security, defence, and development policy since the end of the Cold War. Final decisions on Warrior, along with all Defence Capabilities will be subject to this Review. This will include prioritising the capabilities most suited to the evolving character of conflict and to our future defence and security requirements. We do not expect to conclude these deliberations until the spring.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the UK will remain committed to NATO’s conventional deterrence tasks, including Enhanced Forward Presence; what role the UK will play in those deterrence tasks; and what the planned timescale is for that commitment.

NATO is the cornerstone of UK defence policy, and we are proud of our enduring commitment to its valuable deterrence role. As the leading European Ally, the UK makes significant contributions to operations, including as framework nation for the enhanced Forward Presence deployment in Estonia as well as in operations and defence activity from the High North to the Baltic region, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. We regularly contribute to NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission, to the NATO Readiness Force and to Standing NATO Maritime Groups. Working on a rolling timeline of five years, we are firmly commitmed to Estonia's regional security, through eFP and NATO, and I have made it clear that we will continue our presence for as long as it is required.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of whether changes are required for the armoured fighting vehicle capability in order to maintain the UK's contribution to NATO’s conventional deterrence tasks.

A variety of measures to modernise our armoured vehicle capabilities are being considered through the Integrated Review, which will enable the UK to continue to deliver a credible and highly effective armoured capability to NATO's conventional deterrence tasks over the coming decades.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has for a Land Industrial Strategy, including the role of armoured vehicle and turret manufacturing and production in that strategy.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is leading a cross-Government review into the UK's defence and security industrial sectors which seeks to identify how we can enhance our strategic approach to ensure we have competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries.

As part of this review, the MOD is considering its approach to the land sector including armoured vehicles and sub-systems. The review is ongoing, and its findings are being used to inform the Government's broader Integrated Review, the conclusions of which will be announced in the coming months.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish his Department's response to the call for evidence on whether local authorities and parish councils may meet remotely on a permanent basis, which closed on 17June 2021.

The Department is reviewing the responses to the consultation and will respond in due course. However, any permanent change would require legislation, and would depend upon Parliamentary time being available.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of non-disclosure agreements used by house building companies where there are disputes between the company and the house buyer after completion of the purchase of a property.

The Government is not aware that the practice of using non-disclosure agreements is routine. However, it is unacceptable for developers to be requiring non-disclosure agreements as a condition of carrying out repairs. This Governments expects all defects with a newly purchased home to be addressed swiftly and fairly. It is essential that homebuyers are able to have confidence in the quality of the home that they are buying.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to (a) challenge the reasonableness of estate rent charges and (b) have the right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager for the provision of services covered by estate rent charges; and what assessment he has made of the financial effect on freeholders of not having those same rights as leaseholders.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. Where people pay estate rentcharges it is not appropriate that these homeowners have limited rights to challenge these costs.

That is why the Government intends to legislate to give freeholders on private and mixed tenure estates equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of estate rentcharges as well as a right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal to appoint a new manager to manage the provision of services covered by estate rentcharges.

We will translate these measures into law as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Planning for the Future White Paper published in August 2020, whether his Department has costed the effect of being located in a protected zone on rural businesses and communities.

The Planning White Paper consultation closed on 29 October 2020, and we are considering the responses. My department is undertaking further policy development on the individual elements of the proposals. No decisions have been made on the details at this stage, and economic effects will be appropriately analysed before decisions are made and policy or legislation introduced.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Planning for the Future White Paper published in August 2020, whether his Department has produced an impact assessment for rural businesses and communities that are located in a protected zone.

The Planning White Paper consultation closed on 29 October 2020, and we are considering the responses. My department is undertaking further policy development on the individual elements of the proposals. No decisions have been made on the details at this stage, and economic effects will be appropriately analysed before decisions are made and policy or legislation introduced.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to extend beyond 2022 the grant funding available to parish councils to formulate neighbourhood plans.

The ‘Planning for the Future’ consultation published in August 2020 set out that Government is committed to retaining neighbourhood planning and wants to encourage the continued use of neighbourhood plans, and to help spread their use further, particularly in towns and cities.

Our current £34.5 million neighbourhood planning support programme runs until 2022 and we will confirm future funding arrangements at a later date.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding has been allocated to each local authority through the coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.

On 1 May, government announced up to £617 million available in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) to support certain small businesses that are not liable for business rates or rates reliefs and are therefore out of scope of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). As set out in the Grant Funding Schemes guidance, a local authority’s funding allocation for the LADGF equates to 5 per cent of the value of the hereditaments they have identified as in scope of the SBGF and RHLGF in their area: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

Local authorities have now closed their LADGF schemes and are in the process of making final payments to businesses. These must be complete by 30 September. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will contact local authorities shortly to arrange the return of any unspent funds.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to ensure that unspent monies allocated to the coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund are (a) re-distributed under that scheme or (b) returned to central Government.

On 1 May, government announced up to £617 million available in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) to support certain small businesses that are not liable for business rates or rates reliefs and are therefore out of scope of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF). As set out in the Grant Funding Schemes guidance, a local authority’s funding allocation for the LADGF equates to 5 per cent of the value of the hereditaments they have identified as in scope of the SBGF and RHLGF in their area: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses

Local authorities have now closed their LADGF schemes and are in the process of making final payments to businesses. These must be complete by 30 September. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will contact local authorities shortly to arrange the return of any unspent funds.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of local authorities with excess funding under Phase 1 of the Coronavirus local authority discretionary grants scheme scheme (a) kept all their criteria unaltered for subsequent phases and (b) amended the criteria to widen eligibility for subsequent phases of that scheme.

On 1 May, Government announced up to £617 million available in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to support certain small businesses that are not liable for business rates or rates relief and are therefore out of scope of the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund.

Local authorities were responsible for defining precise eligibility for the scheme in their area, subject to businesses meeting the national eligibility criteria set out in the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding .

We do not receive management information from local authorities on local scheme eligibility criteria over the lifetime of the Discretionary Grants Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of housing affordability in (a) Cambridge city, (b) Cambridgeshire, (c) Bedfordshire, (d) Milton Keynes, (d) Oxfordshire and (e) Oxford.

The Government planning framework guidance sets out that local planning authorities should objectively assess and evidence their full housing needs, working with neighbouring authorities where housing market areas cross administrative boundaries.

The assessment should address the need for all types of housing, including affordable housing, and identify the scale and mix of housing, and the range of tenures that the local population is likely to need over the plan period. It is for the local authorities and housing associations as registered providers (landlords) to decide what types of housing stock they want to deliver.

In order to plan properly, local authorities need to properly understand how many homes they need to build in their area. It is for local areas to make evidence-based decisions on the total number and type of homes needed in their area as part of their plan-making process

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 and what proportion of dwellings have a valid Energy Performance Certificate.

On 31 March 2020, the published quarterly statistics recorded a total of 20,485,644 Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for dwellings in England and Wales. This information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-energy-performance-of-buildings-certificates

The published data may contain more than one EPC for a property where multiple assessments have been undertaken and no estimate has been made of the proportion of dwellings in England and Wales with a valid EPC.

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 dwellings have a valid Energy Performance Certificate at each rating level in each local authority area as at 15 July 2020.

On 30 April 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published quarterly statistics which recorded a total of 20,485,644 Energy Performance Certificates for dwellings in England and Wales. Table LA1 gives a further breakdown of domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for all dwellings in each local authority, by energy efficiency rating. This information is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-energy-performance-of-buildings-certificates

The current publication provides statistics up to the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Subsequent statistical releases covering the second and third quarters of 2020 will be published at the end of July and October, respectively. These releases will be available via the same link as above.

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 estimate he has made of the average cost of upgrading a dwelling from Energy Performance Certificate (a) Band F to Band D, (b) Band E to Band D and (c) Band D to Band C.

The department has not modelled estimates for the average cost of upgrading dwellings from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band F to Band D, Band E to Band D and Band D to Band C.

The average notional cost for implementing all recommended energy efficiency measures in F or G band dwellings was £26,891.

The average notional cost for implementing all recommended energy efficiency measures in A to E band dwellings was £13,347.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 2.20 of the Budget Policy Paper of March 2020, what progress has been made on the examination and development of a case for up to four new Development Corporations in the OxCam Arc.

At Budget 2020, Government outlined plans to explore the case for up to four new Development Corporations at Bedford, St Neots/Sandy, Cambourne and Cambridge. Since the Budget my Department has engaged local partners on this work, and further detailed examination and development will continue in 2020 and 2021.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the level of housing need in the Oxford Cambridge Arc.

Supporting housing delivery in the right places is crucial to delivering sustainable growth across the Arc. The standard method for calculating local housing need enables all communities to have a clear, transparent understanding of the minimum number of homes they need. It is for local authorities across the Arc to calculate their local housing need figure based on the standard method set out by my Department


At Budget 2020 the Government also announced it will work with local communities and partners, to deliver a spatial framework for the Arc to make sure future growth is planned over the long-term in a sustainable and coordinated way.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what requirements the Government has placed on the provision of GP services ahead of new housing developments in the Oxford Cambridge Arc.

The National Planning Policy Framework states that plans should set out the contributions expected from development. This should include setting out the levels and types of infrastructure required, such as that needed for health. Such policies should not undermine the deliverability of the plan


Local authorities are able to use contributions from developers to support the delivery of local infrastructure, including GPs’ surgeries.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his policies on the Oxford Cambridge Arc of the analysis of housing need in that area in the National Infrastructure Commission's report entitled, Partnering for Prosperity, published in November 2017.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s report highlighted the significant potential of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area, and recommended steps to meet this potential. The report was advisory and the Government issued a detailed response to its recommendations in October 2018 and more detail on how we will work with local partners in March 2019.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the effect on the environment of meeting the need for housing in the Oxford Cambridge Arc.

As we develop the Spatial Framework we will embed high environmental sustainability standards in our approach in the Arc. We will begin thorough and tailored environmental assessments now and for these to be conducted in parallel with the development of a wider strategic framework across the Arc.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's press release, New measures on night time deliveries to supermarkets to support coronavirus response, published on 9 March 2020, whether the measures on extended delivery hours for supermarkets and other food retailers have since been revoked.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer provided to PQ 62505 on June 30 2020:

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department plans to take to (a) regulate the holiday park industry, (b) ensure that practices of park owners are fair towards caravan/lodge owners on holiday parks and (c) ensure similar protection to that available to owners of residential mobile/park homes; and whether he plans to introduce an (i) ombudsman and (ii) independent regulator to consider grievances in the holiday park sector.

The Government has taken steps to regulate all businesses, including holiday parks, to ensure they are run responsibly and that the right regulatory frameworks are in place to meet business and consumer needs. No further regulation of the holiday park sector is planned.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 protects consumers including owners of holiday caravans and lodges on parks licensed for holiday use, against unfair contract terms. Other consumer law protects against mis-selling of goods and services and prohibits unfair commercial practices against consumers, primarily in the course of marketing and selling.

Consumers in England and Wales can obtain free advice on their rights and how to seek redress by contacting the Citizens Advice consumer service (0808 223 1133) or through its website. In Scotland consumers can call the Advice Direct Scotland line (0808 800 9060).

Holiday sites are required to maintain their parks and ensure they are safe to use. Local authorities have powers to take enforcement action against site owners who breach those requirements.

Given these existing protections, the Government does not plan to give caravan/lodge owners on sites with planning permission for holiday use, similar protections as those on residential sites, or introduce an ombudsman or independent regulator.

However, we are aware of examples of poor practice in the sector and my department will continue to work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which has responsibility for general consumer protection, to explore how messages about rights and responsibilities can be communicated more effectively.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 18 February 2020 to Question 14608, when he plans to introduce the legislation to repeal Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

The Government is aware that homeowners could be subject to a possession order or the granting of a lease of their home by the rentcharge owner over rentcharge arrears. As part of our leasehold reform work we have committed to repeal Section 121 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to ensure homeowners are not subjected to unfair possession orders. This will be pursued when Parliamentary time allows.

The Government also intends to legislate to ensure that freehold homeowners who pay estate rentcharges have the right to challenge their reasonableness and to go to the tribunal to appoint a new management company if necessary.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals in respect of the non-domestic rating of public lavatories in Parliament 2019.

The Government recognises that public toilets are valuable community amenities. Primary legislation would be required to provide business rates relief for those public toilets owned by principal local authorities and parish councils, as currently such bodies cannot have their rates bills reduced through reliefs. The Non-Domestic Rating (Lavatories) Bill, which would have enabled this, fell when the last Parliament was dissolved. The Government will consider reintroducing the measure in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many homes have been purchased through the Help to Buy scheme in North East Bedfordshire constituency in each of the last six years.

The number of homes purchased through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in North East Bedfordshire in each of the last six years are in the table below. Data for 2019 is not included as it is not complete.

Year

Total number of homes

2013

77

2014

211

2015

248

2016

356

2017

452

2018

399

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)