Roger Godsiff Portrait

Roger Godsiff

Labour - Former Member for Birmingham, Hall Green


Division Voting information

Roger Godsiff has voted in 1680 divisions, and 73 times against the majority of their Party.

27 Mar 2019 - Exiting the European Union (Animals) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 3 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 15
29 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 14 Labour No votes vs 232 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 301 Noes - 321
29 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 14 Labour No votes vs 226 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 321
29 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Labour No votes vs 224 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 322
29 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 239 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 317 Noes - 301
11 Dec 2018 - Cannabis (Legalisation and Regulation) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour Aye votes vs 9 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 52 Noes - 66
12 Sep 2018 - EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) And Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 21 Labour Aye votes vs 143 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 145
18 Jul 2018 - 1. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 214 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 535 Noes - 3
18 Jul 2018 - 2. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 214 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 534 Noes - 3
18 Jul 2018 - 3. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 213 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 534 Noes - 3
18 Jul 2018 - 4. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 213 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 534 Noes - 3
18 Jul 2018 - 5. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 214 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 534 Noes - 3
18 Jul 2018 - 6. European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 214 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 536 Noes - 3
27 Jun 2018 - Healthcare and Associated Professions - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 164 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 465 Noes - 2
25 Jun 2018 - National Policy Statement: Airports - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Labour No votes vs 119 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 415 Noes - 119
18 Jul 2016 - UK's Nuclear Deterrent - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 48 Labour No votes vs 140 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 472 Noes - 117
24 Nov 2015 - Trident - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 13 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 64 Noes - 330
11 Sep 2015 - Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 73 Labour Aye votes vs 91 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 330
7 Sep 2015 - European Union Referendum Bill (Programme) (No. 2) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 204 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 517 Noes - 59
20 Jan 2015 - Trident Renewal - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Labour Aye votes vs 101 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 35 Noes - 364
13 Jan 2015 - Charter for Budget Responsibility - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour No votes vs 197 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 515 Noes - 18
15 Jul 2014 - Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (Business of the House) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 181 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 436 Noes - 49
15 Jul 2014 - Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Labour No votes vs 197 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 498 Noes - 31
15 Jul 2014 - Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Labour Aye votes vs 185 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 56 Noes - 454
18 Jun 2014 - European Semester - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour Aye votes vs 193 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 269 Noes - 217
31 Oct 2013 - High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour No votes vs 74 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 350 Noes - 34
5 Jul 2013 - European Union (Referendum) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 30 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 305 Noes - 30
26 Jun 2013 - High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Labour Aye votes vs 82 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 37 Noes - 325
26 Jun 2013 - High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour No votes vs 84 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 330 Noes - 27
21 May 2013 - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Labour No votes vs 194 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 161
15 May 2013 - Economic Growth - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 219 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 130 Noes - 277
23 Nov 2011 - Schengen Governance - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 171 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 461 Noes - 23
24 Oct 2011 - National Referendum on the European Union - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Labour Aye votes vs 214 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 111 Noes - 483
22 Jun 2011 - Smoking in Private Vehicles - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Labour No votes vs 43 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 78 Noes - 66
21 Mar 2011 - United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 211 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 557 Noes - 13
16 Mar 2010 - Equitable Life - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour Aye votes vs 283 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 291
1 Mar 2010 - Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 198 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 206 Noes - 85
13 Oct 2009 - Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Labour Aye votes vs 251 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 208 Noes - 260
12 Oct 2009 - Health Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Labour Aye votes vs 269 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 193 Noes - 279
12 Oct 2009 - Health Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Labour Aye votes vs 270 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 180 Noes - 288
8 Jul 2009 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Labour Aye votes vs 269 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 83 Noes - 283
6 Jul 2009 - Identity Cards - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 282 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 206 Noes - 293
6 Jul 2009 - Identity Cards - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 274 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 283 Noes - 203
24 Jun 2009 - Iraq Inquiry - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Labour Aye votes vs 288 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 260 Noes - 299
24 Jun 2009 - Iraq Inquiry - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Labour No votes vs 294 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 305 Noes - 251
13 May 2009 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour Aye votes vs 267 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 77 Noes - 278
25 Mar 2009 - Iraq War Inquiry - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Labour Aye votes vs 287 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 265 Noes - 303
25 Mar 2009 - Iraq War Inquiry - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Labour No votes vs 285 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 301 Noes - 265
17 Mar 2009 - Welfare Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Labour Aye votes vs 251 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 85 Noes - 408
4 Nov 2008 - Employment Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Labour Aye votes vs 212 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 53 Noes - 408
22 Oct 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 194 Noes - 306
11 Jun 2008 - New Clause 22 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 37 Labour No votes vs 292 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 315 Noes - 306
11 Jun 2008 - New Clause 22 - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Labour No votes vs 292 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 315 Noes - 294
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 292
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 48 Labour Aye votes vs 227 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 290
11 Mar 2008 - European Union (Amendment) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 10 Labour No votes vs 288 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 346 Noes - 206
5 Mar 2008 - European Union (Amendment) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Labour Aye votes vs 299 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 248 Noes - 311
5 Mar 2008 - European Union (Amendment) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Labour Aye votes vs 299 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 247 Noes - 311
28 Jan 2008 - Business of the House (Lisbon Treaty) - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 295 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 244 Noes - 303
21 Jan 2008 - European Union (Amendment) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Labour No votes vs 298 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 362 Noes - 224
15 Jan 2008 - European Communities (Finance) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour Aye votes vs 291 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 216 Noes - 301
15 Jan 2008 - European Communities (Finance) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 294 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 309 Noes - 208
9 Jan 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 271 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 169 Noes - 338
19 Nov 2007 - European Communities (Finance) Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 295 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 312 Noes - 215
14 Mar 2007 - Trident - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 94 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 167 Noes - 413
14 Mar 2007 - Trident - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 89 Labour No votes vs 222 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 409 Noes - 161
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 152 Labour No votes vs 162 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 416 Noes - 163
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 111 Labour Aye votes vs 197 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 196 Noes - 375
6 Nov 2006 - Police and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 288 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 204
31 Oct 2006 - Iraq - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Labour Aye votes vs 288 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 273 Noes - 298
31 Oct 2006 - Iraq - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Labour No votes vs 284 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 294 Noes - 264
24 Oct 2006 - Police and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Labour No votes vs 311 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 263
24 Oct 2006 - Police and Justice Bill - View Vote Context
Roger Godsiff voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Labour No votes vs 304 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 313 Noes - 272
View All Roger Godsiff Division Votes

All Debates

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
Bernard Jenkin (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
Julian Lewis (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
Peter Bottomley (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(19 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(17 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(14 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Roger Godsiff has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Roger Godsiff's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Roger Godsiff

23rd October 2019
Roger Godsiff signed this EDM on Tuesday 5th November 2019

Persecution of Christians

Tabled by: Jeremy Hunt (Conservative - South West Surrey)
That this House notes the 2019 report of Aid to the Church in Need entitled Persecuted and Forgotten? which shows that the Christian population of Iraq has declined by 90 per cent within a generation from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 150,000 today; recognises that any Daesh resurgence …
43 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 14
Labour: 13
Scottish National Party: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
24th October 2019
Roger Godsiff signed this EDM on Tuesday 5th November 2019

RSPCA report on Fireworks

Tabled by: David Crausby (Labour - Bolton North East)
That this House welcomes the RSPCA report Bang Out Of Order which investigates the distress caused to pets by fireworks; is concerned that 62 percent of dogs, 54 percent of cats and 55 percent of horses show signs of distress as a result of the use of fireworks which means …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Roger Godsiff's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Roger Godsiff, 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.


Roger Godsiff has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Roger Godsiff has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Roger Godsiff has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Roger Godsiff has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


1316 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
78 Other Department Questions
16th May 2018
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when she plans to make a decision on the future of the Access to Elected Office Fund; what assessment she has been made of the potential merits of reinstating this fund; and what information the Government holds on the (a) number of disabled candidates who have stood for office in each of the past five years and (b) the proportion of candidates who have stood for office in each of the last five years who have disabilities.

Representation of disabled people in our Parliaments, Assemblies and councils remains far too low. Data collected by the Electoral Commission in 2017 suggests that people with a disability or health problem are also under-represented in standing for office, although the data in the form requested in the question is not held centrally.

We believe it is primarily political parties’ responsibility to support their candidates properly, just as they must also support disabled employees, but within this, there will be ways the government can help too.

That is why the Minister for Women and Equalities has recently announced that over the next 12 months the Government Equalities Office will, with others, undertake a programme of work to help political parties to best support their disabled candidates and to consider how independent candidates can be supported, too.

While that work is under way, we will provide up to a quarter of a million pounds to support disabled candidates for elections in the forthcoming year.

These arrangements replace the Access to Elected Office pilot fund, which closed after the 2015 general election: further announcements will be made about them in due course.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2017
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the Government's policy is on whether organisations which lobby against a woman's right to choose whether to continue with a pregnancy should be permitted to receive public funds.

All grants are made in accordance with the Government’s Grants Standards (www.gov.uk/government/publications/grants-standards) which are designed to ensure taxpayers’ money, awarded through government grants, is properly agreed and spent. The standards provide a transparent and robust way to manage the government grants process.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Mar 2017
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2017 to Question 67623, whether she plans to make representations to the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the dismissal of those 10 employees or take any other steps in relation to those dismissals.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an independent body that makes its own decisions about staff deployment and redundancies, and I have no plans to make representations to it on this matter. I understand that the Commission will continue to provide support to those who are redundant, including through its redeployment networks and use of the Civil Service Jobs website and related contacts.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Mar 2017
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what information she holds on who made the decision at the Equality and Human Rights Commission to dismiss 10 employees at short notice in February 2017; what representations she has received on those dismissals; and whether she has discussed the reasons for the selection of those so dismissed with that Commission.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is an independent body and makes its own decisions about staff deployment and redundancies.

I have received representations from several honourable members about the redundancies mentioned in the question, but have not discussed these or the EHRC’s reasons for the selection of particular staff with the Commission.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, whether she or officials of 10 Downing Street have met representatives of Rolls Royce since July 2016.

Details of Ministerial meetings with external organisations and individuals are published quarterly and made available on the gov.uk website.

29th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what criteria his Department plans to use to decide which companies may place bids for the Land Registry.

A Government consultation seeking views on options to move Land Registry operations to the private sector closed on 26 May. My department is analysing these response to help inform a Government decision. No decision has been taken on the future of Land Registry.

29th Jun 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to respond to the letter on Syria from Medics Under Fire which was delivered to 10 Downing Street on 20 May 2016.

A reply has been sent.
6th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 23 May 2016 to Question 37459, whether he plans to provide additional funding or other assistance to college governing bodies which need to assess the effect of changes on groups protected by the Equalities Act 2010; what estimate he has made of the average cost to colleges of making such an assessment; and if he will make an estimate of the potential cost to his Department of conducting a single equality impact assessment on its policy of merging further education colleges.

The Government’s policy is to facilitate a review of post 16 education and training, with each area establishing the best structures to offer high quality provision to meet the current and future needs of all learners and employers within the local area; this may or may not involve institutions merging.

We have discussed and agreed with a wide range of stakeholders an approach to ensuring equality is considered by colleges as part of any restructuring and will shortly be publishing guidance on this as part of a wider package of support about area review implementation.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what links firms bidding to run the Land Registry have to offshore tax havens.

A government consultation seeking views on options to move operations of Land Registry to the private sector closed on 26 May. Government is currently analysing the responses but no final decisions have been made. We have not received any bids.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has undertaken of the potential (a) costs and benefits and (b) effect on equality of merging further education colleges.

We funded an independent further education adviser to undertake an assessment of mergers undertaken by the sector since 1992 in 2015. The results of the assessment were shared with the sector and are available here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-models-of-collaboration-post-14-further-education). That demonstrated that mergers could deliver significant benefits but that effective leadership and management of structural change was an essential part of ensuring the full benefits were realised as quickly as possible.

In respect of the effect of mergers on equalities, further education colleges are independent corporations and it is for each college governing body to assess the impact of changes on groups protected by the Equalities Act 2010 and to take that assessment into account when making decisions around mergers.

15th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

The Government believes we will need to take the step of enshrining the global goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions, reached at the UN climate summit at the end of 2015, into UK law. The question is not whether but how we do it. As a first step, our independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, is looking at the implications of the commitments in Paris, including the zero carbon emissions goal. It has said that it will report in the autumn. We will consider carefully the recommendations of the Committee.

This Government is committed to the Climate Change Act and the target of at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our priority this year is setting the fifth carbon budget (covering the period 2028-32) by the end of June and developing our plan on how we will meet our existing targets. We are clear that this must be done while keeping our energy supply safe and costs as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses.

11th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether Parliamentary authority is required for UK ratification of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

We expect the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement will be a mixed agreement covering areas of both EU and Member State competence. In that case, it will be subject to agreement by each EU Member State, the EU Council and the European Parliament. As part of this process the agreement will be laid before Parliament for scrutiny before it is ratified by the UK. We will confirm the procedures for Parliamentary approval when it is presented for signature.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, whether representatives of the UK's Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories will be invited to the anti-corruption summit in May.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Illford South (Mr Gapes) during my Oral Statement today.
9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answers of 11 February and 2 March 2016 to Questions 27077 and 28765, if he will commission a review of the legality of arms sales to Saudi Arabia which takes account of all recent representations on that matter.

Her Majesty’s Government is satisfied that we are not in breach of our international obligations. A licence will not be issued, to Saudi Arabia or any other destination, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. On that basis there are no plans to commission a review of the legality of arms sales.

29th Feb 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to attend the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016.

I welcome the UN Secretary-General's leadership in convening the World Humanitarian Summit which comes at a critical time given that there are currently more displaced people globally than at any time since the Second World War. We want to see a renewed commitment to the protection of civilians in conflict, a stronger focus on protecting and empowering women and girls, smarter financing, and a new approach to building resilience to natural hazards before they take place.

No decision has yet been taken about the composition of the UK's delegation to the Summit.

26th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the UK's policy is on the resolution passed by the European Parliament in February 2016 in favour of an embargo on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Her Majesty’s Government takes its export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world.

All exports of arms and controlled military goods are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application. This includes the UK’s obligations under Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP.

The UK is satisfied that we are not in breach of our international obligations, including under the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP. A licence will not be issued, to Saudi Arabia or any other destination, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the mandatory UK Licensing Criteria.

26th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2016 to Question 27077, on arms trade: Saudi Arabia, what representations he has received on that legal advice.

No representations have been received on the legal advice commissioned by Amnesty International and Saferworld.

22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 16 February 2016 to Question 26010, when his Department plans to establish the reading room for classified documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The reading room for classified documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is not yet open. Members of both Houses will be informed of the process and details of how to access the room shortly, once these have been finalised.

11th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his arms export policy to Saudi Arabia of the legal advice on that matter commissioned by Amnesty International and Saferworld, published in December 2015.

The policy framework for arms export licensing to all destinations, including Saudi Arabia, remains as set out in the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, known as the Consolidated Criteria.

This requires all export licence applications to be carefully assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated Criteria, taking into account all relevant factors at the time of application, including reporting by non-Governmental organisations, the United Nations and others.

A licence will not be issued, for any country, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the Criteria.

5th Feb 2016
To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, whether the Local Government Boundary Commission is under an obligation to ensure that proposals for boundary changes reflect representations it has received from people in the areas affected.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England informs me that the procedure for electoral reviews is set out in the Local Democracy, Economic Democracy and Construction Act 2009. The Act requires the Commission to publish recommendations and consider representations made on them.

In drawing up new ward or electoral division boundaries, Section 58 of the Act requires the Commission to take into consideration any representations made to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England within its consultation periods.

In practice, the Commission always conducts at least two phases of public consultation for every electoral review. First, in advance of drawing up draft recommendations, the Commission will invite local proposals for new ward or electoral division boundaries.

Following the initial consultation, the Commission publishes draft recommendations and consults on them before finalising ward boundaries and the wider electoral arrangements for a local authority.

After each phase of consultation, the Commission will consider all local representations against the statutory criteria which are set out in Schedule 2 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. The criteria oblige the Commission to have regard to delivering electoral equality for voters, to build electoral arrangements that reflect community interests and identities as well as ensuring that wards or divisions promote effective and convenient local government.

The Commission analyses all local representations to assess the extent to which they meet the statutory criteria. If submissions present a fair reflection of the criteria and can be accommodated within an authority-wide scheme, it will usually adopt them. In the event that multiple (but conflicting) submissions meet the statutory criteria, the Commission will choose the option which it believes most strongly reflects them. If no local representations provide a satisfactory reflection of the statutory criteria, the Commission will substitute its judgement and draw up its own pattern of wards or divisions for the area in question.

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment the Government has made of whether the TTIP trade deal will make the UK more vulnerable to lawsuits; if the Government will insist that TTIP does not contain provisions which would allow similar lawsuits to be brought in the UK; and if the Government will reconsider its support for TTIP in response to that lawsuit.


The Government does not comment on cases in which it has no involvement. Under UK laws a foreign investor can already sue the Government over allegedly unfair or unlawful treatment. UK domestic courts and our legal system will continue to be the main route for resolving the vast majority of disputes between foreign investors and the Government regardless of any investment protection provisions included in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This is because our domestic courts typically offer a quicker and cheaper method of resolving disputes.


The European Commission has published its proposal for investment protections in TTIP. This includes various possible measures to ensure these provisions are fair and transparent, including prohibiting claims from being pursued simultaneously under investor-state dispute settlement provisions and in domestic courts.


The UK will continue to work with the Commission on the details of these latest proposals. We need investment protections that ensure UK investors are treated fairly overseas by foreign governments. But the UK will make sure that governments can continue to regulate lawfully in the public interest.

6th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs' strategy to enforce the national minimum wage.


The Low Pay Commission publish an annual report on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which includes a full assessment of the Government’s NMW compliance and enforcement strategy. The 2015 report is available here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-minimum-wage-low-pay-commission-report-2015 - the next report is due to be published in February 2016.



4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing penalties levied on employers who do not pay staff at least the national minimum wage.


From April 2016, we are increasing the calculation of penalties from 100% to 200% of the arrears owed. The penalty is reduced by half if employers pay within 14 days.


By increasing the penalties for underpayment of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) we intend to deter employers from breaking the law so that working people receive the money they are legally due.


This new calculation ensures a tougher penalty for employers found to have underpaid the NMW.


The fast track Impact Assessment for increasing the penalties has been validated by the Regulatory Policy Committee and published here - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2015/324

11th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when his Department plans to publish the results of its consultation on UK Export Finance's anti-bribery and corruption policy.


The Government’s Response to the consultation relating to UK Export Finance’s anti-bribery and corruption policy is expected to be published early in the New Year.

7th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what targets the Government has set for improving the energy efficiency of low-income homes.

The Government is committed to meeting its legally binding target to help as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable reach energy efficiency Band C by 2030, with interim targets on Band E by 2020 and Band D by 2025.

This Government has also set a specific goal of insulating 1 million homes by the end of this Parliament, in line with our commitments on fuel poverty.

A reformed domestic supplier obligation (ECO) from April 2017 will upgrade the energy efficiency of well over 200,000 homes per year. This will help to tackle the root cause of fuel poverty and continue to deliver on our commitment to help 1 million more homes this Parliament. We are providing support for households to improve their energy efficiency through the new supplier obligation, which will run for 5 years.

Our extension of the Warm Home Discount to 2020/21 at current levels of £320m pa will alsohelp households who are at most risk of fuel poverty with their energy bills.

7th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether it is her policy to replace the Green Deal with other measures to help improve home energy efficiency.

The Government is committed to meeting its legally binding target to help as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable reach energy efficiency Band C by 2030, with interim targets on Band E by 2020 and Band D by 2025.

This Government has also set a specific goal of insulating 1 million homes by the end of this Parliament, in line with our commitments on fuel poverty.

A reformed domestic supplier obligation (ECO) from April 2017 will upgrade the energy efficiency of well over 200,000 homes per year. This will help to tackle the root cause of fuel poverty and continue to deliver on our commitment to help 1 million more homes this Parliament. We are providing support for households to improve their energy efficiency through the new supplier obligation, which will run for 5 years.

Our extension of the Warm Home Discount to 2020/21 at current levels of £320m pa will alsohelp households who are at most risk of fuel poverty with their energy bills.

7th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps she plans to take to improve home energy efficiency.

The Government is committed to meeting its legally binding target to help as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable reach energy efficiency Band C by 2030, with interim targets on Band E by 2020 and Band D by 2025.

This Government has also set a specific goal of insulating 1 million homes by the end of this Parliament, in line with our commitments on fuel poverty.

A reformed domestic supplier obligation (ECO) from April 2017 will upgrade the energy efficiency of well over 200,000 homes per year. This will help to tackle the root cause of fuel poverty and continue to deliver on our commitment to help 1 million more homes this Parliament. We are providing support for households to improve their energy efficiency through the new supplier obligation, which will run for 5 years.

Our extension of the Warm Home Discount to 2020/21 at current levels of £320m pa will alsohelp households who are at most risk of fuel poverty with their energy bills.

16th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps her Department is taking to improve the energy efficiency of homes; and whether any of the National Infrastructure Committee's funding will be available for use to increase home energy efficiency.

Since 2013 the Government has supported industry in delivering over 1.6 million measures which were installed in over 1.3 million households through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) alone. We are now working with the industry and consumer groups on a new value-for-money approach.


We’ve also commissioned an independent review led by Peter Bonfield to investigate quality, standards and consumer protection to ensure that the system properly supports and protects consumers.


The National Infrastructure Commission will be resourced to carry out its task of advising Government on the UK’s infrastructure needs and priorities. It will not have adirectrole in funding infrastructure delivery.


We are clear that support should be focussed on those with the greatest need.

9th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether the (a) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and (b) Trade in Services Agreement will be subject to a vote in the House following Parliamentary scrutiny.


We expect the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) will be mixed agreements covering areas of both EU and Member State competence. In that case, they will be subject to agreement by each EU Member State, the EU Council and the European Parliament. As part of this process the agreements will be laid before Parliament for scrutiny before they are ratified by the UK. After political agreement is reached on the text of TTIP and TiSA and it has been established that these will be mixed agreements, we will confirm the procedures for Parliamentary approval.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to attend the COP21 climate talks in Paris.

I will attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Paris.


I will meet world leaders to help lay the groundwork for an ambitious new global deal to address climate change. A global deal is the only way we can deliver the scale of action required to keep limiting the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees within reach. An ambitious agreement will help drive a global, irreversible, transformational shift to a low carbon economy which will promote innovation and drive down the costs of low carbon technology, further enabling cost effective climate action and mitigation ambition in the future. It will also help to create a more competitive, stable and transparent framework and opportunity for business and investors.

6th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether it is Government policy to phase out coal.

Coal accounted for 39% of total UK electricity generation in 2012, falling to 30% in 2014. This trend is expected to continue and the Department’s published forecasts suggest that, in our central scenario, the last unabated UK coal fired power station will close in 2026.


However, if market conditions are right, there is a possibility that coal could continue to produce electricity until the late 2020s.


Source: DECC Updated energy and emissions projections 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368021/Updated_energy_and_emissions_projections2014.pdf

5th Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what representations he has received on the Open University's plans to close regional centres across England.

The Open University is an autonomous institution and it is for them to make decisions about how best to structure their workforce and meet the needs of their students.

2nd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what consideration his Department has given to suspending the UK's arms export licences to Saudi Arabia in the light of the conflict in Yemen.

All export licence applications are carefully assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application. A licence will not be issued for any country if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the Criteria.


We keep all licences under review in the light of changing circumstances in countries of destination for UK arms exports, including Saudi Arabia.


A political solution is the best way to bring long term stability to Yemen and to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. The UK is fully and actively supporting the UN’s efforts to achieve this.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if she will announce the timetable for the publication of a new Energy White Paper.

Energy policy is constantly kept under review, but government departments do not publish White Papers as a matter of routine. The Government is focused on delivering its priorities to ensure security of supply, to keep bills as low as possible and decarbonise the economy cost effectively and does not have any plans to publish a new White Paper at the current time.



15th Jun 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, (a) how many people are being paid from the public purse for their work on the Chilcot inquiry, (b) whether such people are paid by the day, month or year or by the amount of work that they have done and (c) at what rate such people are paid.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport West (Mr Flynn) on 3 February 2015, UIN 222484.

10th Jun 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, what information he holds on work undertaken or progress made by the Chilcot Inquiry since January 2015; whether that inquiry (a) has received or (b) will receive public funds in respect of the period from January to June 2015; and when he next plans to next update the House on progress with that inquiry.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave it him on 9 June 2015, UIN 1272.

8th Jun 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, if the Government will send a representative to the (a) European Council meeting on 25-26 June 2015 and (b) Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 16 June 2015 to discuss the situation of refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

It is my normal practice to attend Head of Government European Council meetings, and for the relevant Minister to attend relevant Council meetings.

4th Jun 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2015 to Question 556 on the Chilcot inquiry, whether he has received any information or updates (a) regarding the inquiry since his statements at Prime Minister's Questions on 21 January 2015 and (b) on the work the inquiry has conducted since February 2015.

I have nothing further to add.

1st Jun 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will provide an update on the progress of the Chilcot inquiry; and when he expects the Maxwellisation process to be completed.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the former Member for Louth and Horncastle (Sir Peter Tapsell) and the former Member for Croydon South (Sir Richard Ottaway) at Prime Minister’s Questions on 21 January 2015, Official Report, columns 210-212.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the total value of contracts his Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

The total value of contracts the core Department has with private sector providers is set out in the table below. Records prior to April 2011 are not available.

2011-12

£144.2M

2012-13

£137.0M

2013-14

£216.4M

2014-15 (YTD)

£239.8M

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of community energy co-operatives to deliver reduced energy prices in the UK and in comparable countries.

This Government is committed to community energy and launched the first Community Energy Strategy in January 2014. A key commitment of that Strategy is to undertaken a sector survey in 2016 which will investigate a wide range of community energy benefits.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that families with children which fall behind with their energy bills receive the Warm Home Discount.

The Government recently responded to the consultation on extending the Warm Home Discount to 2015/16. In addition to extending the scheme to 2015/16, all participating suppliers will have to adopt standard criteria for their Broader Group schemes. This will make the Warm Home Discount more accessible to families with children and make it simpler to switch between the participating suppliers. The rebate for customers in 2015/16 has been maintained at £140 which means that an additional 71,000 Broader Group rebates will be paid to customers, potentially benefitting for the first time.

For setting a repayment plan for customers who fall behind on payments, all energy suppliers are required to take ability to pay into account. Some suppliers also provide special grants and other services to help families. Further information is available free from the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what the total value of contracts his Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

The information requested is not held centrally and can only be provided at disproportionate cost. Contracts of the Department are published on the Cabinet Office Website which can be found at:

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk.

The Department would be able to provide further contract information by narrowing the scope, if specific procurement projects were identified.

As an indication of departmental spend our financial records show that the following payments have been made to 3rd party suppliers:

  • April 2013 to March 2014: £184,784,757.64;

  • April 2014 to January 2015: £147,863,946.28.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, for what reasons community energy schemes are not permitted to supply to local markets; and if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on such schemes' ability to reduce energy bills of them being permitted to supply to such markets.

Community energy schemes can already supply local markets provided they hold a supply licence (or exemption) or have a partnership with a licensed supplier.

In recognition that existing routes may not meet the needs of every community scheme, the Government has established a Local Supply Working Group to identify key regulatory barriers and suggest solutions. An update on the Local Supply Working Group will be included in the Community Energy Strategy update that will be published in March 2014.

28th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how many families with children in (a) Birmingham, Hall Green constituency, (b) Birmingham and (c) the UK are currently in debt to their energy supplier.

The Department does not hold information on how many families are in debt with their energy companies.

Ofgem closely monitors domestic energy suppliers’ performance and publishes information in relation to debt owed by domestic electricity and gas accounts holders in Great Britain, but they do not publish data relating to families with children or constituency areas. At the end of 2013, latest data available, 1.5 million domestic electricity account holders and 1.4 million domestic gas account holders were in debt to their energy supplier:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/92186/annualreport2013finalforpublication.pdf.

Ofgem’s Domestic Suppliers’ Social Obligations: 2013 Annual Report

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
9th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he takes to ensure that equipment for which arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have been granted is not used for internal repression.

The UK aims to operate one of the most rigorous and transparent export control systems in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all prevailing circumstances at the time of application. Exports to Saudi Arabia continue to be subject to close scrutiny, in particular under Criterion Two which concerns the ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law’. The Government will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

Export licences are kept under review in the light of changing international circumstances. A cross-government mechanism can suspend or revoke extant licences when a changing situation, such as an outbreak of conflict or acts of internal repression, means the licence would no longer be consistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
27th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons the cap on the number of dental and medical students has not been extended to cover pharmacy students.

Pharmacy students are funded in the same way as chemistry, biology and other science subjects which will not be subject to a student number control at HEFCE funded institutions in 2015/16. Medicine and dentistry attract a much larger amount of Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) grant funding than science subjects like pharmacy. Therefore it would not be appropriate to cap pharmacy student numbers.

17th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, on what date the UK-Colombia bilateral investment treaty will be ratified; and on what date that treaty will come into force.

The UK-Colombia Bilateral Investment Agreement completed its parliamentary scrutiny under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act on 14 July 2014. The Agreement entered into force on 10 October 2014 which was sixty days after the date of receipt of the last notification by which the Parties notify each other in writing that their respective internal requirements for entry into force of the Agreement have been fulfilled.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
10th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, which companies have received licences for the export of tear gas to Hong Kong since January 2010.

Seven licences have been granted to four companies for the export of tear gas for Hong Kong since 2010.

The names of the companies who were granted these licences are exempt from disclosure because this information was provided in confidence and such information is commercially sensitive.

The Government will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
3rd Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether licences grated to companies to export dual-use chemicals that could be used as precursors to the production of chemical weapons to Syria remain in place.

No licences granted to companies to export dual-use chemicals that could be used as precursors to the production of chemical weapons to Syria remain in place.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
3rd Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will make public the names of the companies which had licences approved to export dual-use chemicals that could be used as precursors to the production of chemical weapons to Syria.

The names of the companies which had licences approved to export dual-use chemicals that could be used as precursors to the production of chemical weapons to Syria cannot be disclosed. Following an assessment under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act the public interest, in the maintenance of the confidentiality and overall integrity of the export licensing system, on this occasion outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of the name of the exporter.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
3rd Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he took to ensure that the export licences approved to export to Syria dual-use chemicals that could be used as precursors to the production of chemical weapons would not be used for this purpose.

Applications to export dual use chemicals to Syria were assessed thoroughly against strict licensing criteria, drawing on open source and classified information. However, the licences were revoked following a revision to the sanctions regime which came into force on 17 June 2012. No goods were exported to Syria under these licences before they were revoked.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
20th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what his Department's policy is on reviewing export licences to a country where defence equipment supplied by UK firms has previously been used for internal repression.

The UK aims to operate one of the most rigorous and transparent export control systems in the world. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all prevailing circumstances at the time of application. In particular, Criterion Two concerns the ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law’. The Government will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

Export licences are kept under review in the light of changing international circumstances. A cross-government mechanism can suspend or revoke extant licences when a changing situation, such as an outbreak of conflict or acts of internal repression, means the licence would no longer be consistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that companies are held responsible for labour conditions throughout their supply chains.

Companies are held accountable by investors, consumers and civil society as well as governments for the way in which they conduct their operations, including labour conditions, and how they report on their actions in this regard.

Since October 2013, quoted companies have been required to provide information in their Annual Report about social, community and human rights issues, including information about any policies of the company in relation to those matters and the effectiveness of those policies.

The Department has negotiated at the European level to strengthen current human rights disclosure requirements and make them more specific. Provisions have now been agreed that will apply across all EU Member States from 2017 to large quoted companies and Public Interest Entities. My Department will shortly be consulting on the transposition of these measures into UK law.

Additional disclosure requirements will be introduced in the Modern Slavery Bill. Big businesses will have to publicly state each year what action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free. This requirement goes further than any similar legislation in the world by applying to businesses regardless of the nature of a company or what it supplies, whether goods or services.

In September 2013, the UK was the first country to publish a National Action Plan implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The Action Plan underlines the duty of businesses to respect the human rights of their employees and those in their supply chains. My Department is taking action to develop guidance for businesses reporting on this obligation, beginning with the retail sector.

In order to toughen up our enforcement of the National Minimum Wage my Department has made it simpler to name and shame employers that break the law on the National Minimum Wage and has increased the financial penalty that employers pay for breaking the law from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the unpaid wages owed to workers. The maximum penalty has also increased from £5,000 to £20,000 and will be applied per worker not per firm.

10th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, under what circumstances of internal repression or violation of international humanitarian law an export licence for tear gas would be suspended or withdrawn.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and the prevailing circumstances at the time of each application. Criterion 2 concerns the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination, as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law. An export licence would not be granted if there was a clear risk that the goods to be exported might be used for internal repression.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts overseas have a standing requirement to monitor developments in human rights and conflicts in their respective countries and to report back if there are any developments that might affect licensing policy. In addition, open source material such as NGO reporting is used to make such assessments.

Licences are revoked on a case-by-case basis if the proposed export is judged to be no longer compatible with the Consolidated Criteria. Existing licences, and the processing of new export licences, may be suspended, again on a case-by-case basis, where the security conditions in the export destination deteriorate to the point that it is not possible to make a judgement as to whether a particular licence remains consistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
10th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment is carried out of the risk of tear gas being used for internal repression before an export licence is granted.

All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and the prevailing circumstances at the time of each application. Criterion 2 concerns the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination, as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law. An export licence would not be granted if there was a clear risk that the goods to be exported might be used for internal repression.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
10th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much tear gas was exported from the UK last year.

Information on the total value of exports of tear gas from the UK in 2013 is not available from published trade statistics.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2014 to Question 207177, how the text of the prudential carve-out in the Trade in Services Agreement will be agreed.

The European Commission negotiates on behalf of the EU according to instructions from its members. Member States are consulted for their views on the content of each negotiating paper.

The European Commission’s negotiators have the opportunity to discuss and amend texts through rounds of talks until a consensus is reached by all TiSA members.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2014 to Question 206108, whether UK law and export control regulations place any restrictions on allowing companies which have previously been ejected from the DSEI arms fair for selling equipment which could be used for torture to exhibit at future DSEI events in London, or whether that decision is entirely a matter for Clarion Events.

Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) is a commercial exhibition run by Clarion Events. Any decision as to whether to allow a company that may have been ejected from a previous DSEI to exhibit at a future one is a matter for Clarion.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between BIS and Clarion was set in place in 2013 to give Clarion the authority they need to control the activities of their exhibitors at DSEI. It sets out Clarion’s role and responsibilities, and those of the exhibitor companies, regarding UK export and trade control legislation.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2014 to Question 207177, who is responsible for drafting the text of the prudential carve-out in the Trade in Services Agreement.

The European Commission negotiates on behalf of the Member States in the EU. The negotiating teams of the EU and the other negotiating states are led by chief negotiators, and contain officials with expertise in the areas under negotiation. It is the mutual responsibility of these negotiating teams and their officials to draft the agreements, including in the case of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the prudential carve-out, which forms part of the Financial Services chapter.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2014 to Question 207177, whether the text of the prudential carve-out will be published before the Trade in Services Agreement is finalised.

The text will be released as part of a whole package when negotiations are complete.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what information his Department holds on whether the proposed Trade in Services Agreement treaty is likely to contain provisions to allow or promote the increased privatisation of public services.

The European Commission has made it clear that safeguards are in place in all EU wide trade agreements to ensure that Member State governments remain free to manage public services as they wish.

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1115

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what information his Department holds on whether the proposed Trade in Services Agreement treaty is likely to contain provisions to prevent increased regulation of the financial services sector.

The UK Government is a strong supporter of the Trade in Services Agreement, which provides an opportunity to address barriers to trade in services through seeking to deepen services trade rules and regulatory disciplines and to address market access objectives. Given the crucial role of financial stability to overall economic stability, governments and regulators need to have the ability to closely monitor and regulate banks, insurance companies and other financial services providers. The TiSA text will contain a prudential carve-out which will fully protect the ability of UK and international financial regulators to regulate and take any prudential actions for the sake of financial stability or to protect investors, depositors, policy holders or persons to whom a fiduciary duty is owed by a financial service supplier.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what information his Department holds on whether the proposed Trade in Services Agreement treaty is likely to contain provisions that would deny governments the right to require that data is held onshore.

As with other trade agreements currently in place, such as the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, we expect agreements under negotiation, such as the Trade in Services Agreement, to contain provisions regarding data transfer and provisions regarding data protection. As with other agreements, we will want to see these provisions provide robust safeguards for the protection of EU citizens’ data while at the same time allowing for legitimate data transfers to third countries.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what information his Department holds on whether the proposed Trade in Services Agreement treaty is likely to contain provisions to prevent the regulation of new insurance products.

The UK Government is a strong supporter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which provides an opportunity to address barriers to trade in services through seeking to deepen services trade rules and regulatory disciplines and to address market access objectives. There is no intention to prevent the regulation of new insurance products, nor would the UK endorse such a move. Furthermore, the prudential carve-out element of the TiSA agreement will fully protect the ability of UK and international financial regulators to regulate and take any prudential actions for the sake of financial stability or to protect investors, depositors, policy holders or persons to whom a fiduciary duty is owed by a financial service supplier.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of UK participation in a Trade in Services Agreement treaty on the Government's ability to regulate the financial services sector.

The UK Government is a strong supporter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which provides an opportunity to address barriers to trade in services through seeking to deepen services trade rules and regulatory disciplines and to address market access objectives. Given the crucial role of financial stability to overall economic stability, governments and regulators need to have the ability to closely monitor and regulate banks, insurance companies and other financial services providers. The TiSA text will contain a prudential carve-out which will fully protect the ability of UK and international financial regulators to regulate and take any prudential actions for the sake of financial stability or to protect investors, depositors, policy holders or persons to whom a fiduciary duty is owed by a financial service supplier.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons the UK decided to take part in the negotiations relating to the Trade in Services Agreement.

The UK Government recognises the importance of trade to delivering long term growth and jobs. The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is the first negotiation to focus solely on trade in services, an area of key UK competitive advantage. As the second largest exporter of services, with 6.5% of global trade, the UK is a strong supporter of the TiSA. Independent analysis shows that an ambitious agreement could add as much as £2-3 billion annually to the UK economy in the long-term.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reasons the text of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement treaty has not been made public.

Information on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) can be found on the European Commission’s dedicated TISA website - http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/tisa/ . In a bid to encourage transparency, the EU has published its initial TiSA offer from November 2013, the EU proposal for core text provisions based on the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the EU proposal on financial services.

Whilst the Commission are committed to publishing as much information as possible on the TiSA, for trade negotiations to work and succeed, it is necessary that there is a degree of confidentiality surrounding the negotiating texts to ensure that the best deals are obtained.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether companies which have been previously ejected from the DSEI arms fair for selling equipment which could be used for torture are permitted to exhibit at future similar events in London.

DSEI is a commercial exhibition run by Clarion Events. The decision whether to allow a company to exhibit is a matter for Clarion Events in compliance with UK law and export control regulation.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
23rd Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps he has taken to assess whether the whole of the reduction in costs levied for investment in renewables has been passed on to consumers by energy suppliers.

In December 2013 the Government announced a package of measures to reduce household bills by an average of around £50 in 2014 compared to what they would have been. The package consisted of a £12 Government Electricity Rebate which will be delivered to customers of all licenced domestic electricity suppliers in autumn 2014 and 2015, proposed changes to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which will result in £30-£35 off bills, on average, this year and voluntary action by electricity distribution network companies to reduce network costs in 2014/15, which will allow a further one-off reduction of an average of around £5 on electricity bills. All of the big 6 have announced how they will be passing the benefits on to consumers. This is set out in an Energy UK publication available here:

http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/publication/finish/3-factsheets-and-guides/1106-eco-changes-major-energy-suppliers.html

23rd Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will carry out an assessment of the positive and negative effects of setting the minimum wage at £10 per hour.

It is the role of the independent Low Pay Commission to make National Minimum Wage rate recommendations that maximises earnings, without damaging employment prospects.

The National Minimum Wage for those aged 21 and over is currently £6.31, rising to £6.50 from 1 October 2014. Given the remit of the Low Pay Commission, we can conclude that they would consider that a higher rate would have a negative impact on employment.

In its 2015 recommendations, the Government has asked the Low Pay Commission to consider whether we are entering a new phase where real term increases in the National Minimum Wage can be afforded without damaging employment rates.

19th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when the public register of beneficial ownership will be introduced.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will make provision for the implementation of a central registry of company beneficial ownership information. We will implement the registry through secondary legislation as soon as practicable following Royal Assent of the Bill, which is subject to the will of Parliament.

19th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the penalties will be for companies which fail to properly declare their beneficial ownership on the public register.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will make provision for the implementation of a central registry of company beneficial ownership information. The legislation will set out the penalties that apply to companies who fail to provide information, or provide false information, to Companies House. These will be based on, or extend, existing company law criminal offences.

12th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will increase the minimum rate of pay for apprentices from £2.68 per hour to £2.96 per hour.

This Government is fully committed to the National Minimum Wage set by the independent Low Pay Commission at a level that maximises the wages of the low paid without damaging their employment prospects by setting it too high.

We ask the Low Pay Commission to consider the evidence and recommend the National Minimum Wage rates, to achieve this.

This Government has accepted an above inflation increase in the NMW including an increase in the apprentice rate from £2.68 to £2.73. The increase will come into effect on 1 October 2014 and will provide low paid workers with the biggest cash increase in their pay packets since 2008.

The Low Pay Commission has judged that a higher increase in the minimum wage would risk damaging employment prospects for the lowest paid.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to disabled students' allowances on the number of disabled students completing higher or further education.

The announced changes to Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) will be subject to a full equality analysis to determine the impact of these changes on students with protected characteristics. The equality analysis will be given full consideration before regulations are laid before the House.

These changes will apply to all full-time, full-time distance learning, part-time and postgraduate students in higher education applying for DSA for the first time from the 2015/16 academic year. DSAs are not available to further education students, as the Government provides Learning Support funding to further education colleges and providers to help meet the additional needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether hydraulic fracturing will be permitted to take place under property where the owner's consent has not been given.

Shale gas and oil operations involve hydraulic fracturing in wells drilled over a mile below the surface. At that depth it is highly unlikely that there will be any negative impact closer to the surface.

Like most other industrial activities, oil and gas operations require permission from landowners to access their land in order to reach mineral deposits.

Operators prefer where possible to agree this through negotiation with the landowner, but there is an existing legal route by which they can apply for access where this cannot be negotiated. In this respect, it is already possible for an operator to gain access to land for the extraction of oil or gas without a landowner's permission through the courts.

The Government is considering whether these existing procedures used to obtain access are fit for purpose in relation to underground land. We have not yet made a decision on what actions we may take.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether he has carried out an equalities impact assessment of the changes to disabled students' allowances which were announced on 7 April 2014.

The announced changes to Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) will be subject to a full equality analysis to determine the impact of these changes on students with protected characteristics. The equality analysis will be given full consideration before regulations are laid before the House.

These changes will apply to all full-time, full-time distance learning, part-time and postgraduate students in higher education applying for DSA for the first time from the 2015/16 academic year. DSAs are not available to further education students, as the Government provides Learning Support funding to further education colleges and providers to help meet the additional needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Attorney General, when did Department received a request from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to give consent to a prosecution in relation to the SFO's investigation into GPT Special Project Management and aspects of the conduct of that organisation's business in Saudi Arabia; and what his Department's response was to the SFO's request.

I am not able to provide any specific information about an on-going investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. I can confirm that I am aware of this case and I receive regular case updates in relation to it.

25th Mar 2019
To ask the The Attorney General, for what reasons three former Credit Suisse employees, Andrew James Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Vaneva Subeva who are subject to an extradition request from US authorities, have not been charged under UK law.

Charging decisions are matters for the Directors of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office, who act independently. Such decisions are made by applying the Code for Crown Prosecutors. I cannot comment on individual cases.

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
10th Oct 2018
To ask the Attorney General, what changes have been made to CPS charging thresholds in cases of rape; and for what reasons such thresholds have been changed.

There has been no change of approach or policy in how prosecutors should make charging decisions in rape cases. It has always been the case that decisions are made in accordance with the Full Code Test.

The growth in the volume of digital evidence is complicating the gathering and analysis of evidence. To address the increasing complexity of cases we have introduced new guidance to help police and prosecutors with reasonable lines of enquiry and communications evidence. The National Disclosure Improvement Plan sets out further measures to ensure the proper processes are followed.

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
10th Oct 2018
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment his Department carried out to determine whether the CPS requirement for people who have been victims of sexual assault to sign a Stafford statement complies with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; what guidelines exist as to whether people reporting sexual assault must agree to sign such a statement; and what information those people are given about what that process involves.

A “Stafford statement” is not a CPS requirement, but is used by some police forces to seek the consent of the complainant to access material held by third parties when this is relevant to the investigation.

It is of vital importance that the personal information of complainants who report sexual offences is treated in a way that is consistent with both their right to privacy and with the interests of justice. CPS guidance is clear that requests for access to information held by third parties or on digital devices must be a reasonable line of inquiry, justified by the circumstances of the individual case. It should not be undertaken routinely in every case.

As part of the National Disclosure Improvement Plan, the CPS are working closely with the police to ensure that complainants are given the opportunity to make an informed decision about allowing police access to their personal information. This will ensure that complainants are aware of both how their digital devices or records will be examined and the use that may be made of any data obtained through that examination, including informing the complainant if it is to be disclosed to the defendant.

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
21st Feb 2018
To ask the Attorney General, whether any Shawcross exercises have been conducted into (a) concluded and (b) extant Serious Fraud Office cases in each of the past six years.

It is my department’s usual policy not to comment on any live cases. In the six years up until the end of 2017, there had been no Shawcross exercises in relation to any concluded SFO cases.

11th Nov 2016
To ask the Attorney General, what meetings he has had with ministerial colleagues to discuss the Serious Fraud Office's investigation of Rolls Royce.

I meet with ministerial colleagues frequently to discuss a variety of issues. However, as was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s policy to provide details of all such meetings.

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) information he holds on the effect on disadvantaged communities of the UK leaving the EU without a deal and (b) plans he has in place to mitigate that effect.

The Government is making all necessary preparations to ensure that we are ready for leaving the EU whatever the circumstances. We want to ensure the country is prepared at every level.

HM Treasury routinely monitors economic conditions and risks, and the Government has a range of mechanisms available to support vulnerable people. We stand ready to take appropriate action if economic conditions change. Furthermore, officials make estimates of the direct impact of spending decisions on household living standards, and would continue to do so in responding to challenges arising from leaving the EU without a deal.

We are committed to a strong safety-net for those who need it. This includes a well-established system of hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans as an additional safeguard for those who need them. Additionally, the government has been working with local authorities to understand how a no-deal exit might impact upon their services, including services for vulnerable people.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether additional resources will be allocated to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman as a result of the increase level of caseload from WASPI complainants.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of Government and is accountable directly to Parliament through the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Its resources are agreed with HM Treasury and approved by the House of Commons.

The Cabinet Office plays no part in allocating resources to the PHSO.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of Cabinet Office employees are paid through trusts rather than through PAYE.

No Cabinet Office employees are paid through trusts rather than through PAYE.

12th Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has issued any guidance or advice to Sir Martin Moore-Bick or set any limitations or requirements on the terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

The Inquiry is a statutory inquiry established under the Inquiries Act. It is independent of Government. The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference have not yet been determined. The Prime Minister has asked the Inquiry team to conduct a public consultation on the Terms of Reference and make recommendations on what they should cover. Details of the consultation process are published on the Inquiry’s website (www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk).

15th Mar 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the Crown Dependencies to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership.

The UK Government works closely with the Crown Dependences on tax and transparency issues. Our priority is the implementation of the new bilateral arrangements concluded with them in 2016, which are due to come into effect by June this year. Under these arrangements, the Crown Dependencies have committed to establish, where they have not already done so, central registers of beneficial ownership information, or similarly effective systems and to give UK law enforcement and tax authorities near real-time access to beneficial ownership information on corporate and legal entities incorporated in their jurisdictions. Nevertheless, it remains the Government’s ambition for public registers to become the global standard. If this happens, we would expect the Crown Dependencies to follow suit.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Gulf Strategy Unit's remit is; and which Government Minister set that remit.

The Gulf Strategy Integrated Delivery Team was established in 2015.

Its remit is to coordinate the Government’s strategic approach to UK engagement with the Gulf States as set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.

It employs three full-time and one part-time Government employees. One is military and three are civilian.

Administration costs were £70,004 in the 2015-16 financial year and the budget for administration costs in the 2016-17 financial year is £423,000. The 2015-16 figure reflects the fact the unit was established later in the financial year.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) military and (b) civilian Government employees have been employed in the Gulf Strategy Unit in each of the last 15 years.

The Gulf Strategy Integrated Delivery Team was established in 2015.

Its remit is to coordinate the Government’s strategic approach to UK engagement with the Gulf States as set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015.

It employs three full-time and one part-time Government employees. One is military and three are civilian.

Administration costs were £70,004 in the 2015-16 financial year and the budget for administration costs in the 2016-17 financial year is £423,000. The 2015-16 figure reflects the fact the unit was established later in the financial year.

14th Sep 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it is his Department's policy to reduce the overall civil service headcount in the current Parliament.

There is no central Cabinet Office policy to reduce the overall Civil Service headcount in the current Parliament. Workforce planning is primarily the responsibility of each department to determine based on their individual operational and policy requirements. Each department has their own spending agreements with HM Treasury for this Parliament and are responsible for ensuring they have the right workforce and capability in place to deliver their commitments.

Earlier this year, departments published their Single Departmental Plans, setting out the key programmes of work required to deliver the Government’s Manifesto commitments. Departments have been developing plans to ensure they have the workforce required to deliver their Single Departmental Plans.

14th Sep 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has made an estimate of overall headcount and spending on civil servants across all Departments over the next five years.

Workforce planning is primarily the responsibility of each department to determine based on their individual operational and policy requirements. Each department has their own spending agreement with HM Treasury for this Parliament and are responsible for ensuring they have the right workforce and capability in place to deliver their commitments.

Earlier this year, departments published their Single Departmental Plans, setting out the key programmes of work required to deliver the Government’s Manifesto commitments. Departments have been developing plans to ensure they have the workforce required to deliver their Single Departmental Plans.

The Civil Service constantly reviews its capabilities in order to deliver the Government’s agenda. Cabinet Office is working with all departments across the Civil Service to better understand their capacity and capability requirements over this Parliament following the decision to exit the EU, but it is too early to make a detailed assessment at this stage.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to change the staff headcount across the Civil Service in each of the next four years; and what the projected expenditure on staff is in that time period.

Workforce planning is primarily the responsibility of each department to determine based on their individual operational and policy requirements. Each department has their own spending agreements with HM Treasury for this Parliament and are responsible for ensuring they have the right workforce and capability in place to deliver their commitments.

Earlier this year, departments published their Single Departmental Plans, setting out the key programmes of work required to deliver the Government’s Manifesto commitments. Departments have been developing plans to ensure they have the workforce capacity and capability required to deliver their Single Departmental Plans.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing requirements on responsible tax behaviour into government procurement policy.

The Government requires good tax compliance behaviour in procurement. Procurement Policy Note 03/14 sets out the scope, background and detailed guidance for the policy of using the procurement process to promote tax compliance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0314-promoting-tax-compliance

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
9th Mar 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who is responsible for authorising pay rises of more than one per cent in (a) his Department and (b) HM Treasury; and what procedure is followed when it is proposed to grant a pay rise of more than one per cent to an adviser.

Salaries for special advisers appointed after the election have been set to reflect an individual’s role and responsibilities. As with other public servants, any future increases in special adviser salaries will be subject to the annual 1% cap for four years from 2016-17.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
3rd Mar 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department plans to accept the recommendations of the Commission on Freedom of Information that the Freedom of Information Act should be extended to private companies which hold public contracts.

I refer the hon Member to my Written Ministerial Statement of 1 March 2016 [Hansard reference HCWS566]

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
10th Feb 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to start the consultation on introducing legislative change to require transparency of the beneficial ownership of all UK properties.

Further to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member in November to UIN 17111, I can confirm that a consultation will be launched shortly.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
5th Feb 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria and pay grades his Department uses to decide on pay rises for political aides and special advisors.

All public servants, including special advisers, are subject to an overall 1% pay remit.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
1st Feb 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his policy is on the exemption of political aides and special advisers from the one per cent public sector pay rise limit.

All public servants, including special advisers, are subject to an overall 1% pay remit.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
14th Jan 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to launch its planned consultation on increasing the transparency of property ownership by foreign companies.

In due course.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
20th Nov 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2015 to Question 12011, when the consultation on making property ownership by foreign companies more transparent will begin.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 14 October 2015 to UIN: 12011.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
14th Oct 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Prime Minister's speech in Singapore of 28 July 2015, when he plans to initiate the consultation into making property ownership by foreign companies more transparent; what format he plans for that consultation to take; who he plans to invite to participate in that consultation; and when he plans for it to be concluded.

The consultation on making property ownership by foreign companies more transparent will be launched in the near future. The format and scope will be decided on shortly. The

consultation will allow stakeholders sufficient time to provide a considered response.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the total value of contracts his Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

This Government is committed to transparency and, since January 2011, central government departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder information on contracts above the value of £10,000. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder.

All payments made by the Cabinet Office over £25,000 are published on data.gov.uk

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons his Department requested that government departments review the check-off system for union subscriptions.

The deduction of trade union subscriptions from payroll through check-off is a matter delegated to Departments.

Departments should keep these arrangements under review to ensure that they are appropriate and meet the needs of a modern workplace, as per section 7.3.3 of the Civil Service management code.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish copies of the correspondence sent by his Department to other government departments requesting that they review the check-off system for union subscriptions.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland on 3 March 2014 (Official Report) Column Ref: 663W.

20th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made a comparative assessment of the level of customer service provided at post offices operated by (a) the Post Office and (b) WH Smith; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has no involvement in the day to day running of the Post Office. The Post Office is committed to ensuring all branches across its network offer excellent customer service and has a long history of working with its many franchise partners, including WHSmith to achieve this.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2018 to Question 186941 on Offshore Industry: Oil, and with reference to the October 2018 IPCC report recommendations on the reduction in emissions required by 2030, what his Department's definition is of the time frame medium term.

We need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix, so we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system as we continue to move to a low carbon economy. There will be an ongoing role for some fossil fuels during this transition.

While there is a wide range of possible pathways to meet our emission reduction targets, we expect some fossil fuels to play an important ongoing role in the coming decades when combined with Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has (a) sought and (b) obtained guarantees from WH Smith that post office staff will not be (i) made redundant and (ii) moved to roles with (A) poorer working conditions and (B) lower pay after their branches are franchised.

As an independent organisation, the Government has no in the day to day running of the Post Office. However, the Post Office has been clear in its duty of care for any staff affected. Staff affected have the right to transfer their employment to the franchise partner under protected existing terms and conditions in line with Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE) or voluntarily leave with a settlement.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2018 to Question 189542, on Carbon Budgets: Climate Change, and with reference to the Committee on Climate Change’s assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the UK’s decarbonisation pathway, whether it is mandatory that the committee includes an assessment of the costs incurred by continued high carbon emissions.

We have asked the Committee on Climate Change to consider the costs and benefits associated with the range of possible scenarios they recommend and to provide a comparison with the costs and benefits of meeting our current long-term target. When assessing costs, consideration will be given to the impacts, both positive and negative, of innovation and global deployment of technologies. The assessment of benefits will take into account costs avoided.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to use money from the public purse for (a) redundancy and (b) compensation payments as a result of the upcoming franchising of post office branches to WHSmith; and what estimate has been made of those payments.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. Decisions around franchising and staff employment are both operational matters of commercial judgement for the Post Office.

14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 November to Question 186939 on British Petroleum: Offshore Industry, whether the Oil and Gas Authority (a) must or (b) may take into account the effect of oil and gas developments on the UK’s carbon emissions and commitments as a signatory to the Paris Agreement when making such decisions.

The remit of the Oil and Gas Authority is to Maximise the Economic Recovery of Petroleum from the UKCS (MER UK). The Energy Act 2016 sets out matters to which the OGA must have regard whilst exercising its functions.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/20/section/8/enacted

Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the UK’s economy are taken into account when assessing our performance against the carbon budgets and the UK remains committed to the Paris Agreement.

As part of this, we have requested that they provide evidence on how reductions in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and we will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

14th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of the potential effect on the UK's (a) total carbon emissions and (b) ability to filful its commitments as a signatory to the Paris agreement on climate change of the carbon emissions generated by the consumption of oil and gas produced as a result of the UK’s 31st offshore licensing round.

The independent oil and gas regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), has a principal statutory objective to maximise the economic recovery of petroleum from the UK Continental Shelf. This informs their licensing decisions. In the UK, we have been producing oil and gas from offshore fields for more than 50 years and the 31st offshore licensing round could offer further opportunities to contribute to the UK’s diverse energy mix as we transition to a low carbon economy.

Oil and gas will continue to play an important role as part of the energy mix for decades to come. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the UK’s economy are taken into account when assessing our performance against the carbon budgets.

The UK remains committed to the Paris Agreement and we are leading the world in our response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming of 1.5°C– commissioning the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, just one week after its publication. As part of this, we have requested that they provide evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and we will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

9th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2018 to Question 186934, whether the Committee on Climate Change's response to the IPCC report on global warming of 1.5 degrees will be permitted to include recommendations on (a) the cost effectiveness and (b) the benefit to the climate of amending the fourth or fifth carbon budget to provide more rapid reduction of the UK’s carbon emissions in line with the timeframe recommended by the IPCC.

The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) focus for this particular advice will rightly be on our long-term targets, including the costs, benefits and deliverability of more ambitious targets.

Although government has asked the CCC not to consider formally carbon budgets four and five as part of this commission, they have been asked for evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy.

If the CCC considers that the most effective way of communicating this information is through a cost-effective pathway (which could include the years captured by carbon budgets four and five), they may incorporate that information into their advice.

9th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November 2018 to Question 186935 on Carbon Budgets: Climate Change, whether the Committee on Climate Change’s response to the IPCC report on 1.5 degrees will be permitted to include recommendations on amending the UK's third, fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) focus for this particular advice will rightly be on our long-term targets.

Although government has asked the CCC not to consider formally carbon budgets four and five as part of this commission, they have been asked for evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy.

If the CCC considers that the most effective way of communicating this information is through a cost-effective pathway (which could include the years captured by carbon budgets four and five), they may incorporate that information into their advice.

5th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2018 to Question 184876 on North Sea Oil, what assessment he has made of the effect of continued investment in new oil and gas on compliance with the timeframes set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Oil and gas will continue to play an important role as part of the energy mix for decades to come. As we continue to move to a low carbon economy we need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix, so we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system. This means that in the medium term there will be a role for oil and gas; currently over 85% of the population use gas for heating and around 65% for cooking, with UK Continental Shelf oil and gas production still equivalent to around half of demand.

We are leading the world in our response to the special report on global warming of 1.5°C – commissioning the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, just one week after its publication. As part of this, we have requested that they provide evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and we will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

As part of this, we have requested that they provide evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and we will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings have been held between representatives from BP and (a) his Ministers, (b) his officials and (c) representatives from the Oil and Gas Authority in each of the last two years.

All Government Ministers and officials meet regularly with industry representatives, including those from the energy industry. A register of ministerial meetings is published on a quarterly basis as part of Departments’ transparency data.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) the Oil and Gas Authority and (b) his Department carried out an assessment on the potential effect on the climate of the development of the Alligin oil field before granting permission for that field to be developed.

We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the UK’s economy are taken into account when assessing our performance against the Carbon Budgets- this includes emissions from offshore oil production sites on the UK sector of the continental shelf.

As we continue to move to a low carbon economy we need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix so we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system. This means that in the medium term there will be a role for some fossil fuels.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the oil to be extracted from the Alligin oil field will be (a) used in domestic markets or (b) exported.

The Alligin field is due to start production in 2020, with the crude oil produced sold on the international market and therefore available for both export and domestic consumption depending on prevailing market conditions and commercial considerations. Trading oil on the international market is the best way to ensure reliable and affordable supplies for UK consumers. The Government remains committed to ensuring the UK gets the maximum economic benefit from its oil and gas reserves.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 26 October 2018 to Question 181237 on Carbon budgets: Climate change, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to amend the fourth and fifth carbon budgets and place the UK on the steeper decarbonisation pathway recommended by the Committee on Climate Change.

The UK was the first country to introduce long-term legally binding emission reduction targets through the Climate Change Act 10 years ago, and since then we have galvanised action and initiative across the UK and internationally, including helping secure the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015 and launching the Powering Past Coal Alliance.

The fourth and fifth carbon budgets require ambitious emissions reductions equivalent to 51% and 57% over the periods 2023-27 and 2028-32 from a 1990 baseline, and we have some of the most stringent legislative targets in the world.

Following the recent IPCC report, we commissioned advice from the Committee on Climate Change on our long-term targets. As noted by the CCC, this may include an update of their advice on the most cost-effective pathway for emission reduction. We will consider that advice carefully when it is received.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) representations his Department has received and (b) assessment his Department has made since the publication of the IPCC report on global warming of 1.5 degrees on the potential (i) economic and (ii) climatic merits of amending the UK's third, fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

The Department receives a wide variety of representations on many topics including the IPCC Special Report on global warming of 1.5 degrees.

We are leading the world in our response to the IPCC report – commissioning our independent experts, the Committee on Climate Change, for advice on our long-term targets a week after the report’s publication. We will consider the Committee’s advice carefully when received.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the decision to permit the development of the Alligin oil field by BP was taken by (a) the Oil and Gas Authority or (b) the Government.

The Energy Act 2016 which established the Oil and Gas Authority as an independent company to regulate, promote and influence the UK oil and gas sector. The Oil and Gas Authority, in their role to regulate the sector, were responsible for taking the decision to permit the development of the Alligin oil field.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compatibility between the Oil and Gas Authority's remit of maximising revenues from oil and gas recovery and (a) the Government's decarbonisation commitments under the Paris Agreement and (b) the recommendations of the IPCC on the speed of decarbonisation required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Oil and gas will continue to play an important role as part of the energy mix for decades to come. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions form 1990 levels by 80% by 2050 and any emission from use of oil or gas will be included in our binding carbon budgets


As we continue to move to a low carbon economy we need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix, so that we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system. This means that in the medium term there will be a role for oil and gas; over 85% of the population currently use gas for heating and around 65% for cooking, with UK Continental Shelf oil and gas production still equivalent to around half of demand.

We are leading the world in our response to the special report on global warming of 1.5°C – commissioning the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, just one week after its publication.

As part of this, we have requested that they provide evidence on how reductions in line with the CCC’s recommendations might be delivered in key sectors of the economy and we will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the development of the Alligin oil field will be included in the UK's carbon budget.

We are committed to reducing carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 80% by 2050 and any emission from use of oil or gas will be included in our binding carbon budgets.

As we continue to move to a low carbon economy we need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix so we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system. This means that in the medium term there will be a role for some fossil fuels.

Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the UK’s economy are taken into account when assessing our performance against carbon budgets. This includes emissions from offshore oil and gas production sites on the UK Continental Shelf.

30th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how he plans to assess the effectiveness of his Department's implementation of the recommendations that are forthcoming from the Committee on Climate Change in their response to the IPCC report on global warming of 1.5 degrees.

Last month we asked the Committee on Climate Change for their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, including on setting a net zero target. We expect to receive their response in spring 2019 and will consider their recommendations carefully before deciding any appropriate next steps to take.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the time required to restructure the UK's economy to reach zero carbon emissions before 2050.

Following the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming of 1.5°C last month, I have asked our independent experts, the Committee on Climate Change, for their advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emissions reduction targets, including on setting a net zero target and how emissions reductions might be achieved across the economy.

We will consider their advice carefully when it is received.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will assess the effect of the decision to permit the development of the Alligin oil field in the North Sea on the UK's (a) carbon emissions and (b) ability to fulfil its commitments as a signatory to the Paris agreement on climate change.

The decision to permit new oil and gas developments in the UK Continental Shelf is a matter for the independent regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority. In the UK, we have been producing oil and gas from offshore fields for more than 50 years and this new field will contribute to the UK’s diverse energy mix as we transition to a low carbon economy.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings (a) he, (b) the Minister with responsibility for Climate Change, (c) other Ministers in his Department and (d) officials in his Department have had with representatives of Cuadrilla in the last three years.

All Government Ministers and officials meet regularly with industry representatives, including those from the energy industry. A register of ministerial meetings is published on a quarterly basis as part of Departments’ transparency data.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2018 to Question 180631, what progress has been made on developing carbon capture and storage; how many plants are using that technology; what the price per tonne is of carbon captured in the UK; what proportion of carbon emissions are captured; and what projection he has made of the proportion of carbon that will be captured in the next 30 years.

Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) has an important role in supporting decarbonisation of industry, power, heat and transport.

There are 18 large-scale CCUS projects operating globally capturing over 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Although there are no large-scale CCUS projects operating in the UK, information on the estimated price per tonne of carbon captured across a range of CCUS projects can be found at:

https://www.globalccsinstitute.com/publications/global-costs-carbon-capture-and-storage

The Government is committed to supporting the development of CCUS in the UK. The Clean Growth Strategy included three illustrative pathways to meeting our 2050 target over the next thirty years. Two of these included a role for CCUS, with up to 170 Million tonnes of CO2e being captured and stored in 2050. CCUS can reduce emissions from our industrial centres, and offers opportunities to improve the competitiveness of UK industry. That is why we are investing £100 million to March 2021 on industrial energy and CCUS innovation.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the detection of seismic activity caused by drilling on the continuation of fracking in Lancashire.

In the UK, we have been regulating for gas and oil drilling, both onshore and offshore, for many years and have one of the best track records in the world when it comes to protecting our environment while also developing our industries.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) monitors seismicity as part of their regulatory duties at shale gas sites. Before consent for hydraulic fracturing is granted, a Hydraulic Fracture Plan must be agreed with the OGA. Operators have to evaluate the historical and background seismicity and the in-situ stress regime, and delineate faults in the area of the proposed well to identify the risk of activating any fault by hydraulic fracturing. The fracture plan also includes appropriate plans to monitor seismicity before, during and after the well operations.

The OGA requires certain controls and requirements to be adhered to by an operator including following a real-time traffic light system during hydraulic fracturing. If a seismic event over 0.5ML on the ‘Richter Local Scale’ (a ‘red’ event) is detected and causally linked to the operations, hydraulic fracturing is suspended for a minimum of 18 hours.

Seismic events with a magnitude of 2.0 or below (on the Local Richter Scale) are usually not felt at the surface and a magnitude 0.5 is far below the ground motion caused by a passing vehicle, for context, the British Geological Survey has estimated that in the UK we have, on average, around 166 natural occurring earthquakes of 2.9ML and below per year.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will put in place immediately an export tariff regime for rooftop solar panels installed after March 2019; and for what reason such a regime is not already in place.

We are considering responses to the recent Consultation proposing to close the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme, and the Call for Evidence on small-scale low-carbon generation. The Government will set out its response in due course.

17th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2018 to Question 175928 on Wind Power: Seas and Oceans, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of offshore wind’s classification as a Pot 2 technology as a result of the development of that sector since 2014.

The current pot structure has been more than adequate in enabling the competition that has driven down clearing prices in Contract for Difference allocations.

17th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the Government's policy on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas; and if he will consider in that review the (a) extent of public opposition to that technique and (b) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent findings that significant decarbonisation must take place within 12 years.

There are no plans to review the policy on shale gas, it remains the Government’s view that there are potentially substantial benefits from the safe and sustainable exploration and development of our onshore shale gas resources.

Wave 25 of the Public Attitude tracker from April 2018 showed that 64% of people either supported or were neither in support or opposition to shale gas developments in the UK.

The Government remains committed to decarbonising the economy. Natural gas still meets a third of our energy demand and can have a long-term role – particularly alongside the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage – which is compatible with our climate change targets as we transition to a low carbon economy.

8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September to Question 168987 on Electricity: Storage, when Ofgem plans to respond to the consultation on Clarifying the regulatory framework for electricity storage: Licensing which closed in November 2017.

In the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, published by the Government and Ofgem in July 2017, Ofgem committed to modify the generation licence to include electricity storage facilities. Ofgem has consulted on this and will respond shortly. In the meantime, storage operators can continue to apply to Ofgem for the existing generation licence.

We published a progress update to the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan on the 16th October 2018.

8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September to Question 168979 on Electricity: Storage, for what reason the Government has no plans to move offshore wind into Pot 1.

The basis on which technologies are included in the Contracts for Difference pots is set out in our 2014 State Aid approval.

3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to (a) update the definition of electricity storage and (b) tackle double charging and other regulatory disparities.

In our Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, published last year, the Government committed to amending the Electricity Act 1989 to define electricity storage as a distinct subset of generation in primary legislation, when parliamentary time allows. This is an important measure to improve regulatory clarity for electricity storage, and one that we will honour.

The Plan also addressed the issue of storage operators overpaying certain levies and charges. Ofgem has consulted on a new modified generation licence for storage facilities and will respond to this consultation shortly. Storage providers that hold this licence will not pay towards certain levies (the Renewables Obligation, Feed in Tariff, Contracts for Difference and Capacity Market auctions costs). The Government has also clarified that the electricity received and stored by electricity storage facilities may be supplied to them free from the Climate Change Levy where relevant conditions are met.

Ofgem outlined in their Targeted Charging Review Consultation, their view that storage is currently overpaying network charges and stated that the industry is best placed to take forward these changes. Industry has now raised these code modifications, and these are now going through industry governance.

3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 July 2018 to Question 164267 on Wind Power: Seas and Oceans, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the recommendation by the National Infrastructure Commission’s to move offshore wind into Pot 1.

The Government will respond to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Assessment in due course but there are no plans to move offshore wind into Pot 1.

16th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission in the National Infrastructure Assessment, published on 10 July 2018, whether his Department has plans to (a) move offshore wind into pot 1 and (b) provide greater clarity on auction plans.

The Clean Growth Strategy announced up to £557 million of annual support for further Contracts for Difference.

The next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies, including offshore wind, is planned to be held in spring 2019.

19th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who do not receive the Warm Home Discount as a result of being customers of a supplier with fewer than 250,000 customers; and whether his Department plans to extend the obligation to provide that discount to smaller energy suppliers.

On 15 June, Government announced that it will lower the threshold for suppliers’ participation in the scheme from 250,000 down to 150,000 customer accounts between 2019 and 2021. From 2021, if the scheme were to continue, Government will review the threshold, with a view to continuing to reduce it, if the evidence supports this approach. A gradual approach will ensure that smaller suppliers have enough time to put the right processes in place to take part in the scheme and reflects the increasing maturity of challengers in the energy retail market.

Of the roughly 1.4m Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit recipients, over 1.2m receive the Warm Home Discount automatically on their energy bills as a result of being with a participating supplier and being named on the energy bill. We estimate that roughly 60,000 pension credit guarantee credit recipients who would be eligible under the scheme do not receive the rebate as a result of being with a non-participating supplier. As a result of the changes introduced, 20,000 more pensioners in 2019/20, and an additional 10,000 pensioners in 2020/21 could benefit from the scheme, if the eligibility criteria were to continue in their current form.

6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of the extent to which pharmaceutical research grants from the Research Councils are used to develop drugs which are then manufactured by for-profit companies.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) support research grants via the Research councils and Innovate UK. BEIS does not impose conditions neither does the Research Councils or Innovate UK as part of their terms and conditions.

Research Councils invest in basic research into the development of new drugs and treatments to the point where other organisations, often industry, fund further development.

Neither BEIS nor the Research Councils have undertaken an assessment.

5th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department attaches conditions to pharmaceutical research grants to ensure any medicines developed are affordable.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) support research grants via the Research councils and Innovate UK. BEIS does not impose conditions neither does the Research Councils or Innovate UK as part of their terms and conditions.

Research Councils invest in basic research into the development of new drugs and treatments to the point where other organisations, often industry, fund further development.

Neither BEIS nor the Research Councils have undertaken an assessment.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of gas CHP plant qualifies as Good Quality for the purposes of exemption from business rates.

The Department does not hold specific data on the proportion of gas CHP plant that qualifies as Good Quality for the purposes of exemption from business rates. However, in 2016, based on data from the Digest of UK Energy Statistics and the Combined Heat and the Power Quality Assurance (CHP QA) programme database, there were 2,182 CHP schemes in the United Kingdom. Of these, 1,155 were certified as Good Quality CHP. If schemes that are not ordinarily liable for business rates, such as those in the public sector, are excluded then our data suggests that 749 Good Quality gas CHP schemes would be eligible for an exemption from business rates.

9th Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2017 to Question 8878, whether the Government plans to introduce regulations to require that rental properties are of a higher energy efficiency standard than E.

As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government will be looking at a long term trajectory for energy performance standards across the private rented sector, with the aim of as many private rented homes as possible being upgraded to EPC Band C by 2030, where practical, cost effective and affordable. We will consider options with a view to consulting in 2018.

5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of whether all employees should have rights to parental leave, holiday pay, full sick pay and guaranteed hours.

I made an oral statement to the House on 11 July 2017 to announce the publication of the Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.

The Review looked at ways to ensure that the regulatory framework surrounding employment, and the support Government provides to businesses and workers, was keeping pace with changes in the labour market and the economy.

The report is comprehensive and detailed and will require detailed, careful thought and further consultation. It is important that we take action where we need to.

This Government will give the report the careful consideration it deserves and will respond in full later this year.

5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the benefits (a) for tenants and (b) in terms of carbon emissions of raising the minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented homes.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 require all landlords of domestic privately rented property in England and Wales to ensure that, from 1 April 2018, their properties reach at least an energy performance rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants, unless a prescribed exemption applies.

Tenants would benefit from improved homes in the form of reduced energy bills. Data derived from the 2014 English Housing Survey shows that the average annual cost of heating an E rated home in the private rental sector to an adequate level is £510 cheaper than for an F rated private rented sector home, and £990 cheaper than for a G rated property. There would also be wider health and wellbeing benefits for tenants associated with increased comfort from warmer homes.

The published impact assessment for the regulations estimated that effective implementation of the domestic provisions will save 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2013 and 2065.

26th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to publish a Contract for Difference allowing non-UK renewable energy projects to compete for funding.

The Department is focussed on running competitive auctions to award contracts for difference (CFD) to UK-based renewable electricity projects. There are currently no plans to open the UK CFD scheme to non-UK projects.

26th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the amount of tidal energy recoverable from UK and British Crown Dependency territorial waters.

The Crown Estate UK Wave and Tidal Key Resource Areas study (2012)[1] assessed the UK’s theoretical maximum resource for tidal stream, barrage and lagoon resource at 95 TWh/year (32 GW), 96 TWh/year (45 GW) and 25 TWh/year (14 GW) respectively. The Department’s Technology Innovation Needs Assessment [2] (TINA) published in 2012 estimated that tidal stream energy could practically deliver up to 20-30 TWh/year around 2050.

[1] http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/5476/uk-wave-and-tidal-key-resource-areas-project.pdf

[2] http://www.lowcarboninnovation.co.uk/working_together/technology_focus_areas/marine/

26th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the UK's tidal energy industry.

Tidal stream technologies are currently eligible to compete for support in the Contracts for Difference (CFD) allocation round process. CFDs provide efficient long-term support for, and incentivise investment in, low carbon electricity generation. The Government is currently assessing the recommendations of the Hendry Review and will publish a response in due course.

26th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the tidal energy industry on support for that sector.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State, his Ministers and officials have engaged frequently with stakeholders across the Department’s portfolio of responsibilities.

15th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he intends to publish a consultation or call for evidence on enhancing the transparency of beneficial ownership information of foreign companies that own properties in the UK.

The Government remains committed introducing the register of beneficial ownership for foreign companies that own UK property, which was announced at the Anti-Corruption summit in 2016.

This register is an important element of the forthcoming anti-corruption strategy. It will give assurance that the UK is a hostile environment for hiding the proceeds of corruption or laundering money.

8th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government takes into account the track record of companies interested in purchasing Green Investment Bank assets when deciding whether to permit a sale to go ahead.

In its “Green Investment Bank: sale of shares” report laid before Parliament on 3 March 2016, the Government set out its objectives for the sale and the process by which the sale would be conducted. Bids have been evaluated at each stage of the process against the Government’s sale objectives.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is being sold as a going concern and potential investors will be buying into the company’s green business plan and forward pipeline of projects. The Government has asked potential investors to confirm their commitment to GIB’s green values and investment principles and how they propose to protect them, as part of their bids for the company.

In addition to this, to protect GIB’s green purposes in future, GIB has created a special share, held by an independent company with the right to approve or reject any changes to GIB’s green purposes should such a change ever be proposed.

8th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to put in place any measures to prevent asset stripping or other abuses by companies which purchase Green Investment Bank assets.

In its “Green Investment Bank: sale of shares” report laid before Parliament on 3 March 2016, the Government set out its objectives for the sale and the process by which the sale would be conducted. Bids have been evaluated at each stage of the process against the Government’s sale objectives.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is being sold as a going concern and potential investors will be buying into the company’s green business plan and forward pipeline of projects. The Government has asked potential investors to confirm their commitment to GIB’s green values and investment principles and how they propose to protect them, as part of their bids for the company.

In addition to this, to protect GIB’s green purposes in future, GIB has created a special share, held by an independent company with the right to approve or reject any changes to GIB’s green purposes should such a change ever be proposed.

16th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what companies each Minister of his Department has responsibility for government relationships with.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is responsible for the Government’s strategic relations programme, which manages relationships with key investors and exporters through named contact ministers.

DIT and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are currently refreshing the allocation of contact ministers across Government and intend to publish the updated list on Gov.uk in due course.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will take into account the atmospheric carbon dioxide level of over 400ppm when deciding on the UK's energy policy.

The UK played a leading role in securing the Paris Agreement, which drives international action towards tackling climate change and limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

At home, we remain committed to the UK’s Climate Change Act which requires us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 on 1990 levels, including emissions from energy.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the existing plans for the development of Hinkley C set out whether (a) the Government or (b) EDF will be financially and legally responsible for the safe storage of nuclear waste if that project goes ahead.

Government policy is that operators of new nuclear power stations will be financially and legally responsible for the storage and disposal of the radioactive waste and spent fuel produced by those power stations.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the decision to permit the development of the Alligin oil field by BP was taken by (a) the Oil and Gas Authority or (b) the Government.

The Energy Act 2016 which established the Oil and Gas Authority as an independent company to regulate, promote and influence the UK oil and gas sector. The Oil and Gas Authority, in their role to regulate the sector, were responsible for taking the decision to permit the development of the Alligin oil field.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) the Oil and Gas Authority and (b) his Department carried out an assessment on the potential effect on the climate of the development of the Alligin oil field before granting permission for that field to be developed.

We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the UK’s economy are taken into account when assessing our performance against the Carbon Budgets- this includes emissions from offshore oil production sites on the UK sector of the continental shelf.

As we continue to move to a low carbon economy we need to ensure we have a balanced energy mix so we have a reliable, clean and affordable energy system. This means that in the medium term there will be a role for some fossil fuels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who do not receive the Warm Home Discount as a result of being customers of a supplier with fewer than 250,000 customers; and whether his Department plans to extend the obligation to provide that discount to smaller energy suppliers.

On 15 June, Government announced that it will lower the threshold for suppliers’ participation in the scheme from 250,000 down to 150,000 customer accounts between 2019 and 2021. From 2021, if the scheme were to continue, Government will review the threshold, with a view to continuing to reduce it, if the evidence supports this approach. A gradual approach will ensure that smaller suppliers have enough time to put the right processes in place to take part in the scheme and reflects the increasing maturity of challengers in the energy retail market.

Of the roughly 1.4m Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit recipients, over 1.2m receive the Warm Home Discount automatically on their energy bills as a result of being with a participating supplier and being named on the energy bill. We estimate that roughly 60,000 pension credit guarantee credit recipients who would be eligible under the scheme do not receive the rebate as a result of being with a non-participating supplier. As a result of the changes introduced, 20,000 more pensioners in 2019/20, and an additional 10,000 pensioners in 2020/21 could benefit from the scheme, if the eligibility criteria were to continue in their current form.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the oil to be extracted from the Alligin oil field will be (a) used in domestic markets or (b) exported.

The Alligin field is due to start production in 2020, with the crude oil produced sold on the international market and therefore available for both export and domestic consumption depending on prevailing market conditions and commercial considerations. Trading oil on the international market is the best way to ensure reliable and affordable supplies for UK consumers. The Government remains committed to ensuring the UK gets the maximum economic benefit from its oil and gas reserves.

12th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will postpone the Fox takeover of Sky until the second half of the Leveson Inquiry has been completed.

As set out in previous statements to the House, the Secretary of State's quasi-judicial responsibilities in relation to the proposed acquisition of Sky by 21st Century Fox will be discharged, robustly and transparently. Such decisions must also be taken as promptly as is reasonably practicable.

On 29 June the Secretary of State announced that she is minded-to refer the merger to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on media plurality grounds. In coming to a final decision, consideration will be given to the available evidence before her including any further representations received following the call for evidence which closed on 14 July.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
28th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2017 to Question 71768, if she will amend the application criteria for the Tampon Tax Fund to include a stipulation that funding will not provided to organisations which seek to restrict access to abortion.

Applications have closed for the current round of the Tampon Tax Fund. Details about any future rounds of the Fund and the criteria which will be used will be confirmed in due course.

24th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2017 to Question HL6582, whether the Minister for Civil Society or another Minister made the decision to award the charity Life £250,000 from the Tampon Tax Fund; what her Department's scrutiny process for that decision was; and what representations she received on the appropriateness of that award before that decision was announced.

We will shortly finalise the specifics of the grant agreements for each of the 70 projects that successfully applied to the Tampon Tax Fund this year, to ensure that taxpayers' money is put to the best use. We will only make grants where we are 100% certain that they align fully with the aims of the fund. The final decision will be made by the Minister for Civil Society.

All applications into the fund were assessed by officials against three criteria: evidence for the need of the project: the organisation’s ability to deliver; and the sustainability/impact of the project, and were then vetted by officials before they were signed off.

13th Dec 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of (a) limiting the amount that can be bet on fixed-odds betting terminals and (b) increasing the restrictions on gambling advertisements on television and the internet.

A review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures (previously called the Triennial Review) began with a 6 week call for evidence on 24 October, closing on 4 December. As part of this, we sought evidence on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals and gambling advertising. The review generated a lot of interest from the general public, as well as from a variety of interest groups, local authorities, trade bodies and industry. We are now looking in depth at the evidence and aim to publish our findings and any proposals in spring 2017.

17th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2016 to Question 50167, on the Big Lottery Fund: West Ham United Football Club, if she will make publicly available the Memorandum of Understanding referred to in that Answer.

I am happy to publish the agreement between the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Greater London Authority regarding the repayment of £675m provided in 2007 from the National Lottery Distribution Fund to help meet the costs of delivering the London 2012 Games. The Big Lottery Fund's share of this money is £425m. This agreement is attached.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make it her policy to restrict television advertising for unhealthy food on programming likely to be watched by children.

We recognise the importance of tackling childhood obesity, which is caused by a number of complex factors. The Childhood Obesity Plan for Action, published in August, considered a number of different policy responses to address this problem. Additional advertising restrictions were considered as part of this process, but current restrictions in the UK are amongst the toughest in the world and the plan focuses on those areas which experts tell us are most effective.

Matt Hancock
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
1st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring at least 50 per cent of the licence fees raised in each region to be spent in that region on programme commissioning.

The recently published White Paper addresses concerns that were raised during our public consultation by the devolved nations and some English regions. The Government has made detailed proposals which ensure that the BBC is accountable to licence fee payers in all nations and regions in the UK through a clear focus on the BBC’s obligations in the new operating licence regime, clear board-level responsibilities, and a continued commitment to the out-of-London production targets.

Budgeting and commissioning decisions are editorial matters for the BBC.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government plans to issue a commencement order to bring into effect Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

No decision has been taken regarding commencement of section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. The matter is still under consideration.

14th Apr 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government intends to proceed with Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry.

Criminal proceedings connected to the subject matter of the Leveson Inquiry, including the appeals process, have not yet completed. We‎ have always been clear that these cases must conclude before we consider Part 2 of the Inquiry.

17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to publish the outcome of its consultation on the review of the BBC's Royal Charter which closed on 8 October 2015.

The government published a Summary of Responses to the BBC Charter Review consultation on 1 March 2016.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what the total value of contracts his Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

Please find the information in the table below:

Financial Year

Total value of contracts with private sector providers

2009/10

£29,719,889.29

2010/11

£24,872,636.04

2011/12

£32,061,107.63

2012/13

£40,112,015.22

2013/14

£30,847,866.30

15th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote arts and creative subject provision in secondary schools.

All state-maintained secondary schools must teach art and design and music to pupils at Key Stage 3 (pupils aged 11 – 14). Drama is taught as part of the English curriculum and dance is included in PE & sport. At Key Stage 4 (pupils aged 14 – 16), there is a statutory entitlement for every pupil to take an arts subject, if they wish to do so. Academies must teach a broad and balanced curriculum.

Ofsted’s new education inspection framework, which comes into effect in September, has a strong emphasis on ensuring schools provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all their pupils.

Between 2016-20 we are spending almost £500 million on a range of arts and cultural education programmes.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 April to Question 234655 on School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs), if he will publish a breakdown of the £35 million of savings and revenue generation opportunities identified as part of the SRMA pilot programme in 2017-18.

The Department intends to publish a breakdown of the opportunities identified by School Resource Management Advisers as part of a wider published evaluation of the pilot programme later this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the savings accrued to the public purse identified by School Resource Management Advisers in relation to (a) the sale of unused buildings and land, (b) catering, (c) letting of facilities, (d) transport costs, (e) energy costs, (f) premises costs, (g) exam fees, (h) marketing, (i) recruitment and (j) IT systems and computers.

In 2017-18, School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs) identified the potential for over £35 million savings and revenue generation opportunities as part of a pilot programme. The Department is now working with schools and academy trusts to compile data on the areas where SRMAs’ recommendations have been realised and actual savings made. This work will support schools to better manage their resources and deliver excellent education.

Schools spend more than £10 billion per year on non-staffing costs and the Department is supporting schools to get the best value for all their purchases through deals on insurance, recruitment, agency supply and many other categories. For example, advertising vacancies alone costs schools in the region of £75 million per year, and our Teaching Vacancies site provides free listings for all schools in England.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school efficiency advisers have been deployed in each region since 2017.

There are currently 94 accredited School Resource Management Advisors (SRMAs). SRMAs are not employed directly by the Department and each is signed up to a provider organisation that is responsible for their management and deployment. More can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/esfa-extends-schools-resource-management-adviser-pilot.

SRMAs have undertaken or are currently undertaking 221 deployments (130 completed and 91 in progress) to academy trusts, University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and local authorities. Deployments to trusts, local authorities and UTCs have been in the following Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) areas:

  • 56 to the ESFA North areas (covering the ‘North’ and ‘Lancashire & West Yorkshire’ Regional School Commissioner (RSC) regions);
  • 48 to the ESFA Central areas (covering ‘West Midlands’ and ‘East Midlands & Humber’ RSC regions);
  • 42 to the ESFA South Central and East areas (covering ‘NW London and South Central’ and ‘East of England and North East London’ RSC regions); and
  • 75 to the ESFA South areas. (covering ‘South East and South London’ and ‘South West’ RSC regions).

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school efficiency advisers have been (a) employed and (b) deployed by his Department since 2017.

There are currently 94 accredited School Resource Management Advisors (SRMAs). SRMAs are not employed directly by the Department and each is signed up to a provider organisation that is responsible for their management and deployment. More can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/esfa-extends-schools-resource-management-adviser-pilot.

SRMAs have undertaken or are currently undertaking 221 deployments (130 completed and 91 in progress) to academy trusts, University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and local authorities. Deployments to trusts, local authorities and UTCs have been in the following Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) areas:

  • 56 to the ESFA North areas (covering the ‘North’ and ‘Lancashire & West Yorkshire’ Regional School Commissioner (RSC) regions);
  • 48 to the ESFA Central areas (covering ‘West Midlands’ and ‘East Midlands & Humber’ RSC regions);
  • 42 to the ESFA South Central and East areas (covering ‘NW London and South Central’ and ‘East of England and North East London’ RSC regions); and
  • 75 to the ESFA South areas. (covering ‘South East and South London’ and ‘South West’ RSC regions).

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the first one per cent of the teachers' pay award is funded from existing school budgets.

Schools, as part of their routine financial planning, will have already set budgets for their current funding year, which began in April for maintained schools and September for academies. 1% is the minimum schools should have anticipated for increases in teachers’ pay, in line with the previous public sector pay policy. Funding therefore needs to cover the difference between this minimum and the award itself, which the Department has provided for in full.

The Department will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the funding that they receive through the National Funding Formula.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of schools to fund the first one per cent of the teachers’ pay award from existing budgets.

Schools, as part of their routine financial planning, will have already set budgets for their current funding year, which began in April for maintained schools and September for academies. 1% is the minimum schools should have anticipated for increases in teachers’ pay, in line with the previous public sector pay policy. Funding therefore needs to cover the difference between this minimum and the award itself, which the Department has provided for in full.

The Department will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the funding that they receive through the National Funding Formula.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on (a) schools’ budgets and (b) the quality of education schools are able to provide of the decision that the first one per cent of the teacher's pay award will be funded from existing school budgets.

Schools, as part of their routine financial planning, will have already set budgets for their current funding year, which began in April for maintained schools and September for academies. 1% is the minimum schools should have anticipated for increases in teachers’ pay, in line with the previous public sector pay policy. Funding therefore needs to cover the difference between this minimum and the award itself, which the Department has provided for in full.

The Department will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the funding that they receive through the National Funding Formula.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from (a) schools and (b) teachers on the effect on the financial sustainability of schools of the first one per cent of the teacher's pay award being funded from existing school budgets.

Schools, as part of their routine financial planning, will have already set budgets for their current funding year, which began in April for maintained schools and September for academies. 1% is the minimum schools should have anticipated for increases in teachers’ pay, in line with the previous public sector pay policy. Funding therefore needs to cover the difference between this minimum and the award itself, which the Department has provided for in full.

The Department will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the funding that they receive through the National Funding Formula.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Government has removed its target of increasing the number of early years teachers; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of removing that target on the educational achievements of disadvantaged children.

The department has never had a target for recruiting early years teachers. The Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme has always been a demand-led programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April 2018 to Question 135864 on Disabled Students' Allowances, what assessment his Department has made of of trends in the level of reliance of disabled students’ on assistive technology.

Information on the use of assistive technology in higher education can be found in this 2017 report, commissioned by the then Higher Education Funding Council for England: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/year/2017/modelsofsupport/.

17th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March to Question 134845 on English Language: Refugees, how much funding the Government has allocated to accredited English language teaching for refugees in each of the last 10 years.

The Department for Education funds English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses through the adult education budget. We do not collect data on learners that would allow us to identify them as refugees. We have previously published providers’ overall spending on ESOL, which includes funding for refugee learners. I refer the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green to the answer my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Apprentices and Skills gave on 12 March 2018 to 131906.

In addition, as part of the Home Office’s Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and Vulnerable Children Resettlement Programme (VCRP), local authorities receive £8520 per person for the first year of resettlement (with the exception of Northern Ireland, where the tariff is £8000 per person) from which they are required to provide a range of support services, including access to English language support. Local authorities are able to determine for themselves how this tariff funding is used, based on local need and service provision.

The government has also made an additional £10 million available over five years for English language support for those resettled on the VPRS and VCRP programmes. This funding is for the provision of ESOL classes, and equates to £850 per adult resettled. The Home Office has also allocated funding (£600,000 in each of the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, and £500,000 in 2019/20) to enable local authorities to provide additional childcare to those on the VPRS and VCRS so that they can attend ESOL classes.

16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the £200 self-contribution that disabled students in higher education must make to access funding for computer equipment, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of that charge on the ability of disabled students to (a) access essential equipment and (b) continue with their education.

Since 2015 eligible students have been required to pay £200 towards the cost of computer equipment recommended for them, given that computer ownership is now widespread and therefore a mainstream cost for all students. In December 2014 the government published an Equality Analysis of the changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs), in advance of the introduction of the £200 student contribution to computer costs from September 2015. The analysis is available to view here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/
attachment_data/file/392610/bis-14-1108-higher-education-disabled-students-allowances-equality-analysis-revised-16-12-2014.pdf
.

The department has commissioned a research project to explore the impact of DSAs on eligible students, including the impact of recent reforms. The research findings will be responded to when they are available in spring 2018.

16th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the £200 self-contribution that disabled students in higher education must make to access funding for computer equipment, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of the British Assistive Technology Association’s suggestion that the contribution is reviewed and students are able to have that charge added to their student loan.

Eligible higher education students are able to access maintenance loans, which are paid as a contribution towards a student’s living costs at university. All students require access to a computer so this is now a mainstream cost to participate in higher education, and we believe it is reasonable for any student to fund the purchase of a standard computer for email and word processing purposes from their maintenance support. The cost of a standard computer has been calculated at around £200. Any disabled student recommended a higher-powered computer to run assistive software is funded for any costs in excess of £200. Students are not expected to fund any assistive software or the training to use it. We do not consider it is necessary to provide an additional £200 in the form of a loan, given that this is a cost all students are expected to fund as part of their maintenance.

28th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will expand the review into the educational outcomes of children in need of help or support to include the (a) employment, (b) housing and (c) health outcomes of that group of children.

On 16 March 2018, the government published data and analysis as part of the Department for Education’s Children in Need Review. This included the finding that Children in Need have worse educational outcomes than their peers from the early years, make less progress throughout school, and are more likely than other children to become a young adult who is Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) three years after completing Key Stage 4.

We have no plans to extend the scope of the review to consider long-term employment, housing or health outcomes. However we recognise that the factors affecting these children’s educational outcomes may also lead to other poorer outcomes which is why our data publication sets out our intention to understand the lifetime outcomes of Children in Need, including exploring the feasibility of matching the Department for Education’s Children in Need data with data from other government departments. Children’s social care and schools have a central role in supporting Children in Need, it is therefore important for us to focus the review on what we can do now whilst making progress to understand more about other outcomes over the longer-term.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether payments for school efficiency advisers who are already employed as school business professionals will be made to the school that employs them; and whether such advisers will be paid to advise the school that already employs those advisers.

The majority of School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs) are practising school business professionals working in the sector. Payment for their deployments as SEAs will go directly to the school or academy trust that employs them.

These advisers will not be paid to advise the school or academy trust that already employs them, but will be deployed to advise other schools and trusts.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2018 to Question 128697, what data his Department collects on how many schools employ a school business professional; and what the (a) remit and (b) typical rate of pay is of those professionals.

The information the Department holds on staff whose role is defined as that of school business professional is shown in the attached table.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February to Question 128697, how many school efficiency advisers are already employed by schools as a school business professional; and how many of those advisers are self-employed.

During the pilot being operated in this academic year, the funding for payments for School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs) comes from within the Department’s existing budget and has been allocated by the Department for this purpose.

SEAs are helping to share effective practice by extending the expertise they have already shown in their existing employment across the sector.

All the SEAs recruited to date are Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) Fellows that have applied in response to ISBL advertising the opportunity to its Fellows. The criteria for selection are having skills in school financial management and passing an accreditation process, demonstrating their ability to provide tailored advice to schools. The Department is still in the process of SEA recruitment and continue to receive expressions of interest for the role in the pilot phase.

The Department is currently carrying out the accreditation panels for the potential SEAs in the pilot phase. Of those who have been accredited as SEAs so far, 19 per cent are currently self-employed; and 81 per cent are employed as a school business professional.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2018 to Question 128697, who is responsible for recruiting self-employed school efficiency advisers; what the criteria for employment are; where those posts have been advertised; how many candidates have applied to date; and how many of those applicants have been accepted.

During the pilot being operated in this academic year, the funding for payments for School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs) comes from within the Department’s existing budget and has been allocated by the Department for this purpose.

SEAs are helping to share effective practice by extending the expertise they have already shown in their existing employment across the sector.

All the SEAs recruited to date are Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) Fellows that have applied in response to ISBL advertising the opportunity to its Fellows. The criteria for selection are having skills in school financial management and passing an accreditation process, demonstrating their ability to provide tailored advice to schools. The Department is still in the process of SEA recruitment and continue to receive expressions of interest for the role in the pilot phase.

The Department is currently carrying out the accreditation panels for the potential SEAs in the pilot phase. Of those who have been accredited as SEAs so far, 19 per cent are currently self-employed; and 81 per cent are employed as a school business professional.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2018 to Question 128697, what additional advice or service the Department considers that schools’ existing school business professional may be able to provide in their role as a school efficiency adviser that they have not already provided in the course of their existing employment.

During the pilot being operated in this academic year, the funding for payments for School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs) comes from within the Department’s existing budget and has been allocated by the Department for this purpose.

SEAs are helping to share effective practice by extending the expertise they have already shown in their existing employment across the sector.

All the SEAs recruited to date are Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) Fellows that have applied in response to ISBL advertising the opportunity to its Fellows. The criteria for selection are having skills in school financial management and passing an accreditation process, demonstrating their ability to provide tailored advice to schools. The Department is still in the process of SEA recruitment and continue to receive expressions of interest for the role in the pilot phase.

The Department is currently carrying out the accreditation panels for the potential SEAs in the pilot phase. Of those who have been accredited as SEAs so far, 19 per cent are currently self-employed; and 81 per cent are employed as a school business professional.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2018 to Question 128697, whether payments made to school efficiency advisers by his Department will come from existing budgets or whether additional funding has been granted to the Department for that purpose.

During the pilot being operated in this academic year, the funding for payments for School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs) comes from within the Department’s existing budget and has been allocated by the Department for this purpose.

SEAs are helping to share effective practice by extending the expertise they have already shown in their existing employment across the sector.

All the SEAs recruited to date are Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) Fellows that have applied in response to ISBL advertising the opportunity to its Fellows. The criteria for selection are having skills in school financial management and passing an accreditation process, demonstrating their ability to provide tailored advice to schools. The Department is still in the process of SEA recruitment and continue to receive expressions of interest for the role in the pilot phase.

The Department is currently carrying out the accreditation panels for the potential SEAs in the pilot phase. Of those who have been accredited as SEAs so far, 19 per cent are currently self-employed; and 81 per cent are employed as a school business professional.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to introduce a tapered income for entitlement to free school meals under universal credit in order to incentivise being in employment.

Our new criteria for free school meals eligibility will set an annual earned income threshold of £7,400 for families in receipt of Universal Credit. This will, depending on a family’s exact circumstances, typically equate to an annual household income of between £18,000 and £24,000 when benefits are taken into account.

Establishing an earnings threshold for free school meals eligibility gives us a clear and practical system for schools and local authorities to deliver, and our Eligibility Checking System will make the checks simple and straightforward. We do not have any plans to introduce tapered eligibility criteria for free school meals. Such an option would add complexity for families and increase the administrative burden on schools and local authorities.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2018 to Question 128396, on Schools: Admissions, for what reason the Department exceeded the 12-week guideline on responding to consultations in the case of the Schools that work for everyone consultation; whether the Government plans to update that 12-week guideline; and for what reason the Department did not provide complete answers to the questions on (a) when the Department plans to respond to that consultation and (b) for what reason the Department has not yet responded to that consultation.

As set out in the response to the hon. Member for Birmingham Hall Green’s question of 19 February, the department has been considering the responses to the proposals set out in the ‘Schools that Work for Everyone’ consultation, and we will be responding to the consultation in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2018 to Question 123349, by whom the £500 per day to be paid to school efficiency advisors is to be paid.

School Efficiency Advisers (SEA) are experts working with schools as part of our initial pilot to support school leaders to optimise their use of resources and to deliver educational outcomes and contribute to whole-school improvement.

The daily rate for an SEA will be £400, and up to £100 in travel expenses. This will be paid by the Department. Payment will either go directly to the school for releasing their school business professional for deployment, in the case of SEAs who are self-employed – payment will go directly to the SEA.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's consultation on Schools that work for everyone, which closed in December 2016; when his Department plans to respond to that consultation; for what reason the Department has not yet responded to that consultation; and whether the Government has any plans to amend the guidance on consultation principles which state a response should be issued within 12 weeks of a consultation.

The Department has been considering the responses to the proposals set out in the ‘Schools that Work for Everyone’ consultation, and plans to respond in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's consultation on Analysing family circumstance and education, which closed in July 2017, when his Department plans to respond to that consultation; and for what reason his Department has not yet responded.

The Department for Education has been considering the representations made in this consultation and will be publishing shortly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how his Department monitors the requirement that schools must consult on their admissions arrangements at least once every seven years; and what information his Department collects on such consultations.

The School Admissions Code (the Code) places a statutory duty on school admission authorities to consult locally before making any changes to their admission arrangements. Where no changes are proposed, they must consult at least once every seven years to ensure that the admission arrangements continue to meet local needs.

The Department does not collect information on the consultation process of individual admission authorities.

Admission authorities are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the requirements of the Code, including those around consultation.

Anyone who believes that an admission authority has not complied with the Code, may make an objection to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. The decision reached by the Schools Adjudicator is binding and enforceable by the Secretary of State.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been provided to the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) for the school efficiency adviser programme for the 2017-18 financial year; by what process the ISBL was chosen as the provider of that programme; and whether there was an open tendering process.

We are currently conducting a pilot on the use of school efficiency advisers (SEAs). We have contracted the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) for administrative and accreditation support as an interim measure during the pilot phase, in order that we can deliver this scheme as quickly as possible for the benefit of schools and trusts with the greatest need. ISBL offers a skilled, established, group of professionals who are currently practising in the sector.

To date, we have spent approximately £33,000 on the contract with ISBL to support the pilot. Once the pilot concludes, and assuming a decision is made to proceed to roll out the approach, we intend to conduct an open procurement process which would be launched later this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the required level of (a) qualifications and (b) experience is for school efficiency advisers; how such advisers are recruited; and what the average rate of pay has been of such advisers in the last 12 months.

Institute of School Business Leaders Fellows are an established, experienced resource with current knowledge of the sector and of school business leadership. In order to achieve fellowship status, they must have demonstrated a high level of professional expertise.

The Department has introduced a robust training and accreditation process, which is designed to provide assurance that school efficiency advisers (SEA) are proficient and can take a consistent approach to the analysis of key efficiency metrics.

The day rate of a SEA will be £500, including travel. These experts will start working with schools in early 2018 as part of our initial pilot.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which schools and trusts will receive support from schools efficiency advisers during the pilot phase; and how such schools and trusts were selected.

In this pilot phase, the Department is prioritising support to trusts and schools which have the greatest need. As part of the pilot, we are taking a more proactive approach with local authorities to support their work with maintained schools and, where required, the Education and Skills Funding Agency will consider the use of School Efficiency Advisers (SEAs). Over time, and subject to the outcome of the pilot, we will expand the pool of SEAs and therefore be able to support a wider range of trusts/schools.

The Department has used schools’ and trusts’ financial data to build a picture of the sector as a whole. Using this data, and discussions with trusts, we have identified those trusts who may benefit from working with a SEA.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding will be available for the schools efficiency adviser programme; and how much has been spent or allocated to date.

The pilot will test how school efficiency advisers (SEAs) deliver value for money for the taxpayer and drive significant savings in schools at a cost efficient rate. We will monitor effectiveness and cost as part of the pilot, which will be used to determine the ultimate size of the programme.

To date, we have spent approximately £33,000 on the contract with Institue of School Business Leaders to support the pilot.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what efficiency savings targets have been set by his Department for the schools efficiency adviser programme.

The School Efficiency Adviser (SEA) project is one part of a wider programme, which is committed to helping schools improve their efficiency, including saving £1 billion on non-staff spend on schools by 2019-2020. The Department already provides support, guidance and tools in order to help schools achieve the best value from their resources, improve pupil outcomes and promote social mobility.

The pilot will test how SEAs deliver value for money for the taxpayer and drive significant savings in schools at a cost efficient rate. We will monitor effectiveness and cost as part of the pilot.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department will use to decide whether the school efficiency adviser pilots were successful enough to roll out the project; and who will be responsible for making that decision.

School efficiency advisers (SEAs) are one part of the Department’s school efficiency and financial health policy. The Department has committed to provide efficiency experts where appropriate to support schools to improve their efficiency and financial health. We are piloting the provision of this expertise through SEAs, working with the Institute for School Business Leadership.

The overall objective of the support provided by the SEA is that the school can identify how it can improve its efficiency and make best use of its resources. In assessing the programme we will consider the value for money to the taxpayer and the effectiveness of the SEA approach in terms of delivering efficiency savings for the sector.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions her Department has had with Universities UK on proposals to close the Universities Superannuation Scheme to future accrual; and what estimate she has made of the financial effect of those proposals on academic staff at UK universities.

Universities are autonomous institutions and they are responsible for their own pension provision. Government has no role in relation to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) beyond regulation as is applied to all workplace pension schemes by The Pensions Regulator.

Neither my Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation has discussed the USS with Universities UK (UUK) or the University and College Union. Officials have sought updates from UUK on the latest developments regarding the USS. These were informal discussions and there were no outcomes.

The department has made no assessment of the impact of the proposed changes to the USS, and believes it would be inappropriate to comment.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what data the Department collects on the number and proportion of staff employed by (a) academy and (b) free schools who are paid through trusts rather than through PAYE.

The information requested is not collected by the Department.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of (a) departmental employees and (b) maintained school staff are paid through trusts rather than through PAYE.

The Department for Education does not pay any of its employees through trusts. The department does not hold information about the payment of staff employed in maintained schools.

29th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much public funding has been spent on the schools efficiency taskforce; how many people that taskforce employs; how many schools that taskforce has visited; how much efficiency savings that taskforce has found; what estimate she has made of the savings that taskforce will make in the future; and whether she plans to undertake an assessment of the value for money of that taskforce.

In July 2017 we announced an additional £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20; in addition to the schools’ budget set at Spending Review 2015. This means funding per pupil for schools and high needs will be maintained in real terms for the next two years.

Alongside our substantial investment, we are committed to helping schools maximise efficiencies. As part of this support and where appropriate, we will provide efficiency experts to schools. This additional support will be focused on providing practical advice to maximise efficiencies. These experts will start working with schools in early 2018 as part of our initial pilot. This pilot will allow us to better assess the impact of the support going forward.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
5th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how the proposed additional £1.3 billion of funding for schools will be allocated; and how much of that funding will be provided to schools in (a) Birmingham and (b) Birmingham Hall Green constituency.

My Rt hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced an additional £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget set at Spending Review 2015, on 17 July. As a result, core funding for schools will rise from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19 and £43.5 billion in 2019-20, representing an increase in the total schools budget of over 6% between this year and 2019-20. This means funding per pupil will now be maintained in real terms for the remaining two years of this Spending Review.

We have now announced details of our final national funding formula for schools, and the funding it will allocate for schools and local authorities, including schools in Birmingham and Birmingham Hall Green. Full details are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many local authority schools have been placed in special measures by Ofsted in each of the last 10 years; and what proportion of inspected schools were placed in such measures by Ofsted in each of those years.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you and a copy of her reply will be placed in the libraries of the House.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government has made an assessment of parents' preferences between increasing (a) faith and (b) non-faith school places.

The latest figures for the secondary school application round show that there is a higher demand by parents for places in faith schools in relation to offers than there is for non-faith school places. They also show that parents’ relative preferences for faith and non-faith school places have remained stable over the last 3 years.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article in The Times of 14 February 2017 in the name of the Minister of State for School Standards, what the evidential basis is for her statement that there is significant parental demand for good faith schools; and whether she has made an assessment of such demand being for faith schools rather than for good schools.

In the 2016 secondary school application round non-faith school first preferences to offers ratio was 0.98. For faith schools the ratio was 1.08.

The data, which the Department collects on admissions and school choice, does not enable an assessment to be made as to the specific reason why parents are more likely to make faith schools their first preference.

There are often a range of factors that affect how parents choose a particular school, such as location, type of school, whether a sibling already attends, feeder arrangements, reputation and Ofsted rating. It is therefore not possible to make a precise assessment as to what is the main reason why parents are more likely to make a faith school their first preference.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article in The Times of 14 February 2017 in the name of the Minister of State for School Standards, what evidence her Department has for the positive response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to proposals to lift the 50 per cent cap on religious selection by free schools.

The Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury have responded positively to our proposal to expand the number of high-quality faith schools. The Church of England has worked with us to deliver new places through the free schools programme and they have opened 14 free schools to date.

As the Archbishop made clear in his article in the Times Education Supplement of 23 September 2016, the Church of England are drawing up ambitious plans to open many more free schools. We look forward to receiving those applications.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 18 October 2016 to Question 47734, whether Ofsted's inspection of sex and relationships education taught in academies includes an assessment of whether the curriculum is inclusive of LGBT young people.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you and a copy of her reply will be placed in the libraries of the House.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the number of (a) academies and (b) maintained secondary schools that provide sex and relationships education.

We do not collect data on the curriculum provision of individual schools, including on the provision of sex education. Sex education is compulsory in all maintained secondary schools. Primary maintained schools and academies are encouraged to teach it as an important part of delivering a balanced curriculum.

30th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress her Department has made on providing student loan finance that is compliant with Islamic law.

This Government has introduced the primary legislation required to allow alternative student finance, consistent with the principles of Islamic finance, to be offered alongside grants and loans. The Higher Education and Research Bill is currently before Parliament.

8th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the Government plans to publish its response to the consultation on early years funding.

The Government’s recent consultation ‘Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds’ closed on 22 September 2016. We are analysing responses and are on track to publish the Government Response shortly.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons her Department collects data on pupils' nationality and country of birth; and how that data is used.

The new data on nationality, country of birth and English language proficiency will, for the first time, assist the understanding of the impact of migration on schools. For example, what extra support the Government may need to provide to schools with high numbers of children who do not speak English as a first language. It will also help to plan for enough good school places for every child.

Without the evidence and data, the Department cannot have a clear picture of how the school system is working. It will ensure that funds are allocated where needed and that no groups of children miss out on the education they deserve.

The new data on nationality and country of birth is solely for DfE analysts to use for research. This data has not been shared outside the Department.


To address any uncertainties regarding how this information should be collected or used, an information note is placed in the House Libraries.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether all children and parents will receive the same request for data as part of the schools census.

The School Census is the DfE’s primary source of administrative data about pupils attending schools in England and has been running since 2006. It is collected termly from all state schools in England and contains information for each pupil such as their name, address, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, whether they have special education needs. The data collected is vital in supporting a number of the department’s strategic objectives and is widely used by DfE for the purpose of improving, and promoting, the education and well-being of children in England.

The Department publishes a School Census user guide. This guide supports schools in understanding Departmental data requirements and assists schools to meet their statutory duty to complete the school census.

The Census collects the same information for most children; for example, name, age, address. However some data is restricted to children of a certain age or attending certain types of school; for example, “learning aims” are only collected for post-16 pupils. The Census guidance is clear that for the new data items of nationality and country of birth to be collected this year, schools do not need to see any documentation when collecting this information, i.e. they do not need to see passports or other forms of identification. The guidance is also clear that parents and families are also able to refuse to provide this information if they wish. However, the Department is aware that a number of schools have not implemented the collection in accordance with the guidance. We will, therefore, work with the sector to consider how it can better support schools in collecting school census data for future rounds.

To address any uncertainties, I have placed an information note in the House Libraries.

The school census user guide for the 2016 to 2017 academic year is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-census-2016-to-2017-guide-for-schools-and-las.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of the selection processes used by faith schools on academic attainment in those schools.

Faith schools are amongst some of the highest performing in this country and are more likely to be rated good or outstanding by Ofsted as compared to non-faith schools. The department does not routinely collect information about individual schools’ admission arrangements. Schools designated with a religious character can choose to give priority to children on the basis of their faith, where the school is oversubscribed. It is though for the admission authority of the school to decide whether or not to prioritise some or all of their places on the basis of faith within their oversubscription criteria.

On 9th September the Prime Minister announced that we will remove the 50 per cent cap on new faith free schools and consult on a new set of much more effective requirements to ensure that new faith free schools are properly inclusive. The consultation document, 'Schools that work for everyone', is available at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-frameworks/schools-that-work-for-everyone

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of removing the 50 per cent cap on religious selection in free schools on the ability of parents to get their children into a local school.

We want a diverse range of schools to give parents greater choice and drive up standards. The proposals set out in our consultation, 'Schools that Work for Everyone', aim to increase local capacity by enabling a wider group of providers to establish new schools. The proposal to remove the 50 per cent cap on religious selection in new free schools has, for some faith groups, been a barrier to setting up new schools. The removal of the cap and the establishment of new faith schools will add to the overall stock of places and should increase choice for parents.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of removing the 50 per cent cap on religious selection in free schools on religious tolerance and integration.

All schools must promote religious tolerance and integration whatever their character and ethos. The Department is currently consulting on proposals to replace the 50% cap on faith admissions in faith free schools with new measures to better promote inclusivity and community cohesion. The proposed measures, alongside existing requirements to promote fundamental British values, will apply to all new faith free schools with 100% faith admissions and help ensure that pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain. The consultation document is available at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-frameworks/schools-that-work-for-everyone

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of changes to the cap on religious selection on the opening of new Catholic state schools.

Some faith groups, including the Catholic Church, have felt unable to open new schools through the free schools route because they believe it contravenes religious rules. This has meant, for example, that in areas where there has been significant growth in the Catholic population, the Catholic Church has not set up sufficient school places to meet demand.

We want more high quality providers to be able to set up new schools and we are consulting on how best to do that. The consultation document, 'Schools that work for everyone' is available at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-frameworks/schools-that-work-for-everyone

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to allow Parliament to vote on (a) whether to remove the current 50 per cent cap on religious selection in free schools and (b) other changes to the schools admissions code.

The Department is currently consulting on proposals to remove the 50% cap on faith admissions in new faith free schools. The outcome of the consultation and government response will be presented to Parliament. The consultation document, 'Schools that work for everyone', is available at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-frameworks/schools-that-work-for-everyone

Any changes to the Schools Admissions Code are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will ensure that the current number of places in adult education classes on numeracy and literacy will be maintained following the projected merging of further education institutions.

The post 16 area reviews are aimed at improving the quality and relevance of the teaching offer to learners as well as ensuring the long term financial viability of colleges. The reviews take account of the best available evidence including the demand for numeracy and literacy in the local area. 22 area reviews are underway and there is no evidence that access to learning, including access to adult education classes on numeracy and literacy, is being reduced as a result of the area reviews.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason her Department's review of further education institutions does not include sixth forms or universities.

Area reviews of post-16 education and training institutions are predominantly focused on general further education and sixth form colleges in order to ensure that there are high quality, financially resilient colleges that are able to meet the needs of young people and adults across the country. Schools with sixth forms and Higher Education Institutions can opt in to a review if they wish to do so and if they have the agreement of the review’s local steering group.

Each review conducts a detailed analysis of the current post-16 provision in the area which includes the offer made by schools with sixth forms and Higher Education Institutions. Regional Schools Commissioners and local authorities sit on local area review steering groups and will take account of the analysis from area reviews in any decisions they make about future schools provision.

5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what evidence the Government holds to demonstrate that merging further education colleges will create savings; and what assessment she has carried out on whether the policy of merging further education institutions in Scotland has been successful.

Where an area review recommends further education colleges to merge, there will have been a financial assessment of the efficiencies that could be secured through the merger. These are likely to include reductions in administrative and management costs, as duplication of functions is reduced. This will make resources available for re-investment in delivering high quality teaching. This was one of the lessons that was learned from the pilot review carried out in North East Norfolk and North Suffolk and reflects the assessment undertaken by an independent further education adviser in 2015 of mergers in the further education sector to date. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-models-of-collaboration-post-14-further-education)

As education is a devolved matter, any assessment of the mergers of further education institutions in Scotland would be a matter for the Scottish Government.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government plans to take to ensure that (a) all children start their first year of school with the expected levels of language and communication skills and (b) the gap in those skills between children aged five from richer and poorer backgrounds is closed.

The Government recognises a key part of raising the standard of education for all children, regardless of background, is to ensure they receive a good level of development in literacy and numeracy before they start school at age five, which is why in 2010 we extended the free entitlement to 15 hours for all three and four year olds

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets the prime areas of learning which early years providers must follow. This includes a focus on communication and language. The Early Years Foundation stage is published on gov.uk and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335504/EYFS_framework_from_1_September_2014__with_clarification_note.pdf

The 2014-15 EYFS Profile results tell us that the proportion of children achieving a good level of development continues to increase – 66 % in 2015, compared to 60% in 2014 and 52% in 2013. The EYFS Profile results also show that more than 80% of children are reaching the expected communication and language skills by age five. A higher proportion of children eligible for free school meals are achieving a good level of development – 51% in 2015 compared to 45% in 2014. Although the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers is narrowing, we recognise there is still some way to go.

The quality of early education is improving, the numbers of qualified staff have risen, the numbers of graduates in the workforce continues to rise, and a record number of providers are rated good or outstanding, with 86% of providers currently on the Early Years Register judged good or outstanding for overall effectiveness at 31 March 2016.

The quality of the workforce continues to rise with 87% of staff in full day care settings now qualified to level 3 (equivalent level of study to A-level). To improve the quality of the workforce further, we have introduced early years teachers who must meet the same entry qualification requirements as teachers of older children. We have also introduced an early years pupil premium to help providers support the learning and development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to publish a response to the finding of the National Union of Teachers survey, published in March 2016, that 70 per cent of school leaders believed that a lack of school funding was affecting education standards in their schools.

Funding for education is a priority for this government. As announced at the Spending Review, we have protected the core schools budget in real terms. This year the schools budget will total around £40 billion. We are also committed to making funding fairer by introducing a national funding formula. A national funding formula will ensure that all schools are on an even starting point from which to build educational excellence. This is because a national funding formula will recognise pupil need, and pupils with similar needs will attract the same amount of funding wherever they are in the country.

29th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department places any limits on (a) the pay of academy chains' chief executives and (b) payments to consultants.

Academy trusts are responsible for making their own spending decisions including for consultancy and the salaries they set for staff, although we would expect pay to reflect the size and complexity of the trust. As public bodies trusts must secure value for money. They have transparency obligations which means they must publish annual accounts making clear how much they pay school leaders.

29th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what real-terms funding she has allocated to schools in Birmingham for each of the next five years.

Nationally we have protected the core schools budget in real terms to the end of the current Spending Review period, enabling a per-pupil protection for the dedicated schools grant so that the money available for our schools will increase as pupil numbers rise.

The DSG allocations for Birmingham in 2016-17 are found in the table below:

Birmingham DSG allocations 2016-17

2016-17 Schools Block Unit of Funding (SBUF) (£)

2016-17 Schools Block (£million)

5,218.42

888.62

Allocations for future years will be announced in due course.

We believe that schools should be funded on a consistent and predictable basis, which is why we have proposed to introduce a National Funding Formula. The first stage of our two part consultation closed on 17 April and we are currently considering all the responses. We will be launching the second stage of the consultation, which will include illustrative allocations for all schools and local areas, later in the year.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether any limits are placed on the funds academies can spend on marketing.

Academy trusts must spend their funds on their charitable objectives to advance education. Within this limit, trusts are responsible for determining for themselves how to allocate their funds across different activities, including marketing, and for ensuring that their spending decisions achieve regularity, propriety and value for money. Trusts are best placed to make this decision, in light of their individual circumstances.

13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much was spent by academies on marketing and public relations in each of the most recent five years for which figures are available; and how much of that spending came from (a) public funding and (b) other sources.

Marketing and public relations is not a category under which the Department collects expenditure information from academies and data is not, therefore, held by the Department in a way which distinguishes it from other spending by academies.

Income and expenditure data for academies is collected and published each year by the Department as a Statistical First Release. The latest published data is for 2013/14 and can be found on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-and-expenditure-in-academies-in-england-2013-to-2014

It is not possible to differentiate for any spend in an academy whether it was made from public funds or from self-generated income.

19th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 11 May 2016 to Question 36565, when she plans to make the decision on whether to update the statutory guidance on sex and relationship education; and if she will make a statement.

As stated in my response to the Hon. Member’s previous question 36565, the Government believes that sex and relationship education is essential for children’s development and preparation for responsible adult life. We have received requests about updating the guidance which we will consider carefully.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether additional funding will be provided to support further education students who have to travel further to access education as a result of colleges merging.

Future college mergers will tend to be decided through area reviews of post-16 education which are focused on meeting the needs of learners in each area. Area reviews, because they are overseen by steering groups including Chairs and Principals of colleges as well as local authorities, are well placed to ensure decisions are taken which are in the interests of local further education students, taking into account travel to learn distances. The steering group’s recommendations will always be based on the best available evidence, including an analysis of local economic and educational needs, and the mapping of current curriculum provision and travel to learn patterns.

As well as being members of area review steering groups, local authorities have statutory responsibility for transport to education and training for 16- to 19-year-olds. We expect local authorities to make reasonable decisions about the support they offer based on the needs of their young people, local transport infrastructure and the resources they have available. Authorities will need to take account of the recommendations arising from each area review and the impact on transport for learners. Local authorities fund any support they provide for transport to post-16 education through the grants they receive from national government and through generated income, such as council tax.

Most 16- to 19-year olds have access to a discount or concession on local travel, from their local transport provider, their local authority, or from their education or training provider. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is also available to support young people with the costs associated with attending education or training, and transport is the biggest single area of expenditure for which this fund is used.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to update guidance for sex and relationships education so that it is inclusive of LGBT young people.

The Government believes that sex and relationship education (SRE) is essential for children’s development and preparation for responsible adult life. The Secretary of State’s guidance makes clear that all schools should ensure that young people, whatever their developing sexuality or identity, feel that SRE is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs. We have received requests about updating the guidance and have made a commitment to develop an action plan for improving PSHE and have agreed to consider updating the 2000 statutory SRE guidance. In her letter of 10 February 2016 to the Education Select Committee, the Secretary of State said that she would consider updating the SRE guidance.

16th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2016 to Question 27469, what representations she has received on whether the admissions criteria employed by religiously selective schools are sufficiently clear for parents to be able to understand them; and if she will make a statement.

As part of our current review of the School Admissions Code, we are considering whether changes need to be made to address some of the issues highlighted by the Schools Adjudicator. The School Admissions Code requires that the oversubscription criteria of all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious character, are reasonable, clear, objective, and procedurally fair. Schools operating faith-admission arrangements must ensure that parents can easily understand how any faith-based criteria will be reasonably satisfied. Parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated.

If parents consider arrangements are unclear or unfair they can object to the Schools Adjudicator.

Officials regularly meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss admissions policy.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that children from the poorest families have not fallen behind their peers when they start school.

We want every child, regardless of birth or background, to fulfil their full potential. Good quality early education can positively affect a child’s later attainment, which is why local authorities in England have a legal duty to ensure all three- and four-year-olds and the most disadvantaged two-year-olds are able to take up a funded early education place free of charge.

Each eligible child is entitled to 570 hours of free early learning a year, equivalent to 15 hours a week of early education for 38 weeks per year. Government figures show 99% of four-year-olds and 96% of three-year-olds are accessing free childcare. Survey findings also indicate 70% of disadvantaged two year-olds are taking up the offer.

The early years pupil premium, which was introduced in April last year, provides nurseries and schools delivering the early education entitlement for three- and four-year-olds with an extra 53p an hour for each eligible child to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged children and close the gap in school readiness between disadvantaged children and their peers.

22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the findings in the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England's 2015 Annual Report, published in December 2015, what assessment she has made of the effect of the level of the religious oversubscription criteria used by some schools on parents applying to such schools.

The Government will shortly consult on a package of changes to the School Admissions Code. These changes will respond to concerns from parents and to the findings within the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Reports. These changes will include measures to improve fairness and transparency.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious character, are required to comply with the Code. This includes a requirement that ‘the practices and the criteria used to decide the allocation of school places are fair, clear and objective’.

The Code is clear that parents have a right to object to a school’s admission policy. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the admission arrangements are unclear, or unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the Code, the admission authority is required by law to change them. The deadline for objections is set many months in advance of the closing date for school applications. This ensures that any admission arrangements which breach the Code can be amended to comply before parents apply for a place.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason her Department did not give one year's notice of the new system for assessment of pupils' achievement in reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

The new national curriculum tests at Key Stages 1 and 2 were first announced in March 2014, and since then we have provided schools with further information to help them adapt to the assessment arrangements. In addition to sample questions published in summer 2014, complete sample tests were published in summer 2015 to give primary schools nearly a year of lead-in time to ensure their pupils are adequately prepared.

The new interim teacher assessment frameworks ay Key Stages 1 and 2 were published in September 2015 and were therefore provided at the start of the academic year in time for use this summer. Our public consultation on the frameworks received a large volume of diverse feedback, which we wanted to give proper consideration before introducing the important change for schools. Recent publications in January and February 2016 did not announce any change to assessment arrangements, but provided example materials to support teachers in making teacher assessment judgements.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the effect on teachers' workloads of the new system for assessment of pupils' achievement in reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

We have made removing unnecessary workload a priority so that the efforts of teachers are focused on teaching. Our primary assessment reforms have been designed to put arrangements for the majority of classroom assessment back into the hands of the school and to reduce the tracking burdens that national curriculum levels encouraged. We believe schools are best placed to decide how to assess pupils in line with their curriculum and that over time this should lead to a reduction in teacher workload.

Following the introduction of the new national curriculum and the removal of levels, we have developed new forms of statutory assessment at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. The duty to report assessment at these points remains unchanged from previous years. We do recognise, however, that in this first year the new forms of assessment are used pupils and teachers will be adapting their approach. The best way to prepare pupils remains to focus on teaching the new national curriculum, which schools have been doing since September 2014.

Throughout the introduction of our important reforms to primary assessment, we have worked closely with teachers and head teachers and continue to listen to the concerns of the profession as the details of the new arrangements are finalised. We are working constructively with the teaching profession and their representatives to find solutions to some of the remaining issues.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendation in the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England's Annual Report, published in December 2015, that her Department should clarify what is expected in guidance produced by relevant religious authorities for schools which give priority on the grounds of religion in their admission arrangements.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious character, are required to comply with the School Admissions Code. This includes a requirement that ‘parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated’.

We support the right of schools with a religious designation to prioritise children of their faith. The code requires such schools, as a minimum, to prioritise looked after and previously looked after children of their faith ahead of other children. We have no plans to change this requirement.

The code can only be applied to bodies within the education sector. It cannot place requirements upon religious bodies. It does, however, require that when schools with a religious designation adopt admission criteria which prioritise children based on their faith, the schools must take account of religious activities as laid out by their religious authority.

Compliance with the code is enforced by the Schools Adjudicator. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the arrangements are unclear, unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the code, the admission authority is required by law to change the policy.

The Government will shortly consult on a package of changes to the code which will both respond to the findings within the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Reports and concerns raised by parents. That package will include measures to improve fairness and transparency.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the findings in the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England's Annual Report, published in December 2015, that there is a lack of transparency in the school admission system, what steps she plans to take to monitor and enforce compliance with the School Admissions Code.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools are required to comply with the School Admissions Code. This includes a requirement that ‘parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated’. We consider that the code provides clear advice to all admission authorities.

Compliance is enforced by the Schools Adjudicator. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the arrangements are unclear, unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the code, the admission authority is required by law to change the policy.

The degree to which maintained schools comply with the code is monitored through the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Report. We consider the findings of the report and whether changes to the system are necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the finding in the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England's Annual Report, published in December 2015, that parents are often unable to understand the complicated admissions criteria employed by religiously selective schools.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious character, are required to comply with the School Admissions Code. This includes a requirement that ‘parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated’.

We support the right of schools with a religious designation to prioritise children of their faith. The code requires such schools, as a minimum, to prioritise looked after and previously looked after children of their faith ahead of other children. We have no plans to change this requirement.

The code can only be applied to bodies within the education sector. It cannot place requirements upon religious bodies. It does, however, require that when schools with a religious designation adopt admission criteria which prioritise children based on their faith, the schools must take account of religious activities as laid out by their religious authority.

Compliance with the code is enforced by the Schools Adjudicator. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the arrangements are unclear, unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the code, the admission authority is required by law to change the policy.

The Government will shortly consult on a package of changes to the code which will both respond to the findings within the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Reports and concerns raised by parents. That package will include measures to improve fairness and transparency.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the key findings in the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England's Annual Report, published in December 2015, whether she plans to publish guidance for schools on how best to comply with the school admissions code.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools are required to comply with the School Admissions Code. This includes a requirement that ‘parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated’. We consider that the code provides clear advice to all admission authorities.

Compliance is enforced by the Schools Adjudicator. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the arrangements are unclear, unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the code, the admission authority is required by law to change the policy.

The degree to which maintained schools comply with the code is monitored through the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Report. We consider the findings of the report and whether changes to the system are necessary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if her Department will hold a consultation on changing the School Admissions Code to require religiously selective schools to prioritise all looked-after children and previously looked-after children in their admission arrangements in addition to such children of the same denomination of such schools.

Admission authorities for all state-funded schools, including schools with a religious character, are required to comply with the School Admissions Code. This includes a requirement that ‘parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated’.

We support the right of schools with a religious designation to prioritise children of their faith. The code requires such schools, as a minimum, to prioritise looked after and previously looked after children of their faith ahead of other children. We have no plans to change this requirement.

The code can only be applied to bodies within the education sector. It cannot place requirements upon religious bodies. It does, however, require that when schools with a religious designation adopt admission criteria which prioritise children based on their faith, the schools must take account of religious activities as laid out by their religious authority.

Compliance with the code is enforced by the Schools Adjudicator. Where an objection is made and the adjudicator finds that the arrangements are unclear, unfair, or that they otherwise fail to comply with the code, the admission authority is required by law to change the policy.

The Government will shortly consult on a package of changes to the code which will both respond to the findings within the Chief Adjudicator’s Annual Reports and concerns raised by parents. That package will include measures to improve fairness and transparency.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial and (b) other support is available to help young adult carers who wish to continue on to higher education.

The Government recognises that young carers face challenges participating in higher education and they may require additional support to do so effectively. We have made changes to student support for those in higher education in the 2016/17 academic year. In particular, students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are living away from home and studying outside London can receive a maximum maintenance loan for living costs of £8,200 a year in 2016/17. This represents an increase of £766 from the maximum combined loans and grants available in 2015/16. In addition to the main support package, a student who is a young carer can apply for a Childcare Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance.


Students in 16-19 education can also apply for a discretionary bursary to help meet the costs of their travel, equipment, educational trips or anything else that they might require to participate effectively in their education. Funding is also allocated to sixth forms and colleges so they can provide additional educational support to students fromdisadvantaged backgrounds, including young carers.

17th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will consider making young adult carers eligible for the vulnerable groups component of the bursary which provides financial support for 16 to 19 year olds.

The Government recognises the valuable service that young carers provide both to their community and their families. It is vital that they are not disadvantaged in their education, and have the same access to education, career choices, and wider opportunities as other young people.

In November 2015, officials from the Education Funding Agency met representatives from the Carers Trust to discuss how best to support young carers through the 16-19 bursary fund. We will work with the National Association of Managers of Student Services to review the use of the discretionary bursary fund and amend our funding guidance to ensure that institutions prioritise the needs of young carers.

23rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what modelling her Department has undertaken of the potential effect of freezing her Department's budget in cash terms on (a) educational outcomes and (b) pupil wellbeing.


We are protecting the schools budget in real terms, as we pledged in our manifesto. Throughout this Parliament, the amount of money for our schools will increase as pupil numbers rise. In 2015-16 we increased funding for the 69 least well-funded local authorities by £390 million, and that increased level of funding will be included in the baseline for future years. We will go further to target funding effectively, and end historic unfairness in the system, by introducing a national funding formula. We will provide every school with a fair allocation matched to need, that allows them to continue driving up educational standards and support every child to achieve to the best of their potential, whatever their background and wherever they live.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the total value of contracts her Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

A full answer could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is because, to date, the Department has operated a devolved approach to contract management. In addition, the Department’s finance systems do not split contract spend between private sector, public sector, and third sector providers. The Department is implementing a new contracts system in 2015, which will provide improved coverage and detail on spending in 2015-16 and onwards.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will respond to the National Union of Teachers' eight-step action programme to tackle excessive teacher workloads.

The Secretary of State for Education has confirmed that reducing unnecessary workload for teachers is an absolute priority for this Government. She is committed to taking action and is exploring ways to do this with trade unions through the current programme of talks at the Department for Education. The Department welcomes the National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) contribution to the programme of talks and their further contribution to the debate through the proposed eight-step action programme for tackling workload. The Department will consider carefully the proposals put forward by the NUT. These will be considered alongside the results of the recent ‘Workload Challenge’, a survey of teachers launched by the Secretary of State and the Deputy Prime Minister, which closed recently after receiving more than 40,000 responses. The results are being analysed and a programme of action will be published early next year.

This Government has taken steps to reduce bureaucracy and burdens on schools, but we know that there is more to be done and are absolutely committed to working with teachers to find solutions.

21st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 63W, on schools: land, whether academy trusts which are granted the use, loan or ownership of publicly-funded school lands are charged for that use.

No one is allowed to charge an academy trust for the use of land that a maintained school can use for free. If maintained schools pay a fee – for example, for use of shared sports facilities – then this arrangement can continue when a school converts to become an academy.

Information about the number of schools, including the number of academies, that pay a fee for use of land or facilities is not held centrally and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2014, Official Report, column 75W, on academies: land, what (a) amount of public investment and degree of enhancement, (b) amount of private investment and degree of enhancement, (c) length of time the land has been in public use and (d) value of land at the date of determination would trigger a determination in order to protect the public investment in land where it ceases to be used by an academy.

All disposals of publicly funded land by an academy would be judged on their individual merits and the Department for Education places no absolute thresholds in such cases. My Rt hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, would expect to balance the considerations listed against the circumstances under which the land in question is being disposed, and the future plans for it following disposal.

Guidance on academy land transfers is published online at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254887/land_transfer_advice_april_2013.pdf

24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what penalties would be incurred by a free school, academy or other educational establishment which was found to be teaching or otherwise supporting creationism.

State-funded schools, including free schools and academies, should not teach creationism as an evidence-based scientific theory. Outside of science lessons, it is permissible for schools to cover creationism as part of religious education lessons, providing that this does not undermine the teaching of established scientific theory. Academies and free schools are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum and the model funding agreement now prohibits the teaching of creationism as an evidence-based theory. Independent schools must comply with the independent school standards, and are subject to inspections by Ofsted or an alternative inspectorate.

All state-funded schools are subject to Ofsted inspections and a range of intervention powers are in place if required. In addition, any breach of academy or free school funding agreements in relation to creationism would be swiftly dealt with by the Department for Education and could result in the termination of the funding agreement.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 14 May 2014, Official Report, column 635W, on schools: land, in what circumstances he (a) would and (b) would not exercise his powers to protect public land when an academy closes entirely.

My Rt hon. friend, the Secretary of State for Education, may need to make a determination in order to protect the public investment in the land where the land ceases, or will cease, to be used for an academy. The Secretary of State will consider a range of factors, including:

1. the degree of public investment in the land and the degree of any enhancement to the value attributable to that investment;

2. the degree of private investment in the land and the degree of any enhancement to the value attributable to that investment;

3. the length of time that the land has been in public use;

4. the value of the land at the date of determination.

Additional protections for school playing fields would continue to apply, as set out in published guidance, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-of-school-playing-fields-and-public-land-advice

A copy of the guidance has been placed in the House Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 63W, on schools: land, what his policy is on requiring school land which has been transferred to a person involved in the running of an academy to be returned to the local authority should that academy trust cease to operate a state-funded school.

If an academy trust ceases to operate a state-funded school, the Department for Education would normally identify another academy trust to take responsibility for the academy. Land would be transferred to the new trust – either as a leasehold or freehold. In the unlikely event that an academy closes entirely, my Rt. hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, can exercise his powers to protect public land, which include returning former local authority land to the relevant authority or ensuring the land remains in educational use by transferring it to another school.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on who is an appropriate person to hold title deeds for schools which are funded by the UK taxpayer; and whether those deeds can be sold or otherwise transferred.

The Department for Education does not hold a policy on who an appropriate person is to hold title deeds for schools funded by the UK taxpayer, as the law strictly controls the disposal of publicly-funded school land.

When community schools convert to academies, the freehold is retained by the local authority and a lease is granted to the academy trust. In some circumstances, my Rt. hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, may allow publicly-funded school land to be transferred to a person concerned in the running of an academy. Where this occurs, the transfer will be to an academy trust, which will have satisfied the Secretary of State as to its ability to operate a state-funded school.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March to Question 134845 on English Language: Refugees, how much funding the Government has allocated to accredited English language teaching for refugees in each of the last 10 years.

The Department for Education funds English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses through the adult education budget. We do not collect data on learners that would allow us to identify them as refugees. We have previously published providers’ overall spending on ESOL, which includes funding for refugee learners. I refer the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green to the answer my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Apprentices and Skills gave on 12 March 2018 to 131906.

In addition, as part of the Home Office’s Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and Vulnerable Children Resettlement Programme (VCRP), local authorities receive £8520 per person for the first year of resettlement (with the exception of Northern Ireland, where the tariff is £8000 per person) from which they are required to provide a range of support services, including access to English language support. Local authorities are able to determine for themselves how this tariff funding is used, based on local need and service provision.

The government has also made an additional £10 million available over five years for English language support for those resettled on the VPRS and VCRP programmes. This funding is for the provision of ESOL classes, and equates to £850 per adult resettled. The Home Office has also allocated funding (£600,000 in each of the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, and £500,000 in 2019/20) to enable local authorities to provide additional childcare to those on the VPRS and VCRS so that they can attend ESOL classes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether academies are permitted to (a) sell and (b) otherwise financially profit from their holding of school title deeds which were formally held by local authorities.

When community schools convert to academies, the freehold is retained by the local authority and a lease is granted to the academy trust.

There are strict rules protecting publicly funded land used by academies, regardless of who holds the freehold. This is set out in published guidance, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-of-school-playing-fields-and-public-land-advice

A copy of the guidance has been placed in the House Library.

24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Joint Air Quality Unit vehicle checking software will be ready by February 2020.

Yes.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of his Department to support Birmingham City Council in implementing a system to collect payments from the proposed Clean Air Zone.

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

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has plans to bring forward legislation to ban the racing of pregnant mares.

The Government is keen that the welfare needs of all racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of all racehorses and already have rules in place to regulate the welfare of all racehorses including that of pregnant mares.

Under these rules, the BHA must be notified within 25 days of a mare being found in foal. A mare that is in foal is permitted to run until 120 days of pregnancy. No evidence has been found to suggest that there is any detriment to the health and welfare of either the mares or foetuses during this period. According to BHA, in 2018 there were 91 runs by 33 pregnant mares on British racecourses, and there have been 38 runs by 18 pregnant mares to date in 2019. The Government understands that the recent fatality at Hexham racecourse is the only fatality from all pregnant mares notified to the BHA as having run within the last five years.

As such, the Government is satisfied that the BHA rules provide adequate protection for the welfare of pregnant mares in British horseracing and we do not plan to bring forward legislation to ban the racing of pregnant mares. However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this. Most recently on the 14 May, I met with the BHA and stressed the need for the BHA to develop a robust action plan that will deliver tangible results. I intend to stay in regular contact with the industry to continue to press for improvements in racehorse welfare for all racehorses including pregnant mares.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the British Horseracing Authority on the death of a pregnant mare on 21 May at Hexham racecourse; and if he will request a report from the course vet on the decision to allow the mare to race.

The Government is keen that the welfare needs of all racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of all racehorses and already have rules in place to regulate the welfare of all racehorses including that of pregnant mares.

Under these rules, the BHA must be notified within 25 days of a mare being found in foal. A mare that is in foal is permitted to run until 120 days of pregnancy. No evidence has been found to suggest that there is any detriment to the health and welfare of either the mares or foetuses during this period. According to BHA, in 2018 there were 91 runs by 33 pregnant mares on British racecourses, and there have been 38 runs by 18 pregnant mares to date in 2019. The Government understands that the recent fatality at Hexham racecourse is the only fatality from all pregnant mares notified to the BHA as having run within the last five years.

As such, the Government is satisfied that the BHA rules provide adequate protection for the welfare of pregnant mares in British horseracing and we do not plan to bring forward legislation to ban the racing of pregnant mares. However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this. Most recently on the 14 May, I met with the BHA and stressed the need for the BHA to develop a robust action plan that will deliver tangible results. I intend to stay in regular contact with the industry to continue to press for improvements in racehorse welfare for all racehorses including pregnant mares.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ask the British Horseracing Authority to publish data on the number of pregnant mares that have raced in this country in (a) 2019 and (b) 2018.

The Government is keen that the welfare needs of all racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of all racehorses and already have rules in place to regulate the welfare of all racehorses including that of pregnant mares.

Under these rules, the BHA must be notified within 25 days of a mare being found in foal. A mare that is in foal is permitted to run until 120 days of pregnancy. No evidence has been found to suggest that there is any detriment to the health and welfare of either the mares or foetuses during this period. According to BHA, in 2018 there were 91 runs by 33 pregnant mares on British racecourses, and there have been 38 runs by 18 pregnant mares to date in 2019. The Government understands that the recent fatality at Hexham racecourse is the only fatality from all pregnant mares notified to the BHA as having run within the last five years.

As such, the Government is satisfied that the BHA rules provide adequate protection for the welfare of pregnant mares in British horseracing and we do not plan to bring forward legislation to ban the racing of pregnant mares. However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this. Most recently on the 14 May, I met with the BHA and stressed the need for the BHA to develop a robust action plan that will deliver tangible results. I intend to stay in regular contact with the industry to continue to press for improvements in racehorse welfare for all racehorses including pregnant mares.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
3rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the British Horseracing Authority on the death of the horse named Up For Review during the Grand National race.

The Government is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards and any racehorse fatality is one too many.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses, including the Grand National. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible. However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this, including the fatalities at the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival 2019 as well at any other racetrack.

On 14 May, I am due to meet the BHA Chair and the new independent Chair of the BHA’s newly appointed Horse Welfare Board when I will again press them on what progress they are making to improve racehorse safety and what further lessons have been learned from this year’s Grand National and Cheltenham Festival.

The Government understands that the BHA carried out post-mortem examinations on all three horses which incurred fatal injuries at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
3rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many pheasant (a) eggs for hatching and (b) live birds were imported into England from each (a) EU country and (b) third country in the last year for which figures are available.

The number of pheasant hatching eggs and live birds imported into England from the EU in 2018 was:

Country of OriginTotal
Hatching EggsFrance13,070,875
Poland1,211,480
Portugal15,000
Spain943,620
Hatching Eggs Total15,240,975
Live BirdsBelgium12,000
France5,943,220
Live Birds Total5,955,220

The number of pheasant hatching eggs and live birds imported into the UK from third countries in 2018 was:

Hatching eggs – 91,560

Live birds – 5,250

All imports were from the USA.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is not able to determine how many of the above imports from third countries were imported into England.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
28th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) the British Horseracing Authority and b) Cheltenham racecourse on the deaths of three horses during the meeting at that course in March 2019.

Defra is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The loss of any racehorse is a tragedy.

Since the end of last year, I have been in regular dialogue with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) about racehorse safety both at Cheltenham and in racing in general. As the BHA are responsible for racehorse safety at tracks, I have not had any direct contact with Cheltenham racetrack.

I have recently written to the Chair of the BHA requesting an update on the cause of the fatalities at this year’s event and why they were not prevented by the policies that were put in place, as a result of the seven fatalities at last year’s Festival. I will also discuss these concerns when I meet the newly appointed independent Chair of the racing industry’s new Horse Welfare Board, Barry Johnson, who is a former Chair of World Horse Welfare as well as a former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

I am also seeking clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the Horse Welfare Board to ensure that it will be able to make recommendations that the racing industry will implement.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
28th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the ability of the British Horseracing Authority to ensure the welfare of racehorses following the deaths of three horses at the Cheltenham festival in March 2019.

Defra is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The loss of any racehorse is a tragedy.

Since the end of last year, I have been in regular dialogue with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) about racehorse safety both at Cheltenham and in racing in general. As the BHA are responsible for racehorse safety at tracks, I have not had any direct contact with Cheltenham racetrack.

I have recently written to the Chair of the BHA requesting an update on the cause of the fatalities at this year’s event and why they were not prevented by the policies that were put in place, as a result of the seven fatalities at last year’s Festival. I will also discuss these concerns when I meet the newly appointed independent Chair of the racing industry’s new Horse Welfare Board, Barry Johnson, who is a former Chair of World Horse Welfare as well as a former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

I am also seeking clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the Horse Welfare Board to ensure that it will be able to make recommendations that the racing industry will implement.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
28th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the welfare of racehorses at the Cheltenham festival in 2020 following the deaths of three horses at the 2019 festival.

Defra is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The loss of any racehorse is a tragedy.

Since the end of last year, I have been in regular dialogue with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) about racehorse safety both at Cheltenham and in racing in general. As the BHA are responsible for racehorse safety at tracks, I have not had any direct contact with Cheltenham racetrack.

I have recently written to the Chair of the BHA requesting an update on the cause of the fatalities at this year’s event and why they were not prevented by the policies that were put in place, as a result of the seven fatalities at last year’s Festival. I will also discuss these concerns when I meet the newly appointed independent Chair of the racing industry’s new Horse Welfare Board, Barry Johnson, who is a former Chair of World Horse Welfare as well as a former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

I am also seeking clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the Horse Welfare Board to ensure that it will be able to make recommendations that the racing industry will implement.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
5th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the timescale for the review of the British Horseracing Authority's review whip sanctions; and if he will make a statement.

Defra is keen to ensure that we uphold our high standards of animal welfare including in relation to horseracing. Irresponsible use of the whip is completely unacceptable.

The British Horseracing Association (BHA) requires that whips be used responsibly and jockeys may only use the whip within certain strict rules. The BHA last undertook a review of the whip in 2011. The BHA policy on the whip was drawn up in consultation with animal welfare groups, such as the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.

Defra understands that the BHA will give further consideration to use of the whip as part of their development of an industry-wide welfare strategy.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
22nd Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the ban on gestation crates for pigs will remain in force in the event of a future UK-US trade agreement.

The Government is proud of the high food safety and animal welfare standards that underpin our high-quality Great British produce. The UK will maintain its high standards as part of any future free trade agreements.

In the UK, close-confinement stalls for breeding sows have been banned since 1999. The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 requires all sows and gilts to be kept in groups. This protection will continue after we leave the EU.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
21st Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that ractopamine-fed pork is not permitted in the UK under the terms of a future UK-US trade agreement.

The Government is proud of the high food safety and animal welfare standards that underpin our high-quality Great British produce. The UK will maintain its high standards as part of any future free trade agreements.

The UK has transposed EU Council Directive 96/22/EC (as amended) into national law; the ‘Animals and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) (England and Scotland) Regulations 2015', with similar legislation for Wales and Northern Ireland, which prohibits the use of beta-agonists in both domestic production and imported products. This protection will continue after we leave the EU.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
21st Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the UK will continue to test pork for the parasitic worm trichinae under the terms of a future UK-US trade agreement.

The Government is proud of the high food safety and animal welfare standards that underpin our high-quality Great British produce. The UK will maintain its high standards as part of any future free trade agreements.

Regulation 2015/1375 lays down specific rules on official controls for Trichinella in meat, including the testing of pig carcases, and will be transposed into national law to ensure food safety protection is maintained. This protection will continue after we leave the EU.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) pheasants and (b) partridges were kept in raised laying cages for the breeding of game birds for sporting purposes in England and Wales in each of the last 5 years.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) does not hold information on pheasants and partridges kept in raised laying cages for the breeding of game birds for sporting purposes in England and Wales. APHA does not hold this information for Bettws Hall Game Farm.

APHA does not maintain year on year statistics for game farms. APHA only takes a register of the number of birds usually kept on a holding, which is supplied at the time of registration by the owner/keeper of the birds.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
1st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of (i) pheasants and (ii) partridges kept in raised laying cages by the Bettws Hall Game Farm for the breeding of game birds for sporting purposes in each of the last five years.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) does not hold information on pheasants and partridges kept in raised laying cages for the breeding of game birds for sporting purposes in England and Wales. APHA does not hold this information for Bettws Hall Game Farm.

APHA does not maintain year on year statistics for game farms. APHA only takes a register of the number of birds usually kept on a holding, which is supplied at the time of registration by the owner/keeper of the birds.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason he did not attend the recent meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg on cutting CO2 emissions; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce UK emissions following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on 1.5 degrees.

Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who attends cabinet and is responsible for climate change mitigation, attended the meeting.

Working closely with BEIS, Defra is delivering greenhouse gas emission reductions within the agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors, as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan.

We are leading the world in our response to the IPCC report. The UK hosted the European launch of the IPCC’s report at the first ever Green Great Britain Week held between 15-19 October. Following the report we have commissioned the UK’s independent advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, for advice on the implications of the Paris Agreement for the UK’s long-term emission reduction target, including on setting a net zero target.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
16th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of banning (a) the keeping of primates as pets and (b) the sale of primates as pets.

Keepers of animals including primates must provide for the welfare needs of their animals as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. To assist in this regard, there is the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Privately Kept Non-human Primates. Anyone keeping a primate as a pet in a domestic setting, or otherwise causing unnecessary suffering, would be in breach of the 2006 Act and liable to a penalty of six months’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine, or both. The Government has announced that the maximum custodial penalty for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal will rise from six months’ imprisonment to five years’ imprisonment.

As of 1 October new laws were introduced regulating the sale of pets. The new laws provide strict minimum welfare standards for any business selling pets. In addition, Defra has worked with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group on the development of voluntary minimum standards for the online advertising of pets, which now include a prohibition on the sale of primates on five of the main online advertising sites.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will ask the British Horseracing Authority to publish the number of (a) reviews it has undertaken into equine mortality rates at racecourses since January 2013 and (b) the number of those reviews that are publicly available.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) provides annual statistics of the number of horse fatalities at racecourses, which are published on their website. These show that since 2013, the percentage of runners being killed at a racetrack has dropped steadily from 0.22% to 0.18% in 2017.

In April, the BHA announced a review into the six racehorse fatalities at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. One of the objectives of the review is to demonstrate openness and transparency by publishing the review, which seeks to improve continuously. The review is scheduled to report in the autumn.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
13th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times officials in (a) his Department and (b) other Government Departments have met with the British Horseracing Authority in (a) 2016, (b) 2017 and (c) 2018 to date to discuss horse deaths on racecourses.

Whilst officials have not met representatives of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to discuss racehorse fatalities during the years stated, I am aware that the BHA work alongside animal welfare organisations, such as the RSPCA, and regularly review the safety of racetracks and where necessary, make improvements. The Government is satisfied that the BHA work to make horseracing as safe as possible. Annual statistics on the numbers of racehorses killed on racetracks are available on the BHA website, here:https://www.britishhorseracing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Equine-Injuries-and-Fatalities-2017-data-.pdf .

Regarding training fatalities, under BHA rules, all trainers are required to notify deaths of horses to Weatherbys. As part of their work on a new equine database, the BHA are also looking at enhancing the information to be provided in these circumstances.

The Government has been in regular contact with a number of stakeholders about a range of horse welfare issues including those relating to racehorses.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
13th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has requested from the British Horseracing Authority (a) information on racehorse deaths, (b) reviews by that authority of racecourses with unusually high mortality rates and (c) information relating to the number of racehorses killed in training.

Whilst officials have not met representatives of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to discuss racehorse fatalities during the years stated, I am aware that the BHA work alongside animal welfare organisations, such as the RSPCA, and regularly review the safety of racetracks and where necessary, make improvements. The Government is satisfied that the BHA work to make horseracing as safe as possible. Annual statistics on the numbers of racehorses killed on racetracks are available on the BHA website, here:https://www.britishhorseracing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Equine-Injuries-and-Fatalities-2017-data-.pdf .

Regarding training fatalities, under BHA rules, all trainers are required to notify deaths of horses to Weatherbys. As part of their work on a new equine database, the BHA are also looking at enhancing the information to be provided in these circumstances.

The Government has been in regular contact with a number of stakeholders about a range of horse welfare issues including those relating to racehorses.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
12th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to review the licensing of glyphosate herbicides.

Herbicides can only be sold and used if their active substances (such as glyphosate) are approved at EU level and if the products are authorised nationally. Approval and authorisation are only granted if scientific risk assessments demonstrate that the intended use will not harm human health or have an unacceptable effect on the environment.

Glyphosate was approved at EU level at the end of 2017. The UK supported this decision on the basis that the scientific assessment was satisfactory. As is required following a new or renewed approval, the UK regulator is currently reviewing the authorisations for all glyphosate products.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2018 to Question 157623 on Game: Animal Welfare, whether the consideration currently being given to reviewing the Code of practice for the welfare of gamebirds reared for sporting purposes includes the code as it applies in England.

Defra’s Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes applies to England and there are no proposals to change its territorial scope.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
26th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the devolved administrations on the future review of each Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes applying to the respective nations.

We have an ongoing dialogue with the devolved administrations on animal welfare matters, which includes discussing plans to update the animal welfare codes. The case for reviewing the gamebird code remains under consideration.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
30th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with small and medium-sized businesses in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands about the financial effect of proposed clean air zones and associated air quality measures on their businesses.

Defra has not had direct discussions with small and medium-sized businesses in Birmingham or the West Midlands about the financial effect of clean air zones.

The Government assessed the impacts of charging Clean Air Zones on businesses nationally in the 2016 impact assessment. This did not look at the impacts on Birmingham or the West Midlands in isolation.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
30th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has conducted an economic impact study on the effect of clean air zones on businesses in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands.

The Government assessed the impacts of charging in clean air zones on businesses nationally in the 2016 impact assessment. This did not look at the impacts on Birmingham or the West Midlands in isolation.

The UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations is clear that local authorities must conduct feasibility studies with robust economic impact assessments, following the HMT Green Book approach. The feasibility studies being produced by local authorities will look at these impacts at a local level.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
13th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent the import of chicken dosed with the antibiotic colistin after the UK leaves the EU.

When we leave the European Union, we will maintain our current standards. We will keep our existing UK legislation, and the EU Withdrawal Bill will convert EU law into UK law as it applies at the moment of exit. Any future trade agreements must work for consumers, farmers, and businesses in the UK. We will not water down our standards on food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection as part of any future trade deals.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on New Clause 61 of the EU Withdrawal Bill on 20 December 2017, Official Report, column 1168 whether the standards currently set by REACH will remain in place in the UK, or whether the UK will continue to match its standards to those of REACH after the UK leaves the EU.

The Withdrawal Bill will convert current EU law into domestic law wherever practical, giving consumers and businesses as much certainty as possible. This includes laws relating to chemicals. The UK is strongly committed to the effective and safe management of chemicals. That will not change when we leave the EU.

While it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome of the negotiations we will discuss with the EU and Member States how best to continue cooperation in chemicals regulation in the best interests of both the UK and the EU.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of game farms in England and Wales using un-enriched raised laying cages for pheasants and partridges used for breeding.

Animal and Plant Health Agency do not record information on the number of game farms in England & Wales using un-enriched raised laying cages

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many visits to English and Welsh pheasant and partridge game farms the Animal and Plant Health Agency made in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how many breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and its Code of Practice for Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes were discovered during those visits; what those breaches were; and what action was taken to address each such breach.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is only able to provide information relating to ‘Game Birds’ from June 2014. However, this data does not make any distinction between pheasant or partridge farms.

No comparable figures are available prior to 2014.

The attached table provides the statistics covering the number of visits, number of breaches, type of breach and action taken.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans for the UK's environmental standards to remain as rigorous as those set by the EU after the UK has left the EU.

The Secretary of State has been clear that we need to maintain and where possible enhance environmental outcomes both now and after we leave the EU.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that the UK's rivers and beaches are not polluted by sewage or litter.

The Government published the first Litter Strategy for England on 10 April, setting out our aim to clean up the country, including rivers and beaches.

Our strategy is to apply best practice in education, enforcement and infrastructure to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering behaviour within a generation. The common aim of all the actions in the Litter Strategy is to change the behaviour of those who currently feel that it is acceptable to drop litter. By reducing the amount of litter dropped, and improving cleaning, we will also reduce the litter reaching our rivers and beaches.

Pollution caused by sewage is controlled by discharge permits issued by the Environment Agency (EA) which must meet the requirements of various environmental regulations including the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations and Bathing Water Regulations. In England, between 2015 and 2020 water companies are investing over £2 billion to improve their sewerage infrastructure, guided by the requirements of the EA. This includes investment to improve sewage treatment works and collecting systems with the aim of reducing the polluting impact of sewage discharges on beaches and rivers. The results to date are that bathing waters are at their highest ever quality, thousands of miles of rivers have been improved and the number of pollution incidents greatly reduced.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
27th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to lengthen the maximum sentence for animal cruelty offences.

The Sentencing Council recently updated its guidelines for magistrates. In their revised guideline, the Sentencing Council aims to ensure that the most serious cases of animal cruelty receive longer sentences of up to the maximum of 6 months’ imprisonment. The Government keeps maximum penalties under review. This includes sentencing trends, and whether there is any evidence that the courts may be finding their sentencing powers inadequate.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
6th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of the findings of the report commissioned by the Welsh Government, entitled The welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses, published in April 2016; and if she will make a statement.


Defra has considered the report, ‘The welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses’, commissioned by the Welsh Government. It remains the position of the Department that there is insufficient evidence to justify a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses on welfare grounds. The Government intends to introduce primary legislation to effect a ban on ethical grounds.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the licensing scheme for wild animals in circuses has cost since its introduction; and what proportion of those costs are incurred by licensed operators.

Since its introduction in January 2013, only two circuses have been licensed under the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012.

Costs to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for the day-to-day administration of the licensing scheme are covered by the application fee payable each year by a circus. The application fee is set at £389.36. For the period 2013 to 2017, APHA have received £3,893.60 in applications fees from the two licensed circuses.

Costs of inspections under the licensing scheme are also paid for by licensed circuses. Inspection fees are set at £72.53 per hour and inspectors can also claim reasonable travel and subsistence costs. For the period 2013 to date, the total costs of inspections incurred by the two licensed circuses are £23,555.76.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to allow individual ports to ban live animal exports after the UK has left the EU.

Until exit negotiations are concluded the UK remains a full member of the European Union (EU) and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation.

The government has not yet reached a position on the nature of future arrangements once we leave the EU.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 13 October 2016 to Question 47784, if she will make it her policy that changes to environmental protections deriving from EU legislation should be made through primary legislation.

The Government is considering future arrangements for existing EU legislation. We look forward to working with the industry, rural communities and the wider public to shape our plans for a future outside the EU.

As I said in my previous answer, any future changes in the law will be subject to full scrutiny and proper Parliamentary debate.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2016 to Question 47328, if she will provide the information requested in the specified format.

As previously stated, further information on Ministerial meetings with organisations is available on Gov.UK, as part of the quarterly transparency information.

Data on meetings with Departmental officials is not centrally recorded. Any further information could only be obtained by incurring disproportionate costs.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to put mechanisms in place to maintain the UK's air quality (a) targets and (b) levels after the UK leaves the EU.

The UK has a long commitment to improving the environment even before the EU; for example the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956. Our strong commitment to improving air quality will continue after the UK leaves the EU.

As we prepare to negotiate our exit the Government will continue to ensure the right policies are in place for a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.

DEFRA will soon be publishing a 25 Year Environment Plan Framework, in line with our manifesto. The publication of the Framework will be a clear message on our world-leading ambition to leave the environment in a better state for future generations than we find it.

Air quality has improved significantly in recent decades; we are working at local, national and international levels and will continue to do more.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to maintain or enhance the UK's environmental protection standards following an exit from the EU.

We remain fully committed to delivering our manifesto commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than we found it. We are developing a 25 Year Environment Plan to deliver this.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister announced our plans for a Repeal Bill that will convert current EU law into domestic British law. This will give consumers, workers and businesses as much certainty as possible by maintaining the existing laws wherever practicable and desirable. Any future changes in the law will be subject to full scrutiny and proper Parliamentary debate. The decision to leave the EU means we now have a unique opportunity, in future, to design a set of policies tailored to the needs of the UK, its species and habitats.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many schools in Birmingham are located in areas with pollution higher than World Health Organisation limits.

Defra does not hold information on schools in the city that are located in areas with pollution higher than World Health Organisation limits. Birmingham City Council is responsible for reviewing and assessing air quality in its area. It declared a city wide Air Quality Management Area in 2005 and an action plan to tackle NO2 was put in place. Birmingham City Council is best placed to provide the information requested.

In 2015 measured concentrations of PM10 in the UK were below EU and WHO limit values. Measured concentrations of PM2.5 were well below the EU limit value of 20µg/m3 but slightly above the WHO value of 10µg/m3 by between 2 and 3µg/m3.

In 2015, Birmingham exceeded the EU limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in and around the city centre. The main source of NO2 emissions is road traffic.

In December 2015, the Government published the national air quality plan for reducing NO2 concentrations through a new programme of Clean Air Zones in five cities in England, including Birmingham. The plan combines targeted local and national measures and continued investment in clean technologies. These measures will also reduce particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) concentrations. A public consultation seeking views on the draft Clean Air Zone Framework and on the draft regulation mandating the implementation of Clean Air Zones was published on 13 October 2016.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with representatives of (i) Bayer CropScience and (ii) Syngenta in each of the last five years.

Ministers and officials meet with Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and other parties on a range of issues.

Information on Ministerial meetings with organisations is available on GOV.UK and is published on a quarterly basis.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many racehorses were slaughtered in abattoirs in Britain in (a) 2013, (b) 2014 and (c) 2015.

Information on the types of horses slaughtered in abattoirs in Great Britain is not recorded. The total numbers of horses slaughtered in Great Britain for that period are as follows:

Year

No. Horses Slaughtered

2013-14

4,770

2014-15

4,008

2015-16

3,653

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many racehorses (a) died and (b) were destroyed as a result of training injuries in Britain in (i) 2013, (ii) 2014 and (iii) 2015.

Neither the Government nor the British Horseracing Authority holds information on racehorse fatalities as a result of training injuries.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many racehorses (a) died and (b) were destroyed at each of Britain's 59 racecourses in (i) 2013, (ii) 2014 and (iii) 2015.

The Government does not hold information on racehorse fatalities. However, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) publishes annual statistics on their website on the number of racehorse fatalities. The statistics do not record whether the horse died of its injuries or was destroyed at the racecourse and do not differentiate between the different sorts of horseracing, but according to the BHA the numbers of racehorses that died at racetracks for each of the last three years are provided in the table below:

Year

Number of racehorse fatalities at British racetracks

2013

196

2014

189

2015

156

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many racehorses (a) died and (b) were destroyed on British racecourses or shortly afterwards due to injury sustained in (i) flat, (ii) all weather and (iii) national hunt racing in (A) 2013, (B) 2014 and (C) 2015.

The Government does not hold information on racehorse fatalities. However, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) publishes annual statistics on their website on the number of racehorse fatalities. The statistics do not record whether the horse died of its injuries or was destroyed at the racecourse and do not differentiate between the different sorts of horseracing, but according to the BHA the numbers of racehorses that died at racetracks for each of the last three years are provided in the table below:

Year

Number of racehorse fatalities at British racetracks

2013

196

2014

189

2015

156

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the findings of the RSPCA report entitled, Breed Specific Legislation - A Dog's Dinner, published in August 2016, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of breed specific legislation.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was reviewed as recently as 2014. At that time it was decided to make some changes, including extending the criminal offence of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control to all places and increasing the maximum penalties substantially from 2 years’ imprisonment to (i) 14 years‘ imprisonment in cases of death of the victim; (ii) 5 years’ imprisonment in cases of injury; and (iii) 3 years’ imprisonment in cases where a dog attacks an assistance dog.

The Government does not consider that dogs bred for fighting, or those that share the characteristics of these animals, make ideal pets. However, the law allows individual dogs to be exempt from the general prohibition if a court is satisfied that they do not pose a threat to public safety and if the owner is considered a fit and proper person.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she plans to take to ensure that regulatory standards on clean beaches and seas, marine wildlife protection and fish population levels will not be lowered after the UK leaves the EU.

In the 2015 Manifesto, we set the goal of being the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it. This is a big ambition to which the Government remains committed to today.

We also have a manifesto commitment to produce a 25 Year Plan for the environment which will be the basis of our approach to the environment.

As we start the process of leaving the EU, we will aim to deliver a stable and clear legislative framework for the environment, including maintaining standards that underpin trade and deliver on our international commitments.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the UK intends to maintain the EU ban on neonicotinoids (a) before and (b) after the UK leaves the EU; and whether the Government plans to conduct a review of the evidence of damage to bees caused by those pesticides.

While it remains within the EU, the UK will continue to meet its obligations under EU law. This includes restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids. As part of the preparation for EU exit, we are considering future arrangements for pesticides. Our highest priority will continue to be the protection of people and the environment.

The Government remains of the view that decisions on the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides should be based on a careful scientific assessment of the risks. Pesticides that carry unacceptable risks to pollinators should not be authorised. The Government keeps the developing evidence on neonicotinoids under active review, advised by the independent Expert Committee on Pesticides.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
29th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2016 to Question 40996, what statistics the Government collects on the number of hunting trophies from endangered or threatened species which are brought in to the UK; and how the Government defines the sustainable hunting of such species.

The UK Management Authority (UKMA), which administers the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), holds data on imports of hunting trophies into the UK from outside the EU of the most endangered species listed on Annex A of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and for six less endangered Annex B species which are subject to stricter controls.

As part of the application process for an import permit, the UKMA must consider whether the import would be harmful to the conservation of the species or on the extent of the territory it occupies. This is called a ‘non-detriment finding’. For animal imports, this determination is made by our scientific advisors, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, which considers any opinions of the EU’s group of scientific experts in CITES, the Scientific Review Group, and examines available data, taking into account a wide range of factors including the biological status of the species, management programmes in place and trade levels.

Information on how a non-detriment finding is made can be found in CITES Conference Resolution 16.7 (https://cites.org/eng/res/16/16-07.php) and the reference guide to the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/legis_refguide_en.htm).

20th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to ban the bringing into the UK of hunting trophies from threatened or endangered species.

Under international rules set by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a hunting trophy from an endangered or threatened species can be exported only if the exporting country is satisfied that the hunt was both legal and sustainable.

Importing controls are implemented at an EU-wide level and the UK works with other EU Member States to agree a collective approach. In light of growing concerns about the sustainability of the hunting of some species, stricter controls on the import of hunting trophies of six species, including lions and African elephants, have been introduced. As a result, the import of hunting trophies of certain species from certain countries is currently prohibited.

The Government considers that properly managed, legal and sustainable trophy hunting can play a part in species conservation efforts, including by providing an important source of funding for conservation in some countries. In view of this, we have no plans to introduce legislation banning the import of all trophies of endangered or threatened species. We will however continue to monitor the impact of trophy hunting and will work to put in place greater protection, including prohibiting imports, if this is shown to be needed.

For example, in recognition of the real concerns about the impact of trophy hunting on lion conservation, I announced in Parliament on 24 November 2015 that the Government will ban lion trophy imports by the end of 2017 unless there are improvements in the way hunting takes place in certain countries, judged against strict criteria. We will work with our European and international partners, and experts in the field, to reach a common approach to this issue.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if her Department will respond to the findings of the report entitled Oilseed rape and neonicotinoids, by 38 Degrees, published in September 2015.

The report by 38 Degrees questions the need for neonicotinoids to protect oilseed rape and argues that no emergency authorisation for this use of neonicotinoids should be granted in 2016.

Emergency authorisation is a procedure set out in law. All applications for emergency authorisation in the UK, including those for neonicotinoids, are decided according to the criteria in the legislation following an expert assessment of the scientific data. Two recent applications were assessed on that basis and were found not to meet the criteria for authorisation.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of introducing a deposit return scheme for single use drinks containers to reduce litter.

Defra analysed the costs and benefits of implementing a deposit return system (DRS) for single use drink containers as part of the 2011 Review of Waste Policy in England, and sought views in the 2012 consultation on higher packaging recycling targets.

This work showed that introducing a DRS may increase recycling and reduce litter but might impose additional costs on businesses, consumers and local authorities (which would lose revenue from recycling). However, we lack evidence to quantify these benefits and costs appropriately. The current approach has driven a significant increase in packaging waste recycling rates, from less than 47% in 2003 to nearly 65% in 2013.

Last year, the Scottish Government published a feasibility study and a call for evidence investigating the implementation of a DRS for single use drink containers in Scotland. This valuable work highlighted significant uncertainties regarding the impacts and benefits that a DRS would have, notably regarding costs, environmental quality and littering, and existing waste collection systems. The Scottish Government is doing further work on the topic and we will review any new evidence arising from this in due course. However, in the meantime, we will continue to focus on improving existing waste collection and recycling systems, and developing a new National Litter Strategy for England to help coordinate and maximise the impact of anti-litter activity by local government, industry and others.

5th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding she plans to allocate to Birmingham City Council for implementation of a Clean Air Zone in Birmingham; and how much funding she plans to allocate to that Council under the air quality grant programme.

The air quality plan for nitrogen dioxide we published on 17 December last year confirms that we will be providing funding to help five Local Authorities in England outside London to implement clean air zones and to support the implementation of additional measures where necessary. We will be discussing the details of this with the Local Authorities concerned, including Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham City Council has not received any funding for 2015-16 under our air quality grant programme. No decisions have been made about air quality grant awards for 2016-17 and beyond.

7th Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Written Answers of 16 November 2015 to Question 16305 and of 23 November 2015 to Question 17205, whether agreed funding is now in place for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2016.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bristol East, Kerry McCarthy, on 7 December 2015, PQ18354.

23rd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will provide funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond March 2016.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Gerald Jones, on 19 November 2015, PQ UIN16385.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential change in the bee population of the decision to allow the use of neonicotinoid pesticides; and what assessment she has made of the effect of such a change on agricultural yields.

Neonicotinoid insecticides have been used for a number of years to protect a wide range of crops. Since December 2013, some of those uses have no longer been allowed. European rules on pesticides allow the limited and controlled use of restricted neonicotinoids in emergency situations to control a danger which cannot be contained by any other reasonable means.

An application to use neonicotinoids to protect an area equivalent to 5% of the national oilseed rape crop was accepted following expert advice. The UK Expert Committee on Pesticides considered all the relevant environmental and agronomic factors, including effects on bees and the value of the products in safeguarding crop yields. The Committee’s advice to Ministers can be found at www.pesticides.gov.uk/guidance/industries/pesticides/advisory-groups/acp/ECP-letters.

Ministers followed the Committee’s advice on the basis that the legal criteria for granting the authorisations were met.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to (a) back amendments to the EU Timber Regulation so that it covers all timber and wood products and (b) support at a European level proposals by the World Wild Fund for Nature to enable a market in 100 per cent sustainable timber by 2020.

Earlier this year, Defra responded to the current EU review of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) to recommend that the scope of the regulation is broadened to cover more timber products. We believe this would allow the EUTR to better meet its objectives in preventing illegal timber entering the EU market.

It is positive that UK organisations are committing to trade in both legal and sustainable timber by signing up to WWF’s Forest Campaign. We are supportive of companies across the EU making similar commitments through this campaign.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost was under each cost heading of the study to determine whether cage-based breeding can meet the needs of game birds.

The total cost of the project was £425,642 which was broken down as follows: pay £189,762; consumables £9,800; equipment £7,000; travel £0; overheads £178,377; subcontracts/ consultancy £7,410; other £33,293.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what basis the members of the stakeholder group for the study on cage-based breeding of game birds were chosen.

Members of the stakeholder group were chosen to form a balanced group covering the breadth of interests, with representation from Defra, the industry and Non-Government Organisations.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the ability and efficacy of alternative pest control methods to the use of neonicotinoids.

Alternative pest control methods were considered by experts before emergency authorisations were issued for use of neonicotinoid pesticides to control cabbage stem flea beetle (Psylloides chrysocephala) in winter oilseed rape. The only alternative chemical control is use of pyrethroid sprays. These are generally less effective against this pest and populations of it have developed significant resistance to pyrethroids in the UK.

Non-chemical methods may have a role in the long-term development of a strategy to control this pest, but are not suited to emergency control. The usefulness of adjusting the date of sowing may be limited by other factors, such as weather, and trap cropping has not been shown to be practical for large-scale use.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure that wood or paper products from illegal or unsustainable timber sources are not being sold or used in the UK.

Defra is committed to tackling the trade in illegal timber. We implement the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which makes it an offence to place illegally logged timber on the EU market for the first time, and the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation, which aims to combat illegal logging and improve the supply of legal timber to the EU. The EU FLEGT Regulation establishes Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber producing countries. Once VPAs have been agreed, timber producing countries will issue exports with a ‘FLEGT licence’ which verifies the timber’s legality.

Our efforts in these areas were reflected in WWF’s 2014 ‘EU Government Barometer’ on illegal logging and trade, where we received the highest score of all the EU Member States, see:

http://barometer.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/government_barometer.

The Government’s Timber Procurement Policy requires central government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies to procure timber and timber products that are both legal and sustainable.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to Objective 7 of the study to provide scientific evidence on cage-based breeding (a) whether and (b) how the best practice recommendations have been disseminated.

The results have been presented at the 2nd Avian Expert Group at AHVLA Weybridge and the Scottish Gamebird Conference and an abstract was presented at an international conference on Welfare Assessment at Farm and Group Level.

The research team are currently considering further knowledge exchange activities.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason her Department's study into cage-based breeding of game birds does not include a control group of birds living in a natural environment.

The purpose of the project was to inform policy and the wording of the statutory code of practice for the welfare of gamebirds reared for sporting purposes on the effects of any change in practice from rearing in pens to cages. A comparison with birds living in a natural environment would not have informed this question.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation was held with (a) animal welfare organisations, (b) farming organisations, (c) environmental groups and (d) shooting organisations as part of her Department's study into cage-based breeding of game birds.

Animal welfare organisations, game farmers organisations and shooting organisations were all members of the steering group overseeing the research.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the two papers prepared for publication as part of the review into cage-based breeding systems have been submitted for review; and what the outcome of such a review was.

These two papers are still being prepared by the research team. Once that is complete, they will be submitted for publication in peer reviewed journals.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the prevalence of medicated grit on grouse moors and its potential long-term effects.

The prescribing of wormers in grouse grit is permitted under the rules of the prescribing cascade in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013. Use of medicines in animals under the cascade is down to the professional judgement of the prescribing veterinary surgeon, taking into consideration the impact on the animals concerned, in response to a specific animal welfare need. Defra does not specifically monitor such use.

A statutory withdrawal period when using medicines under the cascade has to be applied and that means that the medicated grit must be removed from the grouse moors at least 28 days prior to the shooting of the birds. Any known contravention should be reported to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate who will consider whether enforcement action is required.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons SAC Commercial Ltd were chosen to undertake the study on whether cage-based breeding can meet the needs of game birds.

This project was commissioned through open tender.

The SAC proposal was identified as best fitting the policy, scientific and value for money requirements of the research call, based on independent academic and internal peer reviews. The SAC proposal was later revised to reduce the costs and the proposal was peer-reviewed and deemed to be of high quality and represent value for money.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has any discretion in the imposition of the EU-level ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK; what assessment the Department has made of the impact of any use of such pesticides on the UK's bee population since the publication of An assessment of key evidence about neonicotinoids and bees, DEFRA, published in March 2013; and if she will make a statement.

Decisions on the approval of pesticide active substances are made at European level. Since December 2013, three of the five currently approved neonicotinoids are not permitted for use on a wide range of crops considered “attractive to bees”. A number of other uses remain permitted under the EU approval. The restrictions currently in place for neonicotinoids are not time-limited.

The European Commission gave an undertaking to commence a review of the science on neonicotinoids by the end of May 2015. This process has now commenced. Companies have provided further studies and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has invited any party to submit relevant data, including published studies, by 30 September 2015.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22nd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many game farms were assessed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency as using un-enriched raised laying cages for partridge breeding pairs in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has made no estimate of the number of game farms using un-enriched cages for partridges. However, four game farms have been inspected as a result of welfare concerns since June 2014. So far only one has resulted in action being taken with a follow-up visit to be undertaken in July 2015. Before June 2014, game farms were not recorded separately from certain other farmed species, so it is not possible to separate out such establishments.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22nd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the number of game farms in England and Wales using un-enriched raised laying cages for partridge breeding pairs; and what steps she is taking to prevent such practices.

No estimate has been made of the number of game farms using un-enriched cages for breeding partridges in breach of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes.

However, four game farms have been inspected as a result of welfare concerns since June 2014. The Defra funded research into cage-based breeding for game birds will be published in due course and will be used to help inform the review of the gamebirds code of practice.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22nd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many visits to English and Welsh pheasant and partridge game farms the Animal and Plant Health Agency made in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how many breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and its Code of Practice for Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes were discovered during those visits; what those breaches were; and what action was taken to address each such breach.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has made no estimate of the number of game farms using un-enriched cages for partridges. However, four game farms have been inspected as a result of welfare concerns since June 2014. So far only one has resulted in action being taken with a follow-up visit to be undertaken in July 2015. Before June 2014, game farms were not recorded separately from certain other farmed species, so it is not possible to separate out such establishments.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
22nd Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the study commissioned by her Department in 2009 to provide scientific evidence on whether cage-based breeding for pheasants and partridges can fully meet birds' needs will be published.

No estimate has been made of the number of game farms using un-enriched cages for breeding partridges in breach of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes.

However, four game farms have been inspected as a result of welfare concerns since June 2014. The Defra funded research into cage-based breeding for game birds will be published in due course and will be used to help inform the review of the gamebirds code of practice.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
11th Mar 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2015 to Question 224551, for what reasons no information is available on the number of pheasants and partridges imported into the UK for the purposes of game shooting.

To comply with EU requirements, partridges and pheasants imported into the UK have to be accompanied by an EU health certificate. There is a specific health certificate for game birds intended for restocking. Information on imported consignments of live birds is held on the European Commission’s TRACES system. However, we only have limited options to interrogate this information. Although we have statistics on the total number of pheasants and partridges that have been imported in to the UK, it is not possible to determine how many birds were imported using the re-stocking health certificate.

Pheasants (Phasianus)

Partridges (Perdix)

European Union

Third Countries

European Union

Third Countries

2010

367,322

0

19,146

0

2011

4,287,561

0

268,159

0

2012

3,654,485

0

162,036

0

2013

5,057,045

12,600

223,541

0

2014

6,333,914

21,840

272,675

0

Imported pheasants and partridges may also be included in mixed consignments of poultry. However, we only hold information on the overall number of birds in the consignment.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total value of contracts her Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

Under this Government’s transparency programme, contracts above £10k are published on Contracts Finder which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder since January 2011.

We are unable to provide the data for the previous year as we did not have a central contracts management system in place.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of how many hectares of peat bog were burned by owners of grouse moors in the last full year for which figures are available; and what estimate she has made of the amount of carbon released as a result of such burning.

Defra does not collect this data routinely. A Natural England review in 2013 highlighted that little systematic data is collected nationally on the extent and distribution of burning generally, including on moorland in the uplands. It recommended that further work was necessary to obtain better repeatable estimates and the outputs of this work are due to be published later this spring. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently funding research to develop an operational framework that will allow us to report on greenhouse gas emissions from peatland management in the UK greenhouse gas inventory. This research will report in 2016.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the number of endangered and protected birds of prey which have been killed by owners of grouse moors or their employees in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many of those incidents resulted in a prosecution.

The Health and Safety Executive publishes statistics of reported pesticide incidents involving wildlife under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS). Maps of birds of prey poisoning in England and Wales were last published in 2013. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) gathers intelligence on crimes against wildlife. Prosecution statistics do not identify either the nature of the defendant’s profession, the nature of the habitat or the specific species concerned.


George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the prevalence of poisoning of wild animals on grouse moors with (a) carofuran and (b) other substances for which this use is not permitted.

The Health and Safety Executive publishes statistics of reported pesticide incidents involving wildlife under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS). Maps of birds of prey poisoning in England and Wales were last published in 2013. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) gathers intelligence on crimes against wildlife. Prosecution statistics do not identify either the nature of the defendant’s profession, the nature of the habitat or the specific species concerned.


George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will require people shooting grouse for sport to have gained basic shooting skills, so birds are killed quickly rather than dying slowly of their injuries.

The use of firearms is regulated under firearms legislation, which gives licenses to those who are deemed to be safe to use them.

It is the responsibility of the shooter and the shooting community to know what calibre is legally required or otherwise suitable for which quarry species and ensure sufficient levels of skill are attained to affect a clean humane kill. All game shooters are encouraged to comply with the recommendations in the industry’s Code of Good Shooting Practice, available online at:

http://www.codeofgoodshootingpractice.org.uk/page/11

Further protection from unnecessary suffering is afforded by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 where the animal is under the control of man (for example injured and within the control of man to address its suffering).

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will ban the use of lead shot in grouse shooting in order to protect other wildlife.

Defra has not assessed the environmental impact of lead discharged during game bird shooting.

We have no plans to extend the existing Regulations to ban the use of lead shot in England as this would be premature pending the Lead Ammunition Group’s report to Government expected.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effects of intensive, monocultural grouse production on biodiversity.

An assessment of the effects of grouse production on biodiversity has not been made by Defra.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the environmental impact of lead discharged during game bird shooting.

Defra has not assessed the environmental impact of lead discharged during game bird shooting.

We have no plans to extend the existing Regulations to ban the use of lead shot in England as this would be premature pending the Lead Ammunition Group’s report to Government expected.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) pheasants and (b) partridges were imported into the UK for the purposes of game shooting in each of the last five years.

There is no information available on the number of pheasants and partridges imported into the UK for the purposes of game shooting.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) foxes, (b) badgers and (c) domestic pets killed by snare traps since the introduction of the Code of Practice on the use of snares in 2005.

Defra does not collect data on the numbers of different species of animals killed by snares and is not aware of any reliable data gathered by third parties.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total cost to the public purse of subsidies provided to owners and operators of grouse moors was in each of the last three financial years.

Payments under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are not targeted at owners or operators of grouse moors. Those who have such land at their disposal (which in many cases on moorland will be a tenant rather than a landlord) may claim direct payments, subject to meeting scheme rules, provided the land is used for agricultural production or is maintained in a condition suitable for production. Agri-environment payments are made to those who enter into agreements to deliver environmental benefits, and across the uplands tenants and commoners are the principal beneficiaries. The Rural Development Programme also supports various socio-economic projects but not any specifically relating to the owners and operators of grouse moors. We do not systematically record whether those meeting the conditions to benefit from CAP schemes are also owners or operators of grouse moors.

Owners or operators of grouse moors may of course be eligible for other grants or subsidies, as are other businesses.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
28th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for East Londonderry of 4 December 2014 to Question 217167, if she plans to publish the study on the scientific evidence for the welfare of game birds reared in cages.

We still plan to publish the report in due course.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
23rd Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend or repeal the Hunting Act 2004 before the end of the current Parliament.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave the honourable member for Garston and Halewood, Maria Eagle, on 27 November 2014 Written Parliamentary Question number 215464.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
6th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2015 to Question 219164, which part of the Hunting Act 2004 she referred to as containing an exemption which makes it legal to hunt and kill foxes with a pack of dogs for sport.

The Hunting Act 2004 sets out several classes of exempt hunting under which dogs may be used to hunt wild mammals, subject to strict conditions. The full details of the Hunting Act exemptions are available online at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/37/schedule/1.

Following the introduction of the Hunting Act, many hunts also use an artificially laid scent to simulate the path that would be taken by a fox during traditional hunting activity. This is one way in which hunts are able to continue to meet and exercise their hounds.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to reduce the illegal use of snares.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Glenrothes (Mr Roy), on 8 September 2014, PQ UIN 208115.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will take steps to prohibit the sale of badges which promote illegal activity by mounted groups of hunters hunting foxes with dogs; and if she will make an assessment of the prevalence of this activity by (a) the Countryside Alliance and (b) other groups.

The Government is not aware of the sale of any badges promoting illegal activity. If the hon. Member is referring to badges marking the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act coming into force, it is quite within the rights of organisations such as the Countryside Alliance to promote an activity that can be carried out legally in accordance with the exemptions set out in the Act, and is of economic and social importance to many of our most rural communities.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what research her Department has (a) conducted and (b) commissioned on how often using dogs to flush out foxes to be shot results in foxes being killed by the dogs rather than by shooting.

Defra has not conducted or commissioned any research on how often using dogs to flush out foxes to be shot results in foxes being killed by the dogs rather than by shooting.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
16th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information her Department holds on the effectiveness of a programme of cattle movement controls and badger vaccination; and what information her Department holds on the effectiveness of such a programme when badger culling is also carried out.

Defra’s Strategy for achieving bovine TB free status for England involves deploying a package of interventions informed by scientific and veterinary advice to address all likely routes of disease transmission. Due to the complexity of the disease, most effects of interventions will only be seen several years after their introduction and it will be difficult to assign cause and effect to any particular intervention. Consequently, success is measured through the combined impacts of a national system of intervention, rather than looking at individual components in isolation.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
10th Oct 2014
Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff of her Department or its contractors who are responsible for drafting responses to Parliamentary Questions are paid below the rate of the London living wage.

Answers to Parliamentary Questions are drafted by staff across the Department. Whilst core Defra has no direct employees paid less than the London Living Wage there are a small number of temporary staff from employment agencies who are paid less than the London Living Wage. Senior Civil Servants are responsible for providing final advice and draft responses to Ministers.

2nd Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will place in the Library a copy of the internal review by her Department which upheld an appeal against the use of regulation 12(5)(c) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in relation to the results of the post-mortems carried out on badgers killed during the pilot culls.

My officials have explained the handling of this case in separate correspondence. No such internal review took place as your initial request was made in a Parliamentary Question. The information on the post-mortems carried out during the culls as part of the monitoring of the humaneness of controlled shooting is now publicly available and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300388/humaneness-report.pdf.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will place in the Library a copy of the internal review by her Department which upheld an appeal against the use of regulation 12(5)(c) for the protection of intellectual property to prevent the release of the results of the post-mortems carried out on badgers killed during the pilot culls.

My officials have explained the handling of this case in separate correspondence. No such internal review took place as your initial request was made in a Parliamentary Question. The information on the post-mortems carried out during the culls as part of the monitoring of the humaneness of controlled shooting is now publicly available and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/300388/humaneness-report.pdf.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to restrict the use of antibiotics on farms to the treatment of sick animals.

The EU Veterinary Medicinal Products Directive is the core legislation which sets out the framework for controls on veterinary medicines, including veterinary antibiotics, within EU Member States. The European Commission is expected to publish proposals for the revision of the EU legislative framework later this year.

The Government’s position is that any changes to the EU legislation, including changes to controls on veterinary antibiotics, should be evidence based and take into account the potential impact on animal health and welfare.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
23rd Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the use of wild animals in circuses.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on 10 Jun 2014 Hansard Column 113W.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
16th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the planned further research into the use of carbon monoxide as a potential method of culling badgers will include (a) trials on living badgers, (b) trials on existing badger setts and (c) laboratory trials.

The planned further research involves preliminary tests to investigate the potential use of carbon monoxide in a sett environment. These preliminary tests will not involve the use of either live badgers or active setts. Whether or not we proceed with further research involving live badgers or active setts will depend upon the outcome of these preliminary tests.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the use of wild animals in circuses.

We will introduce a Bill to end the use of wild animals in circuses when parliamentary time allows.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to check all lorries containing live animals for export at UK ports.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) takes a risk based approach to vehicle inspection in relation to exports of livestock for slaughter. The Government has no plans to change this approach.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of compliance with the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010; and what assessment he has made of changes in the level of the welfare of greyhounds used for racing since the coming into force of those Regulations.

The Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010 is due to be reviewed next year and this will provide us with an opportunity to see how well it has been working. Defra is working with key players in the industry and the welfare sectors to begin the review process.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 35W, on Mondelez International, for what reason 13 March 2014 was chosen for the date of the visit to the Mondelez factory.

This visit was planned as a follow up to National Apprenticeship Week. The Secretary of State wanted to meet young people beginning careers in the food production chain. In Birmingham he walked the production line on the factory floor with Mondelez apprentices, discussing with them and the Director of Manufacturing how a recent injection of £75 million is turning Bourneville into a world class manufacturing site. Mondelez is taking part in the Strategic Relationship Management (SRM) initiative, which is a government commitment to help companies overcome barriers to growth and investment.

Defra leads on the relationship with Mondelez, which has been chosen for SRM because it makes a significant contribution to the economy. The visit timing also coincided with the Big Bang Science and Technology Fair; the Secretary of State visited the Food and Drink Federation's stand and discussed how the food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, is inspiring youngsters to seek careers in the sector. The Secretary of State concluded the day with a speech to the Harper Adams Forum, a student run body at Harper Adams University. His speech highlighted the opportunities in the agriculture sector, including agri-technology following the launch of ‘UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies'.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to protect the UK's forests.

Forestry is a devolved matter. As far as public forests in England are concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 April 2014, Official Report, column 394W, to the hon. Member for Sterling (Anne McGuire).

3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what meetings (a) Ministers in the Department and (b) officials in his Department have had with the Institute of Economic Affairs since the establishment of his Department.

Ministers and officials from across Government are speaking with stakeholders from a variety of sectors, to understand their concerns and priorities regarding our EU exit.

Details of Ministerial and senior official meetings on Government business are published in the Department’s Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are made publicly available on GOV.UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what representations his Department has made to the Government of Pakistan on removing derogatory references to (a) Ahmadis and (b) other minorities from the education curricula in that country.

HMG regularly raises freedom of religious belief issues at the highest levels with Pakistan government counterparts. In January, I met the Hon Shafqat Mahmood, Pakistan Federal Minister for Education, and his provincial counterparts. The agenda for this meeting included ending discrimination and improving the inclusion of all children in Pakistan through education.

21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help reform the education curricula in Pakistan to remove derogatory references to Ahmadis and other minorities.

Working with the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) DFID has supported improvements to primary English, Urdu, mathematics and general knowledge textbooks. In Punjab DFID has also supported the government to revise the primary curriculum in core subjects. HMG regularly raises freedom of religious belief issues at the highest levels with Pakistan government counterparts. DFID’s investments in education in Punjab and KP have supported 10 million primary and nearly 6 million secondary children.

21st Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will stop providing funding to migrant detention centres in Libya where people are subject to abuse.

The UK government is not funding migrant detention centres in Libya. They are the responsibility of the Libyan authorities and we regularly raise with them the need to respect the human rights of migrants, to ensure the provision of basic services, and to explore alternatives to detention centres. UK Aid funds basic humanitarian provisions where it is possible to do so in detention centres whilst upholding humanitarian principles.

15th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to facilitate aid deliveries to Rukban camp in Syria; and what representations have been made to his counterparts in (a) Syria and (b) Jordan on conditions in that camp.

The UK has been a leading voice among donors highlighting the plight of displaced Syrians at the Rukban camp. In particular, we continue to lobby all parties for full humanitarian access to the camp, to enable regular aid deliveries. We understand that a humanitarian convoy from Damascus to Rukban has now been approved to deliver life-saving aid to people in need at Rukban Camp over the coming weeks. We call on all parties to ensure this takes place and provides the assistance these people badly need. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

24th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to recent legislation passed by the US administration on funding for the reconstruction of Syria, what assessment he has made of the merits of bringing forward similar legislative proposals.

While the conflict is ongoing, our priority is to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to those affected. We will not provide support for reconstruction until a credible, genuine and inclusive political transition is firmly underway. This is in agreement with other countries, including the US. We continue to champion this position internationally.

26th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance the Government is providing to Gaza in response to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' July 2017 call for the funding of essential services including health, water and sanitation.

The UK is providing £1.9 million to support the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Gaza urgent funding appeal. This is being delivered through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs identified by the appeal. UK funding is helping to provide clean water and rehabilitate sanitation facilities to stop the spread of disease, benefitting approximately 1 million Gazans. We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and are monitoring the situation closely including tracking the UN’s emergency indicators.

21st Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding the UK has provided to (a) UK organisations, (b) UN agencies, and (c) international and non-governmental organisations in Syria (i) in total and (ii) by organisation in each of the last five years.

Between financial years 2012/2013 and 2017/2018, DFID has provided £876 million to a range of partners implementing humanitarian projects in Syria. This figure excludes funding under the cross-government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund. During this period, DFID has provided £53.4 million to UK organisations, £487 million to UN agencies, £37.3 million to international organisations, and £280.4 million to international NGOs. In addition, £17.8 million has been provided for technical and in-kind assistance, and monitoring and evaluation activities. A breakdown by financial year is provided below.

By financial year

Agency Type

FY 2012/13
(spent)

FY 2013/14
(spent)

FY 2014/15
(spent)

FY 2015/16
(spent)

FY 2016/17
(spent)

FY 2017/18
(allocated by Feb’18)

Total

UN agencies

£28.2m

£79.5m

£70.5m

£110.7m

£119.7m

£78.5m

£487.0m

International organisations

£3m

£5m

-

£5m

£23.4m

£1m

£37.3m

International NGOs

£5.1m

£35.5m

£64.1m

£59m

£51.6m

£65.1m

£280.4m

UK organisations

£2.5m

£9.7m

£14.8m

£14.2m

£12.2m

-

£53.4m

Other funding

£1.7m

£3.9m

£2.0m

£4.3m

£2.5m

£3.2m

£17.8m

Total

£40m

£134m

£152m

£193m

£209m

£148m

£876m

Aside from the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, we have agreed with our NGO partners not to disclose publicly their identity because doing so could put their staff at risk.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of her Department's funding in response to the Syrian crisis to date was delivered by means of (a) UK organisations, (b) UN agencies, (c) international NGOs and (d) Syrian NGOs.

The UK has pledged £2.46 billion to the Syria crisis, our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis. Of this, £2.2 billion has already been allocated by DFID to its partners to provide lifesaving support to millions of Syrians, support refugees to remain in countries in the region, and enable their host communities to accommodate them.

A breakdown of funding allocated to date by agency type is shown in the table below. This excludes projects under the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Organisation type

Allocated

UN agencies

£1,029m

International organisations

£602m

International NGOs

£484m

(of which UK NGOs)

£33m

Other funding

£101m

DFID has not allocated funding directly to Syrian NGOs. As many of our partners work with such groups on the ground, we classify them as downstream partners.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Global Disability Summit in July 2018 has on its agenda the needs of disabled people in Syria and the support systems those people require in order to be able to access education and work.

Both education and economic empowerment will feature prominently on the agenda of the UK’s Global Disability Summit. The Summit will also consider how these themes apply in supporting people with disabilities in conflicted affected states and humanitarian situations such as in Syria.

24th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the planned allocation of funding from her Department in respect of the Syrian crisis is for (a) 2018 and (b) 2019; and what proportion of that funding will be spent (i) inside and (ii) outside Syria.

DFID country allocations for 2018 and 2019 are yet to be determined. In 2017, we spent £508 million – 102% of our pledge at the April 2017 Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region conference.

27th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what (a) funding and (b) assistance the Government is providing to ease hunger and prevent famine in Sudan and Somalia.

The UK is providing a range of assistance in response to humanitarian needs across Sudan and Somalia, as well as pushing others to step up support.

DFID has committed £4.5 million to the World Food Programme in Sudan to provide cash and vouchers to 486,000 vulnerable people in Darfur between June and October 2017 and £4.5 million to the Sudan Humanitarian Fund, which is expected to reach at least 404,000 people across Sudan with food security and livelihoods assistance by the end of 2017.

On 17 June the Secretary of State visited Somalia to announce a £60m uplift in UK support to drought relief operations, on top of a contribution of £110m announced in February. Since February our support has provided emergency food assistance for 986,000 people and access to safe drinking water to 1,033,000 alongside a broader package of support to tackle malnutrition and disease and provide livestock vaccinations.

20th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the Government's overseas development aid budget is spent on schemes to support economic growth in middle-income countries.

Around four per cent of UK official development assistance (ODA) was spent to support economic growth in middle-income countries in 2015.

20th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps the Government has taken to ensure that its overseas development aid is targeted at the world's poorest people.

The 2015 UK Aid Strategy set out how the Government will strive to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030. This means supporting the world’s poorest people to ensure that every person has access to basic needs, including prioritising the rights of girls and women.

The Bilateral Development Review, published on 1 December 2016, set out what DFID will achieve over the next four years to deliver the UK’s commitment to reaching the poorest and most excluded people.

25th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assistance for medical care the Government provides for people living in Palestine.

The UK has contributed to medical care for Palestinians through our support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Palestinian Authority. The UK is a long-term supporter of UNRWA, providing over £60 million in 2015/16. Through this funding, we have supported UNRWA to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare to 5 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and the region, as well as supporting them to access more specialised medical care.

20th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government plans to maintain funding to prevent deforestation in developing countries; and whether the UK provides any funding to help prevent large-scale forest fires in developing countries.

Preventing deforestation is a key priority for the UK. More than one billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, and forests are vital resources which support economic growth in developing countries. At the Paris climate change conference in 2015, the UK Germany and Norway collectively committed to providing up to US$1 billion per year by 2020, or over $5 billion in the period 2015-20, to prevent deforestation and ensure that forests are managed sustainably.

17th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of increasing the level of funding for decentralised renewable energy to improve access to electricity for the world's poorest people.

The UK Government is already playing a leading role in improving energy access in developing countries through decentralised renewable energy. DFID’s energy work is aligned with the new Global Goals, particularly Goal 7, to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. DFID’s priorities for how we will achieve this include through flexible technical assistance, catalytic investments and engagement with international partners. DFID’s assistance looks across the energy spectrum and covers both on-grid as well as decentralised off-grid renewable energy.

10th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the UK will take to safeguard children and other civilians in any assault on IS in Mosul; what steps she will take to put in place safe routes out for children and families; and if she will ensure that screening procedures take care not to separate families.

On 21 September, the UK announced an extra £40 million of humanitarian funding to Iraq, taking our total commitment to £90 million this financial year and £169.5 million since June 2014. This new assistance will be targeted specifically to enable a scale up of humanitarian assistance ahead of the Government of Iraq-led Mosul operations. It will include support to efforts aimed at ensuring the protection of civilians, including children.

The UK will continue to lobby all parties to adhere to International Humanitarian Law and for screening to take place in a transparent manner, under a fully accountable chain of command, and to be monitored independently by the UN and other neutral and impartial humanitarian actors.

7th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government has made plans to assist with additional funding or aid subsequent to the changes in refugee numbers entering into Mosul.

On 21 September, the UK announced an extra £40 million of humanitarian funding to Iraq, on top of £50 million committed earlier this year. This brings our total commitment in Iraq to £169.5 million since June 2014. This support will provide emergency life-saving assistance – such as food, shelter, medical and protection services – to support the Government of Iraq-led Mosul humanitarian response as well as continuing to provide assistance for displaced and vulnerable people across the country.

2nd Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department will commit to maintaining or increasing funding that is allocated to eradicating violence against women in armed conflict, facilitating universal access to reproductive healthcare and supporting equal rights and opportunities for women and girls.

The UK has put the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of our international development work, and is delivering significant results for women and girls. We played an instrumental role in influencing the global agreement for Sustainable Development Goal 5 ‘to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. We also made firm commitments to support women and girls in the 2015 UK Aid strategy, underpinned by the 2014 International Development (Gender Equality) Act legislation, which ensures that UK Aid development and humanitarian work considers gender issues as a core part of everything they deliver. The UK is a global leader in promoting, protecting and supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including neglected and difficult issues. The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning put the issue firmly back on the international agenda, and the UK is a core convenor of the FP2020 movement established at the Summit to drive forward progress.

Full attainment of political, social and economic rights for women and girls is a UK priority, recognising its centrality to greater peace and stability. Violence against women and girls is one of the most systematic, widespread human rights violations worldwide. Globally, 1 in 3 women is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. DFID has made significant progress in scaling up efforts to address violence against women and girls, nearly doubling our programming from 64 programmes in 2012 to 127 in 2016 (including the £25 million ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’ programme). The UK and the new Secretary of State will continue to lead the global effort to improve the lives of women and girls, promoting gender equality and women and girls empowerment in all contexts.

13th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of Syrian children in Lebanon in education.

At the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference, the UK committed to double education funding for Lebanon, to up to £40 million per year. This supports the Conference goal of getting all refugee children from Syria and vulnerable children in host communities into quality education by the end of the 2016/17 school year. DFID is aligning its funding behind the Government of Lebanon’s national education plans to expand access to educational opportunity; both through formal education, and through quality and regulated non-formal education for the most vulnerable out of school children.

13th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that other countries follow up the commitments made at the Supporting Syria conference held in the UK in February 2016.

DFID has worked closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and other departments, alongside the UN and Co-Hosts, to press countries to deliver on commitments they made at the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference. The Prime Minister and Co-Hosts wrote to Leaders of pledging countries in May, to encourage them to deliver on their pledges. Lobbying at senior level has also been carried out in bilateral meetings and at international meetings, such as the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings and the World Humanitarian Summit. The UN General Assembly in September will provide an important opportunity to review progress further and press for more.

DFID has also set up a Post-London Conference Financial Tracking Mechanism. This will track and report on delivery of the financial commitments made at the Conference, and will be a key tool to hold countries to account for their pledges.

7th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will increase her Department's expenditure on water and sanitation.

The UK has increased its bilateral spend on water and sanitation year on year since 2004, from £31.2million (2004/05) to £180.8million (2014/15).

The Department for International Development does not allocate a set proportion of the aid budget to water and sanitation. The UK Aid strategy commits the UK to helping at least 60million people get access to water and sanitation by 2020. We will allocate the resources required to achieve this to the relevant programmes.

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the UK aid budget is spent on water and sanitation; how that proportion was decided; and if she will increase that proportion.

In 2014 (the year for which figures are last available) UK bilateral expenditure on water supply and sanitation was £180.8 million. This was 2.6% of the UK’s total bilateral Official Development Assistance. This does not include our core contributions to multilateral organisations, anumber of which have large water and sanitation and programmes which we contribute to.

We do not allocate a set proportion of the aid budget to water and sanitation. The UK Aid strategy commits the UK to helping at least 60 million people get access to water and sanitation by 2020. We will allocate the resources required to achieve this to the relevant programmes.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to endorse the (a) commitment on explosive weapons at the World Humanitarian Summit and (b) other core commitments on protecting civilians in armed conflict.

The UK is working through the 32 Core Commitments proposed by the World Humanitarian Summit and will make a decision shortly on which we can align with.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the UK is taking to support the provision of climate risk insurance to people who are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change; and how much funding she plans to allocate to such support.

The UK is a leader in climate risk insurance and is committed to contributing to meeting the G7 “InsuResilience” collective target set out in the Elmau declaration of helping up to an additional 400 million people in the most vulnerable developing countries to gain access to climate risk insurance by 2020.

Recent UK support for the provision of climate risk insurance includes contributions of up to £100m to African Risk Capacity (ARC), up to £15m for the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, £5m to help developing countries with disaster contingency planning backed by risk finance, £3m of technical support to the Government of the Philippines to help them implement their financial protection and insurance strategy, and £1.4m to support livestock insurance for pastoralists in Kenya.

22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will take steps to ensure that all children and young people affected by the Syrian conflict are in school and learning in (a) 2016-17 school year and (b) future years.

At the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region being held in London on 4th February, we want the international community to agree a new goal that all Syrian refugee children and affected host country children are in education – formal school or non-formal – by the end of 2016/17. Equally, for inside Syria, it is our aim to increase access to good quality schooling or other learning opportunities such as self-learning and non-formal education. In neighbouring countries we will also increase access to vocational or skills training and higher education for children and youth.

At the Conference our ambition is that international donors, governments from countries in the region hosting refugees, non-governmental organisations and the private sector come together to agree a set of reciprocal financial and policy commitments. The UK and co-hosts are working with donors and other partners to secure increased funding for education under the UN-led appeals for 2016 and longer term, multi-year education funding commitments to ensure sustainability. We are also working with refugee hosting governments in particular to agree the policy commitments necessary to turn increased funding into delivery on the ground.

22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will take steps to encourage other participants in the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference to (a) increase access to accredited quality non-formal education for Syrian refugee children in host countries in that region and (b) ensure that funding for Syrian refugee education is sustained beyond short-term humanitarian support.

At the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region being held in London on 4th February, we want the international community to agree a new goal that all Syrian refugee children and affected host country children are in education – formal school or non-formal – by the end of 2016/17. Equally, for inside Syria, it is our aim to increase access to good quality schooling or other learning opportunities such as self-learning and non-formal education. In neighbouring countries we will also increase access to vocational or skills training and higher education for children and youth.

At the Conference our ambition is that international donors, governments from countries in the region hosting refugees, non-governmental organisations and the private sector come together to agree a set of reciprocal financial and policy commitments. The UK and co-hosts are working with donors and other partners to secure increased funding for education under the UN-led appeals for 2016 and longer term, multi-year education funding commitments to ensure sustainability. We are also working with refugee hosting governments in particular to agree the policy commitments necessary to turn increased funding into delivery on the ground.

22nd Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to encourage the Lebanese government to resume the registration of Syrian refugees.

The UK recognises the refugee presence in Lebanon is placing great strain on the country. It is important however that those who seek refuge from the conflict in Syria are able to do so, and after fleeing are able to register as refugees in order to gain access to essential basic services. UNHCR, as the mandated UN agency to advocate for the protection and promotion of the rights of refugees, plays a crucial role in registering refugees. That is why to date, the UK has allocated £46 million to UNHCR’s operations in Lebanon, of which a proportion will go to funding registration.

Alongside its support to UNHCR, DFID is also providing over £8 million to the Norwegian Refugee Council, a proportion of which will go to funding information, counselling and legal assistance to refugees in Lebanon to ensure they are aware of their rights and are able to access all relevant services available to them. The UK also continues to work with Government of Lebanon and UNHCR to ensure that all refugees and persons of concern are registered and receiving the help they need.


4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to attend the World Health Organisation meeting in March 2016; and what her policy is on proposals to be discussed at that meeting on creating a system of health research which prioritises need and efficiency over profit.

Arrangements for the meeting at the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2016 are at an early stage. DFID officials will be in discussion with WHO senior managers about UK representation at the meeting.


The UK Government supports systems that separate the market incentives to produce a drug or vaccine from the Research & Development process, that prioritise public health need over profit and that work in partnership with a wide range of different organisations, covering the public, private and philanthropic sectors. The proposals to be discussed at the meeting at the WHO in March are one element of a wider system. The UK is the second largest government supporter of the development of new products through product development partnerships, which prioritise need over profit.

2nd Nov 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent progress the Government has made on providing humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

On 27 September 2015, the Secretary of State announced an additional £20 million for humanitarian assistance to Yemen, bringing our overall contribution for 2015-16 to £75 million and making the UK the 4th largest bilateral donor to Yemen crisis.

UK aid is providing vital medical supplies, water, food and emergency shelter, as well as supporting UN work to co-ordinate the international humanitarian response.

19th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 16 September 2015 to Question 9671, what estimate the Government has made of the proportion of UK companies which have joined the 2013 Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh.

30 UK companies have signed the 2013 Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh. We do not have comprehensive information on the total number of UK brands purchasing Garments from Bangladesh.

19th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 16 September 2015 to Question 9671, for what reasons the Government cannot mandate companies to join the 2013 Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh.


The Rana Plaza disaster demonstrated the need for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to address the challenges facing the garments industry in Bangladesh. As well as establishing 2 international initiatives (the Accord and the Alliance), The International Labour Organisation (ILO) worked with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), employer organisations, and trade union representatives to develop the Tripartite National Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity (NTPA) and in 2014 the Government raised the minimum wage for the country’s garment workers by 77%.

The Accord has been established as a voluntary, independent, legally binding agreement between Trade Unions and brands: we, and the many stakeholders involved, believe this is a more effective mechanism than making it mandatory. We actively encourage UK companies to join the Accord.

9th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when her Department plans to publish its health system strengthening framework.

In the government response to the International Development Committee’s report on Strengthening Health Systems in Developing Countries, DFID proposed to develop a framework for future work on health systems. DFID is developing the framework in consultation with the Department of Health and other UK institutions. DFID is due to update the Committee on progress against its recommendations, including the health systems strengthening framework, in November 2015.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to make it compulsory for companies to comply with the 2013 Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh.

The 2013 Accord on Fire and Safety in Bangladesh is a voluntary, independent, legally binding agreement between Trade unions and Brands. The UK Government is not able to mandate companies to join but all UK companies have been encouraged to do so.

The UK supports a programme which, amongst other activities, conducts structural and fire assessments of those factories not covered by the Accord or the Alliance and ensures that they are closed down or remedied if found to be at risk of fire or collapse.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress has been made on obtaining debt relief for Nepal following the recent earthquake in that country.

Nepal’s overall public debt stood at USD 5.36 billion or 25.6% of GDP (with external debt at 16.1%) in FY 2014-15 (Ministry of Finance, 2015), following a steady decline over nearly a decade. This is comparatively a low level of debt and is due to:

i) Government savings contributing to debt payback each year due to low budget execution and healthy growth in import-based revenues,

ii) Low request for borrowing, and

iii) Debt relief by the UK under Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) totalling GBP19.42 million between 2006/07 and 2012/13.

As a result of the low and reducing levels of debt in Nepal, there has been no request from the Government for debt relief for the post-disaster reconstruction.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will respond to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact's Report on the Department for International Development's Contribution to Improving Nutrition published July 2014.
16th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government plans to support the target on ending violence against women and girls at the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

The UK Government has played a leading role in pressing for the standalone gender goal included within the UN Open Working Group outcome document and the target to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. We will continue to push, at every opportunity, for a strong and explicit commitment to this in the Sustainable Development Goals that will be agreed later this year.

1st Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent reports she has received on the work of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition; what steps she is taking to ensure that the Alliance's work does not contribute to the takeover of land belonging to small farmers by multinational corporations; and what steps she is taking to ensure that the Alliance does not prioritise growing food for export over producing food to feed local people.

The New Alliance Leadership Council met on 2nd of June 2015. The UK attended this meeting and a progress report was discussed, agreed and will be published shortly on the New Alliance website.

All parties investing under the New Alliance commit to support implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of land, fisheries and forests, which are international guidelines to make land investments transparent and accountable.

Most of the investment commitments made under the New Alliance involve agribusiness investments downstream from the farm and are therefore not competing with small-scale farmers. Such investments are critical to create jobs and new markets for small-scale farmers, and to help African countries diversify out of primary commodity production. This will require investment and growth along the agricultural value chain rather than just investment in small-scale farmers’ food production.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the total value of contracts her Department has with private sector providers was in each of the last five years for which records are available.

We do not hold information in the form requested.

9th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the Answer of 14 May 2014, Official Report, column 600W, on Bangladesh, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to make it compulsory for all UK clothing companies which use suppliers in Bangladesh to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

The Accord is an independent and legally binding agreement between unions and international companies that source their clothes from Bangladesh. As such it is not the Government's place to compel companies to sign up. However as referred to in my previous response, I would very much encourage them to do so, and would encourage consumers to make their expectations clear to the retailers and brands from which they buy their clothes.

In September 2013 the UK launched its action plan on business and human rights, laying out the expectations for business in line with the UN Guiding Principles. Signing up to the Accord not only demonstrates that companies are serious about their responsibilities but will also help them to ensure that workers in their supply chains are safe and treated properly.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much the UK plans to give to the Global Partnership for Education at its next funding round.

The UK is by far the largest donor to Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the largest bilateral donor to basic education. We are currently considering the level of future UK support to GPE based on their case for investment and the results to be delivered under their new funding model.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will take steps to encourage all UK clothing companies which use suppliers in Bangladesh to join the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

Over 160 companies, including many well-known British brands and retailers, have now signed up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a ground-breaking, legally binding agreement between international unions and clothing companies. Signing up to the Accord shows that they are serious about their responsibilities in ensuring the safety of all those people in Bangladesh that make their clothes.

DFID has used every opportunity, such as the Westminster Debate on 30 April, my recent visit to Bangladesh, communications around the Rana Plaza anniversary, and meetings with retailers and buyers to call for companies to take responsibility for the working conditions of all those that make their clothes and to contribute to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund for the victims of the factory building collapse.