Ruth Cadbury Portrait

Ruth Cadbury

Labour - Brentford and Isleworth

Shadow Minister (International Trade)

(since December 2021)
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Planning)
19th Sep 2021 - 4th Dec 2021
Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities & Local Government) (Planning)
14th May 2021 - 19th Sep 2021
Transport Committee
29th Oct 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Justice Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 19th Nov 2018
Shadow Minister (Housing)
10th Oct 2016 - 29th Jun 2017
Women and Equalities Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 28th Feb 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 18th January 2022
15:00
Department Event
Thursday 20th January 2022
09:30
Department for International Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
20 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
International Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 26th January 2022
09:30
Division Votes
Tuesday 11th January 2022
Household Energy Bills: VAT
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 168 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 319
Speeches
Monday 17th January 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
T2. To return to the Home Secretary’s answers to my right hon. Friend the shadow Home Secretary, in September 2020, …
Written Answers
Monday 17th January 2022
BetIndex: Regulation
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether Ministers in her Department have met officials …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 24th March 2016
LAUNDERETTES AND REMOVAL OF PLANNING PROTECTIONS
That this House notes that launderettes continue to be a vital part of our communities as well as being an …
Bills
Tuesday 19th July 2016
Income Tax (Non-Military Expenditure) Bill 2016-17
A bill to require HM Commissioners of Revenue and Customs to record income tax revenues where the payee self-certifies as …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB London Region
Address of donor: John Cope House, 152 Brent Street, London NW4 2DP
Amount of …
EDM signed
Tuesday 29th June 2021
GKN Automotive alternative plan
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 30th January 2018
Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
A Bill to Provide that the Secretary of State’s powers in relation to the management of the Royal Botanic Gardens, …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ruth Cadbury has voted in 324 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Ruth Cadbury 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
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(45 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(21 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(32 debate contributions)
Home Office
(27 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ruth Cadbury's debates

Brentford and Isleworth 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 Brentford and Isleworth signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

The maximum penalty for failure to stop after an incident is points and a 6-month custodial sentence. Causing death by careless/dangerous driving is between 5-14 yrs. The sentence for failing to stop after a fatal collision must be increased.

The offence of causing 'death by dangerous driving' should be widened to include: failure to stop, call 999 and render aid on scene until further help arrives.

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.


Latest EDMs signed by Ruth Cadbury

22nd June 2021
Ruth Cadbury signed this EDM on Tuesday 29th June 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
13th April 2021
Ruth Cadbury signed this EDM on Tuesday 13th April 2021

Effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled children and families

Tabled by: Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)
That this House is deeply alarmed at the disproportionate effect of the covid-19 pandemic on disabled children, young people and their families; notes the concerning statistics from the Disabled Children’s Partnerships’ The Longest Lockdown report, which found that 70 per cent of disabled children could not access, or experienced delays …
52 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 41
Liberal Democrat: 5
Independent: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Ruth Cadbury's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ruth Cadbury, 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.


Ruth Cadbury has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Ruth Cadbury

Thursday 17th December 2020
Wednesday 8th July 2020

1 Bill introduced by Ruth Cadbury


A bill to require HM Commissioners of Revenue and Customs to record income tax revenues where the payee self-certifies as holding a conscientious objection to public spending on defence purposes and report to Parliament thereon; to place a duty on HM Treasury to take account of the amount and proportion of such self-certified income tax income in preparing the supply estimates; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 19th July 2016

248 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
22 Other Department Questions
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2021 to Question 69103, on Derelict Land: Regeneration, whether his Department used a methodology to forecast that the £1.8 billion funding for brownfield regeneration would create 160,000 homes.

I refer the Hon Member to the answers given to Question UIN 65447 on 2 November 2021 and Question UIN 64643 on 1 November 2021 regarding the details of the funding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department conducted an impact assessment on the changes announced in respect to Class MA of permitted development rights, which came into effect on the 1 August 2021.

We aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures in due course and in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 20 July 2021 to Question 33952 on Permitted Development Rights and the Written Statement of 1 July 2021, Official Report, HCWS145, if his Department will publish the analysis on the changes announced in that Written Statement.

An analysis of the implication of the changes in the policy for Article 4 directions, in order to comply with the public sector equality duty, as required by s149 of the Equality Act 2010, was undertaken. A summary of this analysis is included in the Government Response to the National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: Consultation Proposals which was published on 20 July 2021. [https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/national-planning-policy-framework-and-national-model-design-code-consultation-proposals/outcome/government-response-to-the-national-planning-policy-framework-and-national-model-design-code-consultation-proposals]

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answers of 1 November 2021 to Question 64643 and of 2 November 2021 to Question 65447 on Derelict Land: Regeneration, if he will set out the specific methodology his Department used to forecast that the £1.8 billion funding for brownfield regeneration would create 160,000 homes.

I refer the Hon Member to the answers given to question UIN 65447 on 2 November 2021 and question UIN 64643 on 1 November 2021 regarding the details of the funding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to paragraph 4.49 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, what methodology his Department used to forecast that the £1.8 billion funding for brownfield regeneration would create 160,000 homes.

The £1.8 billion investment announced at Spending Review will help to regenerate communities and level up the country through unlocking new homes. The funding will deliver more than just homes, providing the investment in infrastructure required to regenerate communities and support local jobs.

The Government and our local authority partners have extensive experience of brownfield development, through our existing funds such as the Brownfield Housing Fund and Brownfield Land Release Fund. I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave to question UIN 64643 on 1 November on the details of the Fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what criteria his Department will use in allocating the £1.5 billion announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 for (a) underused land, (b) Transport Links (c) community facilities.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 64643 on 1 November 2021.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much and what proportion of funding has provided to each of the Mayoral Combined authorities through the Brownfield Fund.

The £400 million Brownfield Fund will help unlock 26,000 homes by bringing under-utilised brownfield land back into use and contribute to levelling-up our country.

Table 1 displays the allocation of the £400 million Brownfield Fund.

Table 1

Mayoral Combined Authority

Allocation

Proportion

Greater Manchester

£96,999,805

24.25%

Liverpool City Region

£44,643,420

11.16%

North of Tyne

£23,853,618

5.96%

South Yorkshire

£40,340,322

10.09%

Tees Valley

£19,352,315

4.84%

West Midlands

£108,031,802

27.01%

West Yorkshire

£66,778,719

16.69%

Total

£400,000,001

100.00%

Total of £400,000,001 is due to rounding

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much and what proportion of funding from the £400 million Brownfield Fund has been provided to the 7 Mayoral Combined authorities.

The £400 million Brownfield Fund will help unlock 26,000 homes by bringing under-utilised brownfield land back into use and contribute to levelling-up our country.

Table 1 displays the allocation of the £400 million Brownfield Fund.

Table 1

Mayoral Combined Authority

Allocation

Proportion

Greater Manchester

£96,999,805

24.25%

Liverpool City Region

£44,643,420

11.16%

North of Tyne

£23,853,618

5.96%

South Yorkshire

£40,340,322

10.09%

Tees Valley

£19,352,315

4.84%

West Midlands

£108,031,802

27.01%

West Yorkshire

£66,778,719

16.69%

Total

£400,000,001

100.00%

Total of £400,000,001 is due to rounding

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many local authorities were rejected for funding under the Brown Land Release Fund.

We received bids from 79 councils across England, of whom 53 have so far received BLRF funding to deliver 110 projects. We will be making further allocations shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will publish which local authorities applied for funding under the Brown Land Release fund.

We received bids from 79 councils across England, of whom 53 have so far received BLRF funding to deliver 110 projects. We will be making further allocations shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many local authorities have applied for an Article 4 direction in relation to Houses of Multiple Occupancy.

Available records indicate that 56 local authorities have submitted to the Secretary of State article 4 directions removing permitted development rights in respect of Houses of Multiple Occupancy in accordance with Schedule 3 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many Article 4 directions his Department has refused in the last (a) three months, (6) six months, (c) 12 months and (d) five years.

The Department has not refused any article 4 directions in the periods specified. The Secretary of State is not required to approve directions made by local authorities.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many article 4 direction requests his Department has received from local authorities over the last year.

184 article 4 directions have been submitted to the Secretary of State by local authorities in accordance with Schedule 3 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 in the last year.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what representations he has received from media organisations on the proposals to remove the requirement for physical notices of planning applications.

My officials maintain contact with bodies representing media organisations and other stakeholders following on from proposals to reform the planning system


Government is mindful of the potential impact that any changes to the existing publicity requirements for statutory notices might have on transparency and local democracy, as well as the potential effect on the sustainability of the local news sector as a whole. We also recognise the continued importance of print local newspapers to the communities they serve.

The Secretary of State is taking time to review departmental programmes and engage with key stakeholders. An announcement on our proposed way forward will be made.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment of the amount of revenue that would be gained by requiring change of use conversions through permitted development rights to be subjected to Section 106 agreements.

We have consulted on introducing a new infrastructure levy to replace section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy as part of the ‘Planning for the Future’ consultation. The Government’s consultation response will be published.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the powers given to local authorities to regulate houses of multiple occupancy within the planning system.

Under a national permitted development right, a private house is able to change use to a House in Multiple Occupation for up to six people sharing facilities without the need for a planning application. Change of use to a larger House in Multiple Occupation requires an application for planning permission.

Where there is sufficient evidence of the need to protect local amenities or the well-being of the area, a local planning authority may withdraw a permitted development right using an Article 4 direction. This would mean any change of use to a House in Multiple Occupation would require an application for planning permission.

We believe this strikes the right balance between allowing individuals to decide how best to use their property, with appropriate safeguards to address localised concerns.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has carried out an equalities impact assessment on the introduction of the new permitted development rights, Class MA, announced on 1 August 2021.

In developing the proposals we undertook assessments of any potential impacts on people who share a protected characteristic as required under the public sector equality duty.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2021, HCWS145, on revitalising high streets and town centres, what additional guidance his Department has provided to local planning authorities on Article 4 directions.

Permitted development rights provide greater flexibility for businesses to change use, responding quickly to changing market demands without the need for a planning application. Where a local authority considers that a specific permitted development right is not appropriate in a particular location, and that a planning application should be required, it may introduce an Article 4 direction to remove that permitted development right. From 1 July, our policy requires that all Article 4 directions should be targeted, based on robust evidence and apply to the smallest geographical area possible. This provides a balance between protecting core high streets and town centres without unnecessarily restricting the flexibilities provided by permitted development rights.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding from the Brownfield Land Release fund has been provided in grants to local authorities to date.

On 12 October 2021, DLUHC announced (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-new-homes-to-be-built-and-derelict-land-transformed) £57,822,243 of funding from the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) to support 110 projects to release land for more than 5,600 homes by March 2024. This grant funding will be allocated to 53 local authorities shortly. Further, DLUHC has announced a second bidding opportunity for local authorities to bid for the remaining £20 million self and custom build funding, with more successful BLRF projects to be announced before the end of the financial year.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department plans to publish its response to the Planning for the Future Consultation before the House of Commons rises on the 23 September 2021.

This Government seeks to unite and level up the country, ensuring opportunity is available for all, and our plans to modernise the planning system are an important part of this.

We are continuing to reflect on the 43,000 consultation responses and engage with stakeholders across the system.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on community champions.

I announced the Community Champions scheme in my first quarterly report to the Prime Minister on progress to address disparities in risks and outcomes from COVID-19, published on 22 October, and provided an update in my second quarterly report published on 26 February. Officials in the Race Disparity Unit, who are supporting me in this work, continue to meet regularly with colleagues in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government who are leading on the scheme.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to improve the engagement rate with Government consultations from historically under-represented groups.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for the Government Consultation Principles, which provide departments with guidance on conducting consultations. Individual departments are responsible for their own consultation practice. The Principles are published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/691383/Consultation_Principles__1_.pdf

The Consultation Principles are clear that consultations should be targeted. This should include consideration of how to tailor consultation to the needs and preferences of particular groups affected by a policy. The Principles also state that in responding to a consultation the government should explain the responses that have been received, state how many responses have been received and how these have informed the policy. Decisions on the potential merits of publishing individual responses to consultations are for consulting departments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of publishing in full the submissions made to legislative consultations.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for the Government Consultation Principles, which provide departments with guidance on conducting consultations. Individual departments are responsible for their own consultation practice. The Principles are published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/691383/Consultation_Principles__1_.pdf

The Consultation Principles are clear that consultations should be targeted. This should include consideration of how to tailor consultation to the needs and preferences of particular groups affected by a policy. The Principles also state that in responding to a consultation the government should explain the responses that have been received, state how many responses have been received and how these have informed the policy. Decisions on the potential merits of publishing individual responses to consultations are for consulting departments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether businesses providing takeaway services during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown are eligible for the top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses announced on 5 January 2021.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Businesses that are mandated to close by law due to the current national restrictions can access grants of up to £4,500 per 6 weeks of closure through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards. Furthermore, the Closed Business Lockdown Payment will provide each closed business with a one-off payment of up £9,000. This includes businesses who have been mandated to close but have adapted to operate takeaway, click and collect or online delivery services.

Those who provide takeaway as their main business prior to the restrictions will not be eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards but can still receive discretionary funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions (a) he and (b) his Department has had with officials from banks on extending the eligibility criteria for support from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government continues to enhance its engagement with a broad range of trade and representative bodies, in particular SME networks, to continue to understand the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and the concerns they have.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is open to most businesses, regardless of turnover, who meet the eligibility criteria and who were established on or before 1 March 2020.

The Scheme is targeted at supporting those businesses who need access to finance quickly and, therefore, requires lenders to offer a standard product. It is therefore the case that the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is not suitable for all businesses.

There are a wide range of other Government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption. Full details on the support available for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website, or through contacting our business support helpline.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of businesses that can access support from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government continues to enhance its engagement with a broad range of trade and representative bodies, in particular SME networks, to continue to understand the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and the concerns they have.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is open to most businesses, regardless of turnover, who meet the eligibility criteria and who were established on or before 1 March 2020.

The Scheme is targeted at supporting those businesses who need access to finance quickly and, therefore, requires lenders to offer a standard product. It is therefore the case that the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is not suitable for all businesses.

There are a wide range of other Government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption. Full details on the support available for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website, or through contacting our business support helpline.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of businesses in England who have applied unsuccessfully to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

As of 15 November, 1,397,475 loans have been approved under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, with a total value of £42.18 billion.

In total, the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme has received 1,766,768 applications. The applications figure includes: approved applications; applications that are still to be processed; applications that have been declined; and applications that may turn out not to be eligible or cases where customers have decided not to proceed.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to encourage banks to allow non-existing customers to access support from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government have always made clear to lenders that they should open to applications from new customers as soon as it is operationally possible for them to do so.

Businesses are free to approach any accredited lender for a Bounce Back Loan.

You can find a full list of accredited lenders on the British Business Bank website:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what alternative methods of financial support are available to businesses who are unable to access support from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Throughout this crisis, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods across the UK, support businesses, and public services. The Government has spent over £280 billion to do so this year.

If a business is not able to access the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the British Business Bank offers a range of other support including:

  • Individuals who are starting a new business or who have been trading for less than two years can apply for a Start Up Loan, which offers loans (from £500 to £25,000, at 6% interest) alongside free mentoring and support.
  • Businesses with a turnover of less than £45 million, and looking for up to £5 million in finance, can apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
  • Larger businesses with a group turnover of more than £45 million, looking for up to £200 million in finance, can apply for a Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
  • The Future Fund issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential that typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19.
  • To help small businesses understand and identify suitable finance options available, the British Business Bank’s website and Finance Hub offer a wide range of information on finance options.

The support available through the British Business Bank is one part of an unprecedented range of measures to back business. Full details on the support available for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website, or through contacting our business support helpline.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether Ministers in her Department have met officials at the Gambling Commission in respect of the Review of the Regulation of BetIndex Limited.

The first piece of correspondence from the Gambling Commission alerting DCMS to the BetIndex Limited case was an email to officials on the 10th of March 2021.

Since then ministers and officials have had a number of meetings with the Gambling Commission on the case, the independent review, and lessons learnt. Records of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and are available on gov.uk.

Officials at the Advertising Standards Authority and DCMS have discussed the Betindex case periodically since the company’s collapse in March 2021, but there has been no written correspondence on it.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has received correspondence from the Advertising Standards Authority in respect of the activities of BetIndex Limited.

The first piece of correspondence from the Gambling Commission alerting DCMS to the BetIndex Limited case was an email to officials on the 10th of March 2021.

Since then ministers and officials have had a number of meetings with the Gambling Commission on the case, the independent review, and lessons learnt. Records of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and are available on gov.uk.

Officials at the Advertising Standards Authority and DCMS have discussed the Betindex case periodically since the company’s collapse in March 2021, but there has been no written correspondence on it.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many meetings she has attended on the review of the regulation of BetIndex Limited.

The first piece of correspondence from the Gambling Commission alerting DCMS to the BetIndex Limited case was an email to officials on the 10th of March 2021.

Since then ministers and officials have had a number of meetings with the Gambling Commission on the case, the independent review, and lessons learnt. Records of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and are available on gov.uk.

Officials at the Advertising Standards Authority and DCMS have discussed the Betindex case periodically since the company’s collapse in March 2021, but there has been no written correspondence on it.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when her Department first received correspondence from the Gambling Commission on its investigation into Football Index.

The first piece of correspondence from the Gambling Commission alerting DCMS to the BetIndex Limited case was an email to officials on the 10th of March 2021.

Since then ministers and officials have had a number of meetings with the Gambling Commission on the case, the independent review, and lessons learnt. Records of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and are available on gov.uk.

Officials at the Advertising Standards Authority and DCMS have discussed the Betindex case periodically since the company’s collapse in March 2021, but there has been no written correspondence on it.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that those responsible for the collapse of Football Index are held to account.

The Gambling Commission has revoked the licence of Football Index’s operator, BetIndex. It has also referred it to the Insolvency Service to consider whether directors breached fraud or insolvency laws.

The Insolvency Service investigates allegations of Directors misconduct and they can conduct criminal investigations against those suspected of committing criminal offences.

Senior members of the company have also surrendered their Personal Management Licences.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Education and (b) officials in the Department of Education on tackling online abuse of teachers.

The recent increase in online abuse towards school staff is unacceptable. Under the draft Online Safety Bill, companies in scope will need to minimise and remove illegal content including criminal online abuse.

Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content for adults. These companies will have to set out clearly what legal content is acceptable on their platforms and enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently.

If platforms fail in their duties under the Bill, they will face tough enforcement action including fines of up to 10% of global annual qualifying turnover.

Ministers have regular meetings and discussions with their ministerial colleagues on a range of issues, including online abuse. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the GOV.UK website.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department has taken to tackle online abuse of school staff.

The recent increase in online abuse towards school staff is unacceptable. Under the draft Online Safety Bill, companies in scope will need to minimise and remove illegal content including criminal online abuse.

Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content for adults. These companies will have to set out clearly what legal content is acceptable on their platforms and enforce their terms and conditions consistently and transparently.

If platforms fail in their duties under the Bill, they will face tough enforcement action including fines of up to 10% of global annual qualifying turnover.

Ministers have regular meetings and discussions with their ministerial colleagues on a range of issues, including online abuse. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the GOV.UK website.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support tennis clubs during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. An income scheme announced in July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. On 22 October, the Government announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. In addition, Sport England have provided over £220million as a package of support to help the sport and physical activity sector through this crisis. Part of this figure is the Community Emergency Fund of £35 million specifically to help community clubs and local physical activity organisations through the pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) tennis, (b) golf and (c) other outdoor single sports can resume safely after the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised.

However, as the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions will end on Wednesday 2 December and gyms and the wider leisure sector including golf courses and tennis clubs can reopen across all tiers.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's proposals for older passenger boats on the National Historic Ships Register that are unable to comply with new requirements set out in the review of standards for older passenger ships.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has not met with the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss this matter. However, National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK), an independent advisory body reporting to DCMS, responded to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's 2019 consultations on behalf of the sector, and discussed the potential impacts of the new requirements on vessels on the National Historic Ships Register, which it maintains. NHS-UK praised the Marine and Coastguard Agency’s inclusive approach.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to extend the free period product scheme for schools into 2022.

The government fully funds access to free period products in schools and colleges across England for students that need them. This scheme enables all students to participate fully in education by making period products available as and when they are needed.

The Period Product scheme launched in January 2020, and it was continued into 2021. The Department for Education will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to help increase the up-take of the free period product scheme for schools.

The Department for Education’s period product scheme launched in January 2020 and, by the end of 2020, 76% of secondary schools and 79% of post-16 organisations had ordered at least once. These organisations have older students and therefore are more likely to have a higher proportion of students in scope, compared to primary schools.

Further statistics regarding the first year of the scheme’s operation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/979265/Period_Products_Scheme_January_2021_v2__.pdf. Take up of the scheme is monitored regularly by the department and our supplier, phs, and we will consider opportunities to publish further management information in the future.

All schools and colleges were provided with information on how to place orders for the scheme when it launched in 2020, and again in January 2021. We continue to work with our delivery partner phs to encourage engagement with the scheme. For example, in March 2021 the department ran a new social media communications campaign to raise the profile of the scheme amongst pupils, parents and schools. No one should be held back from accessing education due to their period, and we are considering what further work we can do, including with local authorities, to ensure that all organisations across England are aware of the scheme.

Organisations do not have to use this scheme to acquire period products if they prefer to use an alternative route to make them available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to communicate with schools regarding the free period product scheme.

The Department for Education’s period product scheme launched in January 2020 and, by the end of 2020, 76% of secondary schools and 79% of post-16 organisations had ordered at least once. These organisations have older students and therefore are more likely to have a higher proportion of students in scope, compared to primary schools.

Further statistics regarding the first year of the scheme’s operation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/979265/Period_Products_Scheme_January_2021_v2__.pdf. Take up of the scheme is monitored regularly by the department and our supplier, phs, and we will consider opportunities to publish further management information in the future.

All schools and colleges were provided with information on how to place orders for the scheme when it launched in 2020, and again in January 2021. We continue to work with our delivery partner phs to encourage engagement with the scheme. For example, in March 2021 the department ran a new social media communications campaign to raise the profile of the scheme amongst pupils, parents and schools. No one should be held back from accessing education due to their period, and we are considering what further work we can do, including with local authorities, to ensure that all organisations across England are aware of the scheme.

Organisations do not have to use this scheme to acquire period products if they prefer to use an alternative route to make them available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many times his Department has communicated with schools regarding the free period product scheme for schools in England.

The Department for Education’s period product scheme launched in January 2020 and, by the end of 2020, 76% of secondary schools and 79% of post-16 organisations had ordered at least once. These organisations have older students and therefore are more likely to have a higher proportion of students in scope, compared to primary schools.

Further statistics regarding the first year of the scheme’s operation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/979265/Period_Products_Scheme_January_2021_v2__.pdf. Take up of the scheme is monitored regularly by the department and our supplier, phs, and we will consider opportunities to publish further management information in the future.

All schools and colleges were provided with information on how to place orders for the scheme when it launched in 2020, and again in January 2021. We continue to work with our delivery partner phs to encourage engagement with the scheme. For example, in March 2021 the department ran a new social media communications campaign to raise the profile of the scheme amongst pupils, parents and schools. No one should be held back from accessing education due to their period, and we are considering what further work we can do, including with local authorities, to ensure that all organisations across England are aware of the scheme.

Organisations do not have to use this scheme to acquire period products if they prefer to use an alternative route to make them available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) secondary schools, (b) primary schools and (c) post 16 colleges and further education institutions have ordered free period products through his Department's scheme to date in 2021.

The Department for Education’s period product scheme launched in January 2020 and, by the end of 2020, 76% of secondary schools and 79% of post-16 organisations had ordered at least once. These organisations have older students and therefore are more likely to have a higher proportion of students in scope, compared to primary schools.

Further statistics regarding the first year of the scheme’s operation can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/979265/Period_Products_Scheme_January_2021_v2__.pdf. Take up of the scheme is monitored regularly by the department and our supplier, phs, and we will consider opportunities to publish further management information in the future.

All schools and colleges were provided with information on how to place orders for the scheme when it launched in 2020, and again in January 2021. We continue to work with our delivery partner phs to encourage engagement with the scheme. For example, in March 2021 the department ran a new social media communications campaign to raise the profile of the scheme amongst pupils, parents and schools. No one should be held back from accessing education due to their period, and we are considering what further work we can do, including with local authorities, to ensure that all organisations across England are aware of the scheme.

Organisations do not have to use this scheme to acquire period products if they prefer to use an alternative route to make them available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) students, (b) schools and (c) universities with the application process to study higher education courses from autumn 2021.

The government is working closely with partners across the education sector, including universities and schools, to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the disruption it has caused to young people’s education, including for those who will be applying to university for the 2021 admissions cycle.

For students applying to enter university in 2021, the UCAS deadline for most courses was pushed back to 29 January 2021. We recognise that this is a difficult time for young people, and it is vital that students applying to university in 2021 had this extra time to carefully consider their applications and make the best choices for their future. 415,470 people in England applied to full-time undergraduate courses by this deadline, up 11% from the equivalent January deadline for 2020.

We encourage universities to be flexible when making offers to individual students and we continue to work closely with the sector to ensure that students are not further disadvantaged by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will continue to make every effort to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s education, so that they are well placed to progress to the next stage of their lives, wherever they live and whatever choices they make.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish further information on the criteria for (a) GCSE and (b) A-level assessments in England in summer 2021.

Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department announced in January 2021 that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. To make sure our approach was developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from students, parents, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed in his statement on 25 February that students will receive grades determined by their teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Full details on alternative arrangements to exams can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/teacher-assessed-grades-for-students.

15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend free school meal vouchers in England to include the October 2020 half term.

The free school meal (FSM) provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to help them learn, concentrate and achieve, while they are at school, for more than a century. This provision is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as normal. Provision for FSM is ordinarily term time only and there is no requirement for schools to continue this provision during school holidays. Therefore the National Voucher scheme has closed.

School leaders have worked incredibly hard during the COVID-19 outbreak and it is not reasonable to also ask them to provide food when they are closed for the holidays. However, we recognise the current challenges, and that is why we have significantly strengthened the welfare safety net. The government has injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 (£20 a week) for this financial year, and putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets through increases to the Local Housing Allowance. These are in addition to income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

These welfare measures sit alongside our extensive support package, including income protection schemes which have so far protected 12 million jobs and people, at a cost of almost £53 billion. Further to this, we provided an extra £63 million for local authorities to provide discretionary financial help to those in need.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to extend the free school meal voucher program into 2021.

The free school meal (FSM) provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to help them learn, concentrate and achieve, while they are at school, for more than a century. This provision is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as normal. Provision for FSM is ordinarily term time only and there is no requirement for schools to continue this provision during school holidays. Therefore the National Voucher scheme has closed.

School leaders have worked incredibly hard during the COVID-19 outbreak and it is not reasonable to also ask them to provide food when they are closed for the holidays. However, we recognise the current challenges, and that is why we have significantly strengthened the welfare safety net. The government has injected more than £9 billion into the welfare system, including an increase to Universal Credit of up to £1,040 (£20 a week) for this financial year, and putting an average of £600 into people’s pockets through increases to the Local Housing Allowance. These are in addition to income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

These welfare measures sit alongside our extensive support package, including income protection schemes which have so far protected 12 million jobs and people, at a cost of almost £53 billion. Further to this, we provided an extra £63 million for local authorities to provide discretionary financial help to those in need.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make the free period product scheme compulsory for secondary schools in England.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in the event of an eligible institution not using all of its allocated funding under the period product scheme, whether the remaining funds will roll over for use in 2021.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding has been made available under the free period products scheme for schools in 2020 to date.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the amount his Department will spend under the free period products scheme by the end of 2020.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding will be made available for the free period products scheme in 2021.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

This scheme is in place to ensure that no learner misses out on education due to their period, and we continue to work with our delivery partner, phs, to encourage engagement with the scheme. Schools and colleges should have period products available should learners need them, and they may choose to order products through this scheme or through an alternative route.

Each eligible organisation has been allocated a budget for the scheme in 2020 based on 35% of the number of learners whose legal gender is female and who, based on age, are likely to have started their period. 35% is an assumed take-up rate, reflecting the fact that not all learners will have a need for products all of the time. This mirrors the assumed take-up rate used in the scheme to provide learners in Scotland with access to free period products. The total amount spent through the scheme will depend on the value of period products ordered by schools and colleges.

We are continuing to monitor the scheme closely and we will make information available about any extensions or changes to the scheme in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many eligible institutions have (a) registered for and (b) ordered free period products under his Department's free period product scheme since that scheme was launched in January 2020.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England. This is an important step to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to learning and that no-one is held back from reaching their potential.

The scheme remained in operation during partial school closures, and schools and colleges were still able to order a range of period products through the online portal and distribute them to students.

All eligible schools and colleges were automatically registered for the scheme and were sent a welcome email in January. There have since been further email campaigns to all eligible schools and colleges, encouraging them to engage with the scheme.

Our delivery partner, phs Group, reported that since the scheme launched, almost 40% of eligible organisations have placed orders for period products.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
What discussions he has had with Ofqual on the arrangements for awarding GCSE, AS and A level grades for the 2019-20 academic year.

I meet the Ofqual Chief Regulator regularly as do our officials. Given the current unprecedented circumstances, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has also issued a direction to Ofqual to help shape its work in developing calculated grades for students in place of exam results, ensuring outcomes are as fair as possible.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the decision to remove veterinary workers from the critical workers list on the provision of animal welfare services.

Although veterinary workers providing emergency care in England in non-food chain related roles were removed from the critical workers list when the latest lockdown was announced this January, vets providing services in the food chain are still included as critical workers and have been able to send their children to school. This includes veterinary surgeons working in abattoirs and meat processing plants, at border control posts, and attending to livestock production. Schools in England are scheduled to reopen for all pupils from 8 March 2021. We are not aware of major animal welfare issues arising in relation to the provision of veterinary services during the lockdown.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department is providing to veterinary (a) workers and (b) businesses following the removal of veterinary workers from the list of critical workers during the third covid-19 lockdown.

Veterinary practices have been able to remain open and continue operating during the Covid-19 outbreak and are able to provide a range of services as those practices see fit. The Government has been working with the veterinary profession to develop guidance and protocols so that veterinary practice staff and customers alike can remain safe.

Veterinary surgeons working in food supply are classed as critical workers in England for the purposes of securing childcare in schools. This includes veterinary surgeons working in abattoirs and meat processing plants, at border control posts, and attending to livestock production.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the statutory regulator of the profession, under their code of professional conduct requires all veterinary surgeons to have provisions in place to allow customers to access 24-hour care. Even if a veterinary practice does not provide 24-hour care itself it must ensure a customer can be directed to a local practice that does provide such a service.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that veterinary workers can continue to provide 24 hour emergency services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Veterinary practices have been able to remain open and continue operating during the Covid-19 outbreak and are able to provide a range of services as those practices see fit. The Government has been working with the veterinary profession to develop guidance and protocols so that veterinary practice staff and customers alike can remain safe.

Veterinary surgeons working in food supply are classed as critical workers in England for the purposes of securing childcare in schools. This includes veterinary surgeons working in abattoirs and meat processing plants, at border control posts, and attending to livestock production.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the statutory regulator of the profession, under their code of professional conduct requires all veterinary surgeons to have provisions in place to allow customers to access 24-hour care. Even if a veterinary practice does not provide 24-hour care itself it must ensure a customer can be directed to a local practice that does provide such a service.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department taking to support veterinary workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Veterinary practices have been able to remain open and continue operating during the Covid-19 outbreak and are able to provide a range of services as those practices see fit. The Government has been working with the veterinary profession to develop guidance and protocols so that veterinary practice staff and customers alike can remain safe.

Veterinary surgeons working in food supply are classed as critical workers in England for the purposes of securing childcare in schools. This includes veterinary surgeons working in abattoirs and meat processing plants, at border control posts, and attending to livestock production.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the statutory regulator of the profession, under their code of professional conduct requires all veterinary surgeons to have provisions in place to allow customers to access 24-hour care. Even if a veterinary practice does not provide 24-hour care itself it must ensure a customer can be directed to a local practice that does provide such a service.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of ultra fine particles from aircraft on levels of air pollution in London.

The Air Quality Expert Group were commissioned to review the latest evidence on ultrafine particles (UFPs) and the report was published in 2018. Recommendations made in that report will continue to inform our evidence development and monitoring strategy.

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1807261113_180703_UFP_Report_FINAL_for_publication.pdf

The Government’s draft aviation strategy recognises the need to improve understanding of aviation’s impact on local air quality, including the contribution of UFPs. In addition, the Government continues to work to improve international standards on emissions from aircraft whilst engaging with airports and local authorities on measures to improve local air quality.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 8 December 2021, HCWS449 on Trade Policy Update, whether she received representations from representatives of human rights organisations on the potential effect impact of that statement on the quantity of export licenses granted .

We did not receive representations from human rights organisations; however, officials are meeting with representatives of non-governmental organisations to discuss the revised Criteria on 18 January.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 8 December 2021, HCWS449 on Trade Policy Update, what assessment her Department made of the potential effect of those changes on levels of arms exports to (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) United Arab Emirates.

We do not expect the revised Strategic Export Licensing Criteria to have a significant impact on the level of arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Risks in relation to human rights and international humanitarian law remain key parts of our assessment.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 8 December 2021, HCWS449, on Trade Policy Update, whether she received representations from the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the impact of those changes on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

My Rt. Hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and the Secretary of State for Defence, were fully involved in the preparation of the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. The revised Criteria were agreed by all three Secretaries of State.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Written Statement of 8 December 2021, HCWS449 on Trade Policy Update, whether her Department has undertaken an impact assessment on the recent changes announced to UK arms export control.

On the revised Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, no impact assessment was carried out as we do not expect the changes to have a significant impact on the level of arms exports.

An impact assessment was carried out on the proposed changes to the Military End-Use Control. The assessment concluded the changes would have a minimal impact on legitimate trade while allowing the Government to prevent exports of otherwise non-controlled items that pose threats to national security, international peace and security, and human rights in embargoed destinations.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many responses the Government received to its consultation entitled Future of transport regulatory review: modernising vehicle standards.

The Government received 7,891 responses to its consultation entitled Future of transport regulatory review: modernising vehicle standards.

The Government will consider all responses received and publish a consultation response summarising the responses and setting out the next steps.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) equity and (b) effect on driver safety of drivers being fined for sleeping in car parks at motorway services.

The Department has made no recent assessment of this specific practice. The primary function of motorway services areas (MSAs) is to provide drivers with a safe area to take a short break from driving. In England, MSAs are operated by private companies who work within the requirements of Government policy as set out in Department for Transport (DfT) Circular 02/2013 "The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development". This requires MSA operators to provide 24/7 free short-term parking for up to two hours for all types of vehicle allowing people to take a break, use the facilities and/or eat a meal as required. After this period, operators are permitted to charge for parking as this helps to ensure a turnover of spaces.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve roadside facilities for HGV drivers.

The Government recognises the need to ensure hauliers have access to appropriate services and facilities.

This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced we will be investing £32.5 million in roadside facilities for HGV drivers on the road.

The Department will continue to engage with key stakeholders to encourage the development of more safe, secure, and high-quality lorry parking to improve driver welfare.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of women working in the HGV industry.

Industry estimates suggest that women make up around 14% of the total logistics industry workforce. The Office for National Statistics Annual Population Survey suggests that around 4,000 HGV drivers are women but that the sample is too small for a reliable estimate of a percentage of the total workforce.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the number of women in the workforce within the HGV industry.

The Government is aware of the demographic imbalances in the HGV driver workforce including the lack of women drivers, under 25s and drivers from ethnic minorities. Addressing these issues and creating a workforce that will better reflect society will be key to permanently solving the driver shortage.

This will be for the industry to lead but the Government will continue to support where it can, such as through the investment of £32.5 million in roadside facilities for HGV drivers, announced in the Spending Review. In addition, the Department will continue to engage with key stakeholders regarding improving the accessibility of facilities for women drivers and increasing the provision of overnight lorry parking.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the enforcement of noise pollution limits from vehicles.

On 2nd August, the Department published the results of research into enforcement against excessive noise pollution from vehicles using acoustic cameras. This research has shown that the technology has the potential to identify excessively noisy vehicles, but that there are still difficulties in accurately measuring noise from individual vehicles in busier traffic conditions. Further research is being commissioned to address these challenges, which will include further roadside trials of selected technology.

The Department has not held formal discussions with police forces on the enforcement of vehicle noise, but commissioned research in 2018 to better understand existing enforcement strategies and identify ways of enabling more effective approaches using alternative technologies. This research included a survey of police forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police. A report of this research was published on 8th June 2019.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with officials from the Metropolitan Police on the enforcement of noise pollution from vehicles.

On 2nd August, the Department published the results of research into enforcement against excessive noise pollution from vehicles using acoustic cameras. This research has shown that the technology has the potential to identify excessively noisy vehicles, but that there are still difficulties in accurately measuring noise from individual vehicles in busier traffic conditions. Further research is being commissioned to address these challenges, which will include further roadside trials of selected technology.

The Department has not held formal discussions with police forces on the enforcement of vehicle noise, but commissioned research in 2018 to better understand existing enforcement strategies and identify ways of enabling more effective approaches using alternative technologies. This research included a survey of police forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police. A report of this research was published on 8th June 2019.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the (a) reliability and (b) accuracy of acoustic cameras in enforcing road traffic noise limits.

On 2nd August, the Department published the results of research into enforcement against excessive noise pollution from vehicles using acoustic cameras. This research has shown that the technology has the potential to identify excessively noisy vehicles, but that there are still difficulties in accurately measuring noise from individual vehicles in busier traffic conditions. Further research is being commissioned to address these challenges, which will include further roadside trials of selected technology.

The Department has not held formal discussions with police forces on the enforcement of vehicle noise, but commissioned research in 2018 to better understand existing enforcement strategies and identify ways of enabling more effective approaches using alternative technologies. This research included a survey of police forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police. A report of this research was published on 8th June 2019.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 105392 on Motorcycles: Noise, what further research the Government has undertaken on the effectiveness of acoustic cameras on reducing levels of noise pollution.

On 2nd August, the Department published the results of research into enforcement against excessive noise pollution from vehicles using acoustic cameras. This research has shown that the technology has the potential to identify excessively noisy vehicles, but that there are still difficulties in accurately measuring noise from individual vehicles in busier traffic conditions. Further research is being commissioned to address these challenges, which will include further roadside trials of selected technology.

The Department has not held formal discussions with police forces on the enforcement of vehicle noise, but commissioned research in 2018 to better understand existing enforcement strategies and identify ways of enabling more effective approaches using alternative technologies. This research included a survey of police forces in England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police. A report of this research was published on 8th June 2019.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2021
What steps his Department is taking to help (a) decarbonise transport and (b) encourage active travel.

The Government is investing a record £2 billion to increase levels of active travel, a key part of the world-leading Transport Decarbonisation Plan we published this Summer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to strengthen the environmental remit of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) already has a number of environmental responsibilities, including certifying aircraft for noise and emissions standards and the obligation to take fully into account the Government’s objectives on noise, emissions and air quality when exercising its air navigation functions. It also has legal powers to provide information about the environmental impact of aviation where it would help passengers make more informed decisions. We do not currently plan to extend its legal duties on the environment, as these are deemed sufficient.

We have recently asked it to take on some of the noise advisory functions of the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise from April 2022. The CAA also plans to establish a new Environment Panel to provide it with independent expert advice on a range of environmental issues including carbon, air quality and noise.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will amend Section 70 of the Transport 2000 Act to ensure the Civil Aviation Authority can take action to reduce the impact of aircraft noise.

Section 70 (2)(d) of the Transport Act 2000 requires the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to take account of any guidance on environmental objectives given to it by the Secretary of State. These environmental objectives, including with respect to aircraft noise, are set out in the revised Air Navigation Guidance presented to the CAA in October 2017 and which followed an extensive public consultation. This Guidance is kept under review by the Department.

The Air Navigation Guidance requires airspace change sponsors to undertake noise impact assessments in accordance with the Department’s Transport Analysis Guidance tool. These requirements are reflected in the CAA’s CAP1616 airspace change process and the CAA takes account of them when assessing an airspace change proposal.

An independent review of the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) conducted earlier this year, recommended improved consultation with Government to align work with policy needs and give greater clarity on priorities. ICCAN will be wound down later in September, followed by a transitional phase during which the Department for Transport will work with the CAA, which will take on the majority of ICCAN’s former functions no later than April 2022. The CAA has world-renowned expertise in noise and is well placed to advise the Government on aviation noise management.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to make aircraft noise a statutory nuisance.

The government is supportive of the need to protect communities from the adverse effects of aircraft noise. However, noise from general transport, including aircraft, is not included as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as we believe it is not practical for local authorities to enforce these rules. Aviation noise is better managed through specific government policies tailored to individual noise sources, and we believe there are sufficient mechanisms in place to protect communities from the effects of aircraft noise.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will review the statutory duties of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The functions of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) evolve over time as Parliament sees fit to confer new functions on it. Recent examples have been the regulation of both remotely piloted aerial vehicles and space flight from the UK, and certain aspects of enforcing health protection operator liability regulations. Due to the significant impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on both our aviation industry and the CAA, we do not consider it appropriate at this time to review the statutory duties of the CAA overall. However, we will consider changes to the CAA’s powers and duties where necessary.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with officials of the Department for Health and Social Care on decreasing the costs of covid-19 PCR tests for people entering the UK.

Officials at the Department for Transport continue to work closely with colleagues at the Department of Health and Social Care to discuss how we can further reduce testing costs, while ensuring international travel is as safe as possible.

The price of tests has reduced significantly over recent weeks, bringing the UK in line with other countries, and several providers are offering Day 2 tests for green arrivals for under £50. The government is working with the travel industry and private testing providers to further reduce the cost of Covid-19 tests.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to run a national communications campaign to promote the effect of active travel on (a) public health, (b) mental health and (c) support for local high streets.

The Government supports various campaigns to encourage people to walk and cycle, all of which help to promote and unlock the benefits of active travel. They include the Big Bike Revival programme delivered by Cycling UK, the Walk to School Outreach programme delivered by Living Streets, and local programmes delivered by local authorities through the Department’s £20 million per annum Access Fund. There are no plans for a national communications campaign, but Government will continue to work with stakeholders to consider the best ways of promoting the benefits of active travel.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 116618, what his current estimate is of the timescale for bringing into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 so that local authorities outside London can enforce school streets schemes and other moving traffic offences.

Work is underway on drafting the regulations needed to bring the Part 6 powers into force. It is not possible at this stage to say exactly when in 2021 the powers will be available to local authorities, but as set out in the previous answer, we expect it will take several months to complete the process.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to the (a) Port of London Authority and (b) London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to allow for the safe passage of river traffic under Hammersmith Bridge.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, as the bridge owner, took the decision to close Hammersmith Bridge to river traffic in August 2020, as advised within the Case for Continued Safe Operation. Public safety is the top priority and the Governments wants to see the bridge reopened to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.

As you may be aware the Government has established a Taskforce – led by Baroness Vere – to bring together both local Councils, Transport for London and the Port of London Authority to assess and determine next steps.

The Department for Transport and the Port of London Authority continue to hold constructive discussions with Hammersmith and Fulham on the possibility of revisiting the Case for Continued Safe Operation to allow controlled and limited river traffic; any changes will be dependent on expert engineers determining that any risks are adequately controlled.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to allow for the safe passage of river traffic under Hammersmith Bridge.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, as the bridge owner, took the decision to close Hammersmith Bridge to river traffic in August 2020, as advised within the Case for Continued Safe Operation. Public safety is the top priority and the Governments wants to see the bridge reopened to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.

As you may be aware the Government has established a Taskforce – led by Baroness Vere – to bring together both local Councils, Transport for London and the Port of London Authority to assess and determine next steps.

The Department for Transport and the Port of London Authority continue to hold constructive discussions with Hammersmith and Fulham on the possibility of revisiting the Case for Continued Safe Operation to allow controlled and limited river traffic; any changes will be dependent on expert engineers determining that any risks are adequately controlled.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to bring forward legislative proposals on tackling unlawful levels of noise from motorbikes.

The Government takes the impact of traffic noise on health, wellbeing and the natural environment seriously. Vehicles are required to meet strict noise limits before being placed on the market and police already have powers to act if they suspect an exhaust has been altered to increase noise.

The Department is continuing to research whether noise enforcement can be made more effective using acoustic camera technology. A review of the current vehicle noise legislation may need to be considered if acoustic camera systems prove to be a reliable and efficient enforcement method.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings, including those held virtually, he has had with British Airways since April 2020; and on what dates those meetings occurred.

The Department for Transport has been in regular contact with airlines, airports, ground handlers and unions to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the companies and their workers. It would be inappropriate to comment on discussions held with individual companies.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations his Department has received from (a) British Airways and (b) International Airlines Group on the Governments support for the aviation sector.

The Department for Transport has been in regular contact with airlines, airports, ground handlers and unions to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the companies and their workers. It would be inappropriate to comment on discussions held with individual companies.

The aviation sector is essential to the UK economy, and companies can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures, including: schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees. If airlines find themselves in trouble because of coronavirus, and have exhausted the measures already available to them, the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted all other options.??Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Government's financial support for the aviation sector.

The Department for Transport is in regular contact with HM Treasury regarding the challenges facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19. The sector is crucial to the UK’s economy and businesses across the industry are able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time.

This includes a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which facilitates access to finance for businesses affected by the outbreak. HMRC is also ready to help all businesses and self-employed individuals, experiencing temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus.?You can access their “Time to Pay” arrangements, which eases restrictions with tax bills and VAT deferrals.

The Government is also ensuring financial support for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme covering 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, alongside the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the competitiveness of passenger airlines within the aviation sector.

The government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19 and the unprecedented impact it has had on global travel, with flight numbers down significantly year on year throughout the crisis. The government is monitoring the impact of the pandemic on the UK aviation sector, including passenger airlines operating in the UK, and will continue to keep the impact on competition in the sector under review.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to include provisions on step free access in the upcoming white paper on the railway network; and on what date (a) that white paper and (b) the Williams Rail Review are planned to be published.

The Government wants to ensure step free access for as many passengers as possible. It remains committed to transforming our railways and building on Keith Williams’ evidence-based priorities, including to deliver improved accessibility. We want to create a railway that puts passengers first, delivers better value for money and supports the nation’s recovery from Covid-19.

Covid-19 struck when the Williams Rail Review was in its final stages. We believe the priorities that Keith set out remain the right ones and we are working with him now to consider how best to deliver reform in light of these unique challenges.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of step-free access at national rail stations in England.

The Department regularly reviews the level of accessibility including data from Rail Delivery Group and passenger demand. We also require the industry to meet current accessibility standards whenever they install, replace or renew station infrastructure and to provide free alternative transport for anyone unable to use a particular station. By the end of 2024 more than 100 additional stations will also receive accessible routes under our Access for All programme.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Network Rail on improving step-free access at railway stations.

The Department for Transport regularly engages with Network Rail on improving accessibility at stations. This includes frequent formal and ad hoc meetings as part of the governance of the Access for All programme and advising Network Rail on their legal obligation to meet accessibility standards whenever they install, replace or renew station infrastructure.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for the DVLA.

The DVLA's vehicle excise duty collection and enforcement activities are funded by the Department for Transport. The DVLA is required to cover all other operating costs through statutory fees and wider commercial (non-statutory) charges.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to increase the number of driving license renewal applications that are processed in a timely manner.

The quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence is to do so online. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services continued to work as normal throughout the pandemic and there are no delays for applications made in this way.

While the DVLA has remained open throughout the pandemic, the 6,000 staff are based predominantly in one building in Swansea. This means the DVLA has had a greatly reduced number of staff on-site at any one time due to social distancing requirements in Wales and this has led to delays in dealing with paper applications as these have to be dealt with in person on site. The DVLA has implemented measures to increase the number of staff on-site so paper applications can be processed as quickly as possible, including reconfiguring its office space to safely accommodate more operational staff.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the value to the economy of investment in the maintenance and renewal of transport infrastructure.

A well maintained transport system helps goods and people move around the country and contributes to economic performance. Whilst impacts vary from case to case, well planned maintenance and renewals work has been demonstrated to deliver very high value for money and amongst the highest returns for investment in transport. Data on the value for money of investments is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/percentage-of-dft-s-appraised-project-spending-that-is-assessed-as-good-or-very-good-value-for-money

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to include quality of life metrics in his Department's Web-based Transport Analysis Guidance (WebTAG).

The Department’s Transport Analysis Guidance (TAG) provides guidance on the transport appraisal process that allows decision-makers to be presented with a comprehensive account of all relevant impacts of a proposed transport investment. A range of impacts relating to quality of life are typically considered in scheme appraisals including congestion/crowding relief, journey quality, housing availability, air quality, noise, landscape, safety, security, physical activity, accessibility, and affordability.

As set out in last year’s Appraisal and Modelling Strategy, the Department is also progressing work in several areas that collectively serve to highlight the relationship between transport investment and quality of life, including the potential role of wellbeing analysis in transport appraisal.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what weighting is given to the (a) environmental and (b) social impacts of transport investment in his Department's Web-based Transport Analysis Guidance (WebTAG).

The Department’s Transport Analysis Guidance (TAG) provides guidance on the transport appraisal which provides a comprehensive account of all relevant impacts of a proposed transport investment. There is no prior weighting applied to any specific impact or group of impacts, with their importance determined by their scale and evidence on how society values these impacts. Environmental impacts considered include noise, air quality, greenhouse gases, landscape, townscape, historic environment, biodiversity, and water environment. Social impacts considered include accidents, physical activity, security, severance, journey quality, option and non-use value, accessibility, and personal affordability.

TAG also recommends the use of distributional analysis – the impacts of a proposal on more vulnerable groups of society. Where these distributional impacts are relevant to the scheme, a qualitative assessment of the extent and the vulnerable groups affected should be reported.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of Heathrow Airport on the use of mixed mode operations on the northern runway.

London Heathrow Airport sought the views of the department on its proposal to move temporarily all of its operations to the northern runway before this took place on 13 July 2020. In view of the current air traffic demand and its reduced environmental impacts, and the long-term benefits to the airport from repairing its southern runway, the government endorsed the airport’s decision to operate solely for a limited period from the northern runway.

The Government expects London Heathrow Airport to assess the potential operational, safety and environmental consequences of any change to its operations before implementation. The specific format of any such assessment, and the level of detail to be included within it, are the responsibility of London Heathrow Airport and will need to be undertaken in compliance with its legal and regulatory obligations.

The government’s longstanding policy is that mixed mode operations at London Heathrow Airport on its two runways should not be undertaken other than in agreed circumstances such as when the airport operates in Tactically Enhanced Arrivals Mode (TEAM). Any proposal by London Heathrow Airport to operate both runways on a permanent mixed mode basis would need the government’s consent as well as satisfying all legal requirements.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the Government's policy is on the use of mixed mode operations at Heathrow Airport.

London Heathrow Airport sought the views of the department on its proposal to move temporarily all of its operations to the northern runway before this took place on 13 July 2020. In view of the current air traffic demand and its reduced environmental impacts, and the long-term benefits to the airport from repairing its southern runway, the government endorsed the airport’s decision to operate solely for a limited period from the northern runway.

The Government expects London Heathrow Airport to assess the potential operational, safety and environmental consequences of any change to its operations before implementation. The specific format of any such assessment, and the level of detail to be included within it, are the responsibility of London Heathrow Airport and will need to be undertaken in compliance with its legal and regulatory obligations.

The government’s longstanding policy is that mixed mode operations at London Heathrow Airport on its two runways should not be undertaken other than in agreed circumstances such as when the airport operates in Tactically Enhanced Arrivals Mode (TEAM). Any proposal by London Heathrow Airport to operate both runways on a permanent mixed mode basis would need the government’s consent as well as satisfying all legal requirements.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what impact assessment Heathrow Airport is required to undertake when changing its runway operations.

London Heathrow Airport sought the views of the department on its proposal to move temporarily all of its operations to the northern runway before this took place on 13 July 2020. In view of the current air traffic demand and its reduced environmental impacts, and the long-term benefits to the airport from repairing its southern runway, the government endorsed the airport’s decision to operate solely for a limited period from the northern runway.

The Government expects London Heathrow Airport to assess the potential operational, safety and environmental consequences of any change to its operations before implementation. The specific format of any such assessment, and the level of detail to be included within it, are the responsibility of London Heathrow Airport and will need to be undertaken in compliance with its legal and regulatory obligations.

The government’s longstanding policy is that mixed mode operations at London Heathrow Airport on its two runways should not be undertaken other than in agreed circumstances such as when the airport operates in Tactically Enhanced Arrivals Mode (TEAM). Any proposal by London Heathrow Airport to operate both runways on a permanent mixed mode basis would need the government’s consent as well as satisfying all legal requirements.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the economic value of flights arriving at Heathrow before 6 am.

The Government’s recognises that night flights have material value to the economy, and that the aviation industry connects people and UK businesses with the world. In particular, we recognised the importance of early morning arrivals from long-haul routes such as the Far East and America, volume of onward connections supported in this early morning period, and the contribution flights in the shoulder periods make to delivery of essential freight, both dedicated and belly-hold.

The economic value of night flights at Heathrow is considered in the Department's decisions relating to night flight restrictions at the airport. The last impact assessment was published in July 2017 to inform the current night flight restrictions, which run until October 2022.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the adequacy of the 500 miles of Dutch-inspired kerb-protected cycleways designed and paid for by the Ministry of Transport between 1934 and 1941; and whether he plans to upgrade those cycleways to comply with modern standards.

The Department has made no assessment of the adequacy of the protected cycleways designed and built between 1934 and 1941. Local Authorities are responsible for assessing and identifying investment priorities for local transport infrastructure, including for cycling and walking. The Government intends to publish the updated version of the Department’s cycle infrastructure design guidance imminently.

On the 9th May the Government announced a £2 billion package of funding for cycling and walking over the next five years. £225 million will be available to local authorities this financial year. for immediate measures including new cycle lanes, wider pavements and safer junctions. Decisions on the remainder will be for the Spending Review in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his Department's document entitled, Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy: Safety Review, when his Department plans to commence its review of the Highway Code.

The Department has been working with interested groups to conduct a review of The Highway Code focused on improving safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse-riders. We are hoping to consult on the proposed changes shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of his Department's staff work primarily on policy in relation to cycling and walking.

The Government is committed to delivering the aims and ambitions set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which was published in April 2017. This includes ensuring that there are appropriate staff resources in place to deliver the Strategy, as well as the new commitments on active travel that have been announced recently. Around twenty officials in the Department for Transport now work on cycling and walking issues, and this will be kept under review.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when Maritime and Coastguard Agency passenger boat surveyors plan to restart survey assessments and approvals on passenger boats on the Thames.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will resume its statutory obligations to survey and inspect domestic passenger boats in the UK, including those operating on the Thames, on 20 July and will use a risk-based approach.

The details of the plans for resumption of these activities were made available to the maritime industry on 6 July.

The MCA has no plans to (a) reduce or (b) remove the fees for statutory inspections and surveys that their Marine Surveyors perform on passenger boats.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures worth £350 billion to support companies of all sizes through the COVID-19 pandemic. My Department’s officials and I have been working closely with a wide range of operators, including passenger ferry operators, to understand how these measures can be applied and have continued to offer our support to them during this difficult time.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to (a) reduce or (b) remove the fees for statutory inspections and surveys carried out on passenger boats by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will resume its statutory obligations to survey and inspect domestic passenger boats in the UK, including those operating on the Thames, on 20 July and will use a risk-based approach.

The details of the plans for resumption of these activities were made available to the maritime industry on 6 July.

The MCA has no plans to (a) reduce or (b) remove the fees for statutory inspections and surveys that their Marine Surveyors perform on passenger boats.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures worth £350 billion to support companies of all sizes through the COVID-19 pandemic. My Department’s officials and I have been working closely with a wide range of operators, including passenger ferry operators, to understand how these measures can be applied and have continued to offer our support to them during this difficult time.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has made to to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on financial support for the domestic passenger boat industry.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will resume its statutory obligations to survey and inspect domestic passenger boats in the UK, including those operating on the Thames, on 20 July and will use a risk-based approach.

The details of the plans for resumption of these activities were made available to the maritime industry on 6 July.

The MCA has no plans to (a) reduce or (b) remove the fees for statutory inspections and surveys that their Marine Surveyors perform on passenger boats.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures worth £350 billion to support companies of all sizes through the COVID-19 pandemic. My Department’s officials and I have been working closely with a wide range of operators, including passenger ferry operators, to understand how these measures can be applied and have continued to offer our support to them during this difficult time.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 5 March 2018 to Question 130509 on Cycling and Walking: Infrastructure, when he plans to publish an updated version of his Department's guidance, Cycle infrastructure design (LTN 2/08).

On 9 May the Government announced a £2bn package of funding for cycling and walking over the next five years. The Government intends to publish the updated version of the Department’s cycle infrastructure design guidance in the summer, and will make clear its expectation that the guidance must followed for all cycling schemes supported by Government funding.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 7 February 2020 to Question 10391 on Cycling and Walking, when he plans to publish the Cycling Insights part of the research commissioned by his Department to assess what funding is required to meet its targets for increased cycling and walking by 2025.

On the 7th February the Department published the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Active Travel Investment Model structure and evidence base research paper and accompanying appendices. Publication of the cycling and walking insights part of the research has been delayed by other pressures, but the Department intends to publish it shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how the £250 million of funding for rapidly-installed cycling and walking improvements announced by the Government will be distributed to local authorities and on what date local authorities will be able to access that funding.

On the 9th May the Government announced a £2bn package of funding for cycling and walking over the next five years. This includes £250m in the current financial year for quick-win measures to help keep cyclists and pedestrians safe, as well as vouchers for cycle repairs and greater provision for bike fixing facilities.

The funding for cycling and walking infrastructure will be provided directly to local authorities, who are best placed to determine and prioritise where it should be spent. Initial funding allocations will be published shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12401 on Cycling and Walking: Infrastructure, how much (a) ringfenced and (b) non-ringfenced funds were invested in (i) cycling and (ii) walking in each financial year from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

A total of around £1.2 billion was invested in cycling and walking over those three years, with roughly a quarter of this ring-fenced and three quarters non-ring-fenced. Details of this investment, including a year by year breakdown, were published on 7th February alongside the first report to Parliament on progress made towards delivering the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). Most of the investment benefits both cycling and walking, although some initiatives are focused more on one than on the other: further details are provided in the report.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12402 on Cycling and Walking: Infrastructure, how much (a) ringfenced and (b) non-ringfenced funding he plans to allocate for (a) cycling and (b) buses in each of the next five years.

Further details on all of these matters will be provided as part of the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of Heathrow expansion on local road networks.

Our airports are national assets and their expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity. This in turn will drive economic growth for all parts of this country, connecting our nations and regions to international markets, levelling up our economy and supporting a truly Global Britain.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 27 February that when designating the Airports National Policy Statement, which was backed by Parliament, the previous Government did not take account of the Paris Agreement, non-CO2 emissions and emissions post 2050. We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers. The Government has taken the decision not to appeal this judgment. The promoters of the scheme will be able to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal if they wish.

As part of its judgment, the Court has declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish analysis undertaken by his Department on the effect on the M25 of the expansion of Heathrow being constructed over that motorway.

Our airports are national assets and their expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity. This in turn will drive economic growth for all parts of this country, connecting our nations and regions to international markets, levelling up our economy and supporting a truly Global Britain.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 27 February that when designating the Airports National Policy Statement, which was backed by Parliament, the previous Government did not take account of the Paris Agreement, non-CO2 emissions and emissions post 2050. We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers. The Government has taken the decision not to appeal this judgment. The promoters of the scheme will be able to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal if they wish.

As part of its judgment, the Court has declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of a (a) one year, (b) two year and (c) three year delay to construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport on (i) noise, (ii) air pollution and (iii) congestion on local transport networks.

Our airports are national assets and their expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity. This in turn will drive economic growth for all parts of this country, connecting our nations and regions to international markets, levelling up our economy and supporting a truly Global Britain.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 27 February that when designating the Airports National Policy Statement, which was backed by Parliament, the previous Government did not take account of the Paris Agreement, non-CO2 emissions and emissions post 2050. We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers. The Government has taken the decision not to appeal this judgment. The promoters of the scheme will be able to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal if they wish.

As part of its judgment, the Court has declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a phased construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport on new connections to regional airports.

Our airports are national assets and their expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity. This in turn will drive economic growth for all parts of this country, connecting our nations and regions to international markets, levelling up our economy and supporting a truly Global Britain.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 27 February that when designating the Airports National Policy Statement, which was backed by Parliament, the previous Government did not take account of the Paris Agreement, non-CO2 emissions and emissions post 2050. We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers. The Government has taken the decision not to appeal this judgment. The promoters of the scheme will be able to seek permission from the Supreme Court to appeal if they wish.

As part of its judgment, the Court has declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is of no legal effect unless and until the government carries out a review under the Planning Act 2008. The Court’s judgment is complex and requires careful consideration. We will set out our next steps in due course.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 11 April 2020, official report, column 731, what proportion of the £5 billion announced for transport infrastructure will be spent on cycling.

The Government is committed to meeting the aim of doubling cycling by 2025, as set out in the statutory 2017 Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, and to ensuring that sufficient funding is available for this. A significant proportion of the £5 billion will therefore be allocated to cycling and walking, with further details to be announced at the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2020 to Question 4757, whether he plans to publish the full findings of the research commissioned by his Department on the investment needed to deliver Government cycling and walking targets; and what additional investment his Department plans to allocate to meet those targets.

The research has been completed and the Department is planning to publish the technical report, which summarises the key evidence considered, alongside the first report on progress made towards delivering the aims and ambitions set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). The levels of investment for cycling and walking in future years will be matters for the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review, further details of which will be announced in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to assess the effect of the three year delay to Heathrow's third runway on the economic benefits of that scheme.

The Airports National Policy Statement sets out that there is a need to increase airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030 by constructing one new runway and that this need is best met by the Northwest Runway scheme at Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) have confirmed that they intend to submit an application for development consent in 2020 which, if approved by the Secretary of State, following a report from the Planning Inspectorate, would allow for the construction and the opening of a third runway between early 2028 and late 2029.

Given that the delivery of any major infrastructure scheme is subject to uncertainty, prior to the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement, the Department for Transport undertook scenario and sensitivity testing which included an assessment of the impacts of a two-year delay on the delivery of the three schemes shortlisted by the Airports Commission, this was from 2025 in the case of Gatwick Airport and 2026 in the case of the two Heathrow schemes. The case for the Northwest Runway was not materially changed by such a delay. Furthermore, such a delay would serve to similarly reduce the schemes’ disbenefits, partially offsetting the reduction in direct economic benefits.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will amend the Airports National Policy Statement to include any change in the evidence base that supports expansion at Heathrow Airport.

The Airports National Policy Statement was designated, following a vote in the House of Commons, in accordance with the Planning Act 2008 (the Act). The Act recognises that once a national policy statement has been designated, there may be a change in circumstances on the basis of which the policy was decided.

Section 6 of the Act imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to review each national policy statement whenever they think it appropriate to do so. Under the Act, in considering whether or not to review a national policy statement the Secretary of State must consider: 1) whether there has been a ‘significant change’ in any circumstances on the basis of which any of the policy set out in the national policy statement was decided; 2) whether this change was not anticipated; and, 3) whether the policy would have been materially different if that change had been anticipated (“section 6 considerations”). After review, a Secretary of State must either: 1) amend, 2) withdraw, or 3) leave the national policy statement as it is.

Ultimately, the decision on when, if ever, to review is a matter of judgement for the Secretary of State, who will consider any changes in the evidence base as part of the section 6 considerations.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise's report entitled Review of the Survey of Noise Attitudes 2014, published in 2019, if he will make an assessment of the potential effects on levels of aircraft noise of a third runway at Heathrow.

Expansion at Heathrow is conditional on the implementation of a robust set of noise mitigations. These requirements are set out in the Airports National Policy Statement, which was designated following a vote in the House of Commons and include: minimising noise impacts so they are no greater than 2013 levels, a noise envelope, more predictable periods of respite and an expected ban of 6.5 hours on scheduled night flights.

It is now for an applicant for development consent to demonstrate to the Planning Inspectorate, with input from statutory consultees, that it can meet these requirements through a detailed assessment of all environmental impacts of their scheme, including demonstrating that noise mitigation measures will be effective.

The government continues to keep evidence on noise impacts under review through its expert group, the Interdepartmental Group on Costs and Benefits of Noise (IGCB(N)), and will consider carefully any recommendations from this process.

10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the total cost of the (a) road and (b) rail improvements required as a result of the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

The Airports National Policy Statement sets out that it is for an applicant to demonstrate how it will improve surface access and mitigate the impacts of expansion at Heathrow. The expansion of Heathrow Airport will be fully funded and delivered by the private sector.

The proposed western rail link and southern access schemes to Heathrow are separate projects, which are subject to their own business cases. Where there are significant non-airport public user benefits from changes and enhancements to the infrastructure and services, the Government has made clear it would consider making a funding contribution to reflect these.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a heritage river route for River Thames passenger boat operations which connect Westminster with Kew Gardens, Richmond, Kingston and Hampton Court Palace.

Transport in London is devolved and the responsibility of the Mayor and Transport for London. Decisions relating to River Thames operations and transport services are for the Mayor to take. The Department is always keen to see proposals for improved use of the Thames for passengers and freight traffic.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether all stages of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s 2018 consultation on the Review of standards for older passenger ships were conducted in accordance with his Department's guidance on consultation principles; and if he will make a statement.

In accordance with the Cabinet Office guidance on consultation principles, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) conducted two public consultations on the implementation of the review of standards for older passenger ships from 6 November 2018 to 29 January 2019 and 29 May 2019 to 10 July 2019, and received 75 and 52 responses respectively. The consultations were published on gov.uk and notified extensively to stakeholders.

In addition, the MCA engaged widely with stakeholders through the Domestic Passenger Ship Steering Group, and held five workshops with industry on the proposals, three during 2016, another in 2018 and a further one in 2019.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, (a) how many movements and (b) what proportion of barge traffic on the tidal Thames between Richmond and Tower Bridges was connected to the (i) Northern Line extension at Battersea and (ii) Thames Tideway Tunnel in each of the last 12 months; and what the projected changes in those numbers and percentages are after completion of those projects.

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is the navigation authority for the tidal Thames. The Department for Transport therefore does not hold data on vessel movements on the Thames or intermodal connections.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of vessel (a) speed and (b) frequency on the tidal River Thames on public safety; and what plans he has for (i) a new navigation system and (ii) regulation and monitoring of vessel speed on that river.

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is the navigation authority for the tidal Thames. Vessel speed and frequency do not fall under the remit of the Department for Transport therefore no such assessments have been made.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the criteria are for exemptions of passenger boats from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s damage stability requirements for category C waters.

Requests from exemptions against safety standards are considered on a case by case basis. Under proposed legislation for older passenger vessels, no new damage stability requirements are expected to be applied to older domestic passenger vessels which operate exclusively on non-tidal Category C Waters.

On tidal Category C waters, owners will be able to apply for exemptions against any new damage stability requirements if they can produce a risk assessment which demonstrates that their area of operation is one of low operational risk. These will also be considered on a case by case basis.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2021 to Question 29073, on National Insurance, if she will further outline the steps taken to streamline the process for issuing National Insurance numbers to people with Turkish Businesspersons visas.

When applying for a National Insurance number (NINo), Turkish Businessperson Visa holders were previously required to attend a face to face appointment with DWP where they were asked to provide documentary evidence of their self-employment/business.

From 9 June 2021, Turkish Businessperson Visa holders are able to apply on-line for a NINo and are no longer required to attend a face to face appointment with DWP to provide additional evidence of their self-employment. DWP will instead accept the BRP as evidence of their self-employment, meaning they no longer need to prove to DWP they are gainfully self-employed in order to be allocated a NINo.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of issuing a National Insurance number to people who have been granted a Turkish Businessperson visa as soon as they receive that visa.

In respect of immigration applications, Turkish Businesspersons are initially granted 12 months’ visa, during which time they should establish their business and register for tax and national insurance. Self-employed business people are legally required to register for the payment of income tax and national insurance contributions.

As part of Turkish Business person extension applications, applicants are asked to provide documentary evidence to confirm that their business is active and that they are genuinely self-employed. Evidence may include tax returns, national insurance returns, and evidence of public liability insurance.

It is not mandatory for Turkish Businesspersons to provide a National Insurance Number (NINo) as part of their immigration application and the Home Office will ensure they are not penalised for any previous delays in issuing one.

DWP and the Home Office have no plans to issue NINo’s to Turkish Businesspersons when their initial visa is approved.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were made by people who were both homeless and in receipt of severe disability premiums in January 2017.

The Department does not centrally collate this data.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were made by people who were both homeless and in receipt of severe disability premium in 2017.

The Department does not centrally collate this data.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new claims for universal claims were made between 2016 and 2019 by claimants already receiving the severe disability premium before their assessment period came up.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether payments under the Windrush Compensation Scheme count towards the savings limit of universal credit and other means-tested benefits.

Any payment of capital from the Windrush Compensation Scheme or the Windrush Exceptional Payments Scheme will be disregarded indefinitely for the calculation of capital in Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether savings for the tax liability of self-employed people held in personal bank accounts count towards the capital limit for universal credit.

Where a claimant has capital over £16,000 we will contact them to understand their circumstances and determine eligibility. If this money is to be used for business or tax purposes, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for these purposes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department provides to GPs on the cost of providing non-NHS services.

National Health Service-commissioned general practices are required to provide services which are free at the point of use to meet the reasonable needs of patients. If a practice also chooses to provide private paid-for services which are permitted under the terms of their contract, they may decide how much to charge patients. The British Medical Association provides guidance for practices on which services they may charge patients for, including how much practices may wish to charge for completing specified medical certificates not included in the general practitioner contract.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of lateral flow covid-19 tests in the London Borough of Hounslow.

We continue to procure stock to meet ongoing demand, including in Hounslow, through national and local delivery channels. We have significantly increased distribution capacity to meet the demand for tests to be delivered to homes. Lateral flow devices can also be collected from local pharmacies and some community sites. We expect to deliver 90 million tests a week across the United Kingdom. In England, this includes approximately 12 million tests a week through pharmacies and seven million a day through GOV.UK.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who have received a covid-19 vaccination outside of the UK are required to self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone with covid-19.

Since 9 December, those recognised as fully vaccinated under the United Kingdom’s travel policy have also been treated as fully vaccinated for the purposes of self-isolation. They are exempt from self-isolation if they have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. However, anyone aged five years old and over living in the same household as someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate is now strongly advised to take a lateral flow test (LFD) test every day for seven days. If a LFD test is positive, they should self-isolate in order to protect other people. The public health advice for people with symptoms of or a positive test result for COVID-19 remains the same.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who received their covid-19 vaccination outside of the UK are able to receive a third vaccination in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Many of those who received an approved COVID-19 vaccination outside the United Kingdom will be able to receive a third vaccination or booster dose when they become eligible.

Everyone aged 16 years old and over, those aged 12 to 15 years old in a clinical risk group, or a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed or severely immunosuppressed themselves and received a third primary dose, are eligible for a booster vaccine three months after their primary course.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people who have received an MHRA approved covid-19 vaccination outside of the UK are able to receive a third vaccination in the UK.

Many of those who received an approved COVID-19 vaccination outside the United Kingdom will be able to receive a third vaccination or booster dose when they become eligible.

Everyone aged 16 years old and over, those aged 12 to 15 years old in a clinical risk group, or a household contact of someone who is immunosuppressed or severely immunosuppressed themselves and received a third primary dose, are eligible for a booster vaccine three months after their primary course.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of blood tests being administrated for patients with diabetes by NHS England.

No formal assessment has been made.

However, the National Diabetes Audit provides data on completion of key care processes for diabetic patients, including blood tests. It shows that between 2016 and 2020 we saw significant improvement in the completion of these processes. As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a reduction in face to face checks. However, we are providing £2 billion to address the backlog in all services.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure blood tests are administrated on time by NHS England.

To increase the volume of diagnostic activity such as blood tests and reduce patient waiting times, we have committed £2.3 billion for diagnostics over the next three years. This will fund the establishment of at least 100 community diagnostic centres by 2024-25, helping clear the backlog of patients waiting for clinical tests. This is in addition to the £325 million allocated this year for improving National Health Service diagnostics.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps he has taken to allow people who have received a covid-19 vaccination outside of the UK to register that vaccination on the NHS covid pass.

A pilot scheme to enable some United Kingdom residents vaccinated overseas to demonstrate their vaccination status through the NHS COVID Pass will be launched in England from the end of September. Further development will be undertaken once the pilot is underway.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the affordability of PCR tests for people arriving in the UK.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Battersea (Marsha De Cordova MP) on 14 June to Question 10629.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help lower the cost of covid-19 PCR tests for people entering the UK.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Battersea (Marsha De Cordova MP) on 14 June to Question 10629.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what impact assessment his Department undertook on the removal of ear wax syringing as a core NHS service.

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

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to tackle the increase in the number of Do Not Resuscitate orders given to people with learning disabilities in advance of the Care Quality Commission publishing its review on the use of those orders during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been clear that learning disability should never be a reason for a Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decision and that blanket DNACPR decisions are completely inappropriate.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued a number of joint statements to health and care providers reiterating that DNACPR decisions must not be applied in a blanket fashion to any group. The 2020/21 General Medical Services Contract Quality and Outcomes Framework now includes a requirement for all DNACPR decisions for people with a learning disability to be reviewed. We continue to monitor the situation and have asked organisations representing people with learning disabilities to inform us where cases of inappropriate DNACPR practice are identified so that these can be investigated.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date the Care Quality Commission plans to publish its report on the use of Do Not Resuscitate orders for people with learning disabilities during the covid-19 outbreak.

In October 2020 the Department asked the Care Quality Commission to review how Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions were used throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and whether they had been inappropriately applied. Interim findings were published on 3 December 2020, with a final report due shortly.

The review will consider how these decisions were made across all health and care settings and will inform national learning and good practice development as the nation continues to respond to the pandemic.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Government department is responsible for collecting the number of covid-19 tests that have gone missing.

While tests are not labelled as ‘missing’, the Test and Trace team within the Department collects the number of tests which have been booked but not processed. This includes home test kits which have not been returned; test site appointments which were booked but not attended; and other reasons.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to track the number of (a) voided and (b) lost covid-19 tests.

The latest data for void/unknown results for tests conducted from 28 May 2020 to 17 February 2021 is available at the following link:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-test-and-trace-england-statistics-11-february-to-17-february-2021

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to publish the number of lost covid-19 tests.

We do not hold the data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England collects the number of (a) lost or (b) missing covid-19 tests.

Public Health England do not collect this data.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests were declared void in (a) December 2020, (b) November 2020, (c) October 2020 and (d) September 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Weekly data on the number of results unsuccessfully or not yet communicated after repeat attempts is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-test-and-trace-england-statistics-4-february-to-10-february-2021

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that unpaid carers can access the covid-19 vaccine.

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 vaccine should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 years old and health and social care workers.

We recognise the vital role unpaid carers play in caring for vulnerable individuals. The JCVI recommends that carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer contracted COVID-19, should be included in Priority group 6 alongside people with underlying health conditions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the availability of flu vaccinations for those over the age of 50.

We have sufficient vaccine for over 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter, this includes additional stock procured by the Department to increase uptake in existing groups and extend the programme to new cohorts including those aged 50 to 64 years.

General practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults, with deliveries phased through the season. Priority should be given to those who are most at risk to the effects of flu, including those aged over 65, and health and social care workers. The seasonal flu programme will be extended to those aged 50 to 64 years later in the season, following prioritisation of those in higher risk groups. There will be further communication on extending the programme later in the season.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of supplies of flu vaccinations for those over the age of 50.

We have sufficient vaccine for over 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter, this includes additional stock procured by the Department to increase uptake in existing groups and extend the programme to new cohorts including those aged 50 to 64 years.

General practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults, with deliveries phased through the season. Priority should be given to those who are most at risk to the effects of flu, including those aged over 65, and health and social care workers. The seasonal flu programme will be extended to those aged 50 to 64 years later in the season, following prioritisation of those in higher risk groups. There will be further communication on extending the programme later in the season.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with local authorities in England on the adequacy of the availability of flu vaccinations.

Regional NHS England and NHS Improvement teams involve all relevant local stakeholders in the planning and delivery of the flu programme each season including representatives from local authorities. The Directors of Public Health and their teams in each local authority, are included in discussions about the annual flu programme and receive regular updates and assurance in relation to flu vaccination uptake for their local population.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the adequate treatment of people suffering from the long term health effects of covid-19.

The National Health Service and the wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease course of COVID-19 infection, including the prevalence, severity and duration of symptoms, and how best to support recovery.

The NHS is working to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other longer-term complications. As part of this, in July the NHS launched the Your COVID Recovery service, a personalised programme to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus. The Seacole Centre in Surrey has also recently opened to provide rehabilitative care to those recovering from the virus.

A major United Kingdom research study into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients has been launched, which will inform future NHS service design and provision.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of treatment for people with long term symptoms of covid-19.

The National Health Service and the wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease course of COVID-19 infection, including the prevalence, severity and duration of symptoms, and how best to support recovery.

The NHS is working to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other longer-term complications. As part of this, in July the NHS launched the Your COVID Recovery service, a personalised programme to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus. The Seacole Centre in Surrey has also recently opened to provide rehabilitative care to those recovering from the virus.

A major United Kingdom research study into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients has been launched, which will inform future NHS service design and provision.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test results have been (a) lost and (b) declared void from (i) the Heathrow airport and (ii) the Twickenham rugby stadium test sites and (A) the London borough of Hounslow and (B) Greater London.

We do not publish data by test site. We publish data in relation to overall COVID-19 testing on a daily basis. This can be found at GOV.UK.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of covid-19 test results that are lost.

Those who have not received a result within 72 hours can call the 119 Coronavirus Testing Contact Centre where operators can take their details and lodge a results investigation on their behalf.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England records the number of covid-19 test results that are lost; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) does not record data on the number of COVID-19 test results that have been lost under either pillar 1 or the Government’s wider testing programme. PHE laboratories have processes in place to ensure that any results entered onto PHE systems with incorrect details for either the requestor (such as a clinician in a hospital) or the patient are identified and dealt with.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of ultra fine particles from aircraft on the health of the population of (a) London and (b) the Home Counties.

Public Health England has made no assessment of the effect of ultrafine particles (UFP) from aircraft on the health of the population of London and the Home Counties.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Air Quality Expert Group published a report in 2018, which included a brief overview of the health concerns related to ambient UFP, but not specifically deriving from aircraft. The overview, which draws upon evidence reviewed by the World Health Organization and the Health Effects Institute concluded that there is currently limited evidence on the effects on health of UFP. The report can be viewed at the following link:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1807261113_180703_UFP_Report_FINAL_for_publication.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support educational programmes in Uganda.

To help address the disruption caused to education provision by COVID-19, UK programming will this year reach approximately 300,000 children to maintain access and learning through radio lessons, community led literacy and numeracy classes, bursaries, teacher support, and support to children with disabilities. A further 100,000 children in refugee hosting districts will be supported with home learning, accelerated education programmes, and reducing barriers for girls through menstrual hygiene management.

The UK is also one of the leading funders of the Global Partnership for Education and World Bank, which provide further support including to reform policy and financing and improve education systems.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 vaccines to Uganda through the COVAX programme.

The UK is committed to rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. We are supporting the COVAX Facility as the best mechanism to deliver this and have committed £548 million to its Advance Market Commitment to support its work, making the UK one of its largest donors. To date, Uganda has received 1,139,200 vaccines through the COVAX scheme, with further deliveries expected in the coming months.

Our G7 Presidency in June championed equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, confirming that the UK will share 100 million doses within the next year. 30 million of these will be shared by the end of 2021, with 5 million by the end of September.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK's contribution to the COVAX programme.

The UK is committed to supporting global access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and has played a leading role in driving international support for the COVAX Facility as an effective multilateral mechanism to deliver this. The UK was one of the earliest and largest donors to COVAX, committing £548 million to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment which, through match funding, leveraged $1 billion from other donors in 2020. Our early funding has been key to helping COVAX secure deals with manufacturers to supply up to 1.8 billion doses of safe and effective vaccines for up to 92 low- and middle-income countries by early 2022. The Prime Minister also announced at the G7 that the UK will donate 100 million doses within the next year, 80% of which will go to COVAX to further support countries in need.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions the British High Commission in Kenya has had with the Kenyan Government since February 2020 on the non-payment of pensions to people living in the UK.

This matter is the responsibility of the Kenyan authorities. However, the British High Commission in Nairobi has written to the Kenyan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Head of the Department for Pensions in the Kenyan National Treasury seeking an explanation for non-payment of pensions to former Kenyan civil servants and the lack of increase in line with inflation. Officials from the British High Commission in Nairobi will continue to push Kenyan Treasury officials directly on this issue as and when the COVID-19 situation in Kenya allows.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to reduce the time taken by HMRC to process self-assessment repayment requests.

HMRC have to balance processing repayment claims quickly with protecting the public purse from incorrect or fraudulent claims. In order to do this they undertake a number of automated and manual checks. Currently, owing to the effects of COVID-19 and the introduction of various Government schemes to support taxpayers, HMRC are seeing an increase in the number of repayment claims within the Self-Assessment system. HMRC aim to provide a fair and consistent service to all taxpayers while prioritising the most vulnerable where appropriate. HMRC deploy their resources based on customer demand, business requirements, and key business events, in order to provide the best possible service.

HMRC publish their performance data regularly at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-monthly-performance-reports and https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-quarterly-performance-updates.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the average time taken by HMRC in processing self-assessment repayment requests.

HMRC have to balance processing repayment claims quickly with protecting the public purse from incorrect or fraudulent claims. In order to do this they undertake a number of automated and manual checks. Currently, owing to the effects of COVID-19 and the introduction of various Government schemes to support taxpayers, HMRC are seeing an increase in the number of repayment claims within the Self-Assessment system. HMRC aim to provide a fair and consistent service to all taxpayers while prioritising the most vulnerable where appropriate. HMRC deploy their resources based on customer demand, business requirements, and key business events, in order to provide the best possible service.

HMRC publish their performance data regularly at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-monthly-performance-reports and https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-quarterly-performance-updates.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with officials at HMRC on processing self-assessment repayment requests.

HMT officials are in regular contact with HMRC on a range of important issues, including matters relating to Self Assessment. The Government is committed to processing Self Assessment repayment requests promptly, while ensuring that the necessary checks are completed to guard against fraud.

17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the abolition of (a) the VAT Retail Export Scheme and (b) tax-free airside shopping.

HM Treasury ministers have responsibility for tax policy.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) in Great Britain will not be extended to EU residents and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with industry stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government is also continuing to meet and discuss the changes with a variety of stakeholders, including other Government departments, following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes are included in the written ministerial statement and summary of responses to the recent consultation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-11/hcws448 and https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-consultation-on-duty-free-and-tax-free-goods-carried-by-passengers. A technical note has also been issued to stakeholders to expand on this document and to respond to issues raised by stakeholders.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free airside sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

On 25 November the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the tax-free schemes.

Factoring in a higher-than-usual elasticity of 1.9 to account for spending on luxury goods, the OBR estimate that the withdrawal of the VAT RES will result in a significant direct Exchequer saving of around £400 million per year, once passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Based on the 1.2 million users of the scheme who received a refund in 2019, this includes an assumption that approximately 20,000 – 30,000 fewer tourists visit Great Britain a year. That is 0.07% of the 40 million visitors to the UK in 2019.

The OBR estimate that the withdrawal of tax-free airside sales will raise approximately £170 million per year for the Exchequer, after behavioural responses are taken into account and passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

The OBR also looked at this package in the round when assessing the indirect impact on the economy – including the effects of extending duty-free sales – alongside the substantial support provided to the economy and retail industry.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received from the hospitality industry on the decision to remove (a) the VAT Retail Export Scheme and (b) tax-free airside shopping.

HM Treasury ministers have responsibility for tax policy.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) in Great Britain will not be extended to EU residents and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with industry stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government is also continuing to meet and discuss the changes with a variety of stakeholders, including other Government departments, following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes are included in the written ministerial statement and summary of responses to the recent consultation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-11/hcws448 and https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-consultation-on-duty-free-and-tax-free-goods-carried-by-passengers. A technical note has also been issued to stakeholders to expand on this document and to respond to issues raised by stakeholders.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free airside sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

On 25 November the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the tax-free schemes.

Factoring in a higher-than-usual elasticity of 1.9 to account for spending on luxury goods, the OBR estimate that the withdrawal of the VAT RES will result in a significant direct Exchequer saving of around £400 million per year, once passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Based on the 1.2 million users of the scheme who received a refund in 2019, this includes an assumption that approximately 20,000 – 30,000 fewer tourists visit Great Britain a year. That is 0.07% of the 40 million visitors to the UK in 2019.

The OBR estimate that the withdrawal of tax-free airside sales will raise approximately £170 million per year for the Exchequer, after behavioural responses are taken into account and passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

The OBR also looked at this package in the round when assessing the indirect impact on the economy – including the effects of extending duty-free sales – alongside the substantial support provided to the economy and retail industry.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) airports and (b) boroughs surrounding airports after the removal of tax-free airside shopping.

HM Treasury ministers have responsibility for tax policy.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) in Great Britain will not be extended to EU residents and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with industry stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government is also continuing to meet and discuss the changes with a variety of stakeholders, including other Government departments, following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes are included in the written ministerial statement and summary of responses to the recent consultation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-11/hcws448 and https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-consultation-on-duty-free-and-tax-free-goods-carried-by-passengers. A technical note has also been issued to stakeholders to expand on this document and to respond to issues raised by stakeholders.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free airside sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

On 25 November the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the tax-free schemes.

Factoring in a higher-than-usual elasticity of 1.9 to account for spending on luxury goods, the OBR estimate that the withdrawal of the VAT RES will result in a significant direct Exchequer saving of around £400 million per year, once passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Based on the 1.2 million users of the scheme who received a refund in 2019, this includes an assumption that approximately 20,000 – 30,000 fewer tourists visit Great Britain a year. That is 0.07% of the 40 million visitors to the UK in 2019.

The OBR estimate that the withdrawal of tax-free airside sales will raise approximately £170 million per year for the Exchequer, after behavioural responses are taken into account and passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

The OBR also looked at this package in the round when assessing the indirect impact on the economy – including the effects of extending duty-free sales – alongside the substantial support provided to the economy and retail industry.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of the removal of the (a) VAT Retail Export Scheme (b) Tax-Free airside shopping on (i) Heathrow Airport (ii) London Borough of Hounslow (iii) London and (iv) the UK.

HM Treasury ministers have responsibility for tax policy.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the VAT and excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

- The VAT Retail Export Scheme (RES) in Great Britain will not be extended to EU residents and will be withdrawn for all passengers.

- The concessionary treatment on tax-free sales for non-excise goods will be removed across the UK.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with industry stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government is also continuing to meet and discuss the changes with a variety of stakeholders, including other Government departments, following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes are included in the written ministerial statement and summary of responses to the recent consultation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-11/hcws448 and https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-consultation-on-duty-free-and-tax-free-goods-carried-by-passengers. A technical note has also been issued to stakeholders to expand on this document and to respond to issues raised by stakeholders.

The concessionary treatment on tax-free airside sales currently affects airports that fly to non-EU destinations. The extension of duty-free sales to EU bound passengers will be a significant boost to all airports in England, Scotland and Wales, including smaller regional airports which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

On 25 November the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the tax-free schemes.

Factoring in a higher-than-usual elasticity of 1.9 to account for spending on luxury goods, the OBR estimate that the withdrawal of the VAT RES will result in a significant direct Exchequer saving of around £400 million per year, once passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19. Based on the 1.2 million users of the scheme who received a refund in 2019, this includes an assumption that approximately 20,000 – 30,000 fewer tourists visit Great Britain a year. That is 0.07% of the 40 million visitors to the UK in 2019.

The OBR estimate that the withdrawal of tax-free airside sales will raise approximately £170 million per year for the Exchequer, after behavioural responses are taken into account and passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

The OBR also looked at this package in the round when assessing the indirect impact on the economy – including the effects of extending duty-free sales – alongside the substantial support provided to the economy and retail industry.

The Government also recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department has received from (a) British Airways and (b) International Airlines Group on the Government's support for the aviation sector.

Treasury Ministers and officials meet with a wide range of stakeholders across sectors as part of ongoing policy development and implementation.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Transport are in regular contact with airlines, airports and unions to understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector and its workers.

Due to commercial sensitivity, the Government cannot comment on individual companies.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's financial support for the aviation industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation industry as a result of COVID-19. Firms experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees. The aerospace sector and its aviation customers are being supported with over £8.5 billion support through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, grants for research and development, loan guarantees and support for aerospace exports.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether companies that have (a) made compulsory redundancies and (b)re-hired workers on new terms and conditions will be eligible to receive payments under the job retention bonus.

To ensure that firms are encouraged to keep employees as demand returns, the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Bonus in the Plan for Jobs on 8 July.

Alongside other conditions, to be eligible, the employees for which the employer will receive the grant will need to have been continuously employed until 31 January 2021 and still be employed by the same employer as of 31 January 2021. Employees cannot be serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim.

Full guidance about the Job Retention Bonus will be published at the end of September.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to update his Department's Green Book to include a social value case.

The Government is currently reviewing the Green Book - the government’s core guidance on how to develop and appraise schemes against government objectives – to ensure it is consistent with the Government’s ambition to level-up opportunity across the United Kingdom.

The economic case within the Green Book is concerned with social value. It requires all impacts – social, environmental, economic, financial etc. – to be assessed relative to what would have taken place in absence of intervention, referred to in the Green Book as business as usual. The relevant costs and benefits are those for UK society overall, not just to the public sector or originating institution.

As part of the review, the Chancellor set out at the Budget earlier this year that the government is keen to ensure that government spending is not just narrowly focused on where it will bring the highest immediate return, but also on where it may unlock the productive potential of an area and achieve broader long-term benefits.

The review is looking to enhance the strategic development and assessment of projects, consider how to assess and present local impacts, and looking to develop new analytical methods for place-based interventions.

An updated Green Book will be published later in the year, and early findings will inform the Spending Review in Autumn.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether firms who (a) have and (b) are in the process of carrying out compulsory redundancies will receive payments under the job retention bonus.

To ensure that the firms are encouraged to keep employees as demand returns, the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Bonus in the Plan for Jobs on 8 July.

To be eligible, the employees for which the employer will receive the grant will need to:

  • Earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average in November, December and January and be paid in each month; and

  • Have been furloughed at any point and successfully claimed for under the CJRS; have been continuously employed until 31 January 2021 and still be employed by the same employer as of 31 January 2021

Further detail on the Job Retention Bonus will be available at the end of the month and full guidance will be available in the Autumn.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employers who have carried out compulsory redundancies and then re-hired former workers will receive payments under the job retention bonus.

To ensure that the firms are encouraged to keep employees as demand returns, the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Bonus in the Plan for Jobs on 8 July.

To be eligible, the employees for which the employer will receive the grant will need to:

  • Earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average in November, December and January and be paid in each month; and

  • Have been furloughed at any point and successfully claimed for under the CJRS; have been continuously employed until 31 January 2021 and still be employed by the same employer as of 31 January 2021

Further detail on the Job Retention Bonus will be available at the end of the month and full guidance will be available in the Autumn.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will establish a statutory definition of the self-employed to better support status determinations for tax purposes under IR35.

Employment status is straightforward for the vast majority of people. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool in 2017 in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors, and other stakeholders, to support businesses in applying the off-payroll working rules correctly. CEST was further enhanced in November 2019.

In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. For those more complex or finely balanced cases where CEST produces an undetermined outcome, HMRC provide detailed guidance and dedicated support, including in the Employment Status Manual: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-status-manual. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC's guidance.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the Check Employment Status Tool in correctly identifying the employment status of individuals in relation to IR35.

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC’s guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the enhanced Check Employment Status Tool in relation to IR35.

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC’s guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to improve the accuracy of the Check Employment Status Tool since November 2019.

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC’s guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to introduce changes to the Check Employment Status Tool ahead of reforms to IR35 within the private sector.

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with HMRC’s guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people arriving from Afghanistan with temporary leave to remain will have their status updated before their existing leave to remain expires.

Those who entered were granted limited leave to enter with access to public funds and employment. This status is not a bar to them being permanently housed or to starting their life in the UK, including taking employment.

The Home Office has started the process to support those currently in the UK with 6 months leave to apply for and be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. Our aim is to conclude this process before individuals’ leave to remain expires.

Communications have been issued advising individuals of next steps to progress permanent residence in the UK. They also provide links to guidance and information on how prospective employers and landlords can contact the Home Office to confirm individuals’ right to take employment and rented accommodation.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that individuals arriving from Afghanistan with temporary leave to remain can apply for indefinite leave to remain before their status expires.

The Home Office has established a dedicated caseworking team, which is working jointly with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defence. This team will contact all those who arrived to discuss their leave arrangements and ensure they get the right form of leave.

Those who are here with limited leave under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy can apply to convert this to indefinite leave to remain at any time before their limited leave expires. This application is a free application and can be applied for online.

Details of the type of leave to be granted to those arriving from Afghanistan, and how they will be supported in obtaining that leave, can be found in the Afghanistan Resettlement and Immigration policy statement.

The policy statement can be viewed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version#afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy(opens in a new tab)

Further information regarding Locally employed staff, can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-locally-engaged-staff

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many outstanding asylum applications there are for people from Afghanistan.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on asylum applications awaiting an initial decision, by nationality, are published in table ASY_D03 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’. The latest data relates to the end of September 2021.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with officials in the Department for Education on ensuring that refugees from Afghanistan with limited leave to remain can access schooling.

All children and young people evacuated to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) with limited leave, will have access to education.

As of 6 January 2022, all school aged children and young people evacuated during Operation Pitting, are now enrolled into schools. Those children who have joined us since then are either in school, or being placed in schools, as quickly as possible.

We are also taking the availability of school places in each local authority into account, as new families arrive and are settled into the country.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has made to airlines on ensuring that they follow the correct procedures when processing inbound individuals with Settlement Scheme Spousal visas who are attempting to re-enter the UK.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who have obtained pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme only hold a digital status and are not issued with physical documentation.  

Carriers are not required to check this status although holders of EU Settlement Scheme status can use the online ‘View and Prove’ service to demonstrate their status. If passengers wish to share their status with a carrier, they need to log onto the service and generate a ‘share code’, which can be given to the carrier.  The carrier can then use the ‘share code’ (and the individual’s date of birth) to enable them to check the passenger’s status information, using the’ Check someone's immigration status’ service.  

Non-EEA nationals who have obtained pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will hold physical evidence in the form of a UK-issued Biometric Residence Card, EUSS Family Permit or EUSS Travel Permit.

The usual obligations to check the validity of passengers’ documentation remain in place, and standard carrier removal obligations continue to apply. 

We are reinforcing this message in our communications with carriers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice her Department has issued to people with an EU Settlement Scheme spousal visa on whether they need to update their biometric cards to be allowed entry into the UK.

All unexpired biometric residence cards held by any non-EEA nationals with pre settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, are valid for travel to and entry into the UK when presented with a valid passport.

Individuals issued with cards which have expired can apply to replace them free of charge.

Visa nationals who travel outside the UK will need a document, such as an unexpired biometric residence card, for travel purposes before returning to the UK.

Individuals will not be required to prove they hold pre settled or settled status at the UK border. However, anyone who has been issued with a biometric residence card should present it if they are required to see a Border Force Officer in order to avoid delays.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether biometric cards issued before 30 June 2020 are valid to allow people with an EU Settlement Scheme spousal visa to enter the UK.

All unexpired biometric residence cards held by any non-EEA nationals with pre settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, are valid for travel to and entry into the UK when presented with a valid passport.

Individuals issued with cards which have expired can apply to replace them free of charge.

Visa nationals who travel outside the UK will need a document, such as an unexpired biometric residence card, for travel purposes before returning to the UK.

Individuals will not be required to prove they hold pre settled or settled status at the UK border. However, anyone who has been issued with a biometric residence card should present it if they are required to see a Border Force Officer in order to avoid delays.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support her Department has provided to (a) local authorities in London, (b) The Mayor of London and (c) voluntary organisations in London to support their work in supporting refugees from Afghanistan.

The Home Office have provided a funding offer to support all local authorities who have bridging accommodation in their areas. For example, to provide enrolment in schools, integration into the community, handling of donations and registering with GPs.

Frequent and regular engagement is continuing between Home Office officials and Local Authorities with bridging hotels.

The Home Office worked closely with Voluntary Sectors Communities Emergency Partnership to provide crisis support in the first few weeks supporting Afghans just arriving into the UK and settling into local communities.

We are grateful for the continued support of Local Authorities, voluntary organisations and all those involved in the joint efforts as we work in partnership to fulfil our moral duty to those who have fled Afghanistan, many of whom have stood shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces and now seek a new life in the UK but ask local authorities who are able to consider what additional support they can provide so that all evacuated Afghans can be resettled.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the most recent meeting of the National Vehicle Crime Working Group took place.

The most recent meeting of the National Vehicle Crime Working Group took place on 20 September 2021. The Working Group is chaired by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime, ACC Jenny Sims.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Metropolitan Police on the theft of catalytic converters.

The Government is committed to tackling the theft of catalytic converters, working closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime and overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce, to determine what more can be done. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is represented on the Working Group, and discussions between the Home Office and MPS are ongoing about local policing operations.

In December 2017, the Home Office published a review of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. The review took into account views from a range of interested parties and found the measures in the 2013 Act had been effective in addressing metal theft and should be retained. A copy of the review is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-scrap-metal-dealers-act-2013.

Enforcement of the 2013 Act is key to tackling this crime. The Government funded the set-up of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP), which ensures national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle metal theft, including the theft of catalytic converters. The partnership has provided training to law enforcement and other partner agencies, shares intelligence to target offenders, and implements crime prevention measures. The British Transport Police, through the NICRP, has conducted two national weeks of actions, which resulted in 64 arrests, over 1,400 stopped vehicles and over 1,000 catalytic converters and other items of stolen property were recovered.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the provisions of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 in decreasing theft of catalytic converters.

The Government is committed to tackling the theft of catalytic converters, working closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime and overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce, to determine what more can be done. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is represented on the Working Group, and discussions between the Home Office and MPS are ongoing about local policing operations.

In December 2017, the Home Office published a review of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. The review took into account views from a range of interested parties and found the measures in the 2013 Act had been effective in addressing metal theft and should be retained. A copy of the review is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-scrap-metal-dealers-act-2013.

Enforcement of the 2013 Act is key to tackling this crime. The Government funded the set-up of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP), which ensures national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle metal theft, including the theft of catalytic converters. The partnership has provided training to law enforcement and other partner agencies, shares intelligence to target offenders, and implements crime prevention measures. The British Transport Police, through the NICRP, has conducted two national weeks of actions, which resulted in 64 arrests, over 1,400 stopped vehicles and over 1,000 catalytic converters and other items of stolen property were recovered.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the trend in the number of catalytic converter thefts in London in the last three years.

The Government is committed to tackling the theft of catalytic converters, working closely with police and motor manufacturers through the National Vehicle Crime Working Group, established by the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for vehicle crime and overseen by the Government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce, to determine what more can be done. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is represented on the Working Group, and discussions between the Home Office and MPS are ongoing about local policing operations.

In December 2017, the Home Office published a review of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. The review took into account views from a range of interested parties and found the measures in the 2013 Act had been effective in addressing metal theft and should be retained. A copy of the review is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-scrap-metal-dealers-act-2013.

Enforcement of the 2013 Act is key to tackling this crime. The Government funded the set-up of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP), which ensures national co-ordination of policing and law enforcement partners to tackle metal theft, including the theft of catalytic converters. The partnership has provided training to law enforcement and other partner agencies, shares intelligence to target offenders, and implements crime prevention measures. The British Transport Police, through the NICRP, has conducted two national weeks of actions, which resulted in 64 arrests, over 1,400 stopped vehicles and over 1,000 catalytic converters and other items of stolen property were recovered.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to review the level of fees for applying for naturalisation as a British citizen.

The Home Office keeps fees for immigration and nationality applications under review and ensure they are within the parameters agreed with HM Treasury and Parliament, as set out in Section 68 (9) of the Immigration Act 2014 which can be viewed via the following link:

(http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/22/section/68).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much revenue her Department raised from fees for applications for naturalisation as a British citizen in 2019.

The Home Office does not hold the information in the format requested. We do not have a separate code or field for fees collected for naturalisation as British Citizens.

Immigration statistic, with volumes of applicants, are available at

Immigration statistics data tables, year ending December 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Total visa and immigration income data is published annually in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts. See page 152 of the Home Office 2019-20 Annual Report and Accounts for the most recent disclosure of visa and immigration income.

Home Office annual report and accounts 2019 - 2020 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2020
What assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the application process for visa extensions.

The global travel and health restrictions in the first lockdown impacted our application processes, especially the temporary closure of our biometric collection centres in the UK.

Subsequently, biometric capture services reopened in a phased and socially-distanced way and alongside this UKVI began reusing existing fingerprint biometrics for individuals where possible.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to increase the number of passport applications that are processed in a timely manner.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office is increasing capacity for processing passport applications, while continuing to operate in line with public health advice and social distancing guidelines.

This includes the development of a new system which substantially increases the ability to process applications from home and occupying additional government office space to increase the number able to come into work.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the performance of the Passport Office in processing passport renewals.; and if she will make a statement.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has continued to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic, however it had to scale back its work as a result of changed working practices designed to keep both customers and staff safe.

During this difficult time HM Passport Office has prioritised urgent and compassionate cases and is now working hard to get back to full capacity as soon as it is able to do so in line with public health guidance.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to allow local planning authorities to mandate minimum standards on green or outside space when considering retail or office conversions into residential buildings through permitted development rights.

The new Class MA permitted development right for the change of use from commercial, business and service uses, including retail and office premises, came into effect from 1 August 2021. The right will bring vacant commercial buildings into productive use. There are no current plans to introduce a requirement for outside space.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an estimate of the additional revenue that would be raised by including conversions through permitted development rights within the scope of the proposed infrastructure levy.

We have consulted on introducing a new infrastructure levy to replace section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy. We are currently analysing the 44,000 responses to the 'Planning for the Future' consultation and will publish our response in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has carried an impact assessment of requiring change of use conversions through permitted development rights to be liable for payments through Section 106 agreements.

We have consulted on introducing a new infrastructure levy to replace section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy. We are currently analysing the 44,000 responses to the 'Planning for the Future' consultation and will publish our response in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving local planning authorities the right to reject conversions from (a) retail and (b) office buildings to residential buildings on the basis of the location of those buildings.

The permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class allows local planning authorities to consider the effect on future residents of residential use in an area of heavy industry, storage and distribution, waste management or a mix of such uses.

In addition it allows for consideration of the implications of noise from commercial premises for the intended occupiers, and in conservation areas allows for consideration of the effect of the change of use of the ground floor to residential on the character or sustainability of that area. The authority may refuse prior approval if these are unacceptable.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the existing light standards within permitted development rights to include a mandatory requirement for direct light from a window.

Under the permitted development rights the developer must apply to the local planning authority for prior approval as to the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of each new dwellinghouse. The legislation requires the local planning authority to refuse prior approval if adequate natural light is not provided. We do not hold information on how that light is provided as it is a local authority matter.

We introduced this change with effect from 1 August 2020 and will continue to keep all permitted development rights under review.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of medical centres in England which have undergone a change of use within Class E in each of the last five years.

The new Commercial, Business and Service use class (E) came into effect from 1 September 2020 to provide greater flexibility for business and service uses. An application for change of use within the Use Class is not required. We do not have data on changes between uses within E class.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to introduce the proposed £5,000 planning fee for conversions under class MA of permitted development.

We have introduced a fee of £100 per dwellinghouse in respect of this right. We have not included a £5,000 cap on fees as originally proposed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities in England have used Article 4 directions to remove permitted development rights for the conversion of commercial space to residential properties.

The information is not held in the format requested and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many (a) local authorities in England have used Article 4 directions and (b) times each local authority has used an article 4 direction in each of the last five years.

The information is not held in the format requested and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2021, HCWS145 on Revitalising high streets and town centres, what his timetable is for bringing forward the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework in relation to article 4 directions.

The new policy in relation to Article 4 directions came into immediate effect on 1 July 2021. The National Planning Policy Framework was updated with the new wording on 20 July 2021.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of brownfield sites that have been granted planning permission in England since January 2020.

The Department does not hold information on the information requested.

It is for each local authority to consider how best the land in its area should be used, and to plan accordingly, and to identify and publish in its Brownfield Register those sites it finds suitable for housing-led redevelopment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2021, Official Report, HCWS145, what discussions his Department has had with the Local Government Association on proposed changes to Article 4 directions.

My Department did not hold any direct discussions with the Local Government Association on the proposed changes to Article 4 direction policy. The Local Government Association responded to our consultation on proposed changes. Following publication of the new Article 4 direction policy, officials have engaged with the Planning Advisory Service and with individual local authorities on the implementation of the new policy.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2021, Official Report, HCWS145, whether his Department conducted an impact assessment for the proposed changes in relation to Article 4 directions.

My Department carried out an analysis of the implications of the changes in the policy for Article 4 directions, in order to comply with the public sector equality duty, as required by s149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his timescale is for responding to the National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: consultation proposals, updated on 8 February 2021.

We have today published the response to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Model Design Code consultation. The updated NPPF has been published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-planning-policy-framework and the response to the consultation is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/national-planning-policy-framework-and-national-model-design-code-consultation-proposals.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of publishing the submissions made to Planning for the Future consultation.

We received more than 44,000 responses to our consultation on the Planning for the Future While Paper. It is important that we safeguard personal data, and while we do not intend to publish individual responses, we will produce a summary of the views received when we respond in full to the consultation later this year.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to subject the upcoming planning Bill to pre-legislative scrutiny.

We will be publishing a full response to the Planning for the Future White Paper.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to improve the engagement rate with consultations run by his Department.

The Department is committed to seeking and listening to people's views. Consultations are an important part of how we do this. Thousands of people have responded to our consultations in the past year, including more than 44,000 responses to the Planning for the Future consultation.

Like other Departments that have invested in making it easier for citizens to play a part in policy-making, such as the Ministry of Justice, from January 2021 we began using the Citizen Space platform for consultation activities. Citizen Space makes public participation easier and simpler for respondents. We are also publishing our responses online and Citizen Space will make this even easier. People expect excellent digital services from government. Using Citizen Space is helping us to ensure this is true of participating in consultations.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to begin the consultation on the use of Environmental Impact Assessments within the planning system.

The Government remains fully committed to the reform of environmental assessment as a key aspect of the upcoming changes to the planning system which it is taking forward following the Planning for the Future White paper, and the National Infrastructure Strategy.

The 'Planning for the Future' White Paper received a very high level of engagement and we are now in the process of analysing the feedback received. We are taking forward the work to develop a new environment assessment framework as part of that process. Further updates will be provided shortly.

The reformed approach to environmental assessment will be more accessible, easier to understand, simpler to execute and with fewer unnecessary delays. At the same time, the Government has been clear that this reformed system will maximise environmental benefits, recognising the importance of our domestic and international obligations for environmental protection.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of local authorities on the introduction of a fee for prior approval applications through permitted development.

Responses to the consultation recognised the need for local authorities to consider any implications of the permitted development right by way of a prior approval application. This will require local planning authority resources and should therefore be subject to an appropriate fee.

We aim to publish an Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will be a full regulatory Impact Assessment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what representations he has received from local authorities on the adequate level of a fee for applications for prior approval through permitted development.

Responses to the consultation recognised the need for local authorities to consider any implications of the permitted development right by way of a prior approval application. This will require local planning authority resources and should therefore be subject to an appropriate fee.

We aim to publish an Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will be a full regulatory Impact Assessment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of a £96 fee for applications for prior approval through permitted development on the finances of local planning authorities.

Responses to the consultation recognised the need for local authorities to consider any implications of the permitted development right by way of a prior approval application. This will require local planning authority resources and should therefore be subject to an appropriate fee.

We aim to publish an Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will be a full regulatory Impact Assessment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's consultation entitled Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure, if he will publish the number of responses to that consultation that supported the proposal for a fee that was higher than £100 for prior approval applications through permitted development.

Responses to the consultation recognised the need for local authorities to consider any implications of the permitted development right by way of a prior approval application. This will require local planning authority resources and should therefore be subject to an appropriate fee.

We aim to publish an Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will be a full regulatory Impact Assessment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the number of dwellings in each London borough which were granted planning permission between 2010 and 2019; and if he will provide a breakdown of that number for each London borough.

The Department does not collect data on numbers of dwellings granted planning permission by local authority. Numbers of residential planning applications granted and numbers of housing completions at local authority level are publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the number of dwellings in each London borough which were granted planning permission and completed between 2010 and 2019; and if he will provide a breakdown of that number for each London borough.

The Department does not collect data on numbers of dwellings granted planning permission by local authority. Numbers of residential planning applications granted and numbers of housing completions at local authority level are publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the number of dwellings in each London borough which were granted planning permission between 2018 and 2019; and if he will provide a breakdown of that number for each London borough.

The Department does not collect data on numbers of dwellings granted planning permission by local authority. Numbers of residential planning applications granted and numbers of housing completions at local authority level are publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many dwellings that were granted planning permission in the London Borough of Hillingdon between 2018 and 2019 have been completed.

The Department does not collect data on numbers of dwellings granted planning permission by local authority. Numbers of residential planning applications granted and numbers of housing completions at local authority level are publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many dwellings were granted planning permission in the London Borough of Hillingdon between 2018 and 2019.

The Department does not collect data on numbers of dwellings granted planning permission by local authority. Numbers of residential planning applications granted and numbers of housing completions at local authority level are publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish the Government's response to the Planning for the Future consultation.

The consultation on the Planning for the Future White Paper closed in October 2020, and received around 44,000 responses – demonstrating just how important this is to people.

Given the number of responses, we are taking time to carefully consider the valuable feedback we received. We will publish the Government response to the White Paper ahead of introducing the Planning Bill to Parliament.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the scope of the Community Champions scheme; and whether he plans to increase the number of boroughs receiving funding through that scheme.

On 25 January we announced £23.75 million funding through the Community Champions Scheme to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England - to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19.

Participating local authorities will be providing monitoring monthly reporting from March 2021, which will be used to assess the scope and reach of the Community Champions programme.

We will learn from the current scheme and assess the case for any further funding.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he had with (a) Council Chief Executives, (b) Council leaders and (c) directly elected Mayors before releasing funding under the Community Champions scheme.

My officials undertook a series of stakeholder engagement events to test design and methodology and continue to work with the local authorities to ensure sharing of learning.

Conversations were held with a group of chief executives and senior level council leaders, including representatives from councils in London, and we have spoken to the sector including the Local Government Association. We also spoke with wider representative across London and Manchester, including the Combined Authority, and a range of officers across England in local authorities.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons the London Borough of Hounslow did not receive funding under the Community Champions scheme.

London Borough of Hounslow Council were invited to apply for funding through the Community Champions scheme. No application was received.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the full criteria used to select the boroughs who received the £23 million of funding through the Community Champions scheme.

On 25 January we confirmed £23.75 million funding - allocated to 60 councils and further voluntary groups across England - to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and to boost vaccine take up through the Community Champions scheme. This is part of over £7.9 billion Government funding provided to councils to help them support their communities during the pandemic. The scheme is specifically targeted at areas where challenges may be greatest due to the local combination of disproportionately impacted groups.

The list of local authorities who were invited to take part in the scheme drew upon a wide range of data sources, including Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England long-term data on COVID-19 incidence; data on social integration; and evidence on the prevalence and specific support needs of disabled people in an area.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to support local authorities who did not receive funding through the Community Champions scheme to support the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine to BAME people in those boroughs.

All English local authorities will be reimbursed via local NHS partners (or by DHSC) for unfunded and additional costs needed to support Covid vaccination, including those related to increasing uptake in the BAME or other low uptake cohorts.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to provide additional financial support for work on the covid-19 vaccination roll-out to local authorities that did not receive funding under the community champions scheme.

All English local authorities will be reimbursed via local NHS partners (or by DHSC) for unfunded and additional costs needed to support Covid vaccination, including those related to increasing uptake in the BAME or other low uptake cohorts.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the number of qualified chartered fire engineers who can carry out an EWS1 survey.

The EWS1 process was designed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to support the valuation of flats in high-rise blocks. In some cases, this will require an assessment by a fire engineer. The Institution of Fire Engineers has informed MHCLG that there are around 291 chartered fire engineers.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken to increase the number of qualified chartered fire engineers.

MHCLG and the Home Office are working with professional bodies and industry associations to assess the capacity of the fire engineering sector and support them to develop a robust pipeline strategy. We are also working closely with the fire safety sector to develop technical guidance to support the fire risk assessment of external wall systems which will support increased capability within the wider sector and are supporting industry-led approaches to understanding fire engineering resource requirements within the sector.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Business, Energy, Industry and Skills on additional training and support for new chartered fire engineers.

MHCLG and the Home Office are working closely with the fire safety sector to develop technical guidance to support the fire risk assessment of external wall systems. This guidance will support the sector to develop new training. Additionally, the industry-led Competence Steering Group will shortly publish its recommendations to increase competence within the built environment sector – including for fire engineers.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to review the requirement for buildings to be above 18 metres in order to receive funding under the Building Safety Fund.

Dame Judith?Hackitt?and other experts have recommended that we focus further public funding on remediating unsafe cladding from high rise buildings. Higher rise buildings are the least likely to safely evacuate in the event of a fire spreading via external cladding.?

There will be a small degree of flexibility to?allow the fund to cover buildings?that?have been built just under the 18 metres threshold and have similar fire safety strategies as those above 18 metres.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)