Selaine Saxby Portrait

Selaine Saxby

Conservative - North Devon


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
09:00
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Health assessments for benefits
1 Dec 2021, 9 a.m.
At 9.15am: Oral evidence
Dr Paul Litchfield CBE - Leader of the 2013 and 2014 independent reviews of the Work Capability Assessment at Department for Work and Pensions
At 10.15am: Oral evidence
Paul Gray CB - Leader of the independent reviews of PIP at Department for Work and Pensions
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Oral Question
Wednesday 1st December 2021
11:30
Topical Question No. 6
If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th December 2021
09:00
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The work of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
8 Dec 2021, 9 a.m.
At 9.15am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey - Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at Department for Work and Pensions
Peter Schofield - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work & Pensions
View calendar
Division Votes
Thursday 18th November 2021
Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill (Fifth sitting)
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 9 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 6 Noes - 9
Speeches
Friday 19th November 2021
Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire (Mrs Latham) for what, to those of us who have …

Written Answers
Wednesday 10th November 2021
Coastal Areas: Government Assistance
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps her Department is taking to support …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payment of £275 expected for a survey on 28 July 2021. Hours: 90 mins. (Registered 29 July 2021)

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Selaine Saxby has voted in 348 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Selaine Saxby voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Selaine Saxby voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Selaine Saxby 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(20 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(16 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(23 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(13 debate contributions)
Home Office
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Selaine Saxby's debates

North Devon 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).

Selaine Saxby has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Selaine Saxby

Selaine Saxby has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Selaine Saxby, 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.


Selaine Saxby has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Selaine Saxby has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Selaine Saxby has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Selaine Saxby has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


63 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
3 Other Department Questions
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps her Department is taking to support (a) Ilfracombe and (b) other coastal communities.

As an island nation, the Government is committed to supporting coastal communities and levelling-up across the Union. We are working with local leaders to ensure every region including coastal areas, cities and towns will recover from COVID-19 and ultimately level-up.

I am pleased that Ilfracombe is benefitting from a share of the £35.4 million Getting Building Fund investment across the Heart of the South West to boost economic growth, and fuel local recovery and jobs. This includes one project in the North Devon constituency: Ilfracombe Water Sports Centre, which is set to receive £1.5 million for the construction of a water sports centre and associated infrastructure on a brownfield site within Ilfracombe Harbour. The project aims to regenerate the harbour, improve and increase tourism, provide up to 101 direct and indirect jobs and support up to 300 local businesses. The centre will also provide training and events facilities.

The Heart of the South West LEP was also allocated £197.8 million from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) between 2015 and 2021. Recent LGF projects in North Devon include the North Devon Innovation Centre in Roundswell and Connecting Devon and Somerset to extend superfast broadband provision.

Officials will shortly be in contact with North Devon Council to discuss their unsuccessful Levelling Up Fund bid for Ilfracombe and to offer feedback to support future bids.

We have continued to make significant progress in supporting coastal communities in a number of areas, demonstrated by the Coastal Communities Fund now having supported 359 projects, totalling over £229 million since 2012. North Devon Council received £1.5 million in 2019 for the new swimming pool at the North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.

Our coastal economies and communities add unique value to the country and offer significant growth potential. Our commitment to unlocking this growth was demonstrated at Budget 2021, where the Chancellor announced 8 Freeports from 8 regions of England, 7 of them in coastal areas. Freeports will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK; attracting new businesses, spreading jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities across the country including in coastal areas.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of (a) the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on church parishes and (b) the support that dioceses will require to (i) recover and (ii) ease the legal and administrative burdens experienced by those parishes as a result of that outbreak.

The Commissioners, in partnership with the Archbishops’ Council, provided £75m of immediate liquidity support and established a £35m Diocesan Sustainability Fund programme, plus a £20m Cathedral Sustainability Fund, following the decline in churches’ and cathedrals’ income from donations and visitors during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The Legislative Reform Committee of the General Synod and the Church Commissioners are consulting on simplifying legal and administrative burdens experienced by parishes. A review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 is currently underway, and a green paper has been published, which will be debated at the General Synod at its July meeting. The green paper forms the basis of a consultation with dioceses, parishes and other stakeholders. The consultation will remain open until 15 September 2021.

The Church Commissioners would welcome the views of all Members and their constituents on the questions set out in the paper, and I am placing a copy in the Library of the House of Commons for reference.

The Green Paper and supporting material are also available on the consultation website at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/parish-reorganisation-and-church-property/review-mission-and-pastoral-measure-2011

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
21st Oct 2020
What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring public health communications on covid-19 reach communities throughout the UK.

The Government has made a substantial effort to ensure that public health communications on COVID-19 reach everyone in the UK. This includes messaging in well over 600 publications and using trusted community voices to share vital communications through community channels.

Important health guidance is also available in alternative formats, including Easy Read, British Sign Language and Audio. This can be accessed via the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre for health bodies, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to access, tailor, share and use.

In July, I also wrote to Ministerial colleagues urging them to make every effort to communicate public health messages to all local residents, through a diverse range of media and other channels.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
5th Nov 2020
What recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the extension to the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

The unduly lenient sentence scheme was extended to incorporate further serious offences, in November of last year.

The horrendous crime of stalking involving serious alarm or distress was one of the offences which was added.

I am pleased to tell the House that this extension meant I was able to refer a case recently to the Court of Appeal, one in which the sentence of the offender was more than doubled.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of whether elderly people with limited internet access receive up-to-date information about covid-19; and what steps the Government is taking to ensure that information is widely accessible.

It is important we reach everyone with public health information in this pandemic.

All new guidance is amplified via our public information campaign, utilising multiple national and local channels including TV, radio, newspapers, out of home and social media to ensure government communications reaches the widest possible audience. In some cases we have used publicly held contact details to contact directly those who may need.

In addition, third parties and local support networks are able to deliver more detailed information in response to bespoke enquiries. We have supported them in doing so by specialist guidance being available on gov.uk and, in the case of Members of Parliament - daily calls with myself.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure that UK businesses can prevent the products of human rights violations in China, particularly in the supply chain for solar farms through polysilicon, from being installed in local areas.

We are thoroughly investigating reports of forced labour in the global solar panel supply chain. In January, we announced a comprehensive package of measures to help ensure no UK organisations are complicit in the serious human rights violations being perpetrated against the Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what research the Government is funding on how UK businesses and their supply chains make, use and dispose of plastic, and the risks those actions pose to human health.

The Government put together a package of £100 million for research and innovation to tackle the issues that arise from plastic waste. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a variety of projects related to plastics including around understanding and improving supply chains and environmental and health impacts. For example, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, with £60m of funding from UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by £149m from industry, is supporting academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, establishing the UK as a leader in smart sustainable packaging and supporting a reduction in waste entering the environment. This builds on the success of the £20m Plastic Research and Innovation Fund, which established projects like the UK Circular Plastics Network which brings together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best means for reducing plastic waste.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made ahead of COP26 of the potential merits of developing floating offshore wind generation in the Celtic Sea to help the UK Government deliver its target of 1GW of energy by 2030.

The Celtic Sea is an area with significant potential for floating offshore wind. Following engagement with the market, The Crown Estate is currently designing new seabed leasing for floating wind in the Celtic Sea, focusing on projects up to 300MW. The number, size and locations of potential projects will not be known until the process is completed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of Sate, what steps he plans to take ahead of COP26 to achieve the Government's (a) net zero target and (b) levelling-up agenda in the context of the development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

The UK has achieved record clean growth - between 1990 and 2019, our economy grew by 78% while our emissions decreased by 44%, the fastest in the G7. The government has recently laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget, proposing a target which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050 and builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date.

Through the Ten Point Plan, our Energy White Paper and Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, we have set out concrete steps we will take to build back greener from the pandemic and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ahead of COP26, we will bring forward further bold proposals, including a Net Zero Strategy, to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

The Ten Point Plan announced our aim to quadruple the capacity of our offshore wind available to generate 40GW, including 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030 - enough to power every home in the country. To do this we are investing £160 million for ports and infrastructure, which could support up to 60,000 jobs. The government is working with the offshore wind sector, through the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, to grow and strengthen a competitive UK based supply chain creating jobs around the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has held with the Department for Transport on the deployment of the Government's proposed funding for the purchase of 4,000 zero-emissions buses.

The funding for 4000 zero emission buses formed part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s commitment to £5 billion of new funding announced in February to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London.

The Government recognises the importance of bringing together co-ordinated policy action across all departments, to achieve net zero. Two cabinet committees have been established, chaired by the Prime Minister and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. These Committees are driving forward the net zero transition and co-ordinating action across Government. At official level, there are also regular discussions between departments on issues relating to transport decarbonisation, as there are for decarbonisation in other sectors of the economy.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Electronic Communications Code contained within the Digital Economy Act 2017 in delivering the rollout of digital infrastructure.

My Department has been working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector since the 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (the Code) came into effect to support their implementation and to understand their impact on this important sector. Over the summer and autumn, I have held a number of roundtable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss these matters.

We intend to consult on whether further reforms to the Code are necessary to support investment in digital networks, and will provide further details regarding the timing of this as soon as possible.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to encourage (a) local authorities and (b) other public sector landlords to support the delivery of infrastructure to improve mobile connectivity in their areas.

Public sector landlords play a critical role in facilitating the delivery of greater mobile connectivity. We are keen to ensure that the public sector leads by example and that public property is readily available for digital infrastructure deployment.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force regularly engages with local authorities across the country to advise on the deployment of mobile infrastructure. This includes the publication of guidance, for example on access to assets and valuation, and working directly with councils to encourage greater collaboration with the mobile sector and develop understanding of the Electronic Communications Code, which underpins rights to install digital communications apparatus. My officials engaged with Devon County Council in November and December of last year to advise on this issue.

In addition to our work with local authorities, both we and the Office of Government Property are continuing to engage with government departments and arm’s length bodies in order to provide them with training and guidance on access to public sector land.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to consult on the Electronic Communications Code contained within the Digital Economy Act 2017.

My Department has been working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector since the 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (the Code) came into effect to support their implementation and to understand their impact on this important sector. Over the summer and autumn, I have held a number of roundtable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss these matters.

We intend to consult on whether further reforms to the Code are necessary to support investment in digital networks, and will provide further details regarding the timing of this as soon as possible.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding he has allocated to the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband; and what his timeframe is for the UK reaching 100 per cent coverage.

The Government set out in its National Infrastructure Strategy that it is working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit capable coverage by 2025, but will seek to accelerate roll-out further to get as close to 100% as possible. The Government will continue to implement an ambitious programme of work to remove barriers to broadband deployment and work with suppliers to accelerate build in the hardest to reach parts of the UK through its £5 billion UK Gigabit Programme.

The Spending Review 2020 provided further details on our planned year on year capital spend for 2021-22 to 2024-25, which totals £1.2 billion, as part of the £5 billion UK Gigabit Programme. DCMS is continuing to work closely with industry to develop this programme and accelerate our year on year rollout plans for these areas to bring forward additional spend, wherever possible.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he plans to take to support the tourism industry to rebuild following the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to helping the tourism industry through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector during the recovery period.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

Our immediate national priority is containing the spread of the virus. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to book holidays and support tourism companies once again.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2021
What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the 2021 summer schools programme.

Understanding the effectiveness and success of the 2021 summer schools programme is important. We have designed a research study to help us to better understand the perceived impact of summer schools on children’s wellbeing, transition to secondary school, and academic recovery. The fieldwork for this research is currently under way. We have commissioned an independent research agency to carry out the analysis and reporting of this important research. The results from this study will be published on gov.uk.

Over 2800 secondary schools signed up to participate, which is equivalent to three quarters (74%) of those eligible and over 500,000 pupils were invited to take part in courses designed to offer a mix of academic and enrichment activities to aid lost learning.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the reopening of schools in relation to pupils taking (a) GCSE and (b) A Level exams in 2021.

From the 15 June, we are asking secondary schools to offer face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.

Our assessment, based on the latest scientific and medical advice, is that we need to continue to control the numbers attending school to reduce the risk of increasing transmission. Therefore, schools are able to have a quarter of the year 10 and year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time, alongside full time provision for priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers) in all year groups.

Year 10 and year 12 have been prioritised in mainstream secondary schools because they are preparing for key examinations next year (2021) and, of the secondary year groups, are most impacted by time out of school.

Guidance for secondary schools on wider opening is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of using the grid multiplication method in maths teaching at key stage 2; and whether he plans to publish revised guidance to encourage that method in the curriculum.

The mathematics national curriculum was reformed in 2014. It was developed by the Department with advice from subject experts, to ensure that it provided the knowledge to progress in education and employment.

The national curriculum requires pupils in state-maintained schools to be taught a formal written method of multiplication and ‘Mathematics Appendix 1’ provides a set of examples for this.

There are no current plans to published revised guidance on this matter.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of the recommendations of the UN Environment Programme’s Life Cycle Initiative’s report on single-use nappies and their alternatives, published March 2021.

In line with the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our Resources and Waste Strategy, we are considering the best approach to minimise the environmental impact of a range of products, including nappies, taking on board the environmental and social impacts of the options available. Potential additional policy measures include standards, consumer information and encouraging voluntary action by business.

Through the Environment Bill, we are seeking powers that will enable us to, where appropriate and subject to consultation, introduce eco-design and consumer information requirements. This could include labelling schemes that provide accurate information to consumers, to drive the market towards more sustainable products. The Environment Bill will also enable us to put in place extended producer responsibility schemes as well as design and labelling requirements, that relate to the efficient use of resources, for a wide range of products, including potentially nappies.

We are aware of the UN Environment Programme's report which references a number of life cycle analyses on nappies from around the world, including the work carried out by the Environment Agency in the UK in 2005 and 2008. We are also funding our own environmental assessment of disposable and washable absorbent hygiene products, with the primary focus on nappies, to bring the research for the UK up to date. The work will be published later this year, following peer review, and the sources of the information used will be included in the final report. Any future action on nappies by Government and industry will take this and any other relevant information into account.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2021
What steps he is taking to promote sustainable fisheries.

The Fisheries Act sets out clear objectives on sustainability with detailed policies published in the Joint Fisheries Statement. We will publish our Fisheries Management Plans to meet our commitment to fishing within sustainable limits. As an independent coastal state, we are committed to working with our international partners to manage our shared stocks sustainably.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to join up the work on the Biomass Strategy, the England Tree Strategy and development of the Agricultural Transition Plan to encourage tree planting and support rural economies.

There are many important interdependencies between our policies on trees, agriculture and biomass. Defra and BEIS are working closely in partnership to maximise the role of nature-based solutions to meet net zero and ensure that these strategies are mutually supportive.

  • The England Tree Strategy will set out policies to deliver planting commitments, support nature recovery, protect and improve woodlands, and provide a source of employment, sustainable wood fibre and energy.
  • The Biomass Strategy will set out the results of a review of the amount of sustainable biomass – including woody biomass - available in the UK, and how this could be best utilised across the economy to help achieve net zero.
  • These strategies will set out long term priorities to be implemented alongside the Agricultural Transition, and the introduction of the Environmental Land Management scheme, which will support farmers, foresters and land managers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of supporting producers of plastic-free sanitary products to reduce their environmental impact.

We recognise the need to address the issues associated with the environmental impact of absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). In line with the Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018, we are considering the best approach for a range of products. There are a number of policy measures available to us, including standards and consumer information, and we believe the right approach for each product requires careful consideration taking account of various factors, for example, waste benefits versus energy usage. Therefore, we are carrying out new research into the impacts of reusable and disposable AHPs, which will help us decide on the best course of action. The tender for this project is currently live and more information is available here: www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/2d7f60a0-658a-460a-870d-839c5fb52305

We are also seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products. These measures form a package of powers that will help incentivise and shift the market towards more reusable alternatives.

However, plastic has an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the (a) production and (b) sale of single use plastics.

It is the Government’s ambition to have zero avoidable waste going to landfill by 2050. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and move towards a more circular economy.

We have already made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and significantly reducing the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by 95% with our 5p charge. We have announced our plans to increase the minimum charge to 10p and to extend the charge to all retailers from April 2021. We will also introduce a ban on the supply of single-use plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds from October 2020. The Government also remains committed to introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, which will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled plastic.

Our landmark Environment Bill will enable us to go even further. The Bill will include powers to create extended producer responsibility schemes; introduce deposit return schemes; establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and allow us to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/stronger-protections-for-the-environment-move-closer-as-landmark-bill-takes-shape.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that opportunities to improve access to the natural environment are included in the Environmental Land Management scheme.

Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of "public money for public goods", ELM is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods:

  • clean air
  • clean and plentiful water
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • reduction in and protection from environmental hazards
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change

Beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment is a public good identified in the 25 Year Environment Plan and an important objective of ELM. ELM could support this through providing funding for access to infrastructure or educational visits, for example.

We will engage with a range of stakeholders as we develop the scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the welfare of animals in zoos is safeguarded during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that zoos are undertaking very valuable work at this time to ensure that the health and welfare needs of the diverse range of animals they care for are well met. We are aware of the issues currently facing zoos and we have been engaging with the main industry association, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and with individual zoos about the best way forward.

The Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos, through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan schemes, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding of up to £25,000.

In addition, specifically for zoos in severe financial distress, the Government is introducing a Zoos Support Fund for licensed zoos in England. Similar support will be provided by the Devolved Administrations. Where a zoo in England is in severe financial distress and has fully explored and exhausted all other reasonable avenues to generate income and reduce costs, including the existing COVID-19 business support schemes, then they should approach Defra as quickly as possible. Defra has already written to all licensed zoos in England to make them aware of the COVID-19 support schemes available as well as the new Zoo Support Fund.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to raise public awareness of the (a) responsible use of and (b) speed limit that applies to e-bikes and (c) the legal provisions that apply to the modification of the speed restrictions of e-bikes.

E-cycle users, like any other road user, have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner and to comply with the Highway Code. Legal provisions applying to e-cycles are set out in The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 and The Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983, and subsequent amendments.

The Department does not have any plans to raise public awareness of these provisions beyond existing road safety messaging, such as THINK!

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Statement of 25 March 2021, HCWS891 on Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy 2 (CWIS2) and the target on walking stages set in the first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy having been met, whether he plans to set a new strengthened target to support walking in the CWIS2.

The second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS 2) will be published after the Government has agreed its long-term spending plans for active travel at the Spending Review later this year. It will reflect and build on the vision and commitments outlined in the Prime Minister’s “Gear Change” Cycling and Walking Plan of July 2020, as well as setting out the financial resources available for cycling and walking and the other matters required by the Infrastructure Act 2015. The Department will consult with relevant stakeholders to develop objectives for both walking and cycling as required by the Act, and will ensure that these objectives are consistent with the Gear Change vision that half of all journeys in towns and cities should be walked or cycled by 2030.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish details of the e-bike national support programme.

We are developing a national programme of support to boost e-bike uptake to the levels seen in many other countries. Details will be announced in spring 2021, subject to the outcome of the Spending Review process. Ahead of this, the Department will consult key stakeholders on the programme, including those representing bicycle retailers and manufacturers. The Department is also planning to support a number of pilot e-bike support schemes in the current financial year to help build an evidence base on the type of approaches which are most effective in increasing take-up of e-bikes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with the Treasury on ensuring that forthcoming transport spending decisions support the aims of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The Government is committed to tackling climate change and reducing emissions from transport. The Department for Transport and HM Treasury hold regular discussions to consider how forthcoming spending decisions align with ambitions to decarbonise the sector.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of walking, cycling and local traffic reduction schemes delivered under Tranche 1 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund; and what progress he has made in distributing Tranche 2 funding.

The Department will be undertaking a full evaluation of the Active Travel Fund in due course, which will inform decisions on subsequent capital investment programmes for cycling and walking. Local authorities who received funding under tranche 1 of the scheme were required to complete an evaluation survey which will be used to help measure the effectiveness of schemes in their areas. The Department plans to confirm tranche 2 allocations shortly, once it is satisfied that the funding will support schemes which are properly thought out and which will deliver benefits to all road users.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide support to bus and coach industries to mitigate the effects of covid-19 outbreak on those industries.

The Department for Transport is working closely with representatives from the bus and coach industries through the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and colleagues in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and other Government Departments, to discuss the concerns of the coach and bus industries in England and review our approach to mitigating the effects of covid-19 on these industries.

The Department has published Safer Travel Guidance for Operators which helps transport organisations in England understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers.

On 8 August, the Department announced funding at up to £27.3 million per week to support the bus sector, through the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart scheme, until a time when the funding is no longer needed. CBSSG Restart funding also covers costs for essential PPE such as hand sanitiser and protective screens for drivers’ cabs. This is in addition to the £397 million the Government announced on 3 April 2020 so that England’s buses will continue to serve those who rely on them, and the £254 million announced on 23 May to support services returning to 100% service levels.

On 31 July 2020, the Department announced that a further exemption from Public Service Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) until 31 July 2021. Whilst many coach operators are PSVAR-compliant, we understand the COVID-19 outbreak may have constrained some operators’ ability to invest in PSVAR-compliant vehicles. This further exemption enables operators to redirect their revenue streams to those areas most needed for the immediate future.

The Department of Education (DfE) has announced over £70 million to local transport authorities to provide dedicated, additional capacity in our transport system, helping students journey to and from their schools and colleges whilst social distancing reduces the capacity of existing public transport. This has been provided in two tranches that were announced on 8 August date and 14 October and will provide additional capacity to the end of the autumn term.


Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring the financial viability of the UK bus and coach industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Transport continue to engage with the Treasury and other government departments on assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the bus and coach industries.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme placements have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by young people by (i) nation, (ii) region and (iii) sector.

As of the 22nd September, over 76,900 young people have started a Kickstart job. Over 196,300 roles have been made available for young people to apply to through the scheme and over 295,000 jobs have been approved for funding.

Below are tables listing the number of Kickstart jobs which have been made available and started by young people to date by geographical area of Great Britain and work sector. The figures used are correct as of the 22nd September and these figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

From 26/08/21 to 22/09/21 an average of over 3,600 young people started on the scheme each week.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Location

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

East Midlands

12,300

4,710

East of England

15,500

5,430

London

40,800

16,670

North East

7,800

3,610

North West

24,600

9,830

Scotland

14,800

6,710

South East

22,400

8,280

South West

14,400

5,080

Wales

10,900

3,740

West Midlands

17,600

6,940

Yorkshire and The Humber

15,200

5,970

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Sector

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

Administration

48,700

19,350

Animal Care

1,000

610

Beauty & Wellbeing

1,400

610

Business & Finance

7,000

2,840

Computing Technology & Digital

13,600

6,640

Construction & Trades

6,000

2,420

Creative & Media

15,400

7,710

Delivery & Storage

5,600

2,190

Emergency & Uniform Services

500

170

Engineering & Maintenance

6,400

2,390

Environment & Land

3,700

1,590

Government Services

700

190

Healthcare

5,400

1,640

Home Services

1,500

400

Hospitality & Food

21,900

6,060

Law & Legal

400

240

Managerial

1,100

390

Manufacturing

5,100

2,080

Retail & Sales

30,400

12,580

Science & Research

800

370

Social Care

4,800

1,220

Sports & Leisure

4,600

1,910

Teaching & Education

9,100

2,980

Transport

600

160

Travel & Tourism

600

230

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020, Health Transformation Programme update, HCWS353, what plans her Department has to continue providing (a) paper, (b) telephone and (c) other methods of disability benefit assessments to claimants of (i) personal independence payments and (ii) disability living allowance; and whether she plans to extend such methods of assessment to claimants of (A) employment and support allowance and (B) universal credit.

Paper based assessments of entitlement to Disability Living Allowance have always been offered in preference to other forms of assessment and will continue as normal. Paper based assessments have also always been a feature of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and are undertaken where there is sufficient evidence. Where possible and in line with usual processes, a paper-based assessment will be undertaken. In PIP we will continue to do telephone-based assessments where necessary.

Paper based reviews have also always been a feature of Work Capability Assessments for UC and ESA. Wherever possible, if there is sufficient evidence available, our Assessment Provider will make a recommendation based on a paper-based review. If this is not possible, our provider will currently look to offer a telephone assessment, where appropriate.

We remain fully committed to making continuous improvements to the support we provide to people with health conditions and disabilities, and are evaluating the changes to our assessment approach which were temporarily introduced. This will inform the approach taken to conducting assessments in the future. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020 by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, what plans her Department has to enable claimants to decide which method of disability benefit assessment they have.

We are considering the next steps for assessments when public health advice allows face to face assessments to be re-introduced. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments, which will take place over the Summer. Further discussions with stakeholders will also be welcomed to ensure we take a range of views into consideration.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to extend easements on work search requirements for claimants of universal credit after 30 June 2020.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the National Institute for Health Research has made of the merits of funding projects to establish the potential effect of microplastics on human health.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding research on microplastic toxicity in humans through the Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Exposure, which is led by Imperial College London and Public Health England. This work will be reported in peer reviewed academic journals in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the disruption to routine dentistry as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on the early detection of oral cancers.

No such assessment has been made. Dentists play an ad hoc role in detecting oral cancers as a by-product of dental check-ups. However, oral cancer is primarily detected through the medical system. Patients with concerns about changes in their mouth should seek advice from their general practitioner and not wait for their next dental appointment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to support the private dentistry sector to recover from the effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

Dentists who meet the criteria can access the full range of HM Treasury support for their private earnings. Self-employed dentists who have met the criteria have been eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which will continue until September, with a fourth and fifth grant. Dentists who receive a salary through a Pay As You Earn scheme may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has also been extended until September. In addition, a new United Kingdom-wide Recovery Loan Scheme will help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote ongoing, routine preventative dental care to protect people's oral health.

Public Health England have published the guidance ‘Delivering better oral health - an evidence-based toolkit for prevention’, for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. The toolkit includes evidence-based advice and treatment that dentists and their teams can use to support their patients to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, mouth cancer and tooth wear. This toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delivering-better-oral-health-an-evidence-based-toolkit-for-prevention

The dental contract reform programme has been piloting new contract models to better incentivise preventative and restorative treatments. The Department will publish an evaluation of the programme this summer and based on the learning, NHS England and NHS Improvement will take forward the design of proposals to protect and improve oral health.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of continuing routine dental care provided on an ongoing basis by dentists on the protection and promotion good oral health.

Public Health England have published the guidance ‘Delivering better oral health - an evidence-based toolkit for prevention’, for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. The toolkit includes evidence-based advice and treatment that dentists and their teams can use to support their patients to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, mouth cancer and tooth wear. This toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delivering-better-oral-health-an-evidence-based-toolkit-for-prevention

The dental contract reform programme has been piloting new contract models to better incentivise preventative and restorative treatments. The Department will publish an evaluation of the programme this summer and based on the learning, NHS England and NHS Improvement will take forward the design of proposals to protect and improve oral health.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help protect (a) care homes and (b) home care providers during the easing of the covid-19 lockdown.

On 15 May 2020 the Government published a care home support package, backed by a £600 million Infection Control Fund. The package sets out the steps that must now be taken to keep people in care homes safe, and the support that will be brought together across national and local government to help care providers put this into practice.

We are currently reviewing our care homes guidance and will be publishing new guidance shortly. As the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown begins, any assessment of a resident’s needs, and subsequent decisions made, must consider individual circumstances and ethical implications, ensuring that the resident is treated with respect so that their human rights, personal choices, safety and dignity is upheld.

We also recognise the vital importance of protecting those who receive care in their homes, as well as those who provide home care. We have published detailed guidance for home care providers to support them to deliver care safely and effectively during the pandemic.

We keep our policies under continuous review during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the emerging international and domestic evidence.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Transport and (b) health sector bodies on promoting cycling and walking for NHS (i) employees and (ii) patients.

The Secretary of State has frequent conversations with relevant Cabinet colleagues and stakeholders. The Department of Transport recently announced a £2billion investment to boost a greener active transport. This includes a £250million emergency active travel fund to help encourage more people to choose cycling and walking as alternatives to public transport when they need to travel. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity can promote good physical health and help manage stress and anxiety.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure the adequacy of staffing levels in the social care sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 May 2020 to Question 902192.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
What steps he is taking to help ensure the adequacy of staffing levels in the social care sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Social care workers are at the frontline of our battle with COVID-19. We are grateful to all care workers, caring for our loved ones every day.

Care workers must follow the guidance on isolating if they or a household member have COVID-19 symptoms - which means that there are higher absence levels than normal – but there must also be enough staff to provide essential care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been monitoring staff absence rates to see where there are particular risks.The CQC is sharing this information with local authorities and the Government has provided them with guidance on supporting care providers. We are encouraging returning health and social care professionals to work in social care and we have launched a national recruitment campaign with the ambition to attract 20,000 people into adult social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that radiotherapy services used in cancer treatment continue during the covid-19 outbreak.

A letter was issued to trusts on 29 April detailing the Second Phase of Response to COVID-19. This letter sets out that:

Local systems and Cancer Alliances must continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, and providers must protect and deliver cancer surgery and cancer treatment by ensuring that cancer surgery hubs are fully operational. Full use should be made of the available contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity locally and regionally. Regional cancer Senior Responsible Officers must now provide assurance that these arrangements are in place everywhere.

Treatment, including radiotherapy, must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to help ensure that residents of care homes living with dementia can maintain contact with their relatives to preserve their cognitive and communication skills during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Department, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service have published guidance on the care of residents in care homes, including those with dementia. It asks care homes to consider alternatives to in-person visiting, including use of telephones or video, or the use of plastic or glass barriers between residents and visitors. Care homes are responding with innovative solutions which are allowing residents to stay in touch with their family and friends.

We continue to review the need for further guidance including specific guidance on the care of people with dementia, informed by the views of stakeholders. We have also commissioned research on the best ways to mitigate the psychological and social impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia living in the community and their family.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to support employees who are not eligible to be furloughed following the change of cut off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The eligibility cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was pushed back from 28 February 2020 to 19 March 2020. This means that employees who were originally ineligible can now participate in the scheme. This change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the significant fraud risks under control.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and for whom HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before the 19 March 2020. Processing claims for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where HMRC did not have RTI data by 19 March would significantly slow down the system while risking substantial levels of fraud. It would also require greater resource for HMRC when they are already under significant pressure to deliver the system designed.

Those not eligible for the scheme may be able to access other support that the Government is providing, including a package of temporary welfare measures and up to three months’ mortgage payment holidays for those struggling with their mortgage payments.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure EU citizens receiving a National Insurance number for the purposes of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not disadvantaged by any delay to that process as a result of covid-19.

HMRC have put processes in place to allow an employer with employees that do not have a National Insurance number to submit a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in order to ensure that employees without a National Insurance number, including EU citizens, are not disadvantaged.
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that EU citizens eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are issued with National Insurance numbers as quickly as possible.

HMRC have put processes in place to allow an employer with employees that do not have a National Insurance number to submit a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in order to ensure that employees without a National Insurance number, including EU citizens, are not disadvantaged.
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support small businesses that pay council tax on their properties and not business rates during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

All councils have their own local council tax support scheme which provides reductions in council tax for low income residents. In addition, the Government has provided councils with a £500m hardship fund to enable additional council tax relief.

This funding is in addition to support for businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership may be eligible for a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what further financial support will be provided to local authorities to enable them to open toilet blocks after the additional cleaning required as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic


The additional funding is un-ringfenced and can be used across all local services facing pressures, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major Covid-19 service pressures in their local area.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to provide support to local authorities to support SMEs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. In particular, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £12.33 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF):

  • All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
  • This is estimated to apply to around 730,000 businesses across England.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF):

  • Businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Through Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government has also made provision for a three-month moratorium on the ability of landlords of commercial properties to exercise any right of forfeiture that they may have due to the non-payment of rent by tenants. The provision delays the right to forfeiture; it does not otherwise impinge on a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture at the end of that period. The objective of the clause is to provide much-needed certainty to those businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus and worried about security of tenure during this difficult period. The moratorium is in effect until 30 June, a period that can be extended by Government if necessary.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to support (a) small businesses and (b) the high street to recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. In particular, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £12.33 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF):

  • All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
  • This is estimated to apply to around 730,000 businesses across England.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF):

  • Businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Through Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government has also made provision for a three-month moratorium on the ability of landlords of commercial properties to exercise any right of forfeiture that they may have due to the non-payment of rent by tenants. The provision delays the right to forfeiture; it does not otherwise impinge on a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture at the end of that period. The objective of the clause is to provide much-needed certainty to those businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus and worried about security of tenure during this difficult period. The moratorium is in effect until 30 June, a period that can be extended by Government if necessary.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
3rd Nov 2020
What steps his Department is taking to ensure that courts operate effectively during the covid-19 outbreak.

Progress against the HMCTS recovery plan published on 1 July is already well underway to reduce outstanding cases and to get our operating capacity as close as possible to pre-Covid levels.

We are investing record amounts, with £153m to improve court and tribunal buildings – the biggest single investment in court estate maintenance for more than 20 years. We’ve also opened 14 Nightingale Courts and over 240 jury courtrooms, while Magistrates’ Courts have been completing more cases than they are receiving.

We’ve piloted Covid Operating hours at the Crown Court in Liverpool and several other crown courts. I’m also pleased the number of hearings across the civil, family and tribunal jurisdictions is also increasing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when HM Courts and Tribunals Service plans to take on the operation of virtual remand hearings from court premises as police forces return to their usual duties.

HMCTS will continue to facilitate video remand hearings using the Cloud Video Platform (CVP). Steps have been taken to increase the capacity of our existing systems to enable other participants to appear remotely. We continue to engage with Policing across England and Wales on the use of video in the criminal justice system.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2021
What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union.

The Government places great importance on the Union, and Northern Ireland’s integral place within it. We are using Northern Ireland’s centenary to promote Northern Ireland on the world stage and showcase the contribution of its people, places and products to our United Kingdom.

We have just signed Heads of Terms for the Derry-Londonderry City Deal, which includes a £105m UK Government investment, showing our commitment to levelling up across the UK.

In addition to the £2bn we have committed through New Decade New Approach, we have supported the Executive with £3.3bn to tackle Coronavirus. The £400m New Deal for Northern Ireland will boost economic growth, supporting businesses across Northern Ireland to invest.

We will continue working tirelessly for our family of nations, ensuring it is a Union of people that works for everyone.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Dec 2020
What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union.

This Government has always stressed the importance of the Union.

The recent spending review showed this Government’s commitment to investing in all parts of the UK, from city and growth deals, to driving the development of innovative technologies across Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland