Rosie Duffield Portrait

Rosie Duffield

Labour - Canterbury

Opposition Whip (Commons)
14th Apr 2020 - 31st May 2020
Women and Equalities Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Work and Pensions Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Women and Equalities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 4th Jun 2018


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 30th November 2021
14:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
English Channel Small Boats Incident

The people of east Kent are horrified and deeply upset by what the Chief Rabbi this morning called an “unspeakable …

Written Answers
Thursday 18th November 2021
Buses: Driving Licences
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in processing …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 3rd September 2019
CATFISHING
That this House recognises the threat of exploitation to members of the public through the use of fake online profiles; …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from YouGov, 50 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT, for surveys:
EDM signed
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Sewage pollution in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
That this House notes the appalling levels of raw sewage contaminating the UK’s inland waters; is particularly concerned that untreated …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 10th June 2020
Local Electricity Bill 2019-21
A Bill to enable electricity generators to become local electricity suppliers; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rosie Duffield has voted in 280 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Rosie Duffield Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Priti Patel (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(5 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(4 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(10 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(5 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rosie Duffield's debates

Canterbury Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Canterbury signature proportion
Petitions with most Canterbury signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.


Latest EDMs signed by Rosie Duffield

18th October 2021
Rosie Duffield signed this EDM on Tuesday 9th November 2021

Sewage pollution in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Tabled by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)
That this House notes the appalling levels of raw sewage contaminating the UK’s inland waters; is particularly concerned that untreated sewage was pumped into Lake Windermere for 1,719 hours–or 71 days–in 2020; notes that approximately 19.8 million people visit the Lake District each year; urges the Government to categorise Windermere …
23 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Liberal Democrat: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Independent: 2
26th October 2021
Rosie Duffield signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 26th October 2021

The service of Oliver Denton Lieberman

Tabled by: Tulip Siddiq (Labour - Hampstead and Kilburn)
That this House recognises Oliver Denton Lieberman’s dedication and public service as an office manager during many turbulent years in politics; appreciates that he has coordinated the campaign within Parliament to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and supported her family; acknowledges the role he has played in running an efficient office and …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Rosie Duffield's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rosie Duffield, 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.



108 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to publish the Government's response to the Local Authority Remote Meetings call for evidence.

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

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the recruitment of civil servants can be delegated to special advisers by a minister.

I refer the Hon member to the response which I gave to PQ1411 on 14 January 2020.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the blog post dated 2 January 2020 published by Dominic Cummings, what steps he is taking to ensure that the proposed recruitment processes are compliant with (a) General Data Protection Regulation, (b) the Civil Service code and (c) the Equality Act 2010.

The blog invites people to get in touch to discuss opportunities. The blog post does not set out proposed recruitment processes.

Recruitment to the Civil Service is through fair and open competition following section 10 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

Special Adviser appointments are made by Ministers in accordance with section 15 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of pro-rata splitting of covid-19-related business grants when the business has passed between owners during the covid-19 lockdown period.

This point has been considered and is covered by the guidance issued to Local Authorities. In respect of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum payments from 5 January onwards and Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment, any changes to the rating list (rateable value or to the hereditament) after 5 January 2021, including changes which have been backdated to this date, should be ignored for the purposes of eligibility. Local Authorities are not required to adjust, pay or recover grants where the rating list is subsequently amended retrospectively to the date that national restrictions began.

In cases where it is factually clear to the Local Authority that the rating list was inaccurate on 5 January 2021, Local Authorities may withhold the grant and/or award the grant based on their view of who would have been entitled to the grant had the list been accurate. This is entirely at the discretion of the Local Authority and only intended to prevent manifest errors. By accepting grant support, business owners are confirming that they are eligible to receive that support.

Should further business grant support measures be introduced in future, new guidance on eligibility and other related matters would be issued to local authorities to ensure that grant funding can be directed to where it is needed as quickly as is practicable.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will instruct Ofgem to extend the claims period for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The requirement for accreditation applications to the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to be made within 12 months of the renewable heating system being commissioned, is set out in the Renewable Heat Incentive regulations. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are already taking steps to amend the regulations, and relax this requirement. Should these amendments pass successfully through Parliament, they will come into force in April 2021.

In March 2021, we intend to publish a consultation on closing the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive to new applications, as scheduled, at the end of March 2022.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to provide support to help private practitioner physiotherapists rebuild their businesses in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government introduced an unprecedented and comprehensive package of business support measures to help as many individuals and businesses as possible during this difficult period. This support package included measures such as the small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more. These measures were designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Government has set out a plan for recovery that focusses on backing business, improving skills, and creating jobs. Further measures were also announced by the Chancellor that build on the significant support already available as well as set out how current support will evolve and adapt. This includes the extension of the CJRS until the end of March 2021, the increase of the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant from 55% to 80% of trading profits, the extension of the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes until 31 January 2021, and the introduction of Pay As You Grow measures, meaning businesses now have the option to repay their Bounce Back Loans over a period of up to ten years.

Businesses who also deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller instalments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. Businesses will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that their VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.

Additionally, the Government has worked closely with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive to develop our workplace guidance. Close-contact service providers can check what they need to do to keep people safe and to make their business COVID-secure on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close-contact-services.

Businesses, including private practitioner physiotherapists, are also able to access tailored advice through our Freephone Business Support Helpline, online via the Business Support website or through their local Growth Hubs in England.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many households in (a) Kent and Medway and (b) Canterbury district council area are affected by fuel poverty.

The latest sub-national fuel poverty statistics for 2018 show a) 68,000 households in Kent and Medway estimated as fuel poor, and b) 6,600 households in Canterbury.

These figures are derived from Fuel Poverty Sub-regional tables at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sub-regional-fuel-poverty-data-2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many social housing properties in Canterbury district council area have an EPC energy efficiency rating of (a) F and (b) G.

Estimates for the total number of homes by tenure and EPC energy efficiency rating for England are made using the English Housing Survey. Due to small sample sizes, these estimates cannot be made for local authorities. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2018-energy-report

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications have been made to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; how many of those applications have been successful; and how much money has been allocated to successful applicants, as of 1 May 2020.

As of 1 May 2020 over £4.7 billion worth of loans had been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to 29,496 businesses.

As of 6 May 2020 over £5.5 billion worth of loans had been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to 33,812 businesses. Lenders have received 62,674 completed applications. The balance includes applications pending as well as those unsuccessful or abandoned.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether builders' merchants are defined as essential businesses, for the purposes of his Department's 23 March 2020 guidance entitled Further businesses and premises to close.

Construction plays a crucial role in supporting our public services, maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, and providing safe, decent homes for people to live in. Recently, the Government wrote to all those working in the construction sector to thank them for the critical contribution they are making to the resilience of this country.

Builders’ merchants are an essential part of the construction supply chain and it is therefore important that they continue to operate. However, it is important that they do so in accordance with the guidance issued by Public Health England, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#construction

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will publish data on the airborne transmission of covid-19 as a result of groups of more than six people singing.

I know that the restrictions on singing are frustrating to large numbers of amateur choirs and performance groups across the country and that many people have made sacrifices in order to drive down infections and protect the NHS over the last year. I can assure you that everyone across the Government wants to ease these restrictions as soon as possible.

However, it is important that we take a cautious approach in easing restrictions. We have followed the views of public health experts on singing. We are aware, through the NERVTAG and PERFORM studies that singing can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through the spread of aerosol droplets. This was backed up by a consensus statement from SAGE, resulting in the suggested principles of safer singing being published.

We will continue to keep guidance and restrictions under review, in line with the changing situation. Further detail on step 4 will be set out as soon as possible.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on providing further financial support for self-employed people working in the creative industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State has spoken with the Chancellor on several occasions to ensure that the full spectrum of government support reaches all the sectors for which this department is responsible, including the UK's world-leading creative industries. My officials are in regular contact with their Treasury colleagues to ensure there is a good understanding of the way the government support schemes are working for DCMS sectors, including the creative industries.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Prime Minister's announcement of 10 May 2020, whether primary school children returning to a school setting on 1 June 2020 will return on a full-time basis where possible until the end of the summer term.

From the week commencing 1 June, at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 on a full-time basis, alongside priority groups. We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by the Government justify the changes at the time. We are asking schools to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that the tests are met.

Guidance for schools and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020 can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide financial support to universities to establish hardship funds for students residing in (a) private rented and (b) university accommodation.

Many higher education providers will have hardship funds to support students in times of need, including emergencies. The expectation is that where any student requires additional support, providers will support them through their own hardship funds. In addition, students will continue to receive payments of maintenance loans for the remainder of the current academic year.

Students with a part time employment contract should speak to their employer about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has been set up to help pay staff wages and keep people in employment. HMRC are working urgently to get the scheme up and running and we expect the first grants to be paid within weeks.

Universities are being asked to provide accommodation for those who cannot travel home or have no alternative residence, and to offer a range of other support services to students, including catering, cleaning, student mental health and welfare. Students should stay put where possible, though we appreciate that many will have already returned to be with their families at this difficult time.

While it is for universities and private halls providers to make their own decisions about charging rents to absent students, we would encourage them to consider the fairness of doing so. A number of universities and private providers have already waived rents for the summer term and it is encouraging to see students’ interests being considered in this way.

It is also important to stress that accommodation providers should not have instructed any student to leave. If any accommodation provider did formally instruct a student to leave the property then it would be unacceptable to continue to charge student rents.

We asked providers to prioritise mental health services, and adapt delivery to means other than face-to-face, and these services are likely to be an important source of support for students during this period of isolation.

We will continue working together with providers to understand any further financial impacts on the sector, and consider how we can best support it.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that universities allow students to terminate their accommodation contracts early without incurring financial penalties during the covid-19 outbreak.

We expect universities to communicate clearly with residential students on rents for this period and administer accommodation provision in a fair manner. I have written to all vice-chancellors informing them of this expectation. This letter is available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/1eb027c9-9e36-4841-849b-57b5ed334cbb/minister-donelan-letter_260320.pdf.

Accommodation providers should not instruct students to return home. If any accommodation provider did formally instruct a student to leave the property then it would be unacceptable to continue to charge student rents.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on flexibility for private nurseries that have been mandated to stay open during the covid-19 outbreak to allow their staff to go on furlough and then to bring them back into work should demand require it.

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

Our latest guidance on financial support for education, early years and children’s social care is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department will underwrite losses incurred by private nurseries that have been mandated to stay open by Government during the covid-19 pandemic.

The government has set out specific measures to support childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • We will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the early years entitlements for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds
  • To support private nurseries, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced that they will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year from 1 April

Childcare providers will also benefit from the wider measures the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced to support the people and businesses of the UK:

  • A three-point plan announced in the Budget providing £12 billion of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by the outbreak
  • A package to provide additional support for businesses and individuals totalling £350 billion
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. This means that businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed
  • A scheme to help the UK’s self-employed who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will enable those eligible to receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment
  • On 28 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, announced that the government will also temporarily suspend the wrongful trading provisions to give company directors greater confidence to use their best endeavours to continue trading during this outbreak, without the threat of personal liability should the company ultimately fall into insolvency.

The government is also providing the following additional support:

  • deferral of Self-Assesment income tax payments due in July 2020
  • VAT payments due with VAT returns between now and the end June 2020 will be deferred. UK VAT registered businesses will not need make those payments until March 2021
  • grants for businesses that pay little or no bussiness rates
  • increased amounts of Universal Credit
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The latest guidance from the department for early years and childcare providers can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures and

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to monitor the number of children becoming eligible for free school meal vouchers due to decreased household income as a result of covid-19.

Schools and local authorities will continue to accept free school meal applications from parents and pupils. The department will continue to provide access to the Eligibility Checking System to support schools and local authorities in verifying and awarding free school meals.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating an independent regulator of further education providers.

The quality of further education (FE) providers is independently regulated by Ofsted. Financial health is regulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, which ensures direct accountability to ministers.

In addition, the FE Commissioner provides practitioner experience to help improve leadership and governance. This includes supporting colleges at risk (through diagnostic assessments) and highlighting best practice, supported by the National Leaders of Further Education.

We are currently considering the recommendations of the Independent Review of College Financial Oversight, carried out by Dame Mary Ney, and will publish the report and the government response in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the safety of children in care placed in unregulated homes.

This is a priority area for this government. Where local authorities place children in independent and semi-independent settings, they must ensure that they are suitable and meet the needs of young people.

Ministers have reminded local authorities of their duty to keep children safe, particularly if they are placed away from their area. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, made this expectation clear in his letter to local authorities last year, and we will progress action.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to undertake an independent assessment of the safety of glyphosate as part of the forthcoming National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides.

All pesticides are subject to strict regulation, which requires that they can only be authorised for use if a scientific assessment finds that this will not harm people or have unacceptable impacts on the environment. Authorisations are subject to regular review. The safety of glyphosate has been scrutinised in this way and glyphosate products are authorised for use.

The Government will publish for consultation a draft of the revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides later this year. The National Action Plan will expand on the approach set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan to reduce further the impacts of pesticide use while protecting crops. At the centre of this will be encouraging the development and uptake of Integrated Pest Management, under which farming systems are designed to minimise the need for pesticides and to make use of alternative approaches wherever possible.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 21293, for what reasons the most recent navigational risk assessment in relation to oyster farm activity in the Whitstable area has not been published to the same timescale as the previous risk assessment of the site which took place in 2017.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is currently undertaking enquiries into ongoing oyster farm activity in Whitstable. The latest navigational risk assessment is considered material evidence which is informing part of these ongoing enquiries and at this stage it would not be appropriate to release the report into the public domain.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Marine Management Organisation plans to publish the navigational risk assessment that it conducted on 22 January 2020 in relation to oyster farm activity in the Whitstable area.

The latest navigational risk assessment relating to oyster farm activity in the Whitstable area is currently being reviewed by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The MMO do not routinely publish these reports and will consider publication in this instance once this review has been completed, and any necessary action as result of the findings of the report has been appropriately considered.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in processing Passenger Carrying Vehicle licences by the DVLA on the availability of bus drivers in (a) Kent and (b) the UK.

During October the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) focussed extra resource on vocational driving licence applications to support the driver shortage. This has been successful with routine applications for vocational driving licences, including for passenger carrying vehicles, now being processed within normal turnaround times of five working days. In the seven days to 12 November, nearly 60% more vocational licences were processed compared to a similar period in 2019. It may take longer to process cases where medical investigations are needed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultation officials in his Department undertook with commuters prior to the introduction of flexible rail season ticketing.

The Department commissioned quantitative and qualitative research to assess potential interest in flexible season tickets amongst rail users and non-users.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the backlog in driving theory test availability in (a) Canterbury and (b) Kent; and what steps he is taking to clear that backlog.

Since April, to clear the backlog of driving theory tests, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has extended theory test centre opening hours, where conditions allow, creating 300,000 extra theory test appointments. From 6 September, the contract for running theory test centres is to be split into three regions and the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202.

The forward booking dates for driving theory tests in (a) Canterbury is 8 weeks, and in (b) Kent is 6 weeks.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the backlog in practical driving test availability in (a) Canterbury and (b) Kent; and what steps he is taking to tackle that backlog.

To clear the backlog of car practical driving tests, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase test slots. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners.

The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

The forward booking dates for car practical driving tests in (a) Canterbury is 9 weeks, and in (b) Kent is 13 weeks.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of the Government taking a financial stake in Eurostar, in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

As is the case with businesses in other sectors, Ministers and officials have closely monitored the financial impact of Covid-19 on the international transport sector, including Eurostar, since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Department continues to work closely with Eurostar to consider all commercial financing options available to the company, which include drawing on existing support schemes where eligible and appropriate. We are also in discussions with the French Government regarding Eurostar’s financial situation.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vouchers have been claimed under the Fix Your Bike scheme.

As of 3 November, 62,101 Fix Your Bike vouchers have been allocated to members of the public.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the next trance of repair vouchers under the Fix Your Bike scheme will be released.

The Department plans to release a further batch of vouchers shortly. The release of vouchers is being staggered to prevent repairers from being overwhelmed and to ensure that people can get their bikes fixed without significant delay.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of Eurostar on the restoration of Eurostar services at (a) Ebbsfleet International and (b) Ashford International.

The Department has been engaging extensively with international rail operators, including Eurostar, on a regular basis since the beginning of the outbreak to monitor closely the impact of Covid-19 and to support the continuation of important international rail connections.

The Government recognises the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry including Eurostar as a result of Covid-19. Whilst the stopping of services is a commercial decision for the company in response to Covid-19, Eurostar services continue to provide important benefits and connections and the Government is keen to see the reinstatement of services once international travel recovers and it is commercially viable to do so.

The Department will continue to engage closely with Eurostar on this important matter.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the potential financial effect of the withdrawal of Eurostar services from (a) Ebbsfleet International and (b) Ashford International on the economy of Kent until 2022.

Eurostar has announced that it will no longer be stopping at Ashford and Ebbsfleet International stations until 2022, due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19. This was a commercial decision taken by Eurostar in response to the severe decline in passenger numbers.

As this is a commercial decision taken by Eurostar very recently, the Government has not undertaken an economic analysis of the impacts of these changes. Nevertheless, the Government is keen to see the reinstatement of services once international travel recovers and it is commercially viable to do so.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have (a) departed from and (b) arrived in the UK at (i) Ebbsfleet International and (ii) Ashford International in each of the last five years.

The Department publishes annual data on international rail traffic via the Channel Tunnel, including passenger services via Eurostar and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. This data is available here (link). The Department, however, does not hold disaggregated data for passenger arrivals and departures by international rail station.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of the ending of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on levels of job losses in the international rail transport sector.

The Government fully recognises the significant financial challenges facing international rail operators as a result of Covid-19 and the unprecedented circumstances currently faced by the international travel industry. The Department has therefore been working closely with international rail operators to access business support schemes, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), where appropriate, while operators have also been able to access equivalent schemes in other countries. Cabinet Ministers are in close contact over this issue.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to enable drivers who do not hold passports to apply for renewal of their driving licences online for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

Drivers who do not have a valid passport are unable to complete their application using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. This is because the DVLA requires the passport number to obtain confirmation of identity and a photograph from the applicant’s passport. If the applicant does not have a valid passport they will need to send the relevant identity documents to the DVLA separately.

Drivers can also choose to apply either at a post office branch or by submitting a full paper application with the relevant identity documents and photograph, if required. However, paper applications will take longer to process in the current circumstances.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of instructing train operating companies to automatically refund season ticket holders to encourage social distancing during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has no plans to automatically refund season tickets as key workers on the front line of the Covid-19 response continue to rely on their season tickets to get to work by train. Season ticket holders are entitled to claim a refund, if they no longer need their ticket and should contact their retailer for details.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a temporary moratorium on requirements for a valid MOT and Road Tax for car owners aged over 70 years old.

Considering the developing situation and the need to balance the risks to road safety with the needs of vulnerable groups and businesses, the legislative requirements relating to vehicle use and testing are under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure safe noise levels on public transport.

The Government is committed to reducing pollution from public transport, including noise pollution. Buses with zero exhaust emissions like those using electric powertrains (including hydrogen fuel cells) are much quieter on-board than their diesel equivalents. Government support includes £150 million invested since 2010 towards new cleaner buses, and a further announcement of £50 million for Britain’s first all-electric bus town. The Prime Minister has also announced funding for 4,000 new zero emission buses across England and Wales.

The Government provides significant funds to Network Rail, the rail infrastructure manager, to enable it to carry out upgrades and renewals, which includes noise mitigation work where appropriate. This includes a programme of rail grinding as part of the general maintenance of the track, which reduces the noise from trains. In addition, all new rail vehicles are required to meet strict noise limits (the Noise Technical Standard for Interoperability) before they are permitted to enter into service.

Noise on the London Underground is a matter for the Mayor.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which cycle routes are located on dismantled railway lines in England.

The Department does not hold this information centrally. Information on local cycle routes in their areas is held by local authorities. Sustrans (reception@sustrans.org.uk) and Railway Paths Limited (estateoffice@railwaypaths.org.uk) also hold information on cycle routes located on dismantled railway lines, some of which form part of the National Cycle Network.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the railcard for veterans will be valid for use on (a) peak and (b) off-peak services.

On 22 January, we announced that our new Veterans Railcard would be available from 11 November this year. Passengers will be fully appraised of the railcard’s validity before it goes live, and this will include how to apply and the detailed terms and conditions.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 June 2021 to Question 16930, Social Security Benefits: Appeals, if her Department will publish the conclusions of their research and analysis to understand the consequences of newly introduced benefit assessment channels.

Findings from the Department’s programme of research and analysis to understand the consequences of the newly introduced assessment channels will be made available via outputs published on gov.uk. We expect to publish findings from a 2020 telephone survey of PIP and UC/ESA claimants who received a telephone assessment shortly.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to monitor and compare the outcomes of assessments and appeals for disability benefits conducted by paper review, telephone and virtual means during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department is undertaking an ongoing programme of in-house and externally commissioned research and analysis to understand the consequences of the newly introduced assessment channels.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending contribution-based Job Seeker's Allowance from six months to (a) nine months and (b) twelve months as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Entitlement to contribution-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is limited to a maximum of 182 days in any one jobseeking period. This is an absolute limit, provided for in primary legislation (section 5 of the Jobseekers Act 1995) and there are no plans to amend the primary legislation.

Universal credit, for those people who meet or continue to meet the conditions of entitlement, is available throughout any period of entitlement to contribution-based JSA.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the availability of emergency dental treatment for refugees who have been resettled in the UK from Afghanistan as part of the UK's military withdrawal from that country.

Refugees, including those arriving from Afghanistan, can access emergency dental treatment via NHS 111.

Many individuals arriving from Afghanistan are doing so as part of the Afghanistan Relocation and Assistance Policy and Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme. A separate process applies in these cases, which includes linking with urgent care services. Where commissioners have made additional resources available this offer may be more comprehensive and include an enhanced health assessment.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the stock of Verteporfin held by NHS trusts.

The Department is aware of an ongoing supply issue affecting Visudyne® (verteporfin) injection due to manufacturing issues. We are working closely with the supplier and the National Health Service (NHS) to ensure that patients with the greatest clinical need can access the medicine. Comprehensive clinical guidance has been issued to the NHS which provides information on management of potentially affected patients during this time.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken with the Scottish Government to ensure that (a) English people living, studying, and working in Scotland can access their covid-19 vaccine through NHS Scotland and (b) Scottish people living, studying, and working in England can access their covid-19 vaccine through NHS England.

Anyone living in the UK can receive the vaccine free of charge in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) prioritisation groups. All constituent four nations agreed to follow the advice of the JCVI for phase one deployment, and each administration is responsible for vaccine deployment across their respective geographies and for offering a vaccine to people resident there.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken to appoint a Patient Safety Commissioner as recommended by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

On 14 December 2020, the Government tabled an amendment to the Medicine and Medical Devices Bill to establish an independent Patient Safety Commissioner for England and so accepting the second recommendation of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review. The Medicines and Medical Devices Act achieved Royal Assent on 11 February 2021 and establishes the Commissioner position and its main duties and powers.

The everyday workings of the Commissioner are to be finalised and regulations will be made setting out further details about the appointment and operation of the Commissioner such as the terms of office, finances and other support. Officials are now working with legal and appointment colleagues to confirm timelines and begin both the regulation and appointment process for the Commissioner.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps have been taken to ensure that medical professionals are equipped to provide awareness of the risk of physical and neurodevelopmental harm to a baby associated with the use of many anti-epileptic drugs taken in pregnancy, specifically when providing such information via digital consultations and telemedicine.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ensures that information is available electronically to support discussions between medical professionals and women and girls on the risk of physical and neurodevelopmental harm to babies born to mothers who take epilepsy medicines during pregnancy. Healthcare professionals have been reminded of their responsibility to inform women and girls of the risks of valproate specifically through letters from the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers and Chief Pharmaceutical Officers and by articles in the MHRA’s electronic bulletin Drug Safety Update.

On 6 May 2020 the MHRA published guidance for specialists to support adherence to the pregnancy prevention requirements for women of childbearing potential taking valproate during the pandemic, particularly patients who are shielding due to other health conditions. This included guidance on annual review of patients using digital consultations.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards he has put in place to ensure that people do not receive doses of the covid-19 vaccine from different manufacturers.

Every effort should be made to determine which vaccine the individual received and to complete with the same vaccine. A number of processes are in place to ensure that knowledge of the first vaccine can be ascertained. This includes the card given to the patient at the time of vaccination, the capture of type of vaccine on the National Immunisation Management Service and the fact that this information is transferred to the patient’s medical record held by their general practitioner.

If the course is interrupted or delayed, it should be resumed using the same vaccine, but the first dose should not be repeated. There is no evidence on the interchangeability of the COVID-19 vaccines although studies are underway.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether community nurses working with patients who have tested positive for covid-19 will be given the same priority and access to the covid-19 vaccination as nurses working in a hospital setting.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use, including prioritisation at a population level. For the first phase, the JVCI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.

The JCVI considers frontline health and social care workers who provide care to vulnerable people a high priority for vaccination. The definition of frontline healthcare staff includes those involved in direct patient care. This includes staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the suitability of the personal protective equipment made available to community nurses working with patients who have tested positive for covid-19 and nurses working in a hospital setting.

The requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for community nurses and for nurses working in a hospital setting are set out in the national Infection Prevention and Control manual practice guide. It is consistent with World Health Organization guidance for protecting health and social care workers from COVID-19 and includes the PPE requirements as part of both standard infection control precautions and transmission-based precautions to prevent the risk of transmission of infection, protecting patients and staff alike.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of publishing an updated National Carers Strategy.

In June 2018, the Government published its two-year ‘Carers Action Plan 2018 – 2020 supporting carers today’ which sets out a cross-Government programme of targeted work to support all carers in England until the end of 2020.

The Action Plan puts a focus on practical actions to support carers, recognising and supporting unpaid carers to provide care in a way that protects their own health and wellbeing, employment and other life chances.

We plan to produce a final evaluation of the Action Plan next year. Alongside this the Department, with others across Government and carers, will consider next steps to build on the work initiated through the Carer’s Action Plan.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were registered with an NHS dentist in Canterbury district in each of the last 10 years.

Registration is not required as part of the current contractual arrangements and data on patients registered with a National Health Service dentist in Canterbury is not held centrally. Data on dental appointments is not held as it is not collected in a form that includes information on individual appointments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS dentistry appointments were carried out in Canterbury district in each of the last 10 years.

Registration is not required as part of the current contractual arrangements and data on patients registered with a National Health Service dentist in Canterbury is not held centrally. Data on dental appointments is not held as it is not collected in a form that includes information on individual appointments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) physiotherapists and (b) other healthcare staff providing patient-facing NHS services, but employed by independent providers, will have access to covid-19 vaccination in the same priority cohort as NHS employees.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers who are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.

The COVID-19 chapter in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease sets out further information defining those groups of health and social care workers that should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes physiotherapists and other healthcare staff providing direct patient care in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings. The COVID-19 chapter in the green book is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-the-green-book-chapter-14a

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) physiotherapists and (b) other healthcare staff providing patient facing services in charitable hospices will have access to covid-19 vaccination in the same priority cohort as NHS employees.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers who are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.

The COVID-19 chapter in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease sets out further information defining those groups of health and social care workers that should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes physiotherapists and other healthcare staff providing direct patient care in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings. The COVID-19 chapter in the green book is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-the-green-book-chapter-14a

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether self-employed physiotherapists providing patient-facing services in care homes will have access to the covid-19 vaccination in the same priority cohort as NHS employees.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers who are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.

The COVID-19 chapter in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease sets out further information defining those groups of health and social care workers that should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes physiotherapists and other healthcare staff providing direct patient care in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings. The COVID-19 chapter in the green book is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-the-green-book-chapter-14a

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether self-employed physiotherapists providing patient-facing services in the community will have access to the covid-19 vaccination in the same priority cohort as NHS employees.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers who are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.

The COVID-19 chapter in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease sets out further information defining those groups of health and social care workers that should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes physiotherapists and other healthcare staff providing direct patient care in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings. The COVID-19 chapter in the green book is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-the-green-book-chapter-14a

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether self-employed physiotherapists providing patient-facing services under contract to GPs will have access to the covid-19 vaccination in the same priority cohort as NHS employees.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to priority groups, including frontline health and social care workers who are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with COVID-19 and of transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings.

The COVID-19 chapter in the Green Book: Immunisation against infectious disease sets out further information defining those groups of health and social care workers that should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes physiotherapists and other healthcare staff providing direct patient care in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings. The COVID-19 chapter in the green book is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-the-green-book-chapter-14a

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients with musculoskeletal health conditions can continue to access (a) NHS, (b) private and (c) voluntary sector physiotherapy during the covid-19 outbreak.

Private or voluntary sector care decisions on access to care are a matter for the individual provider as these services are independent of the Government.

For NHS services guidance has been issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement on what services should be available. The NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance on COVID-19 prioritisation within community health services, updated August 2020, sets out advice for local commissioners in prioritising the return to near normal for most of their NHS services. This includes physiotherapy. The guidance sets out that commissioners should take into account where care is urgent and where care can take place remotely or may be patient-initiated. The guidance is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/implementing-phase-3-of-the-nhs-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides to non-NHS physiotherapy services to ensure that those services can access suitable personal protective equipment.

The personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for non-National Health Service physiotherapists are set out in the COVID-19 infection prevention guidance, which is published on GOV.UK. This recommends that where possible and clinically appropriate remote consultations rather than face-to-face should be offered to patients. Where this is not possible, guidance on what PPE is required in different settings is set out. Non-NHS physiotherapists are essentially commercial enterprises and are able to procure PPE from their normal suppliers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason routine covid-19 testing is not being made available to asymptomatic private practitioner physiotherapists treating people in care homes.

We recognise the need to ensure professionals are able to visit care homes safely. Regular asymptomatic testing is currently being rolled out to all patient-facing National Health Service staff.


While this will cover the majority of professionals visiting care homes, we recognise the important role played by professionals who visit care homes who are not included in the NHS staff testing, such as private practitioner physiotherapists. We are using our learning from our previous ‘Visiting Professionals’ pilot to determine the best approach for asymptomatic testing professionals who are not NHS staff.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to review anticoagulation guidelines for women who have undergone a caesarean section.

Multiple guidelines cover use of anticoagulants for women who have undergone caesarean section.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guideline CG132 contains a recommendation on thromboprophylaxis for caesarean section. NICE is currently developing a new guideline on caesarean section, which will update and replace current the guideline. NICE expects to publish this on 31 March 2021.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women have died as a result of blood clots and related complications post-caesarean sections without having received anticoagulants in each of the last 10 years.

This information is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to enable residents of care settings to safely visit their family members.

Since the start of this pandemic, we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care, including for visits.

We know how important it is for residents in care settings to be able to spend time with their loved ones, including to make visits outside of the care home setting. Guidance to local areas and care providers on visits out of a care home, for example to a family home, is being developed and will be published shortly.

This will supplement our existing guidance on visiting arrangements into care homes – that supports care homes to develop their visiting policies based on a local dynamic risk assessment, led by the relevant Director of Public Health.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Continuing Healthcare (a) referrals, (b) reviews and (c) assessments were received by local health and social care systems between 19 March and 31 August 2020.

During the COVID-19 emergency period, National Health Service Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) assessments were not required, due to changes made as part of section 14 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The sector has been asked to reintroduce CHC processes from 1 September 2020.

Data from the NHS CHC Deferred Assessments Situation Report shows that as at 1 September 2020, 37,672 referrals for NHS CHC had been received relating to the period between 19 March and 31 August 2020. This figure includes pre-COVID-19 emergency period cases that were already in progress on 19 March 2020 and which were paused due to COVID-19 pressures or provided with COVID-19 funding, as a result of the COVID-19 Act and discharge requirements.

Data for NHS CHC reviews is not collected centrally.

Statistics relating to the completion of NHS CHC assessments are published on a quarterly basis. For Quarter 1 2020/21, covering the period 1 April to 30 June 2020, this data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/nhs-chc-fnc/

Quarter 2 2020/21 data, for the period 1 July to 30 September 2020 will be published in November 2020 and will be available at the same link.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the time it will take for Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities to process the NHS Continuing Healthcare referrals, reviews and assessments received between 19 March and 31 August 2020.

We understand that the deferred case assessments will have workload implications for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the wider National Health Service and local authorities. NHS Continuing Healthcare referrals, reviews and assessments should be completed as soon as is practical and CCGs are expected to carry out this activity in a timely manner.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to prioritise residents of care settings to receive a covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI published interim advice on 25 September 2020 stating the vaccine should first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk. The latest recommendations on the priority groups for a COVID-19 vaccine can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-25-september-2020/jcvi-updated-interim-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination

We will consider the Committee’s advice carefully as we continue to plan for a vaccination campaign.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) home birth services and (b) midwifery units in England have been temporarily closed since 1 March 2020; for what period of time those services were closed; and how many have now reopened.

This information is not currently held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Trusts in England have provided full standard-of-care access to all four birthing options as set out by NICE in each week since 1 March 2020.

This information is not currently held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people in Kent waiting for an initial assessment for autism spectrum condition significantly longer than the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standard; and what steps he is taking to ensure that no patients have to wait for more than three months for their first appointment.

The 2018 autism self-assessment framework, published in June 2017, showed that the average wait between referral and assessment for autism diagnostic assessment for Kent County Council was 40 weeks. Further information is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/autism-self-assessment-framework-exercise

We expect local services to adhere to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence quality standard on autism which states that the length of time between referral and a first appointment to start an assessment should be no more than three months.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his Department's policy to allow people in a supported living setting to take their planned respite with their families during the covid-19 outbreak.

We know how beneficial it can be for people in supported living settings to see and spend time with their families. However, it is important that they continue to follow the current social distancing guidelines, in addition to the shielding advice for vulnerable groups where this applies. We are engaging with stakeholders to ensure relevant guidance appropriately considers the needs of those in supported living.

Social distancing guidelines are available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Shielding advice for vulnerable groups is available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of The Make Birth Better Survey 2019.

The National Health Service is making arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during and following this pandemic.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes new measures to improve safety, quality and continuity of care and a commitment for a further 24,000 women to be able to access specialist perinatal mental health care by 2023/24, building on the additional 30,000 women who will access these services each year by 2020/21 under pre-existing plans.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have contracted covid-19 as in-patients in hospitals in England, on each day since 1 January 2020.

We do not yet have a methodology to differentiate between cases contracted in hospital and cases in which the patient already had the condition when admitted. Our data sources do not differentiate between:

- Cases admitted as suspected COVID-19 and subsequently confirmed as COVID-19; and

- Cases admitted as non COVID-19 but subsequently contracting COVID-19 in hospital.

NHS Digital and NHS England and NHS Improvement are using a variety of data sources to explore the extent to which they can provide this information through data linkage in future.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been tested for covid-19 upon admission to hospital, on each day since 1 January 2020.

The Department recognises the importance of transparency and publishing information on COVID-19 testing but must balance this with the accuracy of the data.

Data on the number of people tested across the whole of the United Kingdom requires a range of complex data sets from multiple organisations, including those held by the devolved administrations, to be reconciled to identify unique individuals. The process is complex, and we are not yet content that the data we have available is robust enough to provide an accurate picture.

The Department is working with the data owners to resolve the issues that currently prevent it from publishing the number of people tested. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and have committed to publishing this information going forward.

In terms of testing people upon admission to hospital, an operating framework has been published on the NHS England website which advises on management of urgent and planned services within hospital. In the case of day interventions, testing and isolation is determined locally, based on patient and procedural risk. The framework is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/05/Operating-framework-for-urgent-and-planned-services-within-hospitals.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure the continued operation of air ambulances during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department continues to engage with the air ambulance sector via Air Ambulances UK, the national organisation for the United Kingdom’s air ambulance charities. The charities have been asked to provide an assessment of the operations and fundraising impact of COVID-19 to give a clear national picture of their needs. Further to this, any support required by air ambulance charities is being considered by the National Ambulance Coordination Centre as part of their role in supporting voluntary sector deployment as appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air ambulances are self-funded, but the Government has previously provided one-off grants to support capital projects, such as building or extending airbases and helipads, and purchasing equipment, cars and aircraft.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of nationalising air ambulances during the covid-19 pandemic.

Air ambulance organisations are independent charities with their own governance arrangements and operating models.

Whilst air ambulances are helping with the national response, through loaning of staff and equipment, they are also continuing with the delivery of life-saving services to non-COVID-19 patients. The charitable model gives the air ambulance charities independence to deliver specialised services to meet the specific needs of the populations they serve.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of (a) the implications for his policies of the time taken by East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to share with the Care Quality Commission the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report on maternity services in that trust and (b) the effectiveness of overall NHS clinical governance in relation to maternity services.

In 2015 the Trust informed the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that they had commissioned a review of their maternity services. They also shared information about the actions being taken forward in response to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ findings prior to the CQC’s September 2016 inspection and after that inspection as part of their improvement plan. However, the CQC’s records do not indicate that the CQC received the full report before January 2019.

The CQC undertook a further unannounced inspection of maternity services at East Kent in late January 2020 and early February 2020 to follow up on its previous inspections and monitoring of the Trust and the actions the Trust is taking to improve the safety of its maternity services. The CQC will publish its report in due course, in line with its normal publication timelines. NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing support to improve the Trust’s clinical governance for maternity services.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and the CQC have been closely monitoring maternity services at the Trust.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2020 to Question 2446, what plans are in place for the delivery of an urgent treatment centre in Canterbury during 2020.

Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has designated Kent and Canterbury Hospital as a tranche 6 Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). The plan developed is for the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) currently located at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital to change to a UTC from April 2020.

This means urgent care services will be offered at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in line with the national UTC specification, in practice an enhancement on the services currently available from the MIU. The regional team is working with NHS Digital, the CCG and acute trust to ensure compliance with the specification and standards as laid out in national policy.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits for improving health services of collecting data on the number of telephone calls that are unanswered in hospitals.

We have made no such assessment of the potential merits for improving health services of collecting data on the number of telephone calls that are unanswered in hospitals.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 28 January 2020, whether the summary report requested from the Care Quality Commission will include an assessment of the applicability of its findings in respect of maternity cases at East Kent University Foundation Trust to other trusts.

The summary report I referred to on 28 January 2020 relates to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) recent inspection of East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust only.

A summary of the CQC’s findings following this inspection will be made available to the Department within two weeks. The CQC will publish its full inspection report in due course, in line with the CQC’s process for publishing inspection reports.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens awaiting repatriation to the UK from the Canary Islands, and what the timeframe is for those citizens to be returned to the UK.

Our Embassy and Consulates in Spain are in touch with and providing advice and support to those who remain and who have contacted us. We believe that the vast majority of British nationals who want to return home have now done so. The FCO does not have a central registration system for flights and British nationals will only be asked to register for flights with Corporate Travel Management (CTM) when charters have been announced for a country. Commercial flights are still available from Spain and information options are available from https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/return-to-the-uk.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to allow UK citizens to access long-term medication if they are abroad and unable to return to the UK during the covid-19 outbreak; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on establishing reciprocal arrangements for long term medication for non-UK residents who are in the UK.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 26 March, with the following response.The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We are in close contact with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance to all British Nationals currently abroad who request it. This includes providing assistance in securing long-term medication for those who are unable to return to the UK.

We are exploring the possibility of reciprocal arrangements for long term medication for non-UK residents who are in the UK. The British Government is working closely with industry, the NHS and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients, including non-UK residents, can access the medicines they need and precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages. The Department for Health and Social Care shares regular information about impending supply issues and the management plan with the NHS via networks in primary and secondary care and will liaise with relevant patient groups about issues affecting specific medicines.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the 2018 Aid Transparency Index published by Publish What You Fund, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the categorisation of his Department as poor; and if his Department will (a) publish data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative each quarter and (b) take steps to improve the quality of that data.

A 2019 aid transparency assessment by Publish What You Fund categorised the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) rating as Fair following improvements in the way the FCO publishes data. The FCO is committed to continuing to invest in aid transparency. Since 2018 we have improved the way we publish data, in particular ensuring that data is released quarterly. This contributed to our increased score in the latest assessment. We recognise that we still have more to do and are currently considering how to make further improvements in the light of the 2019 assessment's findings.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart to ensure that Uighurs detained in camps in western China will receive equitable standards of medical care should the coronavirus continue to spread.

The Foreign Secretary spoke to State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the coronavirus outbreak on 28 January, including the extensive measures being taken by China to contain the virus, and the evacuation of British Nationals from Hubei province. The Foreign Secretary did not discuss the treatment of Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang during the call. However, we regularly raise our concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in “political re-education camps”, with the Chinese authorities at senior levels. Most recently, our Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will announce details of the fourth grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme before 3 March 2021.

The Government remains committed to supporting the self-employed population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government confirmed in January that further details of the fourth grant, which will cover February to the end of April, will be announced alongside other economic updates at the Budget on 3 March.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the international rail transport sector.

It would be challenging to target the CJRS to specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and it may not be the case that this is the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus. It would also be difficult to target the CJRS at specific sectors without creating distortion, particularly as some firms work across multiple sectors. Specific firms may benefit from other measures, including the Small Business Grant Fund and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. It is the case that some firms will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others and the Government will continue to keep the situation under review.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will instruct the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group to undertake a review of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on access to cash.

The Government recognises that cash is extremely important to individuals and businesses across the UK. That is why, at the March 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to protect access to cash.

The Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group brings together HM Treasury, the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England to ensure that the regulatory oversight and activity supports an end-to-end cash infrastructure that remains resilient, cost effective, sustainable and can meet the needs of users.

The members of the Group continue to engage closely to monitor latest trends, including the impact of COVID-19. The Group will publish an update on its activities in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer to the Answer of 12 May to Question 44022 on Business: Coronavirus, for what reason the amount that businesses with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 are eligibile for under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund changed from £25,000 to £10,000 on 9 April 2020; and if he will reinstate the initial award amount eligibility from that fund as issued on 18 March 2020.

The eligibility thresholds for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund have remained the same since the scheme was announced on 17th March. We have been working at pace to design grant schemes to support businesses and protect jobs throughout Covid-19. We apologise for a human error made on an early version of a Covid-19 support measures factsheet which stated that the rateable value cut-off for the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund grant was £14,999. This has since been updated on 9th April. The guidance to Local Authorities has always been very clear that retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or below would be eligible for a £10,000 grant under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support the Government is providing to businesses that operate from premises with a rateable value of exactly £15,000.

Businesses which occupy premises with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 can receive a grant of £10,000 from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund if the premises are used for Retail, Hospitality or Leisure purposes.

Businesses in all sectors which occupy premises with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 may also be eligible for a grant from the Small Business Grant Fund. The Small Business Grant Fund provides businesses with a £10,000 cash grant per property, for each property eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief. Properties with a rateable value of £12,001 up to and including £15,000 are eligible for a tapered form of SBRR. The relief tapers to 0% at exactly £15,000. This means that in theory, a property with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 could be eligible for a £10,000 grant from the SBGF.

Businesses which occupy premises with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 may also be able to benefit from measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • A twelve-month business rates holiday for all properties used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes;
  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100% guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills;
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the small business rate relief grant to businesses operating in non-rateable premises.

The Government has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, including those businesses not eligible for the small business grant or the retail, leisure and hospitality grant.

This support for business includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, a statutory sick pay relief package, the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment and a new lending facility from the Bank of England for larger firms.

These measures provide a comprehensive, coordinated and coherent response to what is a serious and evolving economic situation. As the wider economic picture becomes clearer, the Government will do whatever it takes to get the nation through the impacts of COVID-19 and the Government stands ready to announce further action wherever necessary.

8th Feb 2021
What steps the Government is taking to protect asylum seekers housed at Napier Barracks, Folkestone, from covid-19 infection.

We take the welfare of asylum seekers extremely seriously and accommodation at Napier Barracks was configured in accordance with public health advice with a range of infection control measures in place. Despite our best efforts a number of those accommodated at the site have tested positive for coronavirus and an outbreak management plan was put in place.

Following the serious disturbance caused by some asylum seekers on site recently, immediate steps were taken to reconfigure accommodation to maintain outbreak management and allow for self-isolation of all those remaining on site.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of providing financial support to Business Crime Reduction Partnerships whose funding has been reduced as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Provisional data from police forces in England and Wales shows a reduction in crime during the Coronavirus outbreak and, as a result, the Government has made no assessment of the potential merits of providing financial support to Business Crime Reduction Partnerships as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the supply of personal protective equipment for UK Border Force staff.

Border Force has a command structure and is actively working with Regional Teams and the National Operations HQ, to determine PPE needs for frontline and operational support staff, and to manage stock levels. Demand for PPE has increased so we are sourcing it through our established suppliers and supplementing with additional external suppliers to meet the demand.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of developing a secure digital death certification service.

The Home Office continues to work with Department of Health and Social Care on taking forward the death certification reforms, which includes consideration of digital services.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason 1st Battalion Irish Guards have a continued presence at Fort Tagi in Iraq.

UK troops are in Iraq, as part of the Coalition, in order to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh. This includes mitigating chances of a Daesh resurgence and developing the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces at the Taji Military Complex. At the invitation of the Government of Iraq, the UK has helped train over 110,000 Iraqi Security Forces personnel, including Kurdish Peshmerga.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a reduced requirement for training from the Iraqi Security Forces and a subsequent pause in the Coalition and NATO training missions in Iraq. We have therefore decided to redeploy some UK personnel back to the United Kingdom. We will retain key military personnel throughout the country to ensure the Iraqi Government, Global Coalition and UK national interests are appropriately supported. For the time being a contingent of essential UK personnel will remain in Taji Military Complex.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making holiday homes exempt from classification as domestic properties when that home is being used as a main residence for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has no plans to exempt homes from being classified as domestic properties other than where they are being used for business purposes. Where a property is used for non-domestic purposes, it is for the Valuation Office Agency to determine whether it should be liable for council tax or business rates.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of directing local authorities to suspend council tax payments for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

Council tax plays a vital role in funding the local services which are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. To assist financially vulnerable households, the Government has confirmed £500 million of funding to provide more council tax relief. Local authorities also have the flexibility to spread council tax payments over the final ten months of the year to help local people.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to tackle race disparity in the youth justice system, particularly with regard to those held on remand.

We want people to have confidence in a justice system that is fair and open—one where no person suffers discrimination of any sort.

The over-representation of ethnic minority children in the youth justice system is a real concern and we continue to prioritise understanding and tackling disparities.

The MoJ Youth Justice Policy Unit, the Youth Justice Board and the Youth Custody Service work closely together on this. Work includes providing the tools and data to help frontline youth justice services to understand the needs of ethnic minority children, work with the Magistrates’ Association to build awareness of disproportionality among sentencers, and securing over £1m in funding to use physical activity to improve outcomes for 11,000 ethnic minority children at risk of entering the criminal justice system.

In relation to remand, we are also exploring race disparities in the context of a departmental review into the use of custodial remand for children. In addition, the steps we are taking through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to tighten the tests courts must apply to remand children to custody also have the potential to help reduce disparity in remand decisions.

More broadly, work directly within the youth justice system can only partially address inequalities, as ‘upstream’ factors which increase the likelihood of a child appearing in the youth justice system are also disproportionate. Cross Government work on education, health and policing, all important areas upstream of MoJ’s remit, recognises the importance of equalities.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to increase county court capacity in Kent.

In line with the Civil, Family & Tribunals Recovery Plan, published in November 2020, HMCTS has put in place measures to help civil and family courts and tribunals recover as quickly as possible. This includes:

  • the capacity of the judiciary to sit as many sitting days as possible
  • re-opening our courtrooms where it is safe to do so as quickly as possible and reinforcing this through measures to provide additional capacity, including Nightingale courts, where required.
  • ensuring remote hearings continue to be effectively supported with increased staff support and guidance for users
  • increasing our staff numbers to support delivery as we adapt to new ways of working

All the above steps have been taken in Kent.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to address the backlog of urgent possession court cases caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Overall Arrangements produced by the judicial-led working party set up by the Master of the Rolls details measures that will assist with managing the incoming volume of possession cases and provide access to justice for all parties while protecting the most vulnerable.

These arrangements include improvement in the signposting and guidance for landlords and tenants, the introduction of a review process to allow early engagement between parties and provisions for possession hearings to take place in a safe way.

In addition a scheme of prioritisation to assist judges with identifying the most urgent cases has been introduced. The listing of cases is a judicial function and prioritisation is a tool available to the judiciary when case managing possession matters.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many urgent possession court cases have been delayed by the covid-19 outbreak.

The requested information is not held. Management Information collected in possession proceedings, including information relating to adjournments, does not detail any urgent marking.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th May 2020
What discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the outbreak of covid-19 at the international Nike conference in Edinburgh in February 2020.

It was agreed by the 4 Chief Medical Officers ahead of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 that each administration would announce their own cases and take their own decisions about what is appropriate to release, so this was a matter for the Scottish Government.