Shabana Mahmood Portrait

Shabana Mahmood

Labour - Birmingham, Ladywood

National campaign co-ordinator

(since May 2021)
2 APPG memberships (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Bangladesh, Commonwealth Games
2 Former APPG memberships
Commonweatlth Games, Hajj and Umrah
Public Accounts Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 20th Apr 2021
Public Accounts Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Trade Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (Joint Committee)
26th Nov 2015 - 11th Feb 2016
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th May 2015 - 14th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Treasury)
7th Oct 2013 - 8th May 2015
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Work and Pensions Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 2nd Nov 2010


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 21st June 2022
Adviser on Ministerial Interests
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 117 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 161 Noes - 252
Speeches
Wednesday 22nd June 2022
Building Safety Remediation: Leaseholders
I completely agree with the hon. Gentleman. I see no reason to maintain a cap. If we have conceded the …
Written Answers
Monday 6th June 2022
Housing: Insulation
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on the protection for …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
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: USDAW
Address of donor: 188 Wilmslow Road, Manchester M14 6LS
Amount of donation or nature and value …
EDM signed
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Max Freedman's service to parliamentary staff
That this House recognises Max Freedman's commitment over 10 years as the chair of the Parliamentary staff UNITE trade union …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
To amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Shabana Mahmood has voted in 370 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Shabana Mahmood 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
Eddie Hughes (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(4 debate interactions)
Lucy Frazer (Conservative)
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
(3 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(3 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(6 debate contributions)
Home Office
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Finance Act 2020 - Government Bill
(2,202 words contributed)
Fire Safety Act 2021 - Government Bill
(1,628 words contributed)
Trade Act 2021 - Government Bill
(1,468 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Shabana Mahmood's debates

Birmingham, Ladywood 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 Birmingham, Ladywood signature proportion
Petitions with most Birmingham, Ladywood signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.


Latest EDMs signed by Shabana Mahmood

22nd January 2020
Shabana Mahmood signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Max Freedman's service to parliamentary staff

Tabled by: John Cryer (Labour - Leyton and Wanstead)
That this House recognises Max Freedman's commitment over 10 years as the chair of the Parliamentary staff UNITE trade union branch representing staff of all parties in Parliament and constituency offices; appreciates that over the past decade he has worked tirelessly in representing staff of hon. Members both in individual …
77 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 58
Scottish National Party: 9
Independent: 3
Conservative: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
4th September 2019
Shabana Mahmood signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 4th September 2019

CONFLICT IN KASHMIR

Tabled by: Naz Shah (Labour - Bradford West)
That this House expresses huge concern about the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir by the Indian Government, stripping away the right to special status for the people of Kashmir; is extremely alarmed by the road to ethnic cleansing opened up by the ongoing communications blackout and the …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 30 Sep 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 23
Conservative: 1
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Shabana Mahmood's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Shabana Mahmood, 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.


Shabana Mahmood has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Shabana Mahmood

Wednesday 9th September 2020

Shabana Mahmood has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


329 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
40 Other Department Questions
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment has been made of the number of leaseholders who do not qualify for government protection from non-cladding costs because they are a buy to let landlord with more than (a) three, (b) five, (c) 10 and (d) 20 properties.

The leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act apply to people living in their own homes or with up to three UK properties in total. The protections are designed to protect those living in their own homes from unaffordable remediation bills. In recognition of the circumstances of people with small numbers of additional properties, the protections also apply to leaseholders with up to three UK properties in total. The Department does not hold data on leaseholders with more than three properties.

There are still significant protections in place for leaseholders with more than three properties. Where more than three properties are owned, the principal home always qualifies for the protections. All leaseholders will be protected from all historical building safety remediation costs where their building owner or landlord is – or is connected to – the developer. Where developers have signed up to our developer pledge to fix their own buildings, this will benefit all leaseholders in the building. Leaseholders with more than three properties will also benefit from grant funding for the removal of unsafe cladding. Further, the leaseholder protections measures will drive enhanced proportionality, eliminating unnecessary work and bringing down remediation costs; this will also benefit all leaseholders.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on the protection for leaseholders from (a) cladding and (b) non-cladding remediation costs for leaseholders who live in a building managed by the residents and leaseholders themselves.

The leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022 apply equally to buildings which are managed by a right to manage (RTM) company or resident management company (RMC) as they do to buildings which are not. Buildings are only exempt from the leaseholder protections measures if the building is collectively owned by the residents, such as in a building where the residents have collectively enfranchised to purchase the freehold.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on the protection for leaseholders from (a) cladding and (b) non-cladding remediation costs for leaseholders who live in a building managed by a Right to Manage company.

The leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022 apply equally to buildings which are managed by a right to manage (RTM) company or resident management company (RMC) as they do to buildings which are not. Buildings are only exempt from the leaseholder protections measures if the building is collectively owned by the residents, such as in a building where the residents have collectively enfranchised to purchase the freehold.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether it is his policy that protection for leaseholders from (a) cladding and (b) non-cladding remediation costs cover leaseholders who live in a building that is managed by a resident management company to which they pay a service charge.

The leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022 apply equally to buildings which are managed by a right to manage (RTM) company or resident management company (RMC) as they do to buildings which are not. Buildings are only exempt from the leaseholder protections measures if the building is collectively owned by the residents, such as in a building where the residents have collectively enfranchised to purchase the freehold.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to help ensure developers who have not yet signed the building safety pledge do so.

45 of the largest developers have now signed the pledge. The Department is in discussions with further developers that we believe should sign the pledge, and this work will continue. The Secretary of State has made clear that he expects all companies to do the right thing, and that we will pursue those who fail to do so. We intend to establish a Responsible Actors Scheme that will make sure that any companies that fail to do the right thing face significant commercial and reputational consequences. The Department has established a recovery unit that will pursue irresponsible actors through the courts if necessary.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent estimate he has made of the number of developers who have not signed the Government’s building safety repairs pledge.

45 of the largest developers have now signed the pledge. The Department is in discussions with further developers that we believe should sign the pledge, and this work will continue. The Secretary of State has made clear that he expects all companies to do the right thing, and that we will pursue those who fail to do so. We intend to establish a Responsible Actors Scheme that will make sure that any companies that fail to do the right thing face significant commercial and reputational consequences. The Department has established a recovery unit that will pursue irresponsible actors through the courts if necessary.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether a developer is responsible for paying for cladding remediation of a building in a case where it was not the building’s developer at the time of its construction but has since acquired the original developer.

Yes, we expect developers to take responsibility for any building developed by any company within their corporate group, including cases where they acquired the original developer of the building.

45 of the largest developers have now signed a pledge to:

  • take responsibility for all necessary work to address life-critical, fire-safety defects on buildings 11 metres and over that they had a role in developing or refurbishing; and
  • withdraw any such buildings from the Building Safety Fund and Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) Fund and reimburse funding received from those funds for such buildings.
Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he is taking steps to ensure that ongoing cladding remediation works are not delayed in cases where leaseholders cannot afford to pay upfront capital costs.

The Building Safety Act 2022 protects leaseholders in buildings above 11 metres in height or with at least five storeys from costs associated with historical building safety defects. A leaseholder qualifies for the protections if, on 14 February 2022, the property was their principal home, or if they owned no more than three UK properties in total. The protections automatically transfer to future buyers if a lease is sold.

Those responsible for historical building safety defects must pay to put them right. That is why, where the building is owned by the developer of the building, or the building owner is linked to the developer, the no costs related to historical defects can be passed to any leaseholders; including commercial leaseholders. If the building owner is not linked to the developer, commercial leaseholders can be charged for their full share of remediation works, as per the terms of their lease.

Qualifying leaseholders will be fully protected in law from cladding costs. In addition, the costs for remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures like waking watches are subject to a firm cap. Once the leaseholder caps have been reached, landlords will be unable to demand further contributions from leaseholders. Landlords will be required to provide detailed evidence to leaseholders that they are entitled to pass on costs. The Government is clear that landlords who attempt to continue charging leaseholders once the caps have been met will be breaking the law and we will not hesitate to use all possible levers to hold rogue actors to account.

The Government has agreed with 45 residential property developers that they will fix life-critical fire safety defects, including cladding, in all buildings above 11 metres that they had a role in developing or refurbishing in the past 30 years. Where a responsible developer cannot be identified, grant funding from either the Building Safety Fund or the new 11-18 metre remediation fund will cover the costs of fixing unsafe cladding.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the proposals on building safety announced on 14 February 2022, what steps he is taking to ensure that those leaseholders who have already paid their allowance towards the non-cladding defects cap are not pursued for further payments.

The Building Safety Act 2022 protects leaseholders in buildings above 11 metres in height or with at least five storeys from costs associated with historical building safety defects. A leaseholder qualifies for the protections if, on 14 February 2022, the property was their principal home, or if they owned no more than three UK properties in total. The protections automatically transfer to future buyers if a lease is sold.

Those responsible for historical building safety defects must pay to put them right. That is why, where the building is owned by the developer of the building, or the building owner is linked to the developer, the no costs related to historical defects can be passed to any leaseholders; including commercial leaseholders. If the building owner is not linked to the developer, commercial leaseholders can be charged for their full share of remediation works, as per the terms of their lease.

Qualifying leaseholders will be fully protected in law from cladding costs. In addition, the costs for remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures like waking watches are subject to a firm cap. Once the leaseholder caps have been reached, landlords will be unable to demand further contributions from leaseholders. Landlords will be required to provide detailed evidence to leaseholders that they are entitled to pass on costs. The Government is clear that landlords who attempt to continue charging leaseholders once the caps have been met will be breaking the law and we will not hesitate to use all possible levers to hold rogue actors to account.

The Government has agreed with 45 residential property developers that they will fix life-critical fire safety defects, including cladding, in all buildings above 11 metres that they had a role in developing or refurbishing in the past 30 years. Where a responsible developer cannot be identified, grant funding from either the Building Safety Fund or the new 11-18 metre remediation fund will cover the costs of fixing unsafe cladding.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to ensure that commercial leaseholders pay their share of the costs of remediation works on buildings for which they hold a commercial lease.

The Building Safety Act 2022 protects leaseholders in buildings above 11 metres in height or with at least five storeys from costs associated with historical building safety defects. A leaseholder qualifies for the protections if, on 14 February 2022, the property was their principal home, or if they owned no more than three UK properties in total. The protections automatically transfer to future buyers if a lease is sold.

Those responsible for historical building safety defects must pay to put them right. That is why, where the building is owned by the developer of the building, or the building owner is linked to the developer, then no costs related to historical defects can be passed to any leaseholders; including commercial leaseholders. If the building owner is not linked to the developer, commercial leaseholders can be charged for their full share of remediation works, as per the terms of their lease.

Qualifying leaseholders will be fully protected in law from cladding costs. In addition, the costs for remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures like waking watches are subject to a firm cap. Once the leaseholder caps have been reached, landlords will be unable to demand further contributions from leaseholders. Landlords will be required to provide detailed evidence to leaseholders that they are entitled to pass on costs. The Government is clear that landlords who attempt to continue charging leaseholders once the caps have been met will be breaking the law and we will not hesitate to use all possible levers to hold rogue actors to account.

The Government has agreed with 45 residential property developers that they will fix life-critical fire safety defects, including cladding, in all buildings above 11 metres that they had a role in developing or refurbishing in the past 30 years. Where a responsible developer cannot be identified, grant funding from either the Building Safety Fund or the new 11-18 metre remediation fund will cover the costs of fixing unsafe cladding.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
20th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent estimate he has made of the number of resident management companies based in blocks requiring (a) cladding remediation works and (b) non-cladding remediation works in (i) England and (ii) Birmingham.

The information requested is not held.

Information on the number of high-rise (over 18 metres) residential and publicly-owned buildings with ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet Building Regulations is available in the Building Safety Programme data release. Information by local authority is published in Web Table 3 of that release.

For high-rise residential buildings with unsafe non-ACM cladding, the Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund at pace so more remedial works can begin as swiftly as possible. Information on registrations to the Building Safety Fund (including by local authority) can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registrations-private-sector-and-social-sector.

Information on the prevalence of external wall system life-safety fire risk in 11-18m residential buildings in England is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimating-the-prevalence-and-costs-of-external-wall-system-life-safety-fire-risk-in-mid-rise-residential-buildings-in-england.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his planned timescale is for the implementation of the measures regarding supported exempt accommodation announced on 17 March 2022 in written statement HCWS696.

We are actively engaging with stakeholders to develop the detail of the measures announced on 17 March. We will introduce any measures requiring legislation when parliamentary time allows.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether an impact assessment was conducted on the referrals local authorities can make on Houses of Multiple Occupancy for council tax revaluation.

There is no impact assessment required for referrals. The Valuation Office Agency has a statutory duty to maintain an accurate Council Tax list. The Agency acts on information received, including from local authorities and other taxpayers, if it considers that a property’s assessment may be incorrect or needs to be reviewed.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of local authorities that are referring Houses of Multiple Occupancy for council tax revaluation.

The Department has not had any discussions with representatives of local authorities with regard to the referral, to the Valuation Office Agency, of requests seeking a review of the council tax banding of Houses of Multiple Occupation.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the average increase in council tax for Houses of Multiple Occupancy once those properties are reclassified as multiple properties by the Valuation Office.

The Department does not hold data on the increase in council tax for Houses of Multiple Occupancy following a banding review. The responsibility for carrying out reviews of council tax bands rests with the Valuation Office Agency which has a statutory duty to maintain an accurate Council Tax list and acts independently of Ministers. Decisions on the levels of council tax are matters for individual councils.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment estimate he has made of the number of council tax revaluations for Houses of Multiple Occupancy in England in 2020-21.

The Department does not hold data on the number of council tax reviews for Houses of Multiple Occupancy. The responsibility for considering requests for reviews of council tax bands rests with the Valuation Office Agency which has a statutory duty to maintain an accurate Council Tax list.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether there is a mechanism for leaseholders to request a second opinion following a building safety assessment and report on their building.

Fire risk assessments must be proportionate to make sure that unnecessary remediation costs are avoided and leaseholders are protected from unreasonable costs. Where remediation of a building is recommended by an assessor, material supporting this conclusion should be transparent and there should be evidence that alternatives, such as management or mitigation measures, have been clearly considered.

Leaseholders can request that a building owner seek a second opinion from another fire risk assessor on the necessity of the works or their costs. The building owner would need to agree to this and leaseholders would be responsible for any additional costs.

The Building Safety Bill will make it a requirement in law that a freeholder needs to explore all alternative sources of funding before passing these costs on to leaseholders.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the new proportionate approach that the Government plans to apply to building safety will result in fire and building safety assessments being revisited for buildings (a) over 18 metres, (b) between 11-18 metres and (c) under 11 metres.

Whole building fire risk assessments are already required in England for residential premises including common parts under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO). Not all buildings require statutory fire risk assessments. For example, single private dwellings with no common parts are not within the scope of the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005. Buildings which already have a suitable and proportionate assessment of their external walls will not need to be reassessed.

We have worked with BSI to develop new guidance for fire safety professionals on the undertaking of fire risk appraisals of the external wall construction and cladding of existing residential buildings. This guidance (PAS 9980) will enable more proportionate appraisals when necessary.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what progress his Department has made on its work with local authorities on the regulation and management of shisha premises.

Officials have been working with a group of local authorities to consider evidence on whether shisha premises should be regulated. The Department will inform local authorities of its view on the matter in due course.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding available through the Building Safety Fund to meet (a) current and (b) future demand.

All eligible applications currently made to the Building Safety Fund will be funded. For any buildings that may have missed the original registration deadline we will be opening the next phase of the Building Safety Fund early this year and it will cover the costs of addressing fire safety risks caused by unsafe cladding on all eligible buildings.

It remains the building owner’s responsibility to address any fire safety issues in their buildings. Building owners should do all they can to make sure their buildings and residents are safe, without passing costs onto leaseholders or relying on taxpayer funding. In many cases, as we have seen for with the funding for the remediation of half of all private sector residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding, building owners and freeholders or the original developer can meet the costs of remediating unsafe cladding from their own resources, by claiming on insurance policies or warranties, or taking legal action. It is incumbent on them to pursue those avenues. Where building owners apply for funding they are required to demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to recover the costs of replacing the unsafe non-ACM cladding from those responsible through insurance claims, warranties, legal action etc.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to evaluate the (a) effectiveness and (b) cost efficiency of the Building Safety Manager role.

The Building Safety Manager role is considered critical in supporting Accountable Persons to ensure fire and structural safety is delivered and maintained.

To ensure a robust and consistent approach to assuring competence, we are sponsoring the British Standards Institution to create a suite of national competence standards for higher risk buildings. This will include the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager and other key roles.

The Principal Accountable Person will be responsible for appointing, and entering into a contract with, the Building Safety Manager. They will need to agree the extent of the role and must be satisfied in the Building Safety Manager’s capability to deliver it, this will provide an incentive for the Principal Accountable Person to ensure the role is delivered in an effective and cost efficient way. Where an individual or organisation is appointed as the Building Safety Manager, we expect professional residential management agents to supply much of the demand. This is in line with the vision set out by Dame Judith Hackitt.

The Building Safety Bill contains a requirement to review the legislation at least every 5 years, including the effectiveness of the Building Safety Regulator and the regulatory system for building safety.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an estimate of the potential cost to the public purse of commissioning the British Standards Institution to create a competence framework for the Building Safety Manager role.

We expect that the work to develop the Publicly Available Specification for the Building Safety Manager role will cost around £132,000 + VAT.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of (a) the training support and guidance that building safety managers will need and (b) the cost of that training support and guidance.

To ensure a robust and consistent approach to assuring competence, we are sponsoring the British Standards Institution to create a suite of national competence standards for higher risk buildings. This will include the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager and other key roles


It is important that industry takes ownership of improving competence to ensure change is meaningful and sustained. Industry is best placed to ensure supply of Building Safety Managers can meet demand and is already leading the work to develop the competence framework for Building Safety Managers. We fully support these efforts


The Government intends to provide statutory guidance to support how the competence of the Building Safety Manager is assessed and assured. We expect that statutory guidance would provide examples of how the Building Safety Manager might meet the competence requirements, making reference to the Publicly Available Specification and, if sufficiently robust, accredited industry-run registers.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to support building safety managers to access ongoing training to ensure their knowledge base is up to date.

To ensure a robust and consistent approach to assuring competence, we are sponsoring the British Standards Institution to create a suite of national competence standards for higher risk buildings. This will include the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager and other key roles


It is important that industry takes ownership of improving competence to ensure change is meaningful and sustained. Industry is best placed to ensure supply of Building Safety Managers can meet demand and is already leading the work to develop the competence framework for Building Safety Managers. We fully support these efforts


The Government intends to provide statutory guidance to support how the competence of the Building Safety Manager is assessed and assured. We expect that statutory guidance would provide examples of how the Building Safety Manager might meet the competence requirements, making reference to the Publicly Available Specification and, if sufficiently robust, accredited industry-run registers.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what training and qualification requirements building safety managers will need.

To ensure a robust and consistent approach to assuring competence, we are sponsoring the British Standards Institution to create a suite of national competence standards for higher risk buildings. This will include the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager and other key roles


It is important that industry takes ownership of improving competence to ensure change is meaningful and sustained. Industry is best placed to ensure supply of Building Safety Managers can meet demand and is already leading the work to develop the competence framework for Building Safety Managers. We fully support these efforts


The Government intends to provide statutory guidance to support how the competence of the Building Safety Manager is assessed and assured. We expect that statutory guidance would provide examples of how the Building Safety Manager might meet the competence requirements, making reference to the Publicly Available Specification and, if sufficiently robust, accredited industry-run registers.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government is providing funding for leaseholders living in buildings that do not have combustible cladding but do have other fire safety defects, such as combustible insulation.

Longstanding independent safety advice has been clear that unsafe cladding poses the greatest risk to buildings because it can act as a fuel to a fire. Our approach prioritises action on the risks of unsafe cladding – the costs for remediating this are high, and the risks posed by it are also high. Building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders and we are introducing new measures that will legally require building owners to prove they have tried all routes to cover costs. The Government remains committed to protecting leaseholders from unaffordable costs. We are looking closely at this issue to make sure everything is being done to support leaseholders. The Building Safety Bill will bring about a fundamental change in both the regulatory framework for building safety and construction industry culture, creating a more accountable system.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether an EWS1 form is required for a building below 18 metres.

An independent expert statement in July this year was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required by lenders on buildings under 18 metres. The Government strongly supports this position and made this clear in its written statement of 21 July.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent progress his Department has made on its re-evaluation of the loan scheme for building under 18 metres.

We are looking closely at this issue to make sure everything is being done to support leaseholders. This will be informed by new data from further survey work to understand the prevalence of unsafe cladding in medium rise buildings of 11-18 metres. The Government remains committed to protecting leaseholders from unaffordable costs. Further detail on the support offer for leaseholders in residential buildings of 11-18 metres will be released when all options have been fully considered.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the cost to the public purse of the proposed Building Safety Managers and (b) whether that costs constitutes value for money.

The Building Safety Manager will be an individual or organisation who is appointed by, and enters into contract with, the Principal Accountable Person. It is not expected for the costs to fall on the public purse.

In line with recommendations set out by Dame Judith Hackitt, their role is to support Accountable Persons in the management of fire and structural safety in occupied high-rise residential buildings that are in scope of the new regime. A competent Building Safety Manager must be appointed for all occupied buildings, with the exception of where the Principal Accountable Person has notified the Building Safety Regulator that they have the requisite competence and capability and will fulfil the role themselves.

The Government is committed to ensuring safe outcomes for residents of high-rise buildings; Building Safety Managers will provide expertise and assistance to help ensure residents feel safe in their homes.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the proposed role of Building Safety Manager.

The Building Safety Manager, who can be an organisation or individual, will play a key role in assisting and helping to ensuring that Accountable Persons meet their obligations. Building Safety Managers must be competent to support in the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in the building.

To ensure a robust and consistent approach to assuring competence, we are sponsoring the British Standards Institution to create a suite of national competence standards for higher risk buildings. This will include the competence framework for the Building Safety Manager and other key roles.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many buildings that have successfully applied to the Building Safety Fund have (a) received funding and (b) started cladding remediation work in (i) Birmingham Ladywood constituency, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) the West Midlands.

As at 18 October 2021, a total of 31 buildings have applied for funding from the Building Safety Fund in the West Midlands, 27 of the buildings are in Birmingham and of these 26 are in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency. A total of 18 buildings in the West Midlands are receiving funding from the Building Safety Fund, 17 of which are in Birmingham and 16 of those are in Birmingham Ladywood. A total of 5 buildings have started cladding remediation, all of which are in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many buildings have (a) applied to and (b) secured funding from the Building Safety Fund in (i) Birmingham Ladywood constituency, (ii) Birmingham and (iii) the West Midlands.

As at 18 October 2021, a total of 31 buildings have applied for funding from the Building Safety Fund in the West Midlands, 27 of the buildings are in Birmingham and of these 26 are in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency. A total of 18 buildings in the West Midlands are receiving funding from the Building Safety Fund, 17 of which are in Birmingham and 16 of those are in Birmingham Ladywood. A total of 5 buildings have started cladding remediation, all of which are in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent progress has been made on the industry survey developed with the Construction Leadership Council on the construction professional indemnity insurance market.

Working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, last year the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities encouraged the Construction Leadership Council to conduct an industry survey on the professional indemnity insurance constraints faced by construction professionals.

The largest professional indemnity insurance survey of its kind in construction, the survey highlighted the significant premium increases faced by many professionals across the construction sector.

The survey has been used to support evidence provided by the Construction Leadership Council to the upcoming Industry Safety Steering Group annual report, which sets out industry's progress on culture change over the last year.

It has also been used to consider industry actions that could produce a more proportionate approach to PII premium pricing and fire safety exclusions, in particular to ensure that the Government can continue to progress the remediation of unsafe cladding systems. The data has also informed our work on EWS1 professional indemnity insurance cover.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the difficulties experienced by the construction industry in securing professional indemnity insurance for fire safety and remediation work.

The Government understands that those involved in the construction industry are struggling to obtain adequate professional indemnity insurance (PII) for fire safety and remediation work.

The issue is a complex one with multiple causes, and the Government understands that insurance premiums have risen substantially since 2018 for construction professionals.

We continue to engage with industry experts to establish methods to restore confidence in building safety and improve coverage in the construction sector, in particular to ensure that the Government can continue to progress the remediation of unsafe cladding systems.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department plans take to help ensure that professional indemnity requirements are not halting essential fire safety and remediation work.

The Building Safety Bill will ensure that those responsible for occupied higher-risk buildings will be required to actively manage building safety risks, evidencing this through the safety case regime overseen by the Building Safety Regulator. This will ensure major fire and structural hazards are effectively and proportionately managed, mitigated and remedied and that effective steps are taken, which take into account safety and cost.

We have been clear that building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders and where they have not stepped up, we have stepped in. The Government has announced a globally unprecedented investment of £5 billion in building safety and hundreds of thousands of leaseholders will be protected from the cost of remediating unsafe cladding from their homes.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to her oral contribution of 4 June 2020, official report, column 1003, on public health England review: covid-19 disparities, what recent progress has been made on the Government's review of its work to lessen disparities in infection and death rates of covid-19 between Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities and the wider population.

I am leading cross-government work on the findings of the Public Health England Report “Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19”. The Race Disparity Unit (RDU) is supporting me in this


Following work undertaken by the RDU, the Office for National statistics, and the wider scientific community, we have made good progress in recent weeks in identifying the key drivers of these disparities and the relationships between the different risk factors for ethnic minority communities. I have also been reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by government departments and their agencies to directly lessen the disparities. I will shortly be sending the first quarterly progress report on my work to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, as required by the terms of reference.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent progress the Government has made on reducing the increased risk to Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities from covid-19.

The Government is implementing significant measures to reduce the spread of the virus in all communities, especially for people who may be at higher risk. This includes ensuring that those in high-contact professions get targeted testing, issuing updated guidance on workplace safety and translating key public health messages into multiple different languages.

I am also leading work on the findings of the Public Health England Report “Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19”. Following work undertaken by the scientific community, the Office for National Statistics and the Race Disparity Unit, we have made good progress in recent weeks in identifying the key drivers of these disparities and the relationships between the different risk factors for ethnic minority communities. I have also been reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by government departments and their agencies to directly lessen the disparities. I will shortly be sending the first quarterly progress report on my work to the Prime Minister.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to ensure people living in multi-generational households do not have an increased risk of contracting covid-19.

The Government has provided a range of guidance to support those living in multi-generational housing, alongside detailed advice to employers and key workers on how they can protect themselves and to reduce transmission. We will continue to ensure that our guidance is clear and enables people to protect themselves adequately, this includes guidance for those shielding. Supporting this guidance, we have given councils an additional £1.6bn COVID-19 budget fund to help them protect people during this national emergency.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what cross-departmental steps the Government is taking to reduce the increased risk posed by covid-19 to black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.

The Government has implemented significant measures to reduce the spread of the virus in all communities, especially for people who may be at higher risk, and is working with COVID teams across departments and agencies to communicate and engage directly with ethnic minority communities.

I am also working with the Race Disparity Unit and the Department for Health and Social Care to carry forward work on the findings of the Public Health England Report “COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes”. This includes reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by relevant government departments and their agencies to directly lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 130678 on Import: Ethics, when his Department plans its next review on commercial policy and guidance advocating a systematic approach to identifying and tackling modern slavery and labour abuses in Government supply chains to be (a) undertaken and (b) completed.

Procurement Policy Note 05/19: Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains was published in September 2019 and sets out how UK Government departments must take action to ensure modern slavery risks are identified and managed in government supply chains.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he has taken to ensure the Government does not procure (a) cotton from Xinjiang and (b) other unethically sourced products.

The UK has taken a leading international role in holding China to account for its entirely unacceptable human rights violations and in Xinjiang in particular, including in respect of credible evidence of forced labour. The UK led the first international joint statements on this issue at the UN Human Rights Council in June.

The Government is committed to working to improve action to tackle modern slavery in supply chains, and has published commercial policy and guidance which advocates a systematic approach to identifying and tackling modern slavery and labour abuses in government supply chains, focussing on areas of the highest risk. We are keeping this matter under close review.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that cross-government strategies to ease covid-19 public health restrictions do not put people living in multi-generational households at an increased risk of infection.

As set out in Our Plan to Rebuild, the Government is introducing a range of adjustments to social distancing measures, timing these carefully according to both the current transmission rate of the virus and the Government’s ability to ensure safety. The steps for modifying social distancing measures are set out in the plan, with strict conditions to safely move from each step to the next.

The government has committed to keeping social distancing measures under close review. As part of this work, we have been considering the impact of these measures on different groups in society or those from particular backgrounds.

We have published guidance for people with grandparents, parents and children living together which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/guidance-for-households-with-grandparents-parents-and-children-living-together-where-someone-is-at-increased-risk-or-has-symptoms-of-coronavirus-cov

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of whether social distancing measures implemented by the Government in response to covid-19 disproportionately put black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities at an increased risk of contracting covid-19.

We share concerns that COVID-19 may be adversely affecting BAME communities. That is why the Chief Medical Officer has commissioned Public Health England to review the impact on health that COVID-19 has on those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The findings of this review will help to inform what further action we can take to better protect these communities.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that Government strategies to ease social distancing measures take into account the living circumstances of multi-generational households.

The government has committed to keeping social distancing measures under close review. As part of this work, we have been considering the impact of these measures on different groups in society or those from particular backgrounds.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential combined effect of the removal of the £20 a week uplift to universal credit and increases in gas utility prices on estimated rates of fuel poverty in (a) Birmingham Ladywood constituency and (b) the West Midlands in the next 12 months.

Thanks to our price cap we are able to protect customers from higher bills.

The Government introduced a price cap in 2019 which saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year on average. The level of the price cap is set by Ofgem, the independent regulator, and is based on a range of factors including regional network costs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what contingency plans he has in place for customers in the event of a major gas provider collapsing.

The Government has robust processes in place to ensure continuity of supply for customers. These include the Supplier of Last Resort process, which is operated by Ofgem, the independent regulator. The Government also has powers under Special Administration. Government will continue to work closely with Ofgem to protect customers. For more information on this process visit the Ofgem website: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/supplier-last-resort-revised-guidance-2016.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of energy companies on the effect of their potential collapse on consumers.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have held a series of bilateral and roundtable events with leading energy suppliers, smaller and challenger suppliers and consumer groups to hear about the challenges they currently face and explore ways to protect consumers and businesses

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of creating a whitelist and blacklist of companies that do and do not meet their obligations to uphold human rights throughout their supply chains.

BEIS thanks the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee for its report on ‘Uyghur forced labour in Xinjiang and UK value chains’, published on 17 March 2021. The Government takes very seriously the concerns that the report highlights. On Tuesday 22 March, the UK Government, alongside the EU, US and Canada, placed sanctions on four Chinese officials and one public entity that are responsible for the egregious human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang. We have backed up our international action by robust domestic measures that help ensure that British businesses are not complicit in human rights violations in Xinjiang. The Government will formally respond to the report and its recommendations by 17 May 2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2021 to Question 130679 on Imports: Ethics, how often the Government reviews its guidance to key stakeholders to underline the need for vigilance against supply chain abuses; and when the next such review is planned.

As set out in the previous answer, the Government is clear it expects UK businesses to act responsibly to ensure their products are sourced ethically, and to consider due diligence approaches for their supply arrangements as a means to ensure this. The Government keeps guidance under constant review. We published updated Overseas Business Risk Guidance for China on 12 January 2021, which urges businesses with links to Xinjiang to undertake careful and robust due diligence to ensure their operations do not directly or indirectly contribute to human rights violations.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department is providing to the entertainment sector to help ensure that modern slavery is removed from its supply chains.

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery. The Government encourages companies to report transparently about how they are mitigating modern slavery risks and to use their modern slavery statements to demonstrate year on year progress.

Section 54 of the The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain businesses in all sectors with a turnover of £36m or more (including within the arts, culture, entertainment industry) to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The transparency legislation was designed to enable consumers, investors and civil society to scrutinise business action. To improve the quality and detail of reporting and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government announced an ambitious package of changes to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses and has committed to introduce financial penalties for those that fail to meet their obligations under section 54.

In March 2021, the Government launched a digital registry for modern slavery statements which will enhance transparency by making statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empowering investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise action and monitor progress.

These measures, including requiring organisations to publish their statement on the Government modern slavery registry, require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

DCMS, along with other government departments, will be publishing its own Modern Slavery statement in September 2021. This will extend to our Arms Length Bodies that have a budget of at least £36m.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what impact assessments his Department has conducted on modern slavery in supply chains in the arts and culture sector.

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery. The Government encourages companies to report transparently about how they are mitigating modern slavery risks and to use their modern slavery statements to demonstrate year on year progress.

Section 54 of the The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain businesses in all sectors with a turnover of £36m or more (including within the arts, culture, entertainment industry) to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The transparency legislation was designed to enable consumers, investors and civil society to scrutinise business action. To improve the quality and detail of reporting and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government announced an ambitious package of changes to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses and has committed to introduce financial penalties for those that fail to meet their obligations under section 54.

In March 2021, the Government launched a digital registry for modern slavery statements which will enhance transparency by making statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empowering investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise action and monitor progress.

These measures, including requiring organisations to publish their statement on the Government modern slavery registry, require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

DCMS, along with other government departments, will be publishing its own Modern Slavery statement in September 2021. This will extend to our Arms Length Bodies that have a budget of at least £36m.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department plans to take to protect the entertainment sector from human rights abuses committed in the Xinjiang province of China against Uighur people.

The UK remains gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

As a consequence the Foreign Secretary announced a series of measures to build on our response to the human rights situation in Xinjiang on 12 January. These new measures help ensure UK businesses and the public sector are not complicit in human rights violations in Xinjiang. They also show China that there is a reputational and economic cost to its policies in Xinjiang.

The measures include;

o Strengthening the Overseas Business Risk (OBR) guidance to make clearer the risks to UK businesses investing in, or with supply chains in Xinjiang.

o A review of export controls as they apply to the situation in Xinjiang to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the export of goods that may contribute to human rights violations in Xinjiang.

o The introduction of financial penalties for organisations who fail to comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

o Increasing support for UK public bodies to use public procurement rules to exclude suppliers where there is sufficient evidence of human rights violations from their supply chains

These build on the UK’s existing measures to respond to Xinjiang, including research funded by the UK to help build the evidence base, and guidance to help UK businesses conduct due diligence to ensure supply chains are free of forced labour. The UK was the first country to require companies by law to report on modern slavery in their supply chains. We will continue our international leadership to hold China to account.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support his Department has made available to (a) museums and (b) art galleries during the covid-19 outbreak.

My department is in constant contact with sector bodies and museums directly to assess impacts and are working to develop support for the sector in response to COVID-19. We are also in close contact with counterparts in the devolved nations with culture being a devolved matter. Significant support has been delivered at speed by DCMS arm’s-length bodies. Arts Council England having launched a £160m Emergency Funding Package, the National Lottery Heritage Fund launching a £50m Heritage Emergency Fund, and Historic England launching a £2m Emergency Fund. All of which are delivering support across the sector.


We are also pleased that there has already been support pledged for the sector including through the Job Retention Scheme and the availability of grants of up to £25,000 to leisure businesses, including museums operating from smaller premises through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund. The Government continues to monitor the impact of these and other measures.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are not impacted adversely by the withdrawal of funding for Applied General Qualifications.

The department will continue to fund a range of qualifications similar to current Applied General qualifications that can be taken alongside and as alternatives to A levels where they meet new criteria for quality and necessity. These qualifications will continue to play an important role for students taking mixed programmes with A levels and to support progression to higher education in areas where there are no A levels or T Levels.

Overall, we expect the impacts of our reforms to be positive because students will have access to higher quality qualifications in future, including new T Levels. This will put students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a stronger position to progress into further study or skilled employment. We are committed to supporting students to progress onto T Levels in future and have launched the T Level Transition Programme for those who are not yet ready to progress to a T Level but have the potential to succeed on it after some further preparation. We will also be exploring further through the upcoming consultation on study at level 2 and below what additional forms of support students may need to be ready to move onto A levels and other academic qualifications at level 3.

The impact assessment published alongside the response to the level 3 review consultation recognises that there will be some cost to providers in implementing changes, but we have not made an estimate of the overall cost to providers of changes stemming from the review. The updated impact assessment published alongside the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill in October 2021 provided some estimates of costs of providers familiarising themselves with the new qualification categories. However, the most significant costs are likely to come from the implementation of T Levels and we have provided significant support for providers to enable them to switch. This includes over £400 million in capital funding to put in place the industry standard equipment and facilities needed to deliver the first four T Level waves, over £200 million to build capacity for industry placements delivery, and the launch of the T Level Professional Development offer, which has so far ensured that almost 8,500 teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver T Levels well.

Our reforms to the qualifications landscape are rightly ambitious, but we know that we would be wrong to push too hard and risk compromising quality. In November, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, adjusted the reform timetable to allow an additional year of T Level implementation before overlapping qualifications are removed. This extra year will allow us to continue to work hard to support the growth of T Levels and gives more notice to providers, awarding organisations, employers, students and parents so that they can prepare for the changes when they come in from August 2024.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has been made of the potential cost to (a) providers and (b) the public purse for the changes to providers’ curriculum offer that will be necessary following the withdrawal of funding for Applied General Qualifications.

The department will continue to fund a range of qualifications similar to current Applied General qualifications that can be taken alongside and as alternatives to A levels where they meet new criteria for quality and necessity. These qualifications will continue to play an important role for students taking mixed programmes with A levels and to support progression to higher education in areas where there are no A levels or T Levels.

Overall, we expect the impacts of our reforms to be positive because students will have access to higher quality qualifications in future, including new T Levels. This will put students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a stronger position to progress into further study or skilled employment. We are committed to supporting students to progress onto T Levels in future and have launched the T Level Transition Programme for those who are not yet ready to progress to a T Level but have the potential to succeed on it after some further preparation. We will also be exploring further through the upcoming consultation on study at level 2 and below what additional forms of support students may need to be ready to move onto A levels and other academic qualifications at level 3.

The impact assessment published alongside the response to the level 3 review consultation recognises that there will be some cost to providers in implementing changes, but we have not made an estimate of the overall cost to providers of changes stemming from the review. The updated impact assessment published alongside the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill in October 2021 provided some estimates of costs of providers familiarising themselves with the new qualification categories. However, the most significant costs are likely to come from the implementation of T Levels and we have provided significant support for providers to enable them to switch. This includes over £400 million in capital funding to put in place the industry standard equipment and facilities needed to deliver the first four T Level waves, over £200 million to build capacity for industry placements delivery, and the launch of the T Level Professional Development offer, which has so far ensured that almost 8,500 teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver T Levels well.

Our reforms to the qualifications landscape are rightly ambitious, but we know that we would be wrong to push too hard and risk compromising quality. In November, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, adjusted the reform timetable to allow an additional year of T Level implementation before overlapping qualifications are removed. This extra year will allow us to continue to work hard to support the growth of T Levels and gives more notice to providers, awarding organisations, employers, students and parents so that they can prepare for the changes when they come in from August 2024.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that education providers are supported in making changes to their curriculum offer that will be necessary following the withdrawal of funding for Applied General Qualifications.

The department will continue to fund a range of qualifications similar to current Applied General qualifications that can be taken alongside and as alternatives to A levels where they meet new criteria for quality and necessity. These qualifications will continue to play an important role for students taking mixed programmes with A levels and to support progression to higher education in areas where there are no A levels or T Levels.

Overall, we expect the impacts of our reforms to be positive because students will have access to higher quality qualifications in future, including new T Levels. This will put students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a stronger position to progress into further study or skilled employment. We are committed to supporting students to progress onto T Levels in future and have launched the T Level Transition Programme for those who are not yet ready to progress to a T Level but have the potential to succeed on it after some further preparation. We will also be exploring further through the upcoming consultation on study at level 2 and below what additional forms of support students may need to be ready to move onto A levels and other academic qualifications at level 3.

The impact assessment published alongside the response to the level 3 review consultation recognises that there will be some cost to providers in implementing changes, but we have not made an estimate of the overall cost to providers of changes stemming from the review. The updated impact assessment published alongside the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill in October 2021 provided some estimates of costs of providers familiarising themselves with the new qualification categories. However, the most significant costs are likely to come from the implementation of T Levels and we have provided significant support for providers to enable them to switch. This includes over £400 million in capital funding to put in place the industry standard equipment and facilities needed to deliver the first four T Level waves, over £200 million to build capacity for industry placements delivery, and the launch of the T Level Professional Development offer, which has so far ensured that almost 8,500 teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver T Levels well.

Our reforms to the qualifications landscape are rightly ambitious, but we know that we would be wrong to push too hard and risk compromising quality. In November, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, adjusted the reform timetable to allow an additional year of T Level implementation before overlapping qualifications are removed. This extra year will allow us to continue to work hard to support the growth of T Levels and gives more notice to providers, awarding organisations, employers, students and parents so that they can prepare for the changes when they come in from August 2024.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on providers of the Department’s proposed timeline of one year for withdrawing funding for Applied General Qualifications.

The department will continue to fund a range of qualifications similar to current Applied General qualifications that can be taken alongside and as alternatives to A levels where they meet new criteria for quality and necessity. These qualifications will continue to play an important role for students taking mixed programmes with A levels and to support progression to higher education in areas where there are no A levels or T Levels.

Overall, we expect the impacts of our reforms to be positive because students will have access to higher quality qualifications in future, including new T Levels. This will put students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, in a stronger position to progress into further study or skilled employment. We are committed to supporting students to progress onto T Levels in future and have launched the T Level Transition Programme for those who are not yet ready to progress to a T Level but have the potential to succeed on it after some further preparation. We will also be exploring further through the upcoming consultation on study at level 2 and below what additional forms of support students may need to be ready to move onto A levels and other academic qualifications at level 3.

The impact assessment published alongside the response to the level 3 review consultation recognises that there will be some cost to providers in implementing changes, but we have not made an estimate of the overall cost to providers of changes stemming from the review. The updated impact assessment published alongside the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill in October 2021 provided some estimates of costs of providers familiarising themselves with the new qualification categories. However, the most significant costs are likely to come from the implementation of T Levels and we have provided significant support for providers to enable them to switch. This includes over £400 million in capital funding to put in place the industry standard equipment and facilities needed to deliver the first four T Level waves, over £200 million to build capacity for industry placements delivery, and the launch of the T Level Professional Development offer, which has so far ensured that almost 8,500 teachers and leaders have the support they need to deliver T Levels well.

Our reforms to the qualifications landscape are rightly ambitious, but we know that we would be wrong to push too hard and risk compromising quality. In November, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, adjusted the reform timetable to allow an additional year of T Level implementation before overlapping qualifications are removed. This extra year will allow us to continue to work hard to support the growth of T Levels and gives more notice to providers, awarding organisations, employers, students and parents so that they can prepare for the changes when they come in from August 2024.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of the 18 January 2021 to Question 134396 on Children: Computers, how many schools in Birmingham have been in contact with his Department regarding a shortage of electronic devices during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services. The Department is securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people through the Get Help With Technology programme. This programme enables schools to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 who would not otherwise have access to an appropriate device for online learning.

As of Monday 8 February 2021, this includes over 980,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

All schools, academy trusts, and local authorities have now been given the opportunity to order devices. Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities to lend to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Figures on the number of devices already delivered is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data.

The Department is also able to supply routers and mobile data through this scheme. We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home. We are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, BT Mobile and Lycamobile for their collaboration. The Department is currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continues to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Information and guidance for schools on how to register with the scheme and apply for devices and connectivity support can be found at: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/.

Where schools need additional devices, above their allocations, they should contact the Department’s service team at covid.technology@education.gov.uk. They should include the number of disadvantaged pupils in Years 3 to 13 who require support and an explanation of how they have gathered this evidence.

This injection of devices is on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how will parents will be notified that they have a right for their children to attend school if they do not have access to remote learning equipment during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

This includes over 750,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by the end of last week.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Some pupils who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered to be vulnerable children and therefore eligible to attend school. It is up to the child’s school or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in our published guidance.

The Department understands that schools may face staffing pressures that can create challenges in trying to deliver both high quality on site and remote education, especially where pupil attendance on site remains high due to high numbers of key worker and vulnerable children. Leaders in schools and colleges should ensure the balance of on site and remote teaching is manageable for staff and reflect this in the offer posted on their school or college website.

For schools that do not already have a full remote education curriculum or resources in place, or where they may face staffing pressures, the Department strongly recommends that they consider using Oak National Academy or other high quality resource providers.

9,294 laptops have been delivered directly to Birmingham local authority this academic year. Further devices have also been delivered to academy trusts that include schools located in Birmingham local authority which are not included in this figure.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with schools in Birmingham on access to remote learning equipment during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

This includes over 750,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by the end of last week.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Some pupils who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered to be vulnerable children and therefore eligible to attend school. It is up to the child’s school or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in our published guidance.

The Department understands that schools may face staffing pressures that can create challenges in trying to deliver both high quality on site and remote education, especially where pupil attendance on site remains high due to high numbers of key worker and vulnerable children. Leaders in schools and colleges should ensure the balance of on site and remote teaching is manageable for staff and reflect this in the offer posted on their school or college website.

For schools that do not already have a full remote education curriculum or resources in place, or where they may face staffing pressures, the Department strongly recommends that they consider using Oak National Academy or other high quality resource providers.

9,294 laptops have been delivered directly to Birmingham local authority this academic year. Further devices have also been delivered to academy trusts that include schools located in Birmingham local authority which are not included in this figure.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has published for teachers and teaching assistants to ensure that they are aware that children who cannot access remote learning equipment will be classified as vulnerable children and will have the right to attend face-to-face education in the school environment during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

During the national lockdown, schools should only allow vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers to attend. Guidance for this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. The definition of vulnerable children has been in place since March, has been consistent throughout our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and includes those children who may be vulnerable for a reason at local discretion. Several examples of the sorts of factors that may contribute to vulnerability are included, but it is not an exhaustive or definitive list.

On 8 January 2021, the Department published updated guidance on remote education, available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950510/School_national_restrictions_guidance.pdf. In this guidance, we refer to the definition of vulnerable children, which notes that some children who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered vulnerable and, therefore, eligible to attend provision. It is up to the child’s education provider or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

The updated remote education guidance also sets outs that where pupils continue to experience barriers to digital remote education, the Department expect schools to work to overcome these barriers. This could include distributing school-owned laptops or supplementing digital provision with different forms of remote education, such as printed resources or textbooks. This should be supplemented with other forms of communication to keep pupils and students on track, or answer questions about work.

The Department has also published a good practice guide, which provides advice to teachers and school leaders to support effective delivery of the curriculum remotely. This is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remote-education-good-practice/remote-education-good-practice. This is part of our broader package of support for schools, accessible via the following ‘Get Help with Remote Education’ page: https://get-help-with-remote-education.education.gov.uk/good-teaching-practice.html.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help increase student numbers at the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure.

The Department for Education is working closely with the Department for Transport and High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd to encourage more learners to take up opportunities to gain key skills needed across the transport and infrastructure sectors. As a National College, it is expected that students will not just be located in the local constituency but will have a different travel to learn pattern given their specialist national higher level skills offer.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of for what reason there are only three students from Birmingham Ladywood constituency enrolled at the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure that is located in that constituency.

The Department for Education is working closely with the Department for Transport and High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd to encourage more learners to take up opportunities to gain key skills needed across the transport and infrastructure sectors. As a National College, it is expected that students will not just be located in the local constituency but will have a different travel to learn pattern given their specialist national higher level skills offer.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure improve management structures and student outcomes following that college's inspection in November 2019.

The department has accepted the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) recommendation that a Structure and Prospects Appraisal (SPA) was the most appropriate way forward to safeguard the strategically important provision and ensure its financial sustainability. The conclusion of the SPA is expected in late summer, when a proposal and the cost of maintaining the provision will be considered. In the interim, the department is supporting the corporation in its efforts to improve the outcomes for learners. Our other employer-led further education colleges, in the form of Institutes of Technology, have recently become operational and are currently financially sustainable.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress has been made towards creating new employer-led further education institutions throughout the UK similar to the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure.

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are employer-led further education institutions focussing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. IoTs are a different model to National Colleges as they are a collaboration bringing together existing further education providers with higher education institutions and employers, to lead delivery of higher-level technical STEM skills to drive future economic growth operating across England at a sub-regional scale.

Eight IoTs are already operational with a further 4 approved: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/institutes-of-technology--2. A second competition for additional IoTs is to be launched later this year. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/institutes-of-technology-wave-2-competition-prospectus.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the financial sustainability of (a) the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure and (b) other employer-led further education colleges.

The department has accepted the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) recommendation that a Structure and Prospects Appraisal (SPA) was the most appropriate way forward to safeguard the strategically important provision and ensure its financial sustainability. The conclusion of the SPA is expected in late summer, when a proposal and the cost of maintaining the provision will be considered. In the interim, the department is supporting the corporation in its efforts to improve the outcomes for learners. Our other employer-led further education colleges, in the form of Institutes of Technology, have recently become operational and are currently financially sustainable.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many local councils have decided to close or limit access to council owned land due to an outbreak of avian flu in the last (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months.

Defra’s approach to avian influenza disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. All avian influenza disease control and prevention measures are kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza, and all decisions regarding these measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

Under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in force across Great Britain since 3 November 2021, access to areas where poultry and other captive birds are kept must be restricted to only essential personnel. In addition, access to premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed is restricted. Access to infected premises would only be permitted following a veterinary risk assessment and under licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Outside of these restrictions, there is no legal requirement for local authorities to limit access to public areas or close rights of way, and the countryside remains open for business.

However, where findings of avian influenza in wild birds have occurred in public areas, local authorities may take a precautionary approach to protect the health and welfare of birds and to limit the risk of infection being transferred on footwear etc to other bird keeping areas by restricting access to areas where wild birds frequently congregate. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. Local authorities will work closely with public health protection teams to take appropriate precautions to protect human health where required. Any decisions taken to restrict access to areas to protect public health are made on the basis of risk assessments undertaken by the UKHSA supported by evidence of the local and national animal health situation.

No premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed during the 2021-2022 outbreak have been located on local authority owned land. Defra does not collect data on the number of other areas where access has been restricted by local authorities.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. Failure to report suspicion of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds is an offence. Avian influenza controls are enforced by local authorities, normally within the Trading Standards or Environmental Health Service teams. Defra, the devolved administrations and APHA work closely and meet regularly with local authority representatives and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers both at a national level and through the cross-agency local resilience forums to help ensure effective implementation of the avian influenza outbreak prevention and control measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether decisions on closing council-owned land following an outbreak of avian flu are the responsibility of local authorities and his Department.

Defra’s approach to avian influenza disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. All avian influenza disease control and prevention measures are kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza, and all decisions regarding these measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

Under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in force across Great Britain since 3 November 2021, access to areas where poultry and other captive birds are kept must be restricted to only essential personnel. In addition, access to premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed is restricted. Access to infected premises would only be permitted following a veterinary risk assessment and under licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Outside of these restrictions, there is no legal requirement for local authorities to limit access to public areas or close rights of way, and the countryside remains open for business.

However, where findings of avian influenza in wild birds have occurred in public areas, local authorities may take a precautionary approach to protect the health and welfare of birds and to limit the risk of infection being transferred on footwear etc to other bird keeping areas by restricting access to areas where wild birds frequently congregate. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. Local authorities will work closely with public health protection teams to take appropriate precautions to protect human health where required. Any decisions taken to restrict access to areas to protect public health are made on the basis of risk assessments undertaken by the UKHSA supported by evidence of the local and national animal health situation.

No premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed during the 2021-2022 outbreak have been located on local authority owned land. Defra does not collect data on the number of other areas where access has been restricted by local authorities.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. Failure to report suspicion of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds is an offence. Avian influenza controls are enforced by local authorities, normally within the Trading Standards or Environmental Health Service teams. Defra, the devolved administrations and APHA work closely and meet regularly with local authority representatives and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers both at a national level and through the cross-agency local resilience forums to help ensure effective implementation of the avian influenza outbreak prevention and control measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what processes his Department has in place to ensure that local councils regularly monitor and report outbreaks of avian flu.

Defra’s approach to avian influenza disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. All avian influenza disease control and prevention measures are kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza, and all decisions regarding these measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

Under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in force across Great Britain since 3 November 2021, access to areas where poultry and other captive birds are kept must be restricted to only essential personnel. In addition, access to premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed is restricted. Access to infected premises would only be permitted following a veterinary risk assessment and under licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Outside of these restrictions, there is no legal requirement for local authorities to limit access to public areas or close rights of way, and the countryside remains open for business.

However, where findings of avian influenza in wild birds have occurred in public areas, local authorities may take a precautionary approach to protect the health and welfare of birds and to limit the risk of infection being transferred on footwear etc to other bird keeping areas by restricting access to areas where wild birds frequently congregate. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. Local authorities will work closely with public health protection teams to take appropriate precautions to protect human health where required. Any decisions taken to restrict access to areas to protect public health are made on the basis of risk assessments undertaken by the UKHSA supported by evidence of the local and national animal health situation.

No premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed during the 2021-2022 outbreak have been located on local authority owned land. Defra does not collect data on the number of other areas where access has been restricted by local authorities.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. Failure to report suspicion of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds is an offence. Avian influenza controls are enforced by local authorities, normally within the Trading Standards or Environmental Health Service teams. Defra, the devolved administrations and APHA work closely and meet regularly with local authority representatives and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers both at a national level and through the cross-agency local resilience forums to help ensure effective implementation of the avian influenza outbreak prevention and control measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what risk assessment process his Department requires local councils to follow before the closure of council land following an outbreak avian flu.

Defra’s approach to avian influenza disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. All avian influenza disease control and prevention measures are kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza, and all decisions regarding these measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

Under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in force across Great Britain since 3 November 2021, access to areas where poultry and other captive birds are kept must be restricted to only essential personnel. In addition, access to premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed is restricted. Access to infected premises would only be permitted following a veterinary risk assessment and under licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Outside of these restrictions, there is no legal requirement for local authorities to limit access to public areas or close rights of way, and the countryside remains open for business.

However, where findings of avian influenza in wild birds have occurred in public areas, local authorities may take a precautionary approach to protect the health and welfare of birds and to limit the risk of infection being transferred on footwear etc to other bird keeping areas by restricting access to areas where wild birds frequently congregate. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. Local authorities will work closely with public health protection teams to take appropriate precautions to protect human health where required. Any decisions taken to restrict access to areas to protect public health are made on the basis of risk assessments undertaken by the UKHSA supported by evidence of the local and national animal health situation.

No premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed during the 2021-2022 outbreak have been located on local authority owned land. Defra does not collect data on the number of other areas where access has been restricted by local authorities.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. Failure to report suspicion of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds is an offence. Avian influenza controls are enforced by local authorities, normally within the Trading Standards or Environmental Health Service teams. Defra, the devolved administrations and APHA work closely and meet regularly with local authority representatives and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers both at a national level and through the cross-agency local resilience forums to help ensure effective implementation of the avian influenza outbreak prevention and control measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department requires local councils to take before those bodies (a) close council land and (b) ban certain activities on council land on the basis of public health.

Defra’s approach to avian influenza disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain. All avian influenza disease control and prevention measures are kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza, and all decisions regarding these measures are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

Under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone that has been in force across Great Britain since 3 November 2021, access to areas where poultry and other captive birds are kept must be restricted to only essential personnel. In addition, access to premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed is restricted. Access to infected premises would only be permitted following a veterinary risk assessment and under licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Outside of these restrictions, there is no legal requirement for local authorities to limit access to public areas or close rights of way, and the countryside remains open for business.

However, where findings of avian influenza in wild birds have occurred in public areas, local authorities may take a precautionary approach to protect the health and welfare of birds and to limit the risk of infection being transferred on footwear etc to other bird keeping areas by restricting access to areas where wild birds frequently congregate. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low. Local authorities will work closely with public health protection teams to take appropriate precautions to protect human health where required. Any decisions taken to restrict access to areas to protect public health are made on the basis of risk assessments undertaken by the UKHSA supported by evidence of the local and national animal health situation.

No premises where notifiable avian influenza has been confirmed during the 2021-2022 outbreak have been located on local authority owned land. Defra does not collect data on the number of other areas where access has been restricted by local authorities.

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. Failure to report suspicion of avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds is an offence. Avian influenza controls are enforced by local authorities, normally within the Trading Standards or Environmental Health Service teams. Defra, the devolved administrations and APHA work closely and meet regularly with local authority representatives and the Association of Chief Trading Standards Officers both at a national level and through the cross-agency local resilience forums to help ensure effective implementation of the avian influenza outbreak prevention and control measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many local councils have decided to close or limit access to council-owned land due to an outbreak of avian flu in the last (a) 3, (b) 6 and (c) 12 months.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to what extent decisions about closing council-owned land following an outbreak of avian flu are within the remit of (a) local authorities and (b) his Department.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what processes his Department has in place to ensure that local councils regularly monitor and report outbreaks of avian flue.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what risk assessment process his Department requires local councils to follow before the closure of council land following an outbreak of avian flu.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the regulatory powers afforded to local councils to clear dumped rubbish and waste on shared land that has no defined legal ownership or occupation and is not public land.

Waste crime damages the environment and blights communities. The Government is committed to tackling this criminal activity and has significantly bolstered local authority enforcement powers in recent years as a result. Councils now have powers to issue fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and stronger powers to seize and destroy vehicles involved in waste crime. Waste collection authorities can require the occupier or owner of land to remove any illegally deposited controlled waste or to take steps to eliminate the effects of the waste.

We will go further - including measures in the Environment Bill to combat waste crime through better access to evidence and improved powers of entry. Our new electronic waste tracking measures and our planned reform to waste carriers, brokers and dealers licensing will make it harder than ever for waste criminals to escape responsibility for their actions.

Defra has made no further assessment of the effectiveness of the powers afforded to local authorities in this respect.

Local authorities are responsible for keeping land in their control clear of waste. Crown authorities and others have similar responsibilities while landowners are responsible for the land they own. HM Land Registry publish ownership information on most registered land.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in relation to the regulatory powers afforded to local councils to enforce waste crimes and remove rubbish.

Waste crime damages the environment and blights communities. The Government is committed to tackling this criminal activity and has significantly bolstered local authority enforcement powers in recent years as a result. Councils now have powers to issue fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping and stronger powers to seize and destroy vehicles involved in waste crime. Waste collection authorities can require the occupier or owner of land to remove any illegally deposited controlled waste or to take steps to eliminate the effects of the waste.

We will go further - including measures in the Environment Bill to combat waste crime through better access to evidence and improved powers of entry. Our new electronic waste tracking measures and our planned reform to waste carriers, brokers and dealers licensing will make it harder than ever for waste criminals to escape responsibility for their actions.

Defra has made no further assessment of the effectiveness of the powers afforded to local authorities in this respect.

Local authorities are responsible for keeping land in their control clear of waste. Crown authorities and others have similar responsibilities while landowners are responsible for the land they own. HM Land Registry publish ownership information on most registered land.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of rogue operators within the waste collection sector.

The department does not produce estimates of the numbers of rogue operators in the waste collection sector. The Environment Agency recently published a survey of waste crime which provides useful information (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-waste-crime-survey-report-2021-findings-and-analysis)

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department plans to take to prevent (a) cotton from Xinjiang and (b) other unethically sourced products from entering the UK.

The United Kingdom has taken a leading international role in holding China to account for its violations of rights in Xinjiang, including in respect of credible evidence of forced labour. We have repeatedly condemned such violations being perpetrated against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang. Most recently, on 6th October, we worked with Germany to deliver a joint statement – with 38 other countries – at the United Nations.

We advise businesses with supply chain links in Xinjiang to conduct appropriate due diligence so they may satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, or risk being seen to support, any violations of rights. In addition, research into forced labour in Xinjiang, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), has been crucial to raising awareness of this issue with businesses.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether a country's record on human rights is a criterion in discussions on potential trade deals to be secured after the UK leaves the EU.

The UK has long supported the promotion of our values globally and we remain committed to our international obligations

We are clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of human rights.

Our experience is that political freedom and the rule of law are vital underpinnings for both prosperity and stability and that, by having strong economic relationships with partners, we are able to have open discussions on a range of difficult issues, including human rights.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has held discussions with her Chinese counterpart on alleged human rights violations against Uighur Muslims as part of negotiation on a trade deal with that country.

We remain committed to promoting human rights in Xinjiang, and the Government’s continued multilateral and bilateral activity with China demonstrates this.

We are not currently negotiating a free trade agreement with China. China is an important trading partner for the UK.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to improve the processing time for driving licence applications.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

The information requested on the average processing time for driving licence applications cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the DVLA will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the average processing time for applications for (a) provisional and (b) full driving licences in (i) 2021-22 to date, (ii) 2020-21 and (iii) 2019-20.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example if medical investigations are needed. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing the driver can meet specific criteria. More information can be found online here.

The information requested on the average processing time for driving licence applications cannot be retrieved in the format requested in the time available. Officials from the DVLA will write to the Honourable Member when the information is available.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the economic benefits for the Midlands from the roll-out of smart ticketing as outlined in the Integrated Rail Plan.

This year’s spending review set aside £360 million investment to modernise industry ticketing and retailing systems. This includes an expansion of

pay-as-you-go travel on rail to more than 700 stations in urban areas across the country.

This investment will deliver significant benefits to passengers in the Midlands and other areas by making the process of paying for travel convenient and simple, removing the uncertainty from having to select a ticket in advance. It also frees up staff to support passengers, unlocking economic benefits as people have more flexibility in how they travel. Our assessment will be developed and refined as the project progresses to ensure that the full economic potential to the Midlands is realised.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the economic impact of the potential agglomeration of Nottingham and Birmingham, which will be made possible by the introduction of high speed trains.

Analysis of IRP options has focused on benefits to transport users (including businesses) alongside some impacts on the wider economy – specifically the productivity improvements associated with reducing journey times between two places. By improving regional connectivity, the Integrated Rail Plan will unify labour markets, so that people can access a much wider range of jobs; effectively bring businesses closer together; and improve access to key international gateways and markets so they become more even more attractive locations for business investment.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Integrated Rail Plan, whether the Midlands will receive the same amount of public transport funding per head as London and the South East.

To help level-up across the country, we are delivering a step change in investment in public transport focused outside of London and the South East. The recently announced Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands outlined a £96 billion strategy of rail construction and upgrades. This builds on the substantive investment that is targeted outside of London announced at the Budget which included £5.7 billion for our major cities through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements; over £2.7 billion for local road maintenance; and a new, dedicated £1.2 billion programme to improve bus infrastructure, fares and services.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of jobs that will be created as a result of the Midlands Rail Hub in (a) Birmingham Ladywood constituency, (b) Birmingham City region and (c) the West Midlands.

The objectives of the Midlands Rail Hub are to support economic growth across the region. At this early stage of development, no detailed assessment of the number of jobs created either directly or indirectly by the scheme has been undertaken.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2021 to Question 163196 on Clean Air Zones, if his Department will review the £2 charge levied by his Department on access to the central services unit for clean air zones if evidence shows a delay between required payment to his Department and the collection of the fee to road users by local authorities.

Motorists that are required to pay a Clean Air Zone charge must pay the charge no later than one week from the day of travel. Clean Air Zone charges collected by local authorities are available within 7 days of payment.

Invoicing terms are subject to agreements between local authorities and the department but local authorities will be required to pay to use the CAZ Central Service no more frequently than every quarter. Invoices will cover use of the CAZ central services in the previous quarter and will be required to be paid approximately two months after end of the same quarter.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2021 to Question 163196 on Clean Air Zones, what steps he has taken to estimate the time delay between local authorities collecting the clean air zone fee on road users and the payment of the £2 charge levied by his Department on access to the central services unit for clean air zones.

Motorists that are required to pay a Clean Air Zone charge must pay the charge no later than one week from the day of travel. Clean Air Zone charges collected by local authorities are available within 7 days of payment.

Invoicing terms are subject to agreements between local authorities and the department but local authorities will be required to pay to use the CAZ Central Service no more frequently than every quarter. Invoices will cover use of the CAZ central services in the previous quarter and will be required to be paid approximately two months after end of the same quarter.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2021 to Question 163196 on Clean Air Zones, what assessment he has made of the effect of the period of time between collecting the clean air zone fee on road users and the payment of the £2 charge levied by his Department to access the central services unit for clean air zones on local authorities’ budgets.

Motorists that are required to pay a Clean Air Zone charge must pay the charge no later than one week from the day of travel. Clean Air Zone charges collected by local authorities are available within 7 days of payment.

Invoicing terms are subject to agreements between local authorities and the department but local authorities will be required to pay to use the CAZ Central Service no more frequently than every quarter. Invoices will cover use of the CAZ central services in the previous quarter and will be required to be paid approximately two months after end of the same quarter.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether additional financial support will be made available to local authorities in response to the £2 charge levied by the Department for Transport on access to the central services unit for clean air zones.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what impact assessments have been undertaken by his Department on the effect of costs associated with accessing the Department for Transport’s central services unit for clean air zones on local authority budgets.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Birmingham City Council on the £2 charge for using the central services unit for clean air zones.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which councils currently access the central services unit for clean air zones; and what the cost applied to each council using the central services unit for clean air zones has been to date.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussion he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the effect of the £2 charge for access to the central services unit for clean air zones on local authority budgets.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the effect of the £2 charge for access to the central services unit for clean air zones on local authority budgets.

There will be no impact on local authority budgets. All implementation and operational costs are either covered by central Government funding or from revenues raised from the charges that local authorities collect from customers that pay to drive in the clean air zone.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on progress being made by (a) the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure and (b) other employer-led further education colleges in meeting the skills requirements of the HS2 rail programme.

(a) Officials within DfT are working closely with their opposite numbers in DfE regarding NCATI. DfT are active members of the Steering Group overseeing the Structure and Prospects Appraisal (SPA) being led by DfE’s Further Education Commissioner to ensure its future model is sustainable and delivers on DfT Policy objectives.

(b) HS2 Ltd and its supply chain continue to work with Further Education Colleges on a number of employer and college-led initiatives and programmes. The table below summarises the main activities:

Name of college

Initiative

Additional Information

Buckinghamshire College Group (Aylesbury, High Wycombe & Amersham)

CITB Construction Skills Fund

EIffage-Kier, Main Works Contractor, bid for and won CITB funded training through a number of training providers including Buckinghamshire College Group from May 2019 -present. Benefitted 180 individuals to date: of those, 153 completed Entry into Construction programme, 15 completed qualifications in both Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) & Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH), plus a further 8 in IEMA and 4 in IOSH.

Buckinghamshire College Group

Careers Fairs

Eiffage-Kier and Align, Main Works Contractors, attended careers fairs to talk about career opportunities with young people between Feb 2018 – May 2019

Derby College

Professional Construction Employers’ Group / T-Level Taskforce

HS2 Ltd has been a member of the Professional Construction Employers’ Group since September 2019, and on the T-Level Taskforce since its inception in December 2019 to assist in development of the T level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning.

Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

Mayor’s Construction Academy

The Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA) is a London Mayoral initiative to deliver the skilled workforce needed to support London’s housing and infrastructure needs. Ealing, Hammersmith and West London run one of the MCA Hubs that is responsible for co-ordinating the provision of relevant training. HS2 Ltd, Skanska Costain Strabag (SCS Railways), Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra (BBVS) and Align sit on the Employer and Partnership Boards of this MCA Hub to ensure that the training that is delivered and co-ordinated meets HS2’s needs as far as possible.

Harrow College and Uxbridge College

Institute of Technology

HS2 Ltd, BBVS and Align sit on the Employer Advisory Board for the Institute of Technology delivered by Harrow College and Uxbridge College, in partnership with Brunel University. This has included supporting a number of activities including an apprenticeship fair and speed networking event at Uxbridge College as part of National Apprenticeship Week in February 2020.

Newham College

Strategic partnership with the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure

HS2 Ltd, Costain Skanska, SCS Railways, Mace Dragados, BBVS and Align are in active discussions about how we can support Newham College, linked to their strategic partnership with the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure. This includes the potential for specifically supporting the Institute of Technology they run in partnership with Queen Mary University. Other activities have been supported by HS2, such as an apprenticeship fair held at Newham College’s Stratford campus as part of National Apprenticeship Week in February 2020.

Northampton College

HS2 Ltd, Eiffage-Kier, and Flannery Plant Hire (Tier 2 supplier) have worked collaboratively with Northampton College and there are plans to expand on this work in the future (e.g. virtual careers events)

Solihull Council

Careers & Apprenticeship Fair

HS2 Ltd promoted our apprenticeship and graduate opportunities at the Solihull College 2020 Careers & Apprenticeship Fair in March.

South & City College, Birmingham

Women into Construction Project

South & City College delivered the 2-week employability training element of the Women into Construction project in May 2019. Following the 2 weeks employability training, participants then completed a 4-week work placement on the HS2 programme. The project trained a total of 16 women that were previously not in employment. 8 women (50%) progressed into employment or further accredited training. The majority of the employment offers were within the HS2 supply chain.

Walsall College

Walsall Expo

HS2 Ltd joined our Tier 1 Main Works Civils Contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) at the Walsall Expo in March 2020. Walsall Expo is held at Walsall College and organised by Walsall Works which is funded by Walsall Council to support local people to find jobs, apprenticeships and access training, while also supporting local businesses that are looking to expand and invest in their future workforce. We were able to promote a number of live opportunities including our apprenticeship and graduate opportunities. BBV were also able to promote their Materials Testing opportunities as well as other live vacancies. In total approximately 1,700 jobseekers attended the event.

Walsall College

T Levels

Balfour Beatty Vinci, Main Works Contractor, is working with Walsall College to deliver their first T level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning.

Warwickshire College Group

Rail and Construction Industry Day

HS2 Ltd, Main Works Civils Contractors Balfour Beatty Vinci & Eiffage-Kier along with Enabling Works contractors Laing Murphy & Fusion attended the Warwickshire College Group Rail and Construction Industry day in March 2019. We provided information to college students on careers in the sector along with running workshops on Building Information modelling (BIM)

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of instances of fraud committed by Kickstart scheme gateways.

We embedded a number of controls and checks in the design of the Kickstart Scheme to reduce the risk of fraud and error, including using the Cabinet Office Spotlight tool to support financial checks on applicants. Further information on the Spotlight Tool can be found here.

Where an allegation of fraud is made, or criminal activity suspected, the Department will investigate. If there is sufficient evidence, the Department will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service, or Crown Office/Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland, to consider a prosecution.

All Kickstart participants have Employment Contracts, meaning they are entitled to legal protections, and DWP will advise individuals on how to take action in the rare case that the is not resolved through DWP channels.

We are unable to disclose details regarding suspected fraud. If cases are under investigation, releasing any information could prejudice those investigations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what due diligence her Department conducted on the Kickstart scheme gateways it recommended to employers.

All Gateways are subject to financial checks by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). These checks included using the Cabinet Office Spotlight Tool which complemented existing pre and post-award checks. Further information on the Spotlight Tool can be found here.


Kickstart District Account Managers, Work Coaches and other officials are encouraged to highlight any concerns they have about any organisation involved in the Kickstart Scheme, including those acting as a Gateway. This would include any concerns about the quality of the Kickstart experience or questions about the suitability of the roles. Issues raised are investigated and where issues are identified DWP will take appropriate action, which may include reducing the number of jobs offered by the organisation or in the most serious cases, rescinding the Grant Agreement entirely.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is obligated to take in the event that a Kickstart scheme gateway closes down.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has established grant agreements between employers and gateways operating through the Kickstart Scheme. These agreements set out the responsibilities of a gateway ceasing to operate. Specifically, a Gateway has a responsibility to notify DWP within two working days of any actual or potential failure to comply with any of their obligations under the Grant Agreement, which includes any administrative, financial or managerial difficulties.

In the event that a Gateway is no longer in a position to deliver on its responsibilities, DWP will provide support to young people and employers. Prior to the closure of Kickstart to further young people on 31st March, these might have included placing a young person in a different Kickstart job, or, in the case of an employer, directing them to another gateway or encouraging them to apply to participate in Kickstart directly.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of Kickstart scheme gateways that have closed down since that scheme began.

We have made no estimate of the number of Gateways who have closed since the scheme began.

Gateways have brought diversity of employment opportunities and volumes of jobs to the Kickstart Scheme and have provided robust employability support for Kickstart participants. More than 900 Gateways have helped us to deliver the Kickstart Scheme.

Gateways are subject to financial checks by the DWP and any concerns regarding a Gateway are investigated. Some Gateways came on board to support a specific group of employers to offer Kickstart jobs. Once the final young person completed their Kickstart job with those employers and the final grant payment is made the department doesn’t necessarily have any further engagement with that Gateway. Other Gateways have had a more rolling approach to adding employers and jobs to their portfolios.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much of the £510 million announced for tackling benefit fraud is (a) new funding and (b) previously allocated funding.

The additional £510m announced on 13th December 2021 is new funding that will enable us to drive down the level of fraud in Universal Credit and recover more debt.

It will support several different methods of fraud detection and prevention, including a targeted review of Universal Credit claims, the development of a new Debt Enforcement Function and further recruitment into the Counter Fraud and Compliance and Debt directorate, so that we can continue to respond quickly and effectively to threats.

This recruitment, which includes funding for around 2,000 trained specialists, will help tackle fraud across a range of benefits, including any Housing Benefit related fraud.

At Spending Review 2021, the Department also secured an additional £103m for fraud and error activity. This funding is enabling DWP to continue key fraud and error detection and prevention work, and secured the completion of our current transformation programme, thus enhancing our ability to prevent and detect fraud and error.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the £510 million of funding for tackling benefit fraud will include any potential cases involving housing benefit fraud by providers of supported exempt accommodation.

The additional £510m announced on 13th December 2021 is new funding that will enable us to drive down the level of fraud in Universal Credit and recover more debt.

It will support several different methods of fraud detection and prevention, including a targeted review of Universal Credit claims, the development of a new Debt Enforcement Function and further recruitment into the Counter Fraud and Compliance and Debt directorate, so that we can continue to respond quickly and effectively to threats.

This recruitment, which includes funding for around 2,000 trained specialists, will help tackle fraud across a range of benefits, including any Housing Benefit related fraud.

At Spending Review 2021, the Department also secured an additional £103m for fraud and error activity. This funding is enabling DWP to continue key fraud and error detection and prevention work, and secured the completion of our current transformation programme, thus enhancing our ability to prevent and detect fraud and error.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has been made of the number of people living in exempt accommodation who have incorrectly had their housing benefit stopped after providers have fraudulently claimed that residents were not engaging in the contractual care and support services.

The information requested is not available.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what processes are in place to independently verify claims of exempt accommodation providers that residents have not been engaging with the care and support services they are contractually obliged to provide.

Supported Housing provides a vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in society and the care, support or supervision they are provided with helps them to live as independently as possible in the community.

Local authorities are responsible for the oversight of supported housing in their respective areas. The Government does not oversee the delivery of support services or individual engagement with those services.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much the Government has spent on housing benefit for supported exempt accommodation in England in 2020-21.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason an impact assessment was not completed for the Universal Credit (Exceptions to the Requirement not to be receiving Education) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 15 December 2021.

An Impact Assessment had not been prepared for the Universal Credit (Exceptions to the Requirement not to be receiving Education) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 because they restore the original policy intent of Universal Credit.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the decision to remove the £20 uplift to universal credit from October 2021 on poverty levels in (a) Birmingham Ladywood constituency, (b) Birmingham City region and (c) the West Midlands.

No such assessments have been made of poverty levels or household incomes in Birmingham Ladywood, Birmingham City region or the West Midlands.

It is not possible to produce a robust estimate of the impact of removing the £20 uplift on poverty or related issues. This is due to the uncertainty around the speed and distribution of the economic recovery.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 14% of people were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 16% in 2009/10. This government believe that work is the best way out of poverty, and the latest statistics (2019/20) show that children in workless households are around 5 times more likely to be in absolute poverty, before housing costs, than those where all adults work.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; we have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job; and introduced Restart which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year. Our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

We recognise that some people continue to require extra support, which is why we have introduced a £421 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable people in England with essential household costs over the winter as the economy recovers. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the end to the £20 a week universal credit uplift on household incomes in (a) Birmingham Ladywood constituency, (b) Birmingham City region and (c) the West Midlands.

No such assessments have been made of poverty levels or household incomes in Birmingham Ladywood, Birmingham City region or the West Midlands.

It is not possible to produce a robust estimate of the impact of removing the £20 uplift on poverty or related issues. This is due to the uncertainty around the speed and distribution of the economic recovery.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 14% of people were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 16% in 2009/10. This government believe that work is the best way out of poverty, and the latest statistics (2019/20) show that children in workless households are around 5 times more likely to be in absolute poverty, before housing costs, than those where all adults work.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; we have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job; and introduced Restart which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year. Our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people.

We recognise that some people continue to require extra support, which is why we have introduced a £421 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable people in England with essential household costs over the winter as the economy recovers. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit fraud referrals by local authorities were (a) made to, (b) rejected by, (c) accepted by and (d) are awaiting a decision by her Department on tenants in Supported Accommodation Units in each of the last three years in each local authority area.

The number of Local Authority referrals received by DWP in each of the last three financial years is as follows:

2018/19

23,387

2019/20

23,013

2020/21

13,902

As a result of those referrals, the following number of cases were accepted by DWP:

2018/19

19,857

2019/20

19,604

2020/21

11,543

The difference between the two data sets represents the number of referrals that were not progressed. This could be because the referral contained insufficient information or duplicated an existing communication.

The Department’s recording system does not hold information on benefit fraud referrals made specifically in relation to tenants living in Supported Accommodation Units. It is also unable to provide figures that reflect individual Local Authorities. The figures provided therefore represent total numbers for all Local Authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many jobs where businesses have applied for support via the KickStart scheme her Department has (a) approved, (b) rejected and (c) not made a decision on in (i) England, (ii) West Midlands and (iii) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency.

There have been over 180,000 jobs approved by the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart scheme nationally. We are not able to break this information down geographically.

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.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average turnover is of businesses that have applied for KickStart scheme support that have been (a) approved and (b) rejected in (i) England, (ii) West Midlands and (iii) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency.

As of the 12th March 2021, there have been over 900 unique gateway applications approved and over 1,200 unique employer bids accepted on the Kickstart Scheme with many more employers included under the gateway applications.

We are currently unable to publish the number of rejected applications. We are also unable to publish information broken down below regional level.

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.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for the KickStart scheme her Department has (a) received, (b) approved, (c) rejected, (d) not made a decision on in (i) England, (ii) West Midlands and (iii) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency.

As of the 12th March 2021, there have been over 900 unique gateway applications approved and over 1,200 unique employer bids accepted on the Kickstart Scheme with many more employers included under the gateway applications.

We are currently unable to publish the number of rejected applications. We are also unable to publish information broken down below regional level.

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.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent civil servants are employed to approve applications for the KickStart scheme.

A breakdown of exact decision times is currently unavailable. I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 167866.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications to the KickStart scheme have been awaiting a decision for (a) less than one month, (b) one to two months and (c) more than two months in (i) England, (ii) West Midlands and (iii) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency.

A breakdown of exact decision times is currently unavailable. I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 167866.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the cost is of administering the KickStart scheme to date.

The expected estimated cost of the Kickstart scheme will be approximately £2 billion, this includes administration costs and grant payments.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average number of jobs is that businesses have applied for support for via the KickStart scheme to date.

As of the 18th March, the average number of jobs per application to the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme was around 50 jobs.

This figure is based on the total number of applications received and their associated total number of jobs, an employer or Gateway can make multiple applications. From 3rd February 2021, we removed the 30 vacancy threshold for a direct application to Kickstart, allowing employers to make smaller applications which will affect this average.

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.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 134402 on Universal Credit, what assessment her Department has made of the equity of the decision to decrease the maximum deductions limit from 40 per cent to 30 per cent of the standard allowance on the benefits of allowing decision makers to deduct court fines at the minimum of 5 per cent of standard allowance.

The decrease to the maximum deductions limit relates to a reduction in the overall normal maximum rate of deductions from Universal Credit (UC) from 40% to 30% of the claimant’s standard allowance from October 2019. The normal maximum rate of deductions will reduce to 25% of the claimant’s standard allowance in October this year.

Magistrate Courts impose Fines and Compensation orders on offenders, and can instruct the DWP to make a deduction from UC. The rate we can recover court fines is set out in the regulations at a minimum rate of 5% of a claimant’s standard allowance and up to a maximum rate of £108.35 per assessment period, as long as there is sufficient UC in payment. Similarly, the maximum deduction for court fines will not exceed 30% of the claimant’s standard allowance (25% from October.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 134402 on Universal Credit, how many universal credit claimants with a deduction for court fines (a) applied, (b) were approved, (c) were declined for a reduction in deductions in each month since November 2018.

This information is not held. The Department does not take applications to reduce court fine deductions but signposts the claimant to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. Magistrate Courts impose Fines and Compensation orders on offenders, and can instruct DWP to make a deduction from Universal Credit. The deduction rate is set out in regulations at a minimum rate of 5% of the standard allowance and up to a maximum rate of £108.35 per assessment period, as long as there is sufficient UC in payment. The maximum deduction will not exceed 30% of the claimant’s standard allowance.

Work Coaches can refer claimants to more specialist support for personal budgeting, money guidance and debt advice if required, including through the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Answer of 22 January to Question 134402 on Universal Credit, what the value of claims with a deduction for court fines is in each month since November 2018.

The information is provided in the table below

Month Payment Due

Number of claims with a deduction for court fines

Proportion of all claims with a deduction for court fines

Total value of UC claims with a court fines deduction

Nov-18

7,000

1%

£5,600,000

Dec-18

7,000

1%

£6,000,000

Jan-19

8,000

1%

£6,200,000

Feb-19

8,000

1%

£6,600,000

Mar-19

13,000

1%

£9,800,000

Apr-19

37,000

2%

£26,100,000

May-19

61,000

3%

£43,400,000

Jun-19

82,000

4%

£59,300,000

Jul-19

101,000

5%

£74,100,000

Aug-19

111,000

5%

£82,700,000

Sep-19

116,000

5%

£87,200,000

Oct-19

113,000

5%

£85,300,000

Nov-19

108,000

5%

£79,100,000

Dec-19

112,000

5%

£83,000,000

Jan-20

116,000

5%

£85,900,000

Feb-20

122,000

5%

£90,800,000

Mar-20

126,000

5%

£94,300,000

Apr-20

68,000

2%

£53,600,000

May-20

71,000

2%

£63,700,000

Jun-20

139,000

3%

£125,500,000

Jul-20

126,000

3%

£114,900,000

Aug-20

120,000

3%

£108,700,000

Notes

1.Claim figures rounded to the nearest 1,000, payments to the nearest £100,000.

2. Total value of Universal Credit claims reflects the amount of money paid to claimants and their landlords as part of their award, including the amount which they would have been entitled to had it not been deducted/sanctioned. It does not include other payments such as advances and hardship payments.

3.Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

4.Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

5.The increase in the proportion of claims with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March 2019 for courts to send through their court fines deductions.

6.The decrease in number of claims with deductions for court fines, and total deducted from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7.Figures for April and May 2020 are affected by the temporary suspension of third party deductions due to Covid-19.

8.During June 2020, third party deductions were reinstated but other deductions (for benefit overpayments etc.) were still suspended. This led to an increase in the total deducted for court fines, as a result of their place in the deductions priority order. From July 2020, other deductions began to be reinstated, following a phased approach.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to undertake a review for categories of specified accommodation by (a) country, (b) region and (c) local authority area.

There are no plans to review the four categories of specified accommodation at a national or local level. However, we are reviewing the guidance for specified accommodation claims to improve consistency in decision-making.

The specified accommodation definition was introduced into Housing Benefit in 2014 to extend the protections for exempt accommodation to other categories of supported housing that, although not materially different, were subject to welfare reforms. As a result, housing support for people living in specified accommodation is paid through Housing Benefit rather than Universal Credit and this support is exempt from the Benefit Cap.

The specified accommodation definition applies to all of Housing Benefit across Great Britain

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Lord Chancellor on court fine deductions applied to people in receipt of universal credit and the establishment of a payment plan at the court.

From October, we will reduce the Universal Credit standard deductions cap to 25% of a claimant’s Universal Credit standard allowance from 30%.

Court fine deductions fall within the cap which means, from October, the maximum deduction will be the lower of £108.35, set out in legislation, or 25% of a claimant’s standard allowance. The maximum deduction applies only where a claimant’s individual circumstances allow the maximum deduction within the standard deductions cap.

Deductions for court fines are only made from Universal Credit if a Court requests DWP to do so. The Court only makes such a request if it decides that a deduction from benefit is the most appropriate method of payment. It has always been the case that individuals can ask the Court to consider a private payment arrangement - both before a deduction from benefits is requested and at any time thereafter. Officials from DWP and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have regular discussions about these arrangements.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in receipt of universal credit have been issued with court fine deductions in each of the last three years.

We are unable to provide figures for court fine deductions for all of the last three years as improvements to third party data reporting commenced in November 2018. Information which is available can be found in the table below.

Month Payment Due

Number of claims with a deduction for court fines

Proportion of all claims with a deduction for court fines

Total number of UC claims made

Nov-18

7,000

1%

1,116,000

Dec-18

7,000

1%

1,256,000

Jan-19

8,000

1%

1,380,000

Feb-19

8,000

1%

1,481,000

Mar-19

13,000

1%

1,589,000

Apr-19

37,000

2%

1,681,000

May-19

61,000

3%

1,783,000

Jun-19

82,000

4%

1,864,000

Jul-19

101,000

5%

1,956,000

Aug-19

111,000

5%

2,046,000

Sep-19

116,000

5%

2,121,000

Oct-19

113,000

5%

2,218,000

Nov-19

108,000

5%

2,290,000

Dec-19

112,000

5%

2,367,000

Jan-20

116,000

5%

2,419,000

Feb-20

122,000

5%

2,502,000

Mar-20

126,000

5%

2,612,000

Apr-20

68,000

2%

3,073,000

May-20

71,000

2%

4,045,000

Jun-20

139,000

3%

4,302,000

Jul-20

126,000

3%

4,434,000

Aug-20

120,000

3%

4,537,000

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000.

2. Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available.

3. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

4. Figures for court fine deductions are only available from November 2018 as data on the breakdown of third party deductions was not collated on the Universal Credit systems prior to this.

5. The increase in the proportion of claims with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March 2019 for courts to send through their court fines deductions.

6. The decrease in number of claims with deductions for court fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7. Figures for April and May 2020 are affected by the temporary suspension of third party deductions due to Covid-19.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to review the maximum 30 per cent deduction for universal credit claimants for court fines.

From October, we will reduce the Universal Credit standard deductions cap to 25% of a claimant’s Universal Credit standard allowance from 30%.

Court fine deductions fall within the cap which means, from October, the maximum deduction will be the lower of £108.35, set out in legislation, or 25% of a claimant’s standard allowance. The maximum deduction applies only where a claimant’s individual circumstances allow the maximum deduction within the standard deductions cap.

Deductions for court fines are only made from Universal Credit if a Court requests DWP to do so. The Court only makes such a request if it decides that a deduction from benefit is the most appropriate method of payment. It has always been the case that individuals can ask the Court to consider a private payment arrangement - both before a deduction from benefits is requested and at any time thereafter. Officials from DWP and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service have regular discussions about these arrangements.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much the Government has spent on (a) housing benefit and (b) housing benefit for supported exempt accommodation in each of the last three years.

Information showing expenditure on Housing Benefit for each of the last three years are published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-expenditure-tables

We have been unable to source information showing Housing Benefit expenditure for exempt accommodation claims in each of the last three years due to the disproportionate cost to the Department of doing so.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much enhanced housing benefit is paid directly to landlords of supported exempt accommodation by (a) housing benefit and (b) universal credit in each local authority area in each of the last three years.

To source this information would be at a disproportionate cost to the Department. However, we can clarify that, wherever a claimant’s accommodation meets the definition of exempt accommodation, their housing costs support is paid through Housing Benefit, not Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many investigations the Health and Safety Executive has carried out into fatal accidents in workplaces since 1 January 2010; and what the average time taken was to complete those investigations.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has completed 1485 investigations into fatal accidents in workplaces since 1 January 2010.

The average time taken in days to complete those investigations is given in the table 1.

Table 1

Based on/Years

2010 to 2014

2015 - 2020

2010 to 2020

Incident Date to Closed Date

654

428

547

Records with Primacy* Date recorded until Closed Date

463

345

409

* Primacy is when the lead for investigating the incident passes to HSE from the police.

Notes

The average completion time analysis is based on the difference in days between the incident/primacy date and the date that the investigation case was closed on its operational database rather than the date the investigation was concluded which is not recorded. The administrative practice of closing investigation cases has changed over the past 10 years and has not always been as soon as possible after the completion of the investigation. This explains the difference in the reduction in the time taken to complete an investigation as highlighted in Table 1 in addition to the operational improvements that have been made to reduce the time taken.

The figures were extracted from HSE’s live operational database and provide the picture on the date of extraction i.e. 8 October 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department is taking to expedite the conclusion of the Health and Safety Executive investigation into the deaths of Almamo Jammeh, Ousmane Diaby, Bangally Dukureh, Saibo Sillah and Muhamadou Jagana, at the Hawkeswood Metal Recycling site in Birmingham in 2016.

My sympathy goes out to the families, friends and those closely affected by the deaths of the five workers and also to the survivor of the incident, who was seriously injured.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation. I am assured by HSE that the investigation is progressing and following due legal process.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many fatal workplace accidents resulted in the employer being found liable by the Health and Safety Executive each year from 2010 to 2020 in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England and Wales.

This information is not available in the format requested.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not record this information as proof of culpability/liability is not a component of the relevant statutory provisions for which HSE is the enforcing authority.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many fatal workplace accidents resulted in an employer prosecution following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive in each year from 2010 to 2020 in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England and Wales.

The number of fatal workplace accidents per year which subsequently resulted in the prosecution of an employer are shown in the following table:

Year (a)

West Midlands (b)

England & Wales (c)

2010

7

82

2011

9

71

2012

8

70

2013

7

70

2014

7

67

2015

8

49

2016

2

23

2017

3

23

2018

-

6

2019

-

-

2020

-

-

(a) Commencing 1st January

(b) Defined by Government Office Region

(c) Figures include the West Midlands

Notes

The table shows fatalities reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 and previous legislation and the analysis is based on the incident date and where the subsequent prosecution action has been completed.

There can be significant delays between a reportable incident and a prosecution concluding due to a number of reasons including: delays in primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, delays arising from the need for an inquest etc. Consequently, there have no fatalities in 2019 or 2020 which have yet resulted in a concluded prosecution.

Prosecutions taken arising from a fatal investigation should not imply that the employer was liable for the death but only that we had sufficient evidence of a breach of law and that it was in the public interest to prosecute.

The figures were extracted from HSE’s live operational database and provide the picture on the date of extraction – 8 October 2020 - this is not a static picture as there are ongoing investigations for a number of the incidents, especially those which occurred in recent years.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on financial support for people living in multi-generational households who may be unable to return to work as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Secretary of State has had a number of discussions with the Chancellor about the Government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Secretary of State is committed to supporting people of all ages through this difficult period, just as she is committed to ensuring opportunities are available to people across all regions of the UK to ensure we level up our economy as we respond to the pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether there is a statutory limit on the length of a Health and Safety Executive investigation.

There is no statutory limit on the length of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. HSE has a number of processes in place to expedite investigations including:

  • an investigation procedure which includes time periods for the completion of regular reviews of an investigation. Such reviews take into account issues such as timeliness and resources;

  • senior management oversight of investigations to monitor progress against key performance indicators; and

  • the Work-Related Deaths Protocol which aims to improve co-operation between interested parties including HSE and the police during the investigation of a work-related fatality, thereby improving efficiency.

HSE focuses on investigating the most serious of incidents, particularly those that result in fatalities or major injuries and these can be very complex to investigate. HSE understands that timeliness is important and has strengthened procedures. Since 2013/14 there has been an improvement in the percentage of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, as shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

43%

61%

63%

73%

75%

56%

75%(p)

The percentage of non-fatal investigations completed within 12 months is shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

90%

90%

90%

90%

89%

89%

90%(p)

(p) – Provisional and based on live operational information and is therefore subject to change.

HSE’s key performance indicators framework includes indicators on the timeliness of completing investigations, in particular 80% of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy and to complete 90% of non-fatal investigations within 12 months. Performance is regularly reviewed by the HSE Board who are appointed by the Secretary of State and figures are published annually in their Annual Report and Accounts.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what processes are in place to expedite Health and Safety Executive investigations.

There is no statutory limit on the length of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. HSE has a number of processes in place to expedite investigations including:

  • an investigation procedure which includes time periods for the completion of regular reviews of an investigation. Such reviews take into account issues such as timeliness and resources;

  • senior management oversight of investigations to monitor progress against key performance indicators; and

  • the Work-Related Deaths Protocol which aims to improve co-operation between interested parties including HSE and the police during the investigation of a work-related fatality, thereby improving efficiency.

HSE focuses on investigating the most serious of incidents, particularly those that result in fatalities or major injuries and these can be very complex to investigate. HSE understands that timeliness is important and has strengthened procedures. Since 2013/14 there has been an improvement in the percentage of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, as shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

43%

61%

63%

73%

75%

56%

75%(p)

The percentage of non-fatal investigations completed within 12 months is shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

90%

90%

90%

90%

89%

89%

90%(p)

(p) – Provisional and based on live operational information and is therefore subject to change.

HSE’s key performance indicators framework includes indicators on the timeliness of completing investigations, in particular 80% of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy and to complete 90% of non-fatal investigations within 12 months. Performance is regularly reviewed by the HSE Board who are appointed by the Secretary of State and figures are published annually in their Annual Report and Accounts.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the efficiency of Health and Safety Executive investigations.

There is no statutory limit on the length of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. HSE has a number of processes in place to expedite investigations including:

  • an investigation procedure which includes time periods for the completion of regular reviews of an investigation. Such reviews take into account issues such as timeliness and resources;

  • senior management oversight of investigations to monitor progress against key performance indicators; and

  • the Work-Related Deaths Protocol which aims to improve co-operation between interested parties including HSE and the police during the investigation of a work-related fatality, thereby improving efficiency.

HSE focuses on investigating the most serious of incidents, particularly those that result in fatalities or major injuries and these can be very complex to investigate. HSE understands that timeliness is important and has strengthened procedures. Since 2013/14 there has been an improvement in the percentage of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, as shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

43%

61%

63%

73%

75%

56%

75%(p)

The percentage of non-fatal investigations completed within 12 months is shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

90%

90%

90%

90%

89%

89%

90%(p)

(p) – Provisional and based on live operational information and is therefore subject to change.

HSE’s key performance indicators framework includes indicators on the timeliness of completing investigations, in particular 80% of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy and to complete 90% of non-fatal investigations within 12 months. Performance is regularly reviewed by the HSE Board who are appointed by the Secretary of State and figures are published annually in their Annual Report and Accounts.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to increase the efficiency of Health and Safety Executive investigations.

There is no statutory limit on the length of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. HSE has a number of processes in place to expedite investigations including:

  • an investigation procedure which includes time periods for the completion of regular reviews of an investigation. Such reviews take into account issues such as timeliness and resources;

  • senior management oversight of investigations to monitor progress against key performance indicators; and

  • the Work-Related Deaths Protocol which aims to improve co-operation between interested parties including HSE and the police during the investigation of a work-related fatality, thereby improving efficiency.

HSE focuses on investigating the most serious of incidents, particularly those that result in fatalities or major injuries and these can be very complex to investigate. HSE understands that timeliness is important and has strengthened procedures. Since 2013/14 there has been an improvement in the percentage of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, as shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

43%

61%

63%

73%

75%

56%

75%(p)

The percentage of non-fatal investigations completed within 12 months is shown in the table below:

2013/14

14/15

15/16

16/17

17/18

18/19

19/20

90%

90%

90%

90%

89%

89%

90%(p)

(p) – Provisional and based on live operational information and is therefore subject to change.

HSE’s key performance indicators framework includes indicators on the timeliness of completing investigations, in particular 80% of fatal investigations completed within 12 months of primacy and to complete 90% of non-fatal investigations within 12 months. Performance is regularly reviewed by the HSE Board who are appointed by the Secretary of State and figures are published annually in their Annual Report and Accounts.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Health and Safety Executive investigations have exceeded 12 months in duration in each of the last three years.

HSE’s Key Performance Indicators for fatal and non-fatal investigations completed are published in its Annual Report as a percentage. In 2019/20, the target for fatal investigations is the completion of 80% within 12 months of HSE assuming primacy and for non-fatal investigations the target is 90% within 12 months.

For work related deaths, the police initially take the lead for the investigation and primacy is passed to HSE when they decide not to press charges under their legislation. The percentage of those fatal and non-fatal investigations which exceeded 12 months in duration in the last 3 years are:

Fatal investigations not completed within 12 months of primacy:

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

28%

25%

35%(p)

Non-fatal investigations not completed within 12 months:

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

10%

11%

11%(p)

The above figures are taken from data published in HSE’s Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19.

(p) – Provisional and based on live operational information and is therefore subject to change.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to increase the number of people claiming pension credit in the last 12 months; and what progress she has made in increasing that number.

1.6 Million people are already claiming some £5.4 billion in pension Credit. The Government wants to make sure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. That is why from the 10 February we are launching a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of Pension Credit and encourage those over State Pension age to check whether they’re eligible. The campaign, which will run for 12 weeks, includes a short, animated video that will be shown in GP waiting rooms and in Post Offices. It will also be shown to Facebook users over State Pension Age and be supported by messaging on social media.

We regularly work with our stakeholders to help spread the key messages from the campaign because we know that often the best ways to reach eligible pensioners is through trusted stakeholders working in the community. The Pension Credit toolkit is being updated with the campaign materials to supplement the resources it already contains for those working with pensioners, such as guides to Pension Credit and guidance designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit. The toolkit is designed to help organisations support someone applying for Pension Credit as well as provide ideas for encouraging take-up. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to use a wide range of channels including information on www.gov.uk, in leaflets and by telephone to communicate information about benefits including Pension Credit to potential claimants. We target activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to benefits at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or Attendance Allowance or report a change in their circumstances which may mean that they could be eligible for Pension Credit. In addition, the Pension Credit calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator enables potential claimants to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive.

The Department for Work and Pensions publishes an annual report detailing latest available statistics regarding the estimated take-up of Pension Credit and other income-related benefits.

The latest version can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up-financial-year-2016-to-2017

The next report containing 2017/18 data is currently due to be published at the end of February 2020.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential incentive for mixed-aged couples to live alone as a result of the changes to pension credit entitlement which came into force in May 2019.

Pension Credit is intended to provide long term support for people who have permanently retired from the labour market on grounds of age.

The Government does not believe it is right that different labour market conditions should apply to people below State Pension age based on the age of their partner. The younger partner in a mixed age couple should have the same incentives to work and save for their own retirement as other people of the same age. Unlike Pension Credit, which in most cases allows couples to retain only £10 a week of earned income, Universal Credit provides clear incentives for people to find and progress in work. The younger partner in a mixed age couple claiming Universal Credit will get the personalised support provided by Work Coaches to help them find and progress in work where appropriate. If the younger partner is unable to work because of disability or caring requirements, additional amounts may be payable and conditionality requirements adjusted.

No work-related requirements will be applied to the older partner and there is no effect on entitlement to, or ability to receive, a State Pension.

This change does not apply to couples already claiming Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit for pensioners on 14 May 2019 for as long as they remain entitled to either benefit.

In means-tested benefits, couples in a household are treated and assessed as a single unit rather than on an individual basis. The rate for a couple is lower than the rates would be for two single people to take account of lower aggregate living expenses for a couple. There is no evidence from elsewhere in the tax-benefit system that this leads to couples separating. In developing the policy, it was judged that the strategic objective of maintaining contact with the labour market and incentives to save for retirement outweighed the risk of genuine separation, given this lack of evidence.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what additional financial support her Department provides to mixed-age couples as a result of the changes to pension credit entitlement which came into force in May 2019.

Pension Credit is intended to provide long term support for people who have permanently retired from the labour market on grounds of age.

The Government does not believe it is right that different labour market conditions should apply to people below State Pension age based on the age of their partner. The younger partner in a mixed age couple should have the same incentives to work and save for their own retirement as other people of the same age. Unlike Pension Credit, which in most cases allows couples to retain only £10 a week of earned income, Universal Credit provides clear incentives for people to find and progress in work. The younger partner in a mixed age couple claiming Universal Credit will get the personalised support provided by Work Coaches to help them find and progress in work where appropriate. If the younger partner is unable to work because of disability or caring requirements, additional amounts may be payable and conditionality requirements adjusted.

No work-related requirements will be applied to the older partner and there is no effect on entitlement to, or ability to receive, a State Pension.

This change does not apply to couples already claiming Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit for pensioners on 14 May 2019 for as long as they remain entitled to either benefit.

In means-tested benefits, couples in a household are treated and assessed as a single unit rather than on an individual basis. The rate for a couple is lower than the rates would be for two single people to take account of lower aggregate living expenses for a couple. There is no evidence from elsewhere in the tax-benefit system that this leads to couples separating. In developing the policy, it was judged that the strategic objective of maintaining contact with the labour market and incentives to save for retirement outweighed the risk of genuine separation, given this lack of evidence.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has put in place additional financial support for mixed-age pensioners as a result of the May 2019 changes to pension credit entitlement for mixed-aged couples; and if she will make a statement.

Pension Credit is intended to provide long term support for people who have permanently retired from the labour market on grounds of age.

The Government does not believe it is right that different labour market conditions should apply to people below State Pension age based on the age of their partner. The younger partner in a mixed age couple should have the same incentives to work and save for their own retirement as other people of the same age. Unlike Pension Credit, which in most cases allows couples to retain only £10 a week of earned income, Universal Credit provides clear incentives for people to find and progress in work. The younger partner in a mixed age couple claiming Universal Credit will get the personalised support provided by Work Coaches to help them find and progress in work where appropriate. If the younger partner is unable to work because of disability or caring requirements, additional amounts may be payable and conditionality requirements adjusted.

No work-related requirements will be applied to the older partner and there is no effect on entitlement to, or ability to receive, a State Pension.

This change does not apply to couples already claiming Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit for pensioners on 14 May 2019 for as long as they remain entitled to either benefit.

In means-tested benefits, couples in a household are treated and assessed as a single unit rather than on an individual basis. The rate for a couple is lower than the rates would be for two single people to take account of lower aggregate living expenses for a couple. There is no evidence from elsewhere in the tax-benefit system that this leads to couples separating. In developing the policy, it was judged that the strategic objective of maintaining contact with the labour market and incentives to save for retirement outweighed the risk of genuine separation, given this lack of evidence.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what formal (a) complaints and (b) other processes are in place to ensure that the hotels being used for covid-19 quarantine following international travel are held accountable by (i) service users and (ii) his Department.

The Department contracts Managed Quarantine Service hotels via Corporate Travel Management (CTM). Initial complaints are raised with CTM to address with hotels. In addition, the Department has deployed liaison officers to liaise with hotels in England to ensure that Standard Operating Procedures are being adhered to in line with any contractual standards. The Department’s contract management and commercial teams monitor standards and performance and will terminate contracts where performance or standards remain below requirements.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether hotels that are being used for covid-19 quarantine following international travel are required to conduct risk assessments for people who are quarantining there.

Prior to any hotel or establishment becoming a Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) facility, a complete risk assessment is carried out. MQS hotels comply fully with all regulatory and legislative requirements including those relating to health and safety, COVID-19 protocols and fire risk. All assessments incorporate guidance from Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what medical duty of care exists for hotel providers being used for covid-19 quarantine following international travel.

The duty of care for medical provision should a passenger or guest present with symptoms other than COVID-19 rests with the National Health Service. All managed quarantine facilities’ staff, security and testing staff ensure that every guest is kept in a safe environment and that the potential for exposure to others within the facility who may have tested positive for COVID-19 is minimised.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce covid-19 vaccine wastage; and what action is taken with unused vaccines.

No vaccines should be wasted. All vaccination centres should have a backup list of people in the cohorts currently being vaccinated, who can be called in case doses would be wasted. This is in line with the Enhanced Service Specification for the COVID-19 vaccination programme 2020/21.

We have put in place robust mitigations throughout the vaccination programme to reduce wastage, manage expiry dates, and avoid vaccine destruction, including, where there is data to support it, looking at the extension of expiry dates.

The United Kingdom is also one of the largest donors to COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). We will donate at least 100 million surplus doses within the next year, with the first batch of five million already delivered last month.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what demographic information is being collated by the Government on (a) new covid-19 infections, (b) deaths where covid-19 is a determinable factor as defined by the Government, (c) people who have received the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine and (d) people who have received both doses of the covid-19 vaccine.

Public Health England (PHE) collects data on new positive COVID-19 cases including age, sex, place of residence and ethnicity. PHE publishes the number of deaths among persons with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test who died within 28 days of the first positive specimen date by age and ethnicity in the weekly National Flu and COVID-19 Surveillance report.

The Office for National Statistics publishes deaths involving COVID-19, based on death registrations, by individual occupations for those aged 20-64 years old and also those aged 65 years old and over.

Demographic data including age, sex, ethnicity, general practice (GP) data and employee data for national health service staff, feeds into the national immunisation management service (NIMS) to identify COVID-19 vaccine eligible groups. This data is used to invite eligible people for vaccination and individual vaccination data feeds back into the NIMS. Data from the NIMS also feeds into GP systems to update the individual's electronic health record with their vaccination history.

NHS England collects data and publish weekly data including the count of vaccinations by age band, defined as over 80 years old and under 80 years old, by ethnicity, by National Health Service region and by dose.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government is collecting data on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic covid-19 vaccinations (a) administered and (b) refused by vaccination type.

NHS England provides a weekly breakdown of first and second COVID-19 vaccinations in people who are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

We do not hold data on vaccinations administered by vaccination type and we do not collect information on those who refuse the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who have experienced symptoms related to covid-19 for longer than 28 days.

Research into the long-term health symptoms and impacts of COVID-19 and the number of people likely to be experiencing them is ongoing. The National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation have invested £8.4 million in the Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID), led by Christopher Brightling.

PHOSP-COVID aims to determine the short to long-term chronic health (and health economic) consequences of COVID-19 infection in survivors following hospitalisation, including those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The consortium includes experts that have worked extensively with optimising inclusion and recruitment of under-represented populations, such as the BAME community, and will ensure the population recruited to the study is representative of those hospitalised with COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice he is giving to other Departments on ways to reduce the increased risk covid-19 poses to black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities.

The Government has implemented specific measures, guided by medical and scientific expertise, to reduce the spread of the virus in all communities. For example, Public Health England has been working with the Government Equalities Office in order to help departments take a consistent approach to risk mitigation and guidance, including for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities where relevant, and support engagement with sector representatives on key issues that arise during the pandemic.

We are concerned that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on people from BAME backgrounds, which is why the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) has been tasked to lead the Government's work tackling this issue. With the support of the Race Disparity Unit, the Minister is also reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by relevant Government departments and their agencies to directly lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the mental health effect on leaseholders whose properties have been found to have been fitted with flammable cladding following the Grenfell Tower Fire; and what support his Department has provided to those leaseholds to alleviate that effect.

There are no specifically targeted mental health programmes for residents of other buildings fitted with flammable cladding. If residents of buildings fitted with flammable cladding need mental health support, we would urge them to make contact with their general practitioner to discuss these issues so they may be referred to mental health services as appropriate.

Mental health is one of the Government’s top priorities and we are working across Government to ensure that all people, regardless of their residential situation, get the help and support they need.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many confirmed covid-19 cases have been recorded under (a) pillar 1 and (b) pillar 2 testing for the city of Birmingham metropolitan borough.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data.

We also publish public dashboards at a national, regional and local authority level and the Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) map, which allows individuals to type in a postcode to find their MSOA and see how many cases there are in small areas of around 7,000 people


Data on the 7 day average for the number of people with COVID-19 identified through an NHS lab (Pillar 1) or from commercial swab testing (Pillar 2) back to March 2020 is available as part of the NHS Digital Progression Dashboard to upper tier local authority level and is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/dashboards/progression

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to consider the conclusions of Public Health England’s review into the effect of covid-19 on black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities to be taken into account when easing covid-10 lockdown measures.

The United Kingdom’s response to COVID-19 is are underpinned by scientific advice informed by a number of infectious disease models. Each of these is overseen by world-leading academic and public health institutions, who come together in the UK Government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M).

At each review point, impacts on black, Asian and minority ethnic groups have been carefully considered, in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty requirement for public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.

The Government will continue to review the measures, assessing them to ensure that they continue to be necessary and proportionate based on available scientific evidence, which includes up to date data.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for Public Health England’s review into the effect of covid-19 on black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities.

Public Health England led a rapid review to better understand how different factors can impact on how people are affected by COVID-19. This includes analysis of ethnicity, deprivation, age, sex (male and female) and obesity, where data was available. The review’s findings have now been published and can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent comparative assessment his Department has made of the rate of infection of covid-19 in multi-generational households and the wider population.

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. At the time of writing the current range is estimated to be 0.7-0.9 and is based on latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates. We do not calculate nor compare the R rate in different settings.

Guidance for multigenerational households can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/guidance-for-households-with-grandparents-parents-and-children-living-together-where-someone-is-at-increased-risk-or-has-symptoms-of-coronavirus-cov

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to tackle the shortages in personal protective equipment raised in the letter to him from the Leader of Birmingham City Council, dated 16 April 2020.

As of 28 May, the Make Cell identified 502 opportunities from companies with the potential to manufacture safe-to-use personal protective equipment to the technical standards, scale and pace required. Of these, 374 are being fully assessed, 77 have been ‘qualified’ and a further 27 now have an approved technical design following prototype development. To date, the Department has raised 13 purchase orders (POs) with nine different companies – covering gowns, aprons, facemasks, visors, and hand sanitizer. These POs are for nearly half-a-billion items of PPE, 12 million square metres of gown fabric and 105 tonnes of raw materials for facemasks. Companies with raised POs have already started the manufacturing process, with some already delivering to National Health Service frontline services. More new manufacturers of PPE are expected to commit to producing PPE in the coming weeks, with 25 opportunist companies in final commercial discussions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment the Government has made of for what reasons black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities are disproportionately affected by covid-19.

Public Health England (PHE) has been asked to review the potential that some ethnic minority groups are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As part of this review, PHE is matching laboratory records of COVID-19 cases to other health records to draw down accurate data on ethnicity, age, sex and geographical region.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the cross-Government strategy to tackle covid-19 does not disproportionately put black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities at a heightened risk of infection.

We have asked Public Health England to complete a rapid review to understand how COVID-19 may be having an impact on different ethnic groups. To complement this rapid review, the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation issued a joint call on 22 April for research proposals to investigate emerging evidence of an association between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes.

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 recent assessment he has made of the risk posed by covid-19 to black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities in comparison to the population as whole.

We are very concerned by the apparent disproportionate number of people from minority ethnic backgrounds who have died, both within the National Health Service and overall. We have asked Public Health England (PHE) to complete a rapid review to understand how COVID-19 may be having an impact on different ethnic groups, and other groups of concern. PHE has begun linking thousands of existing health records for people who have had COVID-19 in order to gather more robust data.

To complement this rapid review by PHE, the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation issued a joint call on 22 April for research proposals to investigate emerging evidence of an association between ethnicity and COVID-19 incidence and adverse health outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of medicated patients being cared for in mental health facilities indefinitely.

We have made no such estimate. There is no central National Health Service collection of information on medicines issued to individual patients in NHS hospitals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support is available to patients in mental health facilities for prolonged periods of time to challenge the diagnosis or treatment they have received.

Where a patient is subject to the Mental Health Act 1983 for over three months, they have the right to a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor who will confirm a patient’s capacity to consent to treatment, and review whether continuing medication is necessary.

Patients subject to the Act can also access Independent Mental Health Advocates who provide support to patients to exercise their rights and ensure they can participate in the decisions that are made about their care and treatment.

Patients also have the right to appeal to an independent tribunal, which has the power to discharge patients from their detention under the Act.


For mental health patients not detained under the Mental Health Act, there is no legal right to a second opinion. However, as standard clinical practice National Health Service trusts will have arrangements in place for second opinion requests.



Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what legal recourse is available to medicated patients in mental health facilities who believe that they may have been administered with excessive medication.

Patients have the right, set out in the NHS Constitution, to make a complaint about any aspect of National Health Service care, treatment or services and to have that complaint properly investigated.

The NHS complaints procedure, including the process for investigating and responding to a complaint, is set out in secondary legislation, primarily the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

Anyone wishing to make a complaint can do so either to the service provider or to the commissioner. If they are not happy with the outcome of their complaint, they have the right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate.

Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs), and Care, Education and Treatment Reviews (CETRs) for the under 18s, are undertaken for anyone with learning disabilities, autism or both who may be at risk of admission to, or who is already in, a specialist learning disability or mental health hospital.

The purpose of the CTR, or CETR, is to ensure that an individual’s care and treatment is still meeting their needs and both CTRs and CETRs will assess whether medication is being used appropriately and that steps are being taken to minimise the use of any psychotropic medication. The review team, which is led by the responsible commissioner with support from independent expert advisers who bring additional challenge to the process, will make recommendations to improve the individual’s care with follow-up checks to ensure that this is happening.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there are safeguards in place to ensure that the medication that autistic patients receive at mental health facilities is (a) not excessive and (b) in line with NHS STOMP-STAMP guidance.

Patients have the right, set out in the NHS Constitution, to make a complaint about any aspect of National Health Service care, treatment or services and to have that complaint properly investigated.

The NHS complaints procedure, including the process for investigating and responding to a complaint, is set out in secondary legislation, primarily the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

Anyone wishing to make a complaint can do so either to the service provider or to the commissioner. If they are not happy with the outcome of their complaint, they have the right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to investigate.

Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs), and Care, Education and Treatment Reviews (CETRs) for the under 18s, are undertaken for anyone with learning disabilities, autism or both who may be at risk of admission to, or who is already in, a specialist learning disability or mental health hospital.

The purpose of the CTR, or CETR, is to ensure that an individual’s care and treatment is still meeting their needs and both CTRs and CETRs will assess whether medication is being used appropriately and that steps are being taken to minimise the use of any psychotropic medication. The review team, which is led by the responsible commissioner with support from independent expert advisers who bring additional challenge to the process, will make recommendations to improve the individual’s care with follow-up checks to ensure that this is happening.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the naming of alleged perpetrators of gross human rights abuses named in the Xinjiang Papers released at the Uyghur Tribunal, including Chen Quanguo, Zhu Hailun and Zhu Changje.

The Government notes the findings of the Uyghur Tribunal, and welcomes its contribution to building international awareness and understanding of the human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang. The Tribunal's work adds to the growing body of evidence about the deeply disturbing situation that Uyghurs and other minorities are facing. The UK Government has consistently led international efforts to hold China to account for its human rights violations in Xinjiang, including by using our Global Human Rights sanctions regime to impose asset bans and travel freezes on Chinese actors responsible for enforcing China's repressive policies. We will continue to work closely with our international partners to hold the Chinese authorities to account, including at the UN.
Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to evidence in the Xinjiang Papers submitted to the Uyghur Tribunal, what assessment she has been made of the accuracy of reports that Chinese official Chen Quanguo and his deputies Zhu Hailun and Zhu Changjie played a direct role in commissioning the network of mass internment camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The evidence submitted to the Uyghur Tribunal adds to the growing body of evidence about the situation that Uyghurs and other minorities are facing in Xinjiang. The UK government has consistently led international efforts to hold China to account for its human rights violations in Xinjiang, including by using our Global Human Rights sanctions regime to impose asset bans and travel freezes on Chinese actors responsible for enforcing China's repressive policies. We will continue to work closely with our international partners in holding China to account for the egregious human rights situation in Xinjiang.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate she has made of the number of UK nationals evacuated by her Department from Afghanistan during Operation Pitting.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not routinely ask British nationals to register with a British Embassy or High Commission overseas. Recognising the circumstances in Afghanistan, British nationals still in Afghanistan were asked to register their continued presence to allow the FCDO to maintain contact after the evacuation phase ended. British nationals continue to receive updates from the FCDO on the situation in Afghanistan.

Between 15-28 August over 8,300 British nationals and dependents were evacuated from Afghanistan. Since the end of Operation Pitting, the FCDO has assisted nearly 500 British nationals and their dependents back to the UK. This includes helping 218 British nationals and their dependents leave Afghanistan through Qatari Government charter flights. We continue to work to support British nationals and their eligible dependants to leave Afghanistan if that is their wish.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent estimate the Government has made of the number of UK Nationals currently residing in Afghanistan.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not routinely ask British nationals to register with a British Embassy or High Commission overseas. Recognising the circumstances in Afghanistan, British nationals still in Afghanistan were asked to register their continued presence to allow the FCDO to maintain contact after the evacuation phase ended. British nationals continue to receive updates from the FCDO on the situation in Afghanistan.

Between 15-28 August over 8,300 British nationals and dependents were evacuated from Afghanistan. Since the end of Operation Pitting, the FCDO has assisted nearly 500 British nationals and their dependents back to the UK. This includes helping 218 British nationals and their dependents leave Afghanistan through Qatari Government charter flights. We continue to work to support British nationals and their eligible dependants to leave Afghanistan if that is their wish.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate the Government has made of the number of UK Nationals that applied for evacuation from Afghanistan during (a) August and (b) September 2021.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not routinely ask British nationals to register with a British Embassy or High Commission overseas. Recognising the circumstances in Afghanistan, British nationals still in Afghanistan were asked to register their continued presence to allow the FCDO to maintain contact after the evacuation phase ended. British nationals continue to receive updates from the FCDO on the situation in Afghanistan.

Between 15-28 August over 8,300 British nationals and dependents were evacuated from Afghanistan. Since the end of Operation Pitting, the FCDO has assisted nearly 500 British nationals and their dependents back to the UK. This includes helping 218 British nationals and their dependents leave Afghanistan through Qatari Government charter flights. We continue to work to support British nationals and their eligible dependants to leave Afghanistan if that is their wish.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on UK security co-operation with Canada of the decision of the Canadian Parliament to deem the actions of China on the Uighur population as genocide.

We have taken note of the motion passed by the Canadian House of Commons relating to Xinjiang, though this has no impact on our security cooperation with Canada. The UK continues to play a leading role in holding China to account for its gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang, working closely with international partners including Canada. It is the long-standing policy of the British Government that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for a competent court, rather than for Governments or non-judicial bodies.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the decision of the Canadian Parliament to deem the actions of China on the Uighur population as genocide.

We have taken note of the motion passed by the Canadian House of Commons relating to Xinjiang. The UK continues to play a leading role in holding China to account for its gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang, working closely with international partners including Canada. It is the long-standing policy of the British Government that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for a competent court, rather than for Governments or non-judicial bodies.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to Turkish officials on the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China and the implications of the Treaty of Extradition between Turkey and China.

Her Majesty's Government diplomatic engagement and Overseas Development Assistance programmes support Turkey's ongoing efforts to assist its migrants and refugees in a way that respects their welfare and human rights. On 13 January, we raised the Turkey-China Treaty of Extradition with the Turkish authorities and received assurances that safeguards were in place for those affected.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to make representations to international bodies on the effect of Chinese extradition treaties with other nations on Uighur Muslims who have fled persecution from China.

We have repeatedly called on countries to respect the obligation of not forcing persons to return to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that the person would be in danger of fundamental rights violations, and will continue to do so. The UK will continue to take a global leadership role in standing up for the rights of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs,, what steps he is taking to raise concerns on cotton from Xinjiang and other unethically sourced products with the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The UK has taken a leading international role in holding China to account for its human rights violations in Xinjiang, including in respect of credible evidence of forced labour. The UK led the first international joint statements on this issue at the UN, including at the UN Human Rights Council in June. Most recently, on 6 October, alongside Germany, we brought together a total of 39 countries to express grave concern at the situation in Xinjiang in a joint statement at the UN Third Committee. The statement expressed deep concern at the growing number of reports of forced labour in Xinjiang. In addition, at the UN Human Rights Council in September, we raised the issue of forced labour in our national statement which we devoted entirely to China - the first time we had focused on a single country since Salisbury in 2018.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to (a) his counterpart in China, (b) international bodies and (c) individual countries on the detention of (i) Uighur and (ii) other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in China.

We regularly raise our serious concerns about the extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, both directly with the Chinese authorities and at the UN alongside international partners. On 6 October, the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York expressing deep concern at the situation in Xinjiang, including the mass detention of Uyghurs in political re-education camps. This growing coalition reflects UK diplomatic leadership, including the personal involvement of the Foreign Secretary in raising the issue with a wide range of partners. On 28 July, the Foreign Secretary raised human rights violations in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness of the legal action taken through the International Criminal Court against the Government of Myanmar on the Rohingya population and (b) potential merits of similar international action on the detention of Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in China.

The UK is monitoring the Prosecutor's investigations into alleged crimes by the Myanmar military. The UK is clear that the Myanmar military bears responsibility for atrocities against the Rohingya and other minorities. There has been no meaningful accountability for these acts. Accountability is essential to any long-term progress on the crisis.

In respect of the situation in Xinjiang, the UK is focused on building a coalition of likeminded partners and raising concerns at senior levels bilaterally with China to increase pressure on China to change course. Most recently, on 6 October the UK and 38 other countries joined a statement at the UN Third Committee in New York expressing deep concern at the situation in Xinjiang, including the mass detention of Uyghurs in political re-education camps.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the detention of Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, China in the last six months.

As I [Minister Adams] set out during an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 9 September, we are seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. We regularly raise our serious concerns about the extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, both directly with the Chinese authorities and publicly, including at the UN. On 25 September, at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad raised serious concerns about the human rights situations in Xinjiang, and called for China to release all those who are arbitrarily detained. On 28 July, the Foreign Secretary raised human rights violations in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the report published by Public Health England on 2 June 2020 entitled COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes, what cross-departmental steps the Government plans to take to reduce the disproportionate effect of the covid-19 outbreak on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

As Minister for Equalities, I will be working with the Race Disparity Unit and the Department for Health and Social Care to carry forward work to identify and fill the gaps in PHE’s review; and work across government to take appropriate steps to mitigate disparities identified. The terms of reference for this work, which include quarterly updates to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on progress, were published on GOV.UK on 4 June.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the alleged detention of Uighur Muslims.

We regularly raise our concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with the Chinese authorities at senior levels, and most recently our British Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. We also regularly discuss the situation in Xinjiang with likeminded partners including at the UN. We have issued or joined a number of statements registering our concern in recent months: on 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, the UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and called on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 24 September 2019, during the UN General Assembly the Minister of State for the Commonwealth, UN and South Asia called on China to allow UN observers immediate and unfettered access to the region. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK again called for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with local leaders in the West Midlands on the Integrated Rail Plan.

The government is committed to providing better rail connectivity between London, the Midlands and the North. The Treasury works closely with the Department for Transport to understand local leaders’ views on the Integrated Rail Plan, which will soon set out how best to scope, sequence and integrate Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 Phase 2b and other major Network Rail programmes.

The West Midlands will benefit significantly from Phase One of High Speed 2, which will cut journey times between Birmingham and London to less than 50 minutes. Budget 2021 also included £50m to develop proposals for transport improvements around the HS2 Interchange station to help support local regeneration.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to undertake a review into the eligibility thresholds for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government announced at Budget that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue with a fourth and final fifth grant. The fourth and fifth grants are an estimated £13.5bn of additional support, taking total support for the self-employed to over £33 billion since the start of the pandemic. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS will continue to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

Further information about the fourth grant is available in recently published guidance, at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme. Further detail on how the fifth grant will operate will be confirmed in future guidance, which will be published in due course.

31st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward the fourth grant payment for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme from the current scheduled date.

The Government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant.

The Government also announced a major improvement in access to the self-employed scheme. As the deadline for 2019-20 tax returns has now passed, HMRC will use these tax returns for the fourth and fifth grants, provided they were submitted by 2 March. This means that 600,000 people, many of whom became self-employed in 2019-20, may now be able to claim the fourth and fifth grants, bringing the total number of people who could be eligible to 3.7 million.

Using these returns requires time to deliver due to the increased population and new data. In order to allow HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) time to process 2019-20 tax returns it has not been possible to invite applications or open the claims service earlier.

HMRC will open the online claims service for the fourth SEISS grant from late April 2021 and expect to notify potentially eligible people of their personal claim date from mid-April.

Guidance on how to claim the fourth grant is now available online: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

The SEISS is just one part of a wider package of support for the self-employed, which includes automatic, self-serve time-to-pay arrangements, loans, welfare support, and other business support grants.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of forgoing VAT on remediation of cladding to buildings.

No estimate is currently available.

On 9 May 2019, the Government announced that it would fully fund, including for any VAT charge, the removal and replacement of certain types of unsafe cladding on private sector residential buildings 18 metres or higher.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the effect of (a) cladding and (b) fire safety defects on the Exchequer’s taxation revenue.

The Government has provided £1.6bn for the remediation of unsafe cladding from the highest risk buildings. Building owners are responsible for keeping their buildings and residents safe and should meet remediation costs without passing them on to leaseholders, where possible.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed. The Government monitors closely the revenue from property taxation, and HMRC publish quarterly updates on SDLT receipts.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to help leaseholders (a) obtain mortgages or (b) re-mortgage their properties in situations where they are unable to obtain External Wall System (1) forms.

The EWS1 form was introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to assist in valuation of high-rise residential buildings for mortgage purposes. Government does not support a blanket approach in EWS1 requests for lower risk properties and is encouraging mortgage lenders to accept other equivalent evidence from building owners for valuation purposes.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to make available to people who are (a) shielding and (b) living in multigenerational households in the event that they are unable to safely return to work once the shielding programme is paused, notwithstanding statutory sick pay.

On 22 June, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will relax the current public health guidance for those identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) to shield at home. This means from 1 August they will be able to return to work if they are unable to work from home, provided their workplace is COVID-safe.

It is important that this group continue to take careful precautions, and employers should do all they can to enable them to work from home where this is possible, including moving them to another role if required. Where this is not possible, the CEV should be provided with the safest on-site roles that enable them to maintain social distancing from others.

If employers cannot provide a safe working environment, the CEV will continue to have access to an unprecedented package of financial support. This is not limited to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but also includes the introduction of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and an increase in the generosity of welfare payments worth a further £8bn.

Current guidance for those who live with the shielded, including those in multi-generational households, is that they do not need to shield themselves but must carefully follow guidance on social distancing.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing interim rules for the building insurance market to prevent leaseholders having to pay unaffordable premiums until remedial works funded by the Building Safety Fund are completed.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its response to this situation, and is encouraging insurers to do all they can to support customers experiencing these issues.

We are exploring all options to ensure that leaseholders are able to insure the buildings in which they live until remedial works can be completed.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps the Government is taking to help ensure the long-term financial sustainability of museums and art galleries in Birmingham as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Museums, galleries and other entities in the arts and heritage sector, can benefit from a range of support measures including:

· A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England

· The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)

· Small business grant funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

· The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

· The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

· The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises

· VAT deferral for up to 12 months

· The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs

· Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Separately, the Arts Council England has made £160 million of emergency funding available, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund £50million, with grants of between £3000 and £50,000 available through the latter.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to prevent insurance companies from significantly increasing premiums for properties clad with non-ACM flammable materials.

Insurers make decisions about the terms on which they will offer cover following an assessment of the relevant risks. This is usually informed by the insurer’s claims experience and other industry-wide statistics. The capabilities of insurers to assess risk is a key element on which they compete. This competition is important and should lead to better products and lower prices for consumers.

However, the Government is aware of the concerns of those people in affected buildings. The Government has taken a number of steps that will have an impact on insurers’ risk assessments.

Firstly, the Government announced that it would take steps to reform the building safety system, and will review the progress of removing unsafe ACM cladding from affected buildings. In addition, the Government has implemented measures such as providing £1 billion in 2020-21 to support the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding materials on high-rise buildings.

More specifically on insurance, the Government announced that it will commission a review with the insurance industry to consider how Professional Indemnity Insurance can be provided to fire engineers and other construction professionals to ensure they have the confidence to advise on the fire risks associated with ACM cladding.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much and what proportion of the funding allocated to the Building Safety Fund in the Budget 2020 has been allocated to private leaseholders to date.

The £1 billion Building Safety Fund will be open to social sector landlords and private sector building owners who cannot afford to remediate unsafe cladding on buildings over 18 metres. The split of funding will depend on the circumstances of the landlord / building owner who make successful applications to the fund when the bidding process opens later this year.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what correspondence he has had with major insurance companies on the rate of pay-outs of business insurance in response claims relating to covid-19.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that insurance companies offer business insurance pay-out insurance claims related to covid-19 in circumstances where there is no provable case of that virus within that company premises.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that insurance companies act in accordance with corporate responsibility in response to claims in relation to covid-19.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government on the financial implications of the Grenfell Tower fire for leaseholders with properties clad in flammable materials.

One of the Government’s most important duties is to ensure that residents – including leaseholders – feel safe and secure in their homes. That is why the Budget announced £1bn of additional funding to remove unsafe non-ACM cladding from private and social sector residential buildings above 18 metres. The Government expects building owners who have already committed to fund remedial works without passing on the costs to leaseholders to stick to these commitments.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that car insurance premiums do not discriminate drivers because of their ethnicity.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits firms from discriminating against consumers with most protected characteristics, one of which is race. Insurers can only discriminate based on a limited range of characteristics if they can provide objective, accurate, and reliable evidence that the consumer is at a higher risk of making a claim, and if the information they used to assess the application was used in a reasonable way.

Furthermore, firms are required to treat consumers fairly under the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules. The FCA is empowered to address misconduct, and where this has occurred it can undertake full investigations, and as a result impose financial penalties or even order firms to cease certain activities.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of whether drivers born outside the UK pay higher car insurance premiums than drivers born in the UK.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits firms from discriminating against consumers with most protected characteristics, one of which is race. Insurers can only discriminate based on a limited range of characteristics if they can provide objective, accurate, and reliable evidence that the consumer is at a higher risk of making a claim, and if the information they used to assess the application was used in a reasonable way.

Furthermore, firms are required to treat consumers fairly under the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules. The FCA is empowered to address misconduct, and where this has occurred it can undertake full investigations, and as a result impose financial penalties or even order firms to cease certain activities.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on safeguarding against discrimination in the car insurance market.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits firms from discriminating against consumers with most protected characteristics, one of which is race. Insurers can only discriminate based on a limited range of characteristics if they can provide objective, accurate, and reliable evidence that the consumer is at a higher risk of making a claim, and if the information they used to assess the application was used in a reasonable way.

Furthermore, firms are required to treat consumers fairly under the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules. The FCA is empowered to address misconduct, and where this has occurred it can undertake full investigations, and as a result impose financial penalties or even order firms to cease certain activities.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of applications for medical cannabis licences made by pharmacies in each of the last 12 months.

The Home Office Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) issue controlled drug licences to possess, produce or supply drugs; they are company, site and activity specific. Separate licences may be issued to import or export controlled drugs. Pharmacies would ordinarily obtain their supplies of controlled drugs from licensed pharmaceutical wholesalers and, generally speaking would not require licensing by the DFLU.

This means that the data provided in response to this question will not give an insight into UK-based medicinal cannabis patients nor the pharmacies via which they receive their prescriptions. Instead, UK pharmacies would generally only require a DFLU licence where they are involved in exporting medicinal cannabis overseas, primarily to the Channel Islands and other Crown Dependencies with whom we have established licensing processes enabling the supply of controlled drugs.

Individual consignment export licences have been issued by DFLU to companies who supply Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal use in Humans (CBPMs) to patients resident in Crown Dependencies. Some of those applications will have been made by General Pharmaceutical Council- registered ‘pharmacies’.

The number of applications for CBPM licences made by pharmacies in each the last 12 months in England are as follows:

May-21

95

Jun-21

136

Jul-21

124

Aug-21

95

Sep-21

99

Oct-21

99

Nov-21

59

Dec-21

34

Jan-22

34

Feb-22

40

Mar-22

29

Apr-22

10

May-22 (to 17 May)

18

No licences were issued over this period to companies based in the West Midlands, inclusive of Birmingham Ladywood.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many medical cannabis licences have been granted to pharmacies in (a) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England in each of the last 12 months.

The Home Office Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit (DFLU) issue controlled drug licences to possess, produce or supply drugs; they are company, site and activity specific. Separate licences may be issued to import or export controlled drugs. Pharmacies would ordinarily obtain their supplies of controlled drugs from licensed pharmaceutical wholesalers and, generally speaking would not require licensing by the DFLU.

This means that the data provided in response to this question will not give an insight into UK-based medicinal cannabis patients nor the pharmacies via which they receive their prescriptions. Instead, UK pharmacies would generally only require a DFLU licence where they are involved in exporting medicinal cannabis overseas, primarily to the Channel Islands and other Crown Dependencies with whom we have established licensing processes enabling the supply of controlled drugs.

Individual consignment export licences have been issued by DFLU to companies who supply Cannabis-Based Products for Medicinal use in Humans (CBPMs) to patients resident in Crown Dependencies. Some of those applications will have been made by General Pharmaceutical Council- registered ‘pharmacies’.

The number of applications for CBPM licences made by pharmacies in each the last 12 months in England are as follows:

May-21

95

Jun-21

136

Jul-21

124

Aug-21

95

Sep-21

99

Oct-21

99

Nov-21

59

Dec-21

34

Jan-22

34

Feb-22

40

Mar-22

29

Apr-22

10

May-22 (to 17 May)

18

No licences were issued over this period to companies based in the West Midlands, inclusive of Birmingham Ladywood.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of applications for medical cannabis licences made by pharmacies in each the last 12 months.

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

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the average time taken to award medical cannabis licences to pharmacies following their initial application.

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

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many medical cannabis licences have been granted to pharmacies in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Birmingham Ladywood in each of the last 12 months.

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

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Government has made on publishing its response to the consultation on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.

The Government is in the final stages of producing its response to the consultation on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) and aims to publish the document as soon as possible.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of Afghan relatives of UK nationals who received advice from her Department on settling in the UK.

The Home Office does not hold the information requested.

Since the end of Operation Pitting, our helpline for non-British nationals in Afghanistan has provided information and support on the UK’s evacuation efforts, as well as general information about the relocation schemes, to 5.8 million callers.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the level of support that is offered to (a) UK nationals and (b) UK nationals’ relatives living in Afghanistan to apply to the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme.

We are working across government and with partners such as UNHCR to design the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), amidst a complex and changing picture. We are committed to working in step with the international community to get this right, and we will set out more details soon.

The first to be resettled through the ACRS will be some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk.

There will not be a formal Home Office owned application process for the ACRS. Instead, eligible people will be prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK as set out in the policy statement published on gov.uk on 13 September, available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme will begin bringing those eligible for the scheme to the UK.

We are working across government and with partners such as UNHCR to design the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), amidst a complex and changing picture. We are committed to working in step with the international community to get this right, and we will set out more details soon.

The first to be resettled through the ACRS will be some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk.

There will not be a formal Home Office owned application process for the ACRS. Instead, eligible people will be prioritised and referred for resettlement to the UK as set out in the policy statement published on gov.uk on 13 September, available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help ensure that all immigration applicants understand the immigration application process, including processing times and what happens after the receipt of a decision.

The Home Office is committed to ensuring all applications are considered without unnecessary delay. Information on our immigration routes with service standards and whether they have been processed against these standards is available as part of our transparency data, at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

If an application is deemed complex and expected to take longer than the standard processing timescale, UKVI will write to the customer within the standard processing time and explain what will happen next. The published information on processing times for complex/ non straightforward visa applications is published as part of the Migration Transparency data, at the above link.

All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual merits on the evidence available to the decision maker. Although we concentrate on oldest cases there may be reasons where some applications may be prioritised due to several factors such as vulnerability. Delays may also occur where we require further information/investigations before a decision can be made on the application.

The Home Office issues an information leaflet to asylum claimants at the point of claim which outlines the asylum process and the claimant’s responsibilities within the process. This information leaflet is periodically reviewed. Independent guidance and advice are also available to asylum claimants provided by Migrant Help.

Migrant Help are present in initial accommodation where destitute asylum seekers are initially housed and their services can also be accessed via their website or by phone. Their website is available in multiple languages, and the helpline is free and accessible in multiple languages.

UKVI work closely with our key partners and stakeholders to seek and share feedback to identify ways in which we can improve the quality of experience of people seeking asylum in the UK. Our Customer Experience Management Team, based across the UK, work closely on a local level with stakeholders, to identify key areas to improve the overall experience for people seeking asylum in the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the average length of time it takes to process an application for (a) refugee status, (b) indefinite leave to remain, (c) citizenship and (d) for settled status as of 15 October 2021.

The Home Office is committed to ensuring all applications are considered without unnecessary delay. Information on our immigration routes with service standards and whether they have been processed against these standards is available as part of our transparency data, at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

If an application is deemed complex and expected to take longer than the standard processing timescale, UKVI will write to the customer within the standard processing time and explain what will happen next. The published information on processing times for complex/ non straightforward visa applications is published as part of the Migration Transparency data, at the above link.

All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual merits on the evidence available to the decision maker. Although we concentrate on oldest cases there may be reasons where some applications may be prioritised due to several factors such as vulnerability. Delays may also occur where we require further information/investigations before a decision can be made on the application.

The Home Office issues an information leaflet to asylum claimants at the point of claim which outlines the asylum process and the claimant’s responsibilities within the process. This information leaflet is periodically reviewed. Independent guidance and advice are also available to asylum claimants provided by Migrant Help.

Migrant Help are present in initial accommodation where destitute asylum seekers are initially housed and their services can also be accessed via their website or by phone. Their website is available in multiple languages, and the helpline is free and accessible in multiple languages.

UKVI work closely with our key partners and stakeholders to seek and share feedback to identify ways in which we can improve the quality of experience of people seeking asylum in the UK. Our Customer Experience Management Team, based across the UK, work closely on a local level with stakeholders, to identify key areas to improve the overall experience for people seeking asylum in the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure that local authorities have access to a list of approved providers of waking watch fire patrol.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO), the Responsible Person for each building is required to ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place within their building. If a responsible person uses a waking watch as part of a wider building fire safety strategy to mitigate the risks in a particular building, as informed by a fire risk assessment, it is for them to ensure its adequacy.

The Government and NFCC make available guidance to support those responsible in complying with the FSO and ensuring their premises remain safe for continued use but does not monitor service providers. The National Fire Chiefs Council has recently revised its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance which reflects best practice and can be located at https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

This guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible.

Local fire and rescue authorities and other enforcers of the FSO can take action where the fire safety measures fall short of compliance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds information on businesses providing waking watch services in buildings with unsafe cladding materials.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO), the Responsible Person for each building is required to ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place within their building. If a responsible person uses a waking watch as part of a wider building fire safety strategy to mitigate the risks in a particular building, as informed by a fire risk assessment, it is for them to ensure its adequacy.

The Government and NFCC make available guidance to support those responsible in complying with the FSO and ensuring their premises remain safe for continued use but does not monitor service providers. The National Fire Chiefs Council has recently revised its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance which reflects best practice and can be located at https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

This guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible.

Local fire and rescue authorities and other enforcers of the FSO can take action where the fire safety measures fall short of compliance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what regulation is in place to oversee companies offering waking watch fire patrols in buildings with unsafe cladding materials.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO), the Responsible Person for each building is required to ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place within their building. If a responsible person uses a waking watch as part of a wider building fire safety strategy to mitigate the risks in a particular building, as informed by a fire risk assessment, it is for them to ensure its adequacy.

The Government and NFCC make available guidance to support those responsible in complying with the FSO and ensuring their premises remain safe for continued use but does not monitor service providers. The National Fire Chiefs Council has recently revised its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance which reflects best practice and can be located at https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

This guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible.

Local fire and rescue authorities and other enforcers of the FSO can take action where the fire safety measures fall short of compliance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative assessment her Department has made of the relative safety of the use of (a) waking watch fire patrols and (b) professionally installed fire alarm systems in buildings with unsafe building materials.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO), the Responsible Person for each building is required to ensure appropriate fire safety measures are in place within their building. If a responsible person uses a waking watch as part of a wider building fire safety strategy to mitigate the risks in a particular building, as informed by a fire risk assessment, it is for them to ensure its adequacy.

The Government and NFCC make available guidance to support those responsible in complying with the FSO and ensuring their premises remain safe for continued use but does not monitor service providers. The National Fire Chiefs Council has recently revised its Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance which reflects best practice and can be located at https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

This guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible.

Local fire and rescue authorities and other enforcers of the FSO can take action where the fire safety measures fall short of compliance.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure people with disabilities, who live in buildings with fire safety faults, are guaranteed a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan by building managing agents.

The Home Office will be consulting on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) in high-rise residential settings shortly. This consultation follows the recent Fire Safety Consultation (FSC) which sought views on the recommendations in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report, details of this consultation can be found here.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many illegal importations of shisha tobacco were capture by the UK Border Force in each of the last three calendar years.

Border Force does not routinely publish this level of data on the specific type of tobacco seized at the border.

Seizures relating to products related to the Tax revenue that is protected through detecting goods where excise duty has not been declared, including Tobacco seizures are published quarterly on the.gov.uk website. The latest information can be found at:

Border Force Transparency Data August 2020

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people residing in asylum accommodation were (a) children and (b) vulnerable on medical grounds in each of the last three years.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area, which includes those in hotel and wider government facilities. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 26 November 2020. The next quarterly figures are due to be released in February 2021.

The Home Office does not publish a breakdown of these statistics which disaggregates the number of children and vulnerable people based on medical grounds. These figures are not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the local authorities that were consulted in advance of the implementation of the asylum dispersal scheme.

Birmingham has been a dispersal area for a number of years, and we do not hold records of the engagement held.

With regards to current dispersal, the Home Office is working in partnership with Local Authority Chief Executives through the Home Office Local Government Chief Executive group’s, who have agreed a change plan, that seeks to achieve a more equitable dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK and seeks to overcome barriers to ensure availability of service provision.

The plan has been paused in light of the current covid-19 crisis but will resume once restrictions on accommodation moves have been lifted.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what correspondence her Department had with Birmingham City Council in advance of the implementation of the asylum dispersal scheme.

Birmingham has been a dispersal area for a number of years, and we do not hold records of the engagement held.

With regards to current dispersal, the Home Office is working in partnership with Local Authority Chief Executives through the Home Office Local Government Chief Executive group’s, who have agreed a change plan, that seeks to achieve a more equitable dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK and seeks to overcome barriers to ensure availability of service provision.

The plan has been paused in light of the current covid-19 crisis but will resume once restrictions on accommodation moves have been lifted.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will provide an update on the progress being made in resolving the issues contained in the letter from her Department, reference M560/20, in relation to tackling the unresolved issues with the asylum contingency accommodation at the Rowton Hotel in Birmingham.

The letter referred to in the questions (M560/20) was regarding the use of the Rowton Hotel as contingency accommodation and was responded to in February 2020.

Due to the Covid 19 crisis and the pause on cessations of asylum support there was a growth in the number of people needing accommodation and that in order to meet that growth, we would have to procure hotel accommodation as contingency and hotel use in Birmingham has continued. The use of hotels as contingency accommodation is temporary and once restrictions on movement are lifted, the providers will work to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable accommodation.

We will programme the reduction of the number of people in supported accommodation in a controlled manner. Consideration will be given to the needs of service users whilst balancing the impact of increased accommodation pressures on local authorities. We intend to work collaboratively with local authorities as we transition out of lockdown.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood of 17 February 2020 on the regulation of shisha lounges, reference SK/Badley/SM17964.

A reply was sent by the Minister for Crime and Policing on 25 September 2020.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the issues with the Serco Group referred to in the letter from her Department, reference M560/20 have been resolved; and if she will give an update on the progress being made to reduce the use of contingency accommodation for asylum dispersal in the West Midlands.

The letter referred to in the questions (M560/20) was regarding the use of the Rowton Hotel as contingency accommodation and was responded to in February 2020.

Due to the Covid 19 crisis and the pause on cessations of asylum support there was a growth in the number of people needing accommodation and that in order to meet that growth, we would have to procure hotel accommodation as contingency and hotel use in Birmingham has continued. The use of hotels as contingency accommodation is temporary and once restrictions on movement are lifted, the providers will work to move all individuals in contingency accommodation into suitable accommodation.

We will programme the reduction of the number of people in supported accommodation in a controlled manner. Consideration will be given to the needs of service users whilst balancing the impact of increased accommodation pressures on local authorities. We intend to work collaboratively with local authorities as we transition out of lockdown.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, what support her Department is providing to local authorities to deliver English for Speakers of Other Languages (EWOL) courses in local authority areas with high levels of resettled individuals and families seeking asylum relative to other local authority areas.

  • The Department for Education funds English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) through the Adult Education Budget (AEB).

  • Individuals aged 19 and over, including refugees, those granted humanitarian protection and asylum seekers, can be fully funded or co-funded depending on their age, prior educational attainment, employment status, and provided they meet the residency criteria set out in the AEB Funding and Performance Management Rules.

  • Approximately half the AEB is devolved to six Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority, and they are responsible for commissioning and funding provision, including ESOL provision, for learners resident in their areas.

  • As well as access to mainstream services, additional funding is provided to Local Authorities (of £850 per adult refugee) for refugees resettled through the UK’s resettlement scheme. This is intended to boost local capacity so that refugees on the scheme can receive additional hours of ESOL tuition.

  • We are also investing around £600,000 this year (2020/21) so that refugees on the UK Resettlement Scheme can benefit from additional childcare provision to support access to ESOL classes; and £360,000 to improve regional coordination of ESOL for refugees.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the equity of distribution of the resettling of individuals and families seeking asylum throughout the UK by (a) geographical region and (b) in terms of the regional public service provision capacity.

The Home Office is working in partnership with Local Authority Chief Executives ?through the Home Office Local Government Chief Executive group’s, who have agreed a change plan, that seeks to achieve a more equitable dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK and seeks to overcome barriers to ensure availability of service provision.

The plan has been paused in light of the current covid-19 crisis but will resume once restrictions on accommodation moves have been lifted.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the dispersal of individuals and families seeking asylum has been, by local authority area, over the last five years.

The Home Office publishes quarterly figures on the number of asylum seekers housed in dispersed accommodation, by local authority in the Immigration Statistics release, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she is making on the recruitment of new frontline police officers in the West Midlands.

In October 2019 Home Office confirmed officer allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. The Home Office is working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to support all forces deliver these allocations.

West Midlands Police has been allocated 366 officers in year 1 of the uplift.

The Home Office publishes the statistical series 'Police workforce, England and Wales' on a biannual basis. The next publication is scheduled for release on Thursday 30 January and will contain information on the number of officers in post as at 30 September 2019. Data on joiners and leavers are published annually, in the July release of the bulletin, which covers the situation as at 31 March.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she is taking to ensure that EU citizens living in the UK apply for settled status by 31 January 2020.

The EU Settlement scheme is free, there is plenty of support for applicants and EU citizens have until the end of June 2021 to apply.

The latest published information shows that more than 2.7 million (2,756,100) EU Settlement Scheme applications had been received up to 31 December 2019. The latest figures can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme monthly statistics’ available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019

In order to ensure that resident EEA nationals and their family members understand how and by when to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office has put in place a comprehensive communications and engagement plan, using all available channels to reach our audiences – such as marketing, presentations, email updates, toolkits and webinars.

The Home Office has delivered a £4 million marketing campaign to encourage resident EEA nationals to apply and further campaign activity is planned. Alongside this campaign activity, we have also undertaken extensive engagement and outreach with stakeholder groups, including employers, local authorities and community organisations. No-one will be left behind, which is why we are working in partnership with representatives of vulnerable groups and other experts to make sure everyone knows what they need to do and has the right level of support.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department made of the implications for the integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy of Chinese treatment of Uighur people in Xinjiang province during the period of that review.

The situation in Xinjiang is one of the worst human rights crises of our time. The Government has repeatedly made its concerns clear and advocates that China must be held to account for their human rights violations. The Foreign Secretary’s announcement in Parliament on Monday 22 March of sanctions targeting four key individuals alongside the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps represents the latest of a series of actions which send an unequivocal message that those responsible for serious human rights violations in China will face consequences.

This latest action reflects the approach and objectives articulated in the Integrated Review; the UK is committed to being a force for good in standing up for human rights around the world, using our independent sanction regime to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations and abuses.

The Review recognises that China presents a complex, systemic challenge to the UK and our allies. As the Review makes clear, we need to be prepared to push back to protect our values and global interests, while maintaining our ability to cooperate in tackling global challenges such as climate change and the mutual benefits of our economic relationship. The UK wants a mature, positive relationship with China, based on mutual respect and trust. There is considerable scope for constructive engagement and cooperation. But as we strive for that positive relationship, we will not sacrifice either our values or our security. As we continue to engage, we will always protect our national interests and hold China to its international commitments and promises.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 July 2021, HCWS228 on Housing Update, whether the Government plans to repay leaseholders who have already paid for EWS1.

The EWS1 process is not a Government one. There are no plans to reimburse for costs incurred in commissioning an EWS1.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2021 to Question 29765 on High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention, how much and what proportion of the £30 million Waking Watch Relief is (a) allocated, (b) spent and (c) unspent.

Data on the Waking Watch Relief Fund, including the amount of funding allocated and approved, has been published at: www.gov.uk/guidance/waking-watch-relief-fund#waking-watch-relief-fund-data.

The majority of the Fund is administered by local and regional authorities, who are responsible for providing the allocated funding to buildings in their area.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the annual cost was of waking watch fire patrols to each local authority in each of the last three years.

The Department does not hold this information.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will review BS-5839 guidance on fire detection and alarm systems to insert guidance on Smart Alarm systems for high rise property.

British Standards such as BS 5839 are produced by the British Standards Institute (BSI). Questions regarding BS 5839 should be directed to BSI and the relevant committee.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will review BS-5839 guidance on fire detection and alarm systems so that clear guidance is included on the installation of fire alarms in blocks of flats.

British Standards such as BS 5839 are produced by the British Standards Institute (BSI). Questions regarding BS 5839 should be directed to BSI and the relevant committee.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional funding is being provided to local authorities to maintain waking watch fire patrol services in buildings with unsafe cladding.

Guidance published by the National Fire Chiefs Council recommends that a Waking Watch should only be in place for a short period of time in those buildings where the fire safety strategy has moved from 'stay put' to 'simultaneous evacuation'.

The guidance is clear that the Responsible Person should move quickly to install a common fire alarm system as they are a more cost effective and reliable option. On 17 December the Secretary of State announced a £30 million Waking Watch Relief fund to pay for the costs of installing a common fire alarm system in residential buildings in England taller than 18 meters with unsafe cladding, to remove costly Waking Watch measures.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of premises constructed through Special Purpose Vehicles which may not be covered by the proposed extension of the Defective Premises Act 1972 regulations from six to fifteen years.

The Government's proposed changes to the Defective Premises Act 1972 as part of the Building Safety Bill will more than double the time available to seek compensation for substandard building work from six to 15 years. These new measures will provide a legal route to redress that previously would not have been possible for hundreds of buildings, benefitting thousands of leaseholders.

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

The Government has been clear that those responsible must pay towards the cost of remediating defective buildings. It is fundamental that the industry that caused this issue contributes to setting things right. Some parts of the industry have done the right thing, funding remediation of serious historic defects, but this is not happening in all cases. In many cases, those who caused the problems are evading responsibility. That is why we are taking action, providing a route to redress so that those who caused these problems can be held accountable.

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of buildings constructed with unsafe cladding materials that will be (a) included and (b) excluded from the proposed extension of the Defective Premises Act 1972 regulations from six to fifteen years.

The Government's proposed changes to the Defective Premises Act 1972 as part of the Building Safety Bill will more than double the time available to seek compensation for substandard building work from six to 15 years. These new measures will provide a legal route to redress that previously would not have been possible for hundreds of buildings, benefitting thousands of leaseholders.

There are various limitation periods set in the Limitation Act 1980 for different types of civil claim. These range from 12 months (for defamation or the late payment of insurance claims) to six years (for claims relating to some types of contracts) to a long stop of 15 years for cases involving negligence. A 15-year limitation period has been chosen to bring the Defective Premises Act in line with other types of serious civil claim.

The Government has been clear that those responsible must pay towards the cost of remediating defective buildings. It is fundamental that the industry that caused this issue contributes to setting things right. Some parts of the industry have done the right thing, funding remediation of serious historic defects, but this is not happening in all cases. In many cases, those who caused the problems are evading responsibility. That is why we are taking action, providing a route to redress so that those who caused these problems can be held accountable.

Along with retrospectively extending the limitation period under the Defective Premises Act, going forward we are also expanding the Defective Premises Act to include refurbishments, and we will be commencing section 38 of the Building Act 1984. These measures will also be subject to a 15-year limitation period. Together, these increased rights to redress will enhance accountability, with stronger incentives against shoddy workmanship, further reinforcing the culture change in the construction industry that the Building Safety Bill will drive.

These reforms are supported by more than £5 billion in direct grant funding for the remediation of dangerous cladding on high-rise buildings, where the risk to multiple households is greater when fire does spread; a significant proportion of this is funding the delivery of construction works now, or has funded work which has finished.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what further steps his Department has taken, in addition to writing an open letter to building control companies, in response to Kingspan Insulation Ltd withdrawing the three test reports on the safety of its K15 insulation.

On 10 March 2021 we issued a letter to fire safety professionals and building control bodies reminding them that Kingspan has retracted three test reports. The letter is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-building-control-bodies-on-the-retraction-of-three-tests-carried-out-on-kingspan-k15-insulation

The letter recommends that fire safety professionals and buildings control bodies review their records to check that any assessments they have carried out using these tests are identified and revisited in light of the information highlighted during the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The content of this letter is not new and is simply a reminder of the steps they should take in light of this information.

On 5 July 2021, the Government introduced the Building Safety Bill which set out the biggest reforms to building safety regulation for a generation, including provisions to strengthen and extend the scope of the powers available to the Government to regulate construction products.

The Bill will require manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe before putting them on the United Kingdom market. It also paves the way for a national regulator for construction products being set up within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) to oversee the new regime. The regulator will have robust inspection, market surveillance and enforcement capability so unsafe products can be removed from the market.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the impact on the housing market of mortgage providers that have not adopted the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors EWS1 guidance.

The Government is assured that most major lenders, about 80% of the mortgage market, have adopted the approach in the RICS EWS1 guidance or already take a significantly less risk averse approach. The Government has not said that 20% of lenders have not adopted the RICS EWS1 guidance: our efforts have been focussed on the lenders with the largest share of the market, so this does not necessarily mean that the remaining 20% of market share, made up of much smaller lenders, are not using the RICS guidance.

The Department frequently engages with the industry and will continue to challenge them on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data transparency on how the RICS guidance is being applied, and the effect of the process on mortgage applications. We already know, via data from one major lender, that an EWS1 already exists for 50% of mortgage applications where one is requested, and we are working with industry to ensure this picture only improves.

We will continue to work with lenders to enable them to understand and accept other forms of assurance such as a comprehensive fire risk assessment which includes the external walls or post 2018 building control sign off for high rise blocks.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on improving the adoption rates of the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors EWS1 guidance throughout the mortgage providing industry.

The Government is assured that most major lenders, about 80% of the mortgage market, have adopted the approach in the RICS EWS1 guidance or already take a significantly less risk averse approach. The Government has not said that 20% of lenders have not adopted the RICS EWS1 guidance: our efforts have been focussed on the lenders with the largest share of the market, so this does not necessarily mean that the remaining 20% of market share, made up of much smaller lenders, are not using the RICS guidance.

The Department frequently engages with the industry and will continue to challenge them on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data transparency on how the RICS guidance is being applied, and the effect of the process on mortgage applications. We already know, via data from one major lender, that an EWS1 already exists for 50% of mortgage applications where one is requested, and we are working with industry to ensure this picture only improves.

We will continue to work with lenders to enable them to understand and accept other forms of assurance such as a comprehensive fire risk assessment which includes the external walls or post 2018 building control sign off for high rise blocks.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what impact assessment his Department has undertaken of the potential risks of associated with 20 per cent of banks, building societies and mortgage lenders not adopting the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors EWS1 guidance.

The Government is assured that most major lenders, about 80% of the mortgage market, have adopted the approach in the RICS EWS1 guidance or already take a significantly less risk averse approach. The Government has not said that 20% of lenders have not adopted the RICS EWS1 guidance: our efforts have been focussed on the lenders with the largest share of the market, so this does not necessarily mean that the remaining 20% of market share, made up of much smaller lenders, are not using the RICS guidance.

The Department frequently engages with the industry and will continue to challenge them on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data transparency on how the RICS guidance is being applied, and the effect of the process on mortgage applications. We already know, via data from one major lender, that an EWS1 already exists for 50% of mortgage applications where one is requested, and we are working with industry to ensure this picture only improves.

We will continue to work with lenders to enable them to understand and accept other forms of assurance such as a comprehensive fire risk assessment which includes the external walls or post 2018 building control sign off for high rise blocks.

2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with banks, building societies and mortgage lenders on encouraging the adoption of the revised Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors guidance on EWS1.

The Government is assured that most major lenders, about 80% of the mortgage market, have adopted the approach in the RICS EWS1 guidance or already take a significantly less risk averse approach. The Government has not said that 20% of lenders have not adopted the RICS EWS1 guidance: our efforts have been focussed on the lenders with the largest share of the market, so this does not necessarily mean that the remaining 20% of market share, made up of much smaller lenders, are not using the RICS guidance.

The Department frequently engages with the industry and will continue to challenge them on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data transparency on how the RICS guidance is being applied, and the effect of the process on mortgage applications. We already know, via data from one major lender, that an EWS1 already exists for 50% of mortgage applications where one is requested, and we are working with industry to ensure this picture only improves.

We will continue to work with lenders to enable them to understand and accept other forms of assurance such as a comprehensive fire risk assessment which includes the external walls or post 2018 building control sign off for high rise blocks.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the current shortage of safe cladding materials does not negatively effect the rollout of the Building Safety Fund.

Department officials are currently using their ongoing engagement with industry to ensure that any potential implications for the remediation programme are understood and action is taken where needed to ensure that the Government’s priorities for building safety are met.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to implement a Single Code of Practice for private companies that levy parking charges.

My Department is working hard to improve standards in the private parking industry. Last year we launched public consultations on our proposals for the new Parking Code of Practice and Enforcement Framework, designed to ensure fairness across the board.

The Government published its response to its consultation on the Code Enforcement Framework on 20 March 2021, announcing our intention to deliver a series of parking measures which will benefit motorists and encourage people to return to our high streets and town centres.

We will continue to discuss the detail of the Code of Practice and the proposed approach in the consultation response on parking charges with all interested parties including key motoring and industry bodies.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of the proposed cladding loan scheme, for leaseholders living in buildings with fire safety faults, on disabled or older people’s incomes who are supported solely by state benefits or pensions.

We are continuing to develop a financing scheme using a range of evidence to ensure that it protects all types of leaseholders and will prioritise affordability and accelerate remediation. We are working on the underpinning details and will announce further information as soon as we are in a position to do so.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of the proposed cladding loan scheme, for leaseholders living in buildings with fire safety faults, on disabled or older people’s incomes who are supported solely by state benefits or pensions.

We are continuing to develop a financing scheme using a range of evidence to ensure that it protects all types of leaseholders and will prioritise affordability and accelerate remediation. We are working on the underpinning details and will announce further information as soon as we are in a position to do so.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending eligibility for Disabled Facilities Grants to include emergency evacuation from buildings at risk of fire safety faults.

Anyone can already apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to contribute to the capital cost of adapting their home, including to facilitate access in and out of their building or around the common parts of their building, subject to a needs assessment, eligibility criteria, and a means test. This includes in buildings at risk of fire safety faults.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what financial support is available to people with disabilities who live in buildings with fire safety faults to install evacuation aids to facilitate safe evacuation in event of a fire.

Under the Building Safety Programme, the Government has intervened with an unprecedented over £5 billion investment in building safety, to fully fund the remediation of unsafe cladding for leaseholders in all residential buildings 18 metres and over in England. Lower rise buildings, with a lower risk to safety, will also gain new protection from costs of cladding removal with a generous new scheme offered to buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height. We have also launched a £30 million fund to install fire alarms in high-rise buildings, relieving residents of waking watch costs.

The Government-funded Disabled Facilities Grant can contribute to the capital cost of adapting an eligible persons home, including to facilitate access in and out of their building or around the common parts of their building, subject to a needs assessment, eligibility criteria, and a means test. This includes in buildings at risk of fire safety faults.

The Fire Safety Order (FSO) applies to the non-domestic parts of multi occupied residential premises. Responsible Persons (who may be building owners) under the FSO have a duty to take such general fire precautions as are reasonably required to ensure the safety of premises. Such precautions include measures to reduce the risk of fire on the premises, measures relating to means of escape from the premises and ensuring these can be safely and effectively used, and measures to mitigate the effect of fire.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Regulation 57 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, whether it is his Department's policy that local authorities can mandatorily or discretionarily exclude a bidder from a contract if they are responsible for constructing premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Matters concerning the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are the responsibility of Cabinet Office, including the grounds for the exclusion of bidders from public procurement procedures that are set out within the regulations.

These rules set out the circumstances in which bidders must, or may, be excluded from a public procurement process for a variety of criminal offences and in other specific situations. Decisions need to be based around firm evidence and individual contracting authorities, including local authorities, are responsible for their own decisions on these matters.

The Green Paper “Transforming Government Procurement” includes a package of proposals to bolster the existing exclusion grounds, including discretionary measures to exclude for poor past performance even if it had not led to termination, damages or comparable sanctions. The Government will also investigate the feasibility of developing a centrally managed debarment list of suppliers who have relevant convictions to make it easier for contracting authorities to identify organisations that must be excluded from public procurement. Detailed analysis of the consultation responses will follow in due course.

More widely, it is also clear that further measures must be put in place to prevent unsafe products being placed on the market and there must be action against companies which advertise and sell unsafe products, or who game the testing regime.

That is why we have brought forward proposals to strengthen the regulation of construction products in the draft Building Safety Bill. We have also announced in January a new national regulator for construction products, and a review into the construction product testing regime. We expect all public suppliers to act with integrity and to high standards, and will act where we see standards falling short.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will review the guidance for Central Government Departments, Executive Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies for local authorities so that bidders can be excluded if they are responsible for constructing premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Matters concerning the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are the responsibility of Cabinet Office, including the grounds for the exclusion of bidders from public procurement procedures that are set out within the regulations.

These rules set out the circumstances in which bidders must, or may, be excluded from a public procurement process for a variety of criminal offences and in other specific situations. Decisions need to be based around firm evidence and individual contracting authorities, including local authorities, are responsible for their own decisions on these matters.

The Green Paper “Transforming Government Procurement” includes a package of proposals to bolster the existing exclusion grounds, including discretionary measures to exclude for poor past performance even if it had not led to termination, damages or comparable sanctions. The Government will also investigate the feasibility of developing a centrally managed debarment list of suppliers who have relevant convictions to make it easier for contracting authorities to identify organisations that must be excluded from public procurement. Detailed analysis of the consultation responses will follow in due course.

More widely, it is also clear that further measures must be put in place to prevent unsafe products being placed on the market and there must be action against companies which advertise and sell unsafe products, or who game the testing regime.

That is why we have brought forward proposals to strengthen the regulation of construction products in the draft Building Safety Bill. We have also announced in January a new national regulator for construction products, and a review into the construction product testing regime. We expect all public suppliers to act with integrity and to high standards, and will act where we see standards falling short.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will review Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to ensure that local authorities can exclude those applying for contracts who have previously constructed premises with cladding that has been found to be a dangerous fire risk.

Matters concerning the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are the responsibility of Cabinet Office, including the grounds for the exclusion of bidders from public procurement procedures that are set out within the regulations.

These rules set out the circumstances in which bidders must, or may, be excluded from a public procurement process for a variety of criminal offences and in other specific situations. Decisions need to be based around firm evidence and individual contracting authorities, including local authorities, are responsible for their own decisions on these matters.

The Green Paper “Transforming Government Procurement” includes a package of proposals to bolster the existing exclusion grounds, including discretionary measures to exclude for poor past performance even if it had not led to termination, damages or comparable sanctions. The Government will also investigate the feasibility of developing a centrally managed debarment list of suppliers who have relevant convictions to make it easier for contracting authorities to identify organisations that must be excluded from public procurement. Detailed analysis of the consultation responses will follow in due course.

More widely, it is also clear that further measures must be put in place to prevent unsafe products being placed on the market and there must be action against companies which advertise and sell unsafe products, or who game the testing regime.

That is why we have brought forward proposals to strengthen the regulation of construction products in the draft Building Safety Bill. We have also announced in January a new national regulator for construction products, and a review into the construction product testing regime. We expect all public suppliers to act with integrity and to high standards, and will act where we see standards falling short.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many applications to the Building Safety Fund have (a) been approved, (b) been declined and (c) have a decision outstanding; and what the average length of time was before a decision was made in each of the last three years.

The Department published registration statistics for the Building Safety Fund on 11 February 2021, which includes information on the number of eligible and ineligible registrations to the fund and allocations made, and can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics . It covers the period between the Fund’s opening for registrations in June 2020 to present.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the risk of default for people awarded (a) Help to Buy equity loans and (b) a Help to Buy ISA to purchase a home which has subsequently required remediation work as a result of faulty cladding and/or fire and safety failures.

Information on the number of Help to Buy equity loan properties with ACM cladding can be found in the NAO’s report entitled Investigation into remediating dangerous cladding on high‑rise buildings, which is available at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Investigation-into-remediating-dangerous-cladding-on-high-rise-buildings.pdf. Data at constituency level is not available.

Homes England does not assess the risk of default for this cohort as the homes can be valued and redeemed as normal.

There is no information available regarding purchases made using Help to Buy ISAs or Lifetime ISAs concerning homes bought in high-rise buildings. Neither is there any information available concerning the effect of cladding and/or fire safety issues on homes with Help to Buy equity loans other than for ACM cladding, as stated above.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the value is of (a) Help to Buy equity loans and (b) Help to Buy ISAs awarded to people purchasing a home which has subsequently required remediation work as a result of faulty cladding and/or fire safety failures in (i) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency and (ii) England in each of the last three years.

Information on the number of Help to Buy equity loan properties with ACM cladding can be found in the NAO’s report entitled Investigation into remediating dangerous cladding on high‑rise buildings, which is available at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Investigation-into-remediating-dangerous-cladding-on-high-rise-buildings.pdf. Data at constituency level is not available.

Homes England does not assess the risk of default for this cohort as the homes can be valued and redeemed as normal.

There is no information available regarding purchases made using Help to Buy ISAs or Lifetime ISAs concerning homes bought in high-rise buildings. Neither is there any information available concerning the effect of cladding and/or fire safety issues on homes with Help to Buy equity loans other than for ACM cladding, as stated above.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many (a) Help to Buy equity loans and (b) Help to Buy ISAs have been awarded to people purchasing a home which has subsequently required remediation work as a result of faulty cladding and/or fire safety failures in (i) Birmingham, Ladywood constituency and (ii) England, in each of the last three years.

Information on the number of Help to Buy equity loan properties with ACM cladding can be found in the NAO’s report entitled Investigation into remediating dangerous cladding on high‑rise buildings, which is available at https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Investigation-into-remediating-dangerous-cladding-on-high-rise-buildings.pdf. Data at constituency level is not available.

Homes England does not assess the risk of default for this cohort as the homes can be valued and redeemed as normal.

There is no information available regarding purchases made using Help to Buy ISAs or Lifetime ISAs concerning homes bought in high-rise buildings. Neither is there any information available concerning the effect of cladding and/or fire safety issues on homes with Help to Buy equity loans other than for ACM cladding, as stated above.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to support leaseholders with (a) payment holidays, (b) interest relief and (c) other support measures for people who have purchased a home via a Government backed affordable home ownership scheme which has subsequently required remediation work as a result of faulty cladding and/or fire safety failures.

The Government has continued to engage with leaseholders of all kinds at Ministerial and official level, including shared owners, to understand their concerns on a range of issues and discuss various policies.

It is unacceptable for leaseholders to have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects in their buildings that they did not cause.

The Government is determined to remove barriers to fixing historic defects and identify financing solutions that help to protect leaseholders, whilst also helping to protect the taxpayer. We will provide an update as soon as we are in a position to do so.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 131215 on Supported Housing, whether his Department plans to collect that data centrally.

There are no current plans for the Government to routinely collect centralised data. We continue to empower local authorities to plan for how to best meet the needs of local citizens without burdening them with extensive data and reporting requirements.

We are funding five local authorities to test approaches to developing strategic assessments of need and supply locally, which will improve oversight of local supported housing markets. We are working closely with the local authorities to design these plans and to capture best practice that can be shared more widely and inform future supported housing policy decision making.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 130681 on Supported Housing: Inspections, which local authorities are in receipt of the £3.1 million funding; and what the budget headings are for that funding.

My Department is funding five local authorities to test approaches to improving quality and value for money in supported housing . The five are Birmingham, Bristol, Blackpool, Blackburn and Hull.

All five areas are receiving funding to undertake three core activities: enforcement action through multi-disciplinary teams to improve accommodation standards; enhanced scrutiny of Housing Benefit claims and making improvements to support provision; and data collection to underpin a strategic local need and supply assessment.

Each area is also undertaking additional activities to drive up quality in their area, developed to meet their specific needs. For example, Birmingham City Council has been developing a set of Quality Standards for supported housing and a Charter of Rights for residents that will be launched shortly. We will use data and information from these to inform our future thinking about national approaches.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 130681 on Supported Housing: Inspections, what performance criteria are in place to assess the £3.1 million of funding provided to local authorities.

My Department is working closely with local authorities to deliver the pilots including regularly reviewing the strategic objectives of improving local accommodation standards, value for money and support provided to tenants.

We are collecting regular data to monitor progress and the results of activity. This includes the number of property inspections completed, the number of tenant support reviews conducted, the number of local authority actions taken to improve accommodation standards, and action taken to improve support, and data on Housing Benefit claims and spend.

We are also committed to a full, rigorous, independent evaluation of the pilots, and of the impact of the £3.1 million we have awarded to local authorities. The evaluation will ensure that we can measure the impact of the interventions tested in the pilots and capture best practice from local authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will undertake a further review of supported accommodation to update the findings of the research report number 927 published on the 21 November 2016.

The Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable supported housing sector that can provide better outcomes for individuals. Overall responsibility for planning to meet local need and the commissioning of supported housing sits at the local level.

My Department works closely with cross government partners, the supported housing sector and stakeholders to refine our understanding of supported housing provision, building on the existing evidence base.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many supported exempt accommodation units there were in each local authority area in each of the last three years.

This data is not held centrally. Supported housing is a matter devolved to local authorities.

16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many investigations have been undertaken by the Regulator for Social Housing into providers of supported exempt accommodation in each of the last five years.

Whether or not accommodation is ‘exempt’ is a matter for local authority housing benefit departments. The Regulator of Social Housing regulates only those landlords that wish to register with it and who are able to meet its registration requirements (other than local authorities who own homes who are automatically registered). This includes being able to demonstrate that it is a provider of homes at rents below market levels. Not all providers of exempt accommodation provide sub-market rent.

Exempt accommodation is often delivered through providers entering into lease-based agreements with private landlords or property owners. The regulator issued a report in 2019 setting out its concerns about this type of “lease-based” supported housing and has subjected providers using this business model to increased scrutiny to obtain assurance about their compliance with regulatory standards.

There are 13 lease-based providers of supported housing that currently have either non-compliant regulatory judgements or notices.

The Government is committed to taking action to ensure vulnerable people have safe, good quality homes and that standards are improved in the minority of cases where they fall below our expectations. In October, we published our National Statement of Expectations for supported housing, which sets out recommended accommodation standards, and highlights examples of best practice in the sector. We have also provided £3.1 million of funding to five local authority areas, to test approaches to improving quality and oversight in supported housing in a targeted, proportionate way.

8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that leaseholders and tenants living in high-rise properties fitted with flammable cladding materials are not paying unaffordable costs to fund a waking watch.

The Department has been investigating work to see what can be done to reduce the cost of Waking Watch. We will shortly publish data on Waking Watch costs so that there is transparency on the range of costs and comparisons can be clearly made. In addition, the National Fire Chiefs Council has published updated guidance for buildings where ‘Stay Put’ has been suspended, emphasising that these are short term measures and encouraging greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on Waking Watch wherever possible. The Government?is providing £1.6 billion of?public subsidy to ensure remediation of high rise buildings with unsafe cladding happens at pace, and so residents and their homes are made safe for the long?term, and?interim measures, such as a Waking Watch, are no longer required.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of applications to the Building Safety Fund were successful; and how much of that £1 billion fund was allocated to those applications.

The Department is continuing to work with building owners to progress applications for the Building Safety Fund and published registration statistics on 30 September, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#building-safety-fund-registration-statistics.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to provide additional fire safety advice, in addition to the guidance issued by the National Fire Chiefs Council, to leaseholders and tenants living in high-rise properties that have not yet had remediation works undertaken to remove flammable cladding.

My Department has no plans to issue additional advice to that provided by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC). The latest version of "Guidance to support a temporary change to a simultaneous evacuation strategy in purpose-built blocks of flats" was published by the NFCC on 1 October and can be found on-line at: http://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

General advice to leaseholders is available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme-other-fire-safety-concerns.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the updated guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council on simultaneous evacuation strategies for high-rise flats; and what steps the Government is taking to communicate that guidance to people living in those buildings.

We welcome the publication of the revised simultaneous evacuation guidance produced by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and published on their website. The revised guidance reflects best practice and emphasises that these are short term measures. The guidance encourages greater use of more cost-effective measures such as alarm systems to replace or reduce dependency on waking watch wherever possible. The NFCC has engaged with leaseholders during the drafting process to ensure the revised guidance reflects their views in as far as it was possible to do so. The Department regularly engages with leaseholders and others with an interest in building safety and will ensure that there is awareness of the revised guidance. In addition, the Department intends to publish data on Waking Watch costs shortly. The revised NFCC guidance will be communicated as part of that publication.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his Department’s strategy is for communicating updated building safety guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council to leaseholders and tenants living in high-rise properties.

We work closely with the Home Office and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) on all aspects of building safety. The NFCC publish a full range of guidance on their website. The NFCC has engaged directly with leaseholders on building safety, including on the development of their revised guidance on simultaneous evacuation.

In addition, the Department regularly meets with leaseholders and others with an interest in building safety. We also host a page on the gov.uk website: Fire safety of your building: advice for tenants and residents - which provides a link to NFCC advice on high rise safety for residents.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-of-your-building-advice-for-tenants-and-residents .

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to provide additional fire safety advice, further to the guidance issued by the National Fire Chiefs Council, to leaseholders and tenants living in high-rise properties that have not yet had remediation works undertaken to remove flammable cladding.

My Department has no plans to issue additional advice to that provided by the National Fire Chiefs Council. The latest version of "Guidance to support a temporary change to a simultaneous evacuation strategy in purpose-built blocks of flats" was published by the NFCC on 1 October and can be found on-line at www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance.

General advice to leaseholders is available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme-other-fire-safety-concerns.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he is making in encouraging the insurance industry to take a more nuanced approach to situations where leaseholders are unable to obtain mortgages or re-mortgage their properties because they do not possess an External Wall System (1) form.

The EWS1 form was introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to assist in valuation of high-rise residential buildings for mortgage purposes. Government does not support a blanket approach that some lenders have adopted through requesting a EWS1 for lower risk properties. There is other information which building owners can provide to lenders and we are working with the sector to raise awareness. We are also working with professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments where one is required. Lenders have assured the Minister for Building Safety that leaseholders should face no barrier to renewing their mortgage with their existing lender.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to carry out an impact assessment of the Building Safety Bill on leaseholders who currently live in properties which have been identified as having flammable cladding.

An Economic Impact Assessment was published alongside the draft Building Safety Bill on 20th July 2020. An updated version of this assessment will be available when the Bill is introduced, setting out the cost and impact of all measures in the Bill, including those on leaseholders.

The Government is clear that leaseholders should not face unaffordable costs to ensure their homes are safe, and the Government has provided funding to speed up the removal of unsafe cladding.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the (a) dates and (b) subjects of the (i) discussions he has had with (ii) representations he has received from the Association of British Insurers in relation to building safety remediation and insurance premiums over the last 12 months and (iii) the outcomes of those discussions.

The Building Safety Minister has held frequent meetings with the insurance industry since his appointment in March, at which representatives from the Association of British Insurers have been present. Meetings have been focussed on the pace of remediating high rise buildings, the affordability of buildings insurance for such buildings and solutions to those challenges.

Ministers have encouraged the insurance sector to propose options to improve PII availability for key fire safety work and we are working with the industry to develop potential solutions. We will continue to engage a wide range of stakeholders in consideration of these issues.



20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of regulation to (a) protect tenant welfare, (c) ensure property suitability and (c) ensure adequate living standards of properties in the exempt accommodation sector.

The Social Housing Green Paper sets out our proposals to ensure that homes are safe and decent, that residents are treated with dignity and respect, and that we have the social housing we need for the future. Alongside this we conducted an in-depth review of the regulation of social housing to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose, reflects changes in the social housing sector and will support delivery of the Green Paper objectives. Building on the review of regulation and the Green Paper, the Social Housing White Paper will be published later this year.

As set out in my answer of 21 July 2020 to the Honourable Member for Ladywood (Questions: 75242, 75243 and 75244), whether or not accommodation is ‘exempt’ is a matter for local authority housing benefit departments. The Regulator of Social Housing regulates only those landlords that wish to register with it and who are able to meet its registration requirements (other than local authorities who own homes that are automatically registered). All housing must comply with housing health and safety and building regulations legislation, which is designed to ensure adequate living standards.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the number of properties in the exempt accommodation sector that were ineligible to register as social landlords between 2015 and 2020.

Whether or not accommodation is ‘exempt’ is a matter for local authority housing benefit departments. The Regulator of Social Housing regulates only those landlords that wish to register with it and who are able to meet its registration requirements (other than local authorities who own homes who are automatically registered). This includes being able to demonstrate that it is a provider of homes at rents below market levels. Not all providers of exempt accommodation provide sub-market rent.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of properties that are ineligible for registration or an estimate of what proportion have been investigated by the Regulator of Social Housing and have subsequently resulted in penalties.

Exempt accommodation is often delivered through providers entering into short-term lease agreements with private landlords or property owners. The regulator issued a report in 2019 setting out its concerns about this type of “lease-based” supported housing.

There are 11 lease-based providers of supported housing that currently have either non-compliant regulatory judgements or notices.

The Government is clear that all supported housing – both the accommodation and support – must be of good quality and meet the needs of the vulnerable people it supports. We will continue to work closely with local government and the sector to develop a range of oversight measures to help ensure this is the case.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of properties in the exempt accommodation sector were investigated by the Regulator for Social Housing each year between 2015 and 2020.

Whether or not accommodation is ‘exempt’ is a matter for local authority housing benefit departments. The Regulator of Social Housing regulates only those landlords that wish to register with it and who are able to meet its registration requirements (other than local authorities who own homes who are automatically registered). This includes being able to demonstrate that it is a provider of homes at rents below market levels. Not all providers of exempt accommodation provide sub-market rent.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of properties that are ineligible for registration or an estimate of what proportion have been investigated by the Regulator of Social Housing and have subsequently resulted in penalties.

Exempt accommodation is often delivered through providers entering into short-term lease agreements with private landlords or property owners. The regulator issued a report in 2019 setting out its concerns about this type of “lease-based” supported housing.

There are 11 lease-based providers of supported housing that currently have either non-compliant regulatory judgements or notices.

The Government is clear that all supported housing – both the accommodation and support – must be of good quality and meet the needs of the vulnerable people it supports. We will continue to work closely with local government and the sector to develop a range of oversight measures to help ensure this is the case.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of investigations into properties in the exempt accommodation sector resulted in the Regulator for Social Housing issuing penalties between 2015 and 2020.

Whether or not accommodation is ‘exempt’ is a matter for local authority housing benefit departments. The Regulator of Social Housing regulates only those landlords that wish to register with it and who are able to meet its registration requirements (other than local authorities who own homes who are automatically registered). This includes being able to demonstrate that it is a provider of homes at rents below market levels. Not all providers of exempt accommodation provide sub-market rent.

The Department has not made an estimate of the number of properties that are ineligible for registration or an estimate of what proportion have been investigated by the Regulator of Social Housing and have subsequently resulted in penalties.

Exempt accommodation is often delivered through providers entering into short-term lease agreements with private landlords or property owners. The regulator issued a report in 2019 setting out its concerns about this type of “lease-based” supported housing.

There are 11 lease-based providers of supported housing that currently have either non-compliant regulatory judgements or notices.

The Government is clear that all supported housing – both the accommodation and support – must be of good quality and meet the needs of the vulnerable people it supports. We will continue to work closely with local government and the sector to develop a range of oversight measures to help ensure this is the case.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking with local authorities to ensure that people living in multigenerational households are aware of the latest advice on their increased vulnerability of contracting covid-19.

While councils are best placed to know the needs of their local communities, the Government has published guidance intended for multigenerational households where a member of the household is aged 70 or over, meaning they are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus. This guidance has been shared in the MHCLG Coronavirus bulletin published on 29 April which goes directly to local authorities.

MHCLG has also published non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social rented sectors, which included information on health and safety obligations. This was shared with local authorities via the MHCLG Coronavirus bulletin on the 30 March and again on 1 June.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support he is making available to leaseholders who have incurred significant costs to improve fire safety as an interim measure before flammable cladding is removed from their properties.

Interim measures such as waking watch should only ever be short term and are not a substitute for remediation. The only way to make buildings safe and to remove the need for interim measures is to remove unsafe cladding as quickly as possible. That is why we are prioritising £1.6 billion public subsidy on remediation of unsafe cladding. The Minister of State for Fire, Lord Greenhalgh, is investigating what can be done to reduce the cost of waking watch for buildings that currently have them in place. This includes ensuring that waking watch costs are transparent so that leaseholders and others who commission these services can ensure that costs are reasonable. Lord Greenhalgh is meeting regularly with representatives of leaseholders affected by cladding issues to consider their views and to update them on progress.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the letter of 9 June 2020, reference 7195472, to the hon. Member for Birmingham Ladywood from the Building Safety Minister, whether the round table with insurance industry stakeholders in relation to high rise building insurance and cladding has taken place.

The Building Safety Minister has held?three?roundtables with representatives from the?insurance?industry. These have included discussions of the challenges in acquiring affordable buildings?insurance for some high rise residential buildings. Government is continuing to work with industry to explore market solutions to this complex issue.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the letter of 9 June 2020, reference 7195472, to the hon. Member for Birmingham Ladywood from the Building Safety Minister, what steps her Department has taken since officials made contact with Brindley House leaseholders.

The Building Safety Minister has held?three?roundtables with representatives from the?insurance?industry. These have included discussions of the challenges in acquiring affordable buildings?insurance for some high rise residential buildings. Government is continuing to work with industry to explore market solutions to this complex issue.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the installation of the External Wall System, EWS1 on the ability of leaseholds to sell properties that previously had been fitted with flammable cladding.

The Government is aware that some lenders are requesting valuers use the EWS1 form on a wider scope of buildings than was intended and this may be having a negative effect on the mortgage market for such buildings. The Minister for Building Safety held a roundtable with mortgage lenders, who agreed a nuanced approach to risk is required. They are reviewing their policies and guidance to valuers on the use of the form.

10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people living in multi-generational households as lockdown restrictions are eased.

As set out in Our Plan to Rebuild, the Government is introducing a range of adjustments to social distancing measures, timing these carefully according to both the current transmission rate of the virus and the Government’s ability to ensure safety. The steps for modifying social distancing measures are set out in the plan, with strict conditions to safely move from each step to the next.

Public Health England recently updated its guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where a member of the household is aged 70 or over, or has an underlying health condition, meaning they are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

The guidance can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/guidance-for-households-with-grandparents-parents-and-children-living-together-where-someone-is-at-increased-risk-or-has-symptoms-of-coronavirus-cov

10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on financial support for people living in multi-generational households who may be unable to return to work as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with the Chancellor to discuss the Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have set out an unprecedented package of financial support to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic, and multi-generational households are able to access these, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self Employed Income Support package and Statutory Sick Pay. This support continues to be provided, with the CJRS running until the end of October. The Government has also confirmed an additional £63 million for local authorities to help those who are struggling financially due to the impact of COVID-19. This will allow authorities to step in and provide discretionary financial help to those facing severe hardship due to covid-19 and help them to pay for food and other necessities.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of widening the scope of the Building Safety Fund to include leaseholders who committed to undertake remedial works prior to 11 March 2020.

It is the responsibility of building owners to ensure their buildings are safe for residents. The Government also expects those building owners that have already committed to fund remediation to continue to pay and not pass on remediation costs to leaseholders.

The new fund is designed to remove financial barriers where building owners do not have the means to fund remediation quickly. Where work was completed or underway before 11 March 2020, resident safety is already being prioritised. In such circumstances leaseholders facing charges for remediation costs should confirm that their building owner sought to recover costs from those originally responsible for the defects or through warranty and insurance claims, where possible.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department will meet the £112 million costs Birmingham City Council estimate they will incur in responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

We have now made an unprecedented £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. Of this, Birmingham City Council has received £70.3 million.

In total, the Government has committed over £27 billion to local areas to support councils, businesses and their communities. This also includes: £300 million to support the new test and trace service, £600 million to support providers through a new Infection Control Fund and £12.3 billion of support through the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants.

Alongside this funding, the Government has provided over £5 billion of cashflow support including the deferral of local authority payments of the Central Share of retained business rates, valued at £2.6 billion, as well as up-front payments of £1.8 billion of business rates reliefs and £850 million of social care grant.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support the Government is providing to local authorities that are responsible for resettling the highest number of asylum seekers relative to other local authorities.

The Home Office is working on an agreed change plan in partnership with Local Authority Chief Executives?through the Home Office Local Government Chief Executive Group. The plan seeks to achieve a more equitable dispersal of asylum seekers across the UK and seeks to overcome barriers to ensure availability of service provision.

The plan has been paused in light of the current COVID-19 crisis but will resume once restrictions on accommodation moves have been lifted.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress is being made in extending the support available through the Building Safety Fund to private leaseholders with properties cladded in non-ACM flammable materials.

We are working to make this new funding available as quickly as possible and will publish the prospectus for the fund in May, and open for registrations soon after.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the provision of financial support to leaseholders of properties cladded in non-ACM flammable materials that have seen significant increases to insurance premiums following the Grenfell fire.

My Department is aware that some high rise residential blocks are experiencing difficulties in securing buildings insurance and that premiums have often substantially increased. Decisions concerning the pricing and availability of insurance remain commercial decisions for lenders. Engaging with an insurance provider or broker as early as possible is the best route to ensuring correctly priced insurance cover. However, the Government does recognise the impact which increased premiums is having on residents of some high rise residential buildings and will continue to explore what steps can be taken to deal with this issue.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to help prevent people living in multi-generational households from being at increased risk of covid-19.

MHCLG is working closely with Public Health England (PHE) who have produced guidance on self-isolation and social distancing within the home as well as guidance on how to minimise the risk of infection by following cleaning and hygiene practices. This will be especially important for those who share facilities with others. At a local level, Directors of Public Health in local authorities have specific responsibilities with regard to the public health implications of local outbreaks of coronavirus.

The department will continue to work closely with PHE on a range of matters, including to ensure risks associated with overcrowded conditions are addressed.

We are working with sector representatives to see how we can best support local authorities in identifying at-risk groups, signposting and matching needs to services, and supporting the voluntary and community sector.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the living circumstances of people in multi-generational households will be taken into account by the Government when social distancing measures are potentially amended.

My Department continues to work closely with local authorities to manage the impacts of Covid-19 on households and the most vulnerable in our society.

The Government is keen to support local authorities in identifying and responding to additional vulnerability created by the Covid-19 outbreak both through existing support and engaging civil society to provide further assistance.

We are working with sector representatives to see how we can best support local authorities in identifying at-risk groups, signposting and matching needs to services, and supporting the voluntary and community sector.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure local authorities have adequate personal protective equipment to respond effectively to the covid-19 outbreak.

My Department is working tirelessly to support DHSC and local partners within Local Resilience Forums (LRF) to help them respond to urgent local spikes in need across the adult social care system and other frontline services, where providers are unable to access PPE through their usual, or dedicated wholesaler routes.

This includes relevant local authority frontline workers, such as adult social care, children’s social care and funeral services, in line with published clinical guidance.

Since 6 April, over 50 million items of PPE have been authorised for release to LRFs across the country. We will continue to make drops of PPE to LRFs identified as being in the highest need of resupply until the new e-commerce solution is operational.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that leaseholders of properties clad in flammable materials are able to obtain property insurance at an affordable and proportionate cost.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 March 2020 to Question UIN25056.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to assess the health and safety risks of buildings cladded with non-ACM material.

Acting on advice from the Expert Panel, the Government has commissioned research from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to support further understanding of the fire performance of Non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) external wall systems. The results of this?research will be?published shortly.

It is the view of the Expert Panel that ACM (and other metal composites) with unmodified polyethylene core remains the most significant fire hazard. The Expert Panel advice can be found here at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-advice-for-building-owners-including-fire-doors.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to support leaseholders whose properties are cladded with flammable material not covered by the ACM cladding remediation fund.

Residents’ safety remains this Government's utmost priority and there is no excuse for building owners not ensuring that residents are safe in their homes. The Government will continue to support leaseholders and is reviewing options on how best to do so.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide financial support to leaseholders whose properties do not exceed 18m in height and are cladded in (a) ACM and (b) non-ACM flammable materials.

Residents’ safety remains this Government's utmost priority and there is no excuse for building owners not ensuring that residents are safe in their homes. The Government will continue to support leaseholders and is reviewing options on how best to do so.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the financial implications for leaseholders who own properties cladded in flammable materials.

Residents’ safety remains this Government's utmost priority and there is no excuse for building owners not ensuring that residents are safe in their homes. The Government will continue to support leaseholders and is reviewing options on how best to do so.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support is available to leaseholders with properties cladded in flammable materials whose insurance premiums have increased significantly following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Government is aware that concerns about cladding and other fire safety measures may have an effect on some insurance premiums. As with all insurance renewals, building owners should engage with brokers early and provide as much information as possible in order to manage their building's insurance premiums. We are engaging with the insurance industry to better understand their approach to risk.

17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps courts must take to ensure that (a) they have the correct personal details of defendants and (b) defendants are aware of their summons.

The general principles governing the process of communicating and providing notice of proceedings to the defendant of documents in civil legal proceedings are contained in the Civil Procedure Rules. The claimant provides the court with an address for service of the claim.

Courts are not required to ensure that they have the correct personal details of defendants or that defendants are aware of claims issued against them. The onus is on the parties to provide the correct information. Claimants must sign a statement of truth confirming that the details in their claim, including the address of the defendant, are true. Anyone who deliberately provides false information to the court may be subject to contempt of court proceedings and, if contempt is proved, the penalty is a fine or imprisonment.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of people who have been found guilty in their absence in civil debt cases and (b) number and proportion of those cases in which the defendant was absent as a result of not having been aware of the summons due to the court holding an incorrect home address in the latest period for which data is available.

The Ministry of Justice publication “Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly” contains statistics about the number of default judgments made in the county court in England and Wales each year. A default judgment means judgment without a court hearing, where a defendant has failed to acknowledge a claim has been made against them; or has failed to file a defence. A court hearing would only be listed if the defendant had responded to the claim and stated that they wanted to defend it.

In response to part a) of the question, the number of default judgments made in the latest period for which statistics are available is set out in the figures for 2021 below. It is not possible to say how many of these judgments relate to money claims. However, the majority of claims made to the county court are money claims.

For the reasons stated above, the figures in the table do not and cannot show the number of cases in which a money judgment is made by a court, in a case where the defendant did not appear for the hearing.

Year

Number of default judgments

2021

877,984 (provisional)

In answer to part b) it is not possible to determine what number and proportion of default judgments are as a result of the defendant not being aware of a money claim being made against them where it was sent to the wrong address. A default judgment can also arise when a defendant chooses not to respond to the money claim.

It is not possible for the courts to investigate the reasons behind why a defendant has not responded to the money claim.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps people are able to take to appeal court decisions made in their absence as a result of the court holding an incorrect home address.

If an individual discovers that they have had a county court judgment issued against them as a result of the claim forms being sent to an incorrect home address, they can apply to the court to have the judgment cancelled. This is known as getting the judgment ‘set aside’.

In order to apply to get a judgment cancelled, the individual is required to fill in an application notice (Form N244) and send it to the court. They may have to pay a court fee. They will have to go to a private hearing at the court to explain why the judgment should be cancelled.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps a debt collection agency is required to take to verify the personal details, including home address, of the person they are attempting to collect debt from.

The general principles governing the service, of documents in legal proceedings, are contained in Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules. A claimant must take “reasonable steps” to establish the defendant’s current address. Where the claimant is unable do so, they must consider whether there is an alternative place or method by which the claim may be served with the permission of the court. If the claimant is unable to establish either the defendant’s current address or an alternative method of service, the claim may be served on the defendant’s last known address. The premise being that individuals are responsible for updating their creditors with their new address and/or having their mail redirected.

Claimants, including debt collection agencies, in civil court proceedings must sign a statement of truth that they believe the facts stated in the claim form are true. This includes the names and addresses of the parties. Anyone who deliberately provides false information may be subject to contempt of court proceedings, and if contempt is proved the penalty is imprisonment or a fine.

The Ministry of Justice has not undertaken an assessment of the process that claimants, including debt enforcement agencies, use to ascertain the address of defendants who have had a court judgment made against them.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the process for a debt collection agency to ascertain the address of people against whom judgments have been made.

The general principles governing the service, of documents in legal proceedings, are contained in Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules. A claimant must take “reasonable steps” to establish the defendant’s current address. Where the claimant is unable do so, they must consider whether there is an alternative place or method by which the claim may be served with the permission of the court. If the claimant is unable to establish either the defendant’s current address or an alternative method of service, the claim may be served on the defendant’s last known address. The premise being that individuals are responsible for updating their creditors with their new address and/or having their mail redirected.

Claimants, including debt collection agencies, in civil court proceedings must sign a statement of truth that they believe the facts stated in the claim form are true. This includes the names and addresses of the parties. Anyone who deliberately provides false information may be subject to contempt of court proceedings, and if contempt is proved the penalty is imprisonment or a fine.

The Ministry of Justice has not undertaken an assessment of the process that claimants, including debt enforcement agencies, use to ascertain the address of defendants who have had a court judgment made against them.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of people found guilty in their absence in civil debt cases; and how many of those cases were as a result of the defendant not being aware of the summons due to the Court holding an incorrect home address.

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

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps people can take to appeal court decisions made in their absence as a result of the court holding an incorrect home address.

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

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps a debt collection agency is required to take to verify the personal details, including home address, of the individual they are attempting to collect debt from.

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

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has undertaken an assessment of the adequacy of the process used by debt collection agencies to ascertain the address of people against whom judgments have been made.

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

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2021 to Question 80944 on Prison Officers: Medals, whether prison officers with an accumulated five years of service employed by his Department qualify as eligible to receive the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.

To qualify for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal staff must be in an eligible operational role in the public-sector prison service on 6 February 2022 and have completed 5 years operational service. The eligibility criteria does allow for operational public-sector service to be aggregated, which means that operational staff who have moved to a private-sector prison or a non-operational role for a period during their career, can include any previous operational public-sector service and aggregate it with service accumulated since they returned to their operational public-sector role.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has plans to ensure that prison officers are recognised for their contribution through a Platinum Jubilee Medal, regardless of whether they work in a private- or publicly-run prison.

The basis upon which the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal is being awarded to prison officers is the same as for the Armed Forces and the Emergency Services. The decision about who should be eligible for the medal was made by a cross-government committee and had to reflect the eligible grades from the other services.

Medals are traditionally awarded for Royal Jubilees to recognise and reward the service and dedication of key front line uniformed services in the public sector and in particular to those who are exposed regularly to difficult, often emergency situations and who potentially risk their lives.

Official medals awarded by HM The Queen are restricted to public sector employees, in line with the existing criteria used for the award of previous Jubilee Medals.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of discrepancy between (a) prison officers who have worked in privately-run prisons and (b) those who have worked in publicly-run prisons, when assessing eligibility for a Platinum Jubilee Medal in 2022.

The basis upon which the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal is being awarded to prison officers is the same as for the Armed Forces and the Emergency Services. The decision about who should be eligible for the medal was made by a cross-government committee and had to reflect the eligible grades from the other services.

Medals are traditionally awarded for Royal Jubilees to recognise and reward the service and dedication of key front line uniformed services in the public sector and in particular to those who are exposed regularly to difficult, often emergency situations and who potentially risk their lives.

Official medals awarded by HM The Queen are restricted to public sector employees, in line with the existing criteria used for the award of previous Jubilee Medals.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with (a) officials in his Department and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the eligibility of prison officers who have worked in privately-run prisons to receive a Platinum Jubilee Medal in 2022.

The basis upon which the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal is being awarded to prison officers is the same as for the Armed Forces and the Emergency Services. The decision about who should be eligible for the medal was made by a cross-government committee and had to reflect the eligible grades from the other services.

Medals are traditionally awarded for Royal Jubilees to recognise and reward the service and dedication of key front line uniformed services in the public sector and in particular to those who are exposed regularly to difficult, often emergency situations and who potentially risk their lives.

Official medals awarded by HM The Queen are restricted to public sector employees, in line with the existing criteria used for the award of previous Jubilee Medals.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many businesses selling shisha were prosecuted for selling shisha tobacco to under-18s in each of the past three calendar years.

It is not possible to separately identify prosecutions for the specific offence of selling shisha tobacco to under-18s in the Ministry of Justice court proceedings database.

Details on prosecutions and outcomes relating to the broader offence of “144 Selling Tobacco to Juvenile” can be found by selecting the offence in the ‘Offence’ filter of the following tool:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938568/outcomes-by-offence-tool-2019.xlsx

These offences fall under the legislation of Children and Young Persons (Sale of Tobacco etc.) Order 2007, amending the previous Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the total value of fines was issued to businesses providing shisha/water pipes for allowing smoking within substantially or fully enclosed public spaces in each of the last three calendar years.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many businesses were fined in each of the last three calendar years for allowing the use of shisha/water pipe within substantially or fully enclosed public spaces.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he expects the consultation with the President of the Supreme Court on the appropriateness of UK legal professionals sitting on proceedings in nations where human rights abuses have been noted to conclude; and whether the findings of that consultation will be published.

The UK Government are committed to ensuring that the UK judiciary and UK lawyers should maintain the highest reputation in upholding the rule of law wherever they may sit on proceedings.

For example, in relation to Hong Kong, UK judges have played an important role in supporting the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary for many years. We want this to, and hope that it can, continue. The UK judiciary is independent of the Government and it is therefore for them to make an assessment on this. The Lord Chancellor has, however, discussed with Lord Reed how they may jointly monitor developments to enable the Supreme Court to consider carefully the role of their sitting justices, and to assist other serving judges to determine the propriety of their continued service.

No formal consultation with the President of the UK Supreme Court is taking place.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 134404 on fines, how many decisions (a) were made over the phone, (b) involved a request for supporting documentation (c) were referred back to Court in financial years (i) 2019-20 and (ii) 2020-21, to date.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 134404 on fines, what the average timescale is to receive a decision when (a) responding via the telephone (b) supporting documentation is required (c) a decision is referred back to Court in each of the last three financial years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has held discussions with the President of the Supreme Court on the appropriateness of UK legal professionals sitting on proceedings in nations where human rights abuses have been noted.

The UK Government are committed to ensuring that the UK judiciary and UK lawyers should maintain the highest reputation in upholding the rule of law wherever they may sit on proceedings.

For example, in relation to Hong Kong, UK judges have played an important role in supporting the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary for many years. We want this to, and hope that it can, continue. The UK judiciary is independent of the Government and it is therefore for them to make an assessment on this. The Lord Chancellor has, however, discussed with Lord Reed how they may jointly monitor developments to enable the Supreme Court to consider carefully the role of their sitting justices, and to assist other serving judges to determine the propriety of their continued service.

No formal consultation with the President of the UK Supreme Court is taking place.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has targets in place on the maximum waiting period expected for someone in receipt of universal credit to receive a decision on court fine deductions payment plans if they are queried by the claimant.

No departmental targets exist in respect of reviewing requests to withdraw a deduction from benefit order. In most cases, a decision will be made immediately over the phone. Timescales may vary dependant on how and why a request is made, if supporting documentation is required to support a decision, and whether the matter needs to be referred back to Court.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people resident in Birmingham at the point of their original sentencing are serving sentences of imprisonment for public protection; and as a proportion of that number, what the (a) ethnicity and (b) diagnosed (i) mental and (ii) physical health conditions are of those prisoners.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold centrally a record of those IPP prisoners who were residing in Birmingham at the point they were sentenced to their IPP.

The Ministry of Justice does hold the number of prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and (a) their ethnicity in England and Wales, and I have provided the proportions as requested in the table below.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold centrally a record of the diagnosed mental and physical condition of serving IPP prisoners.

Every prison in England and Wales must adhere to the Equality Act 2010. This includes support for those with mental and physical health conditions, such as the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons, in accordance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Since April 2018, a National Partnership Agreement on Prison Healthcare has been in place, to deliver safe, decent, effective healthcare for offenders.

Our primary responsibility is to protect the public. Prisoners serving IPP sentences will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community under probation supervision.

IPP prisoners continue to have a high chance of a positive outcome from Parole Board hearings. In 2019/20 72% of Parole Board hearings resulted in either a recommendation for a transfer to an open prison or release. As of 30 June 2020, the number of unreleased IPP prisoners who have completed their minimum tariff was 1,856. This is down from 2,136 on 30 June 2019.

Proportion of IPPs in prison by ethnicity as at 30 June 2020

Ethnicity

Proportion of IPP prisoners

White

78%

Mixed

4%

Asian / Asian British

4%

Black / Black British

13%

Chinese / Other

less than 1%

Not Stated/Missing

less than 1%

Data sources and quality

The figures in this table has been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people in England and Wales are subject to Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences; and as a proportion of that number, what the (a) ethnicity and (b) diagnosed (i) mental and (ii) physical health conditions are of those prisoners.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold centrally a record of those IPP prisoners who were residing in Birmingham at the point they were sentenced to their IPP.

The Ministry of Justice does hold the number of prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and (a) their ethnicity in England and Wales, and I have provided the proportions as requested in the table below.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold centrally a record of the diagnosed mental and physical condition of serving IPP prisoners.

Every prison in England and Wales must adhere to the Equality Act 2010. This includes support for those with mental and physical health conditions, such as the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled persons, in accordance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Since April 2018, a National Partnership Agreement on Prison Healthcare has been in place, to deliver safe, decent, effective healthcare for offenders.

Our primary responsibility is to protect the public. Prisoners serving IPP sentences will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community under probation supervision.

IPP prisoners continue to have a high chance of a positive outcome from Parole Board hearings. In 2019/20 72% of Parole Board hearings resulted in either a recommendation for a transfer to an open prison or release. As of 30 June 2020, the number of unreleased IPP prisoners who have completed their minimum tariff was 1,856. This is down from 2,136 on 30 June 2019.

Proportion of IPPs in prison by ethnicity as at 30 June 2020

Ethnicity

Proportion of IPP prisoners

White

78%

Mixed

4%

Asian / Asian British

4%

Black / Black British

13%

Chinese / Other

less than 1%

Not Stated/Missing

less than 1%

Data sources and quality

The figures in this table has been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners are serving sentences of imprisonment for public protection in each prison in (a) England and (b) Wales for the most recent period for which information is available.

The number of prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) in each prison in (a) England and (b) Wales as at 30 June 2020 is set out in Table 1. The figures are a subset of those published in Offender Management Statistics Quarterly: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

A prisoner serving an IPP sentence will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk s/he presents to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community on licence.

IPP prisoners continue to have a high chance of a positive outcome from Parole Board hearings. In 2019/20 72% of Parole Board hearings resulted in either a recommendation for a transfer to an open prison or release. As of 30 June 2020, the number of unreleased IPP prisoners who have completed their minimum tariff was 1,856. This is down from 2,136 on 30 June 2019.

Table 1: Prisoners serving Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences in England, as at 30 June 2020

Establishment

N

Total

1905

Altcourse

7

Askham Grange

4

Ashfield

25

Belmarsh

8

Buckley Hall

26

Bedford

5

Bristol

6

Birmingham

8

Bullingdon

15

Bure

29

Brixton

12

Bronzefield

4

Chelmsford

6

Coldingley

*

Channings Wood

10

Dartmoor

12

Dovegate

33

Drake Hall

*

Doncaster

6

Downview

*

Erlestoke

20

Standford Hill (Sheppey cluster)

18

East Sutton Park

*

Eastwood Park

*

Exeter

3

Elmley (Sheppey cluster)

17

Forest Bank

7

Ford

9

Foston Hall

3

Frankland

42

Full Sutton

19

Featherstone

11

Garth

50

Guys Marsh

6

Grendon/Spring Hill

40

Gartree

41

Hollesley Bay

8

Hatfield

5

Hewell

9

Holme House

23

Hull

46

Humber

18

High Down

9

Highpoint (North and South)

37

Haverigg

34

Isle of Wight

39

Kirkham

10

Kirklevington Grange

6

Leicester

6

Leeds

4

Lancaster Farms

8

Lowdham Grange

25

Lindholme

20

Lincoln

8

Long Lartin

18

Low Newton

4

Liverpool

9

Littlehey

75

Lewes

3

Leyhill

146

Moorland

8

Manchester

23

Mount

20

New Hall

*

Northumberland

29

Nottingham

10

North Sea Camp

87

Norwich

8

Onley

13

Oakwood

22

Peterborough (Male)

5

Portland

*

Peterborough (Female)

*

Preston

5

Pentonville

10

Rochester

3

Rye Hill

25

Ranby

9

Risley

24

Send

7

Stafford

25

Stoke Heath

11

Stocken

16

Swaleside (Sheppey cluster)

41

Swinfen Hall

3

Sudbury

9

Thorn Cross

9

Thameside

*

The Verne

12

Winchester

4

Wakefield

46

Wealstun

12

Woodhill

17

Warren Hill

51

Wayland

43

Wymott

65

Whitemoor

26

Wormwood Scrubs

*

Whatton

117

Wandsworth

*

Table 2: Prisoners serving Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences in Wales, as at 30 June 20

Establishment

N

Total

64

Berwyn

31

Cardiff

3

Parc

14

Swansea

*

Usk

12

Prescoed

*

Data sources and quality

The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Note

An asterisk (*) has been used to suppress values of two or less. This is to prevent the disclosure of individual information. Further disclosure control may be completed where this alone is not sufficient.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the ten longest lengths of time have been that a prisoner has served longer than their original tariff as a result of serving sentences of imprisonment for public protection; and what the ethnicity was of each of those prisoners.

As at 30 June 2020, the ten longest lengths of time post tariff and before first release which a prisoner on a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) has served are set out in the table below. The same table shows the recorded ethnicity of each of the ten prisoners.

Our primary responsibility is to protect the public. A prisoner serving an IPP sentence will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community on licence. A prisoner serving an IPP sentence is statutorily entitled to a review of his/her detention by the independent Parole Board at least once every two years.

Ten Longest Lengths of Time Post Tariff and before First Release for IPP prisoners (As of 30 June 2020)

Days Post Tariff

Ethnicity

5223

White

5092

White

5087

White

4961

White

4911

White

4889

Black / Black British

4849

White

4824

White

4806

White

4802

Asian / Asian British

Notes:

The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken with Birmingham City Council to ensure that local officials are included in discussions on the protocols, processes and monitoring of any resettlement of prisoners on early release as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the current unprecedented emergency, over recent weeks the Government has released on temporary licence a small number of risk-assessed prisoners who are already within two months of their release date as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) works closely with a number of partners to check suitability for release. This includes working with policing colleagues to ensure local forces are notified of an offender’s proposed release and inviting them to provide any additional information regarding risk surrounding an individual’s release.

In this instance, senior probation staff in Birmingham have confirmed they are engaging with local partners, including the local authority, West Midlands Combined Authority and the office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

No offender will be released without housing and healthcare support in place to ensure the impact on local public services is minimised. HMPPS have set up seven Homelessness Prevention Taskforces, including in the Midlands, to coordinate the sourcing of accommodation for those offenders released early. We have also implemented a process for the voluntary sector to match offers of support services for released individuals.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what safeguards his Department has put in place to ensure adequacy of the provision of local public services in Birmingham as a result of the early release of prisoners during the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the current unprecedented emergency, over recent weeks the Government has released on temporary licence a small number of risk-assessed prisoners who are already within two months of their release date as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) works closely with a number of partners to check suitability for release. This includes working with policing colleagues to ensure local forces are notified of an offender’s proposed release and inviting them to provide any additional information regarding risk surrounding an individual’s release.

In this instance, senior probation staff in Birmingham have confirmed they are engaging with local partners, including the local authority, West Midlands Combined Authority and the office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

No offender will be released without housing and healthcare support in place to ensure the impact on local public services is minimised. HMPPS have set up seven Homelessness Prevention Taskforces, including in the Midlands, to coordinate the sourcing of accommodation for those offenders released early. We have also implemented a process for the voluntary sector to match offers of support services for released individuals.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)