Simon Baynes Portrait

Simon Baynes

Conservative - Clwyd South


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
09:15
Welsh Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Wales
28 Oct 2021, 9:15 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Simon Hart MP - Secretary of State for Wales at Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
David TC Davies MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales at Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Subsidy Control Bill - Debate
Subject: To consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Subsidy Control Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
09:30
Welsh Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The Benefits System in Wales
3 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Professor Paul Spicker - Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University
Dr Malcolm Torry - Research Fellow, School of Social Policy at University of Birmingham
Anna Coote - Research Fellow at New Economics Foundation
Jonathan Williams - Co-founder at UBI Lab Wales
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Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 313 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Subsidy Control Bill (Second sitting)

Q Thank you for your time this afternoon, Dr Barker; it is much appreciated. I wanted to look at the …

Written Answers
Thursday 16th September 2021
Dementia: Music
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the benefit …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 26th April 2021

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Simon Baynes has voted in 317 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Simon Baynes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Simon Baynes voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Simon Baynes 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.

View all Simon Baynes's debates

Clwyd South 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy

Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.

Extend funding to nightclubs, dance music events and festivals as part of the £1.57bn support package announced by the government for Britain's arts and culture sector to survive the hit from the pandemic. #LetUSDance


Latest EDMs signed by Simon Baynes

Simon Baynes has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Simon Baynes, 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.


Simon Baynes has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Simon Baynes has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Simon Baynes has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Simon Baynes has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


62 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
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many sentences have been extended under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme in each of the last six months.

A total of 27 individual sentences have been increased by the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Scheme in the last six months: four sentences in January, eight in February, five in March, one in April, three in May and six in June.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th May 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the CPS’s handling of assault cases against emergency workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

A disappointing feature of this pandemic is the high number of assaults against emergency workers. The CPS is prosecuting cases robustly. During the first month of lockdown, the CPS prosecuted over 300 cases of assaults against emergency workers and it’s clear that when an individual threatens to infect an emergency worker by spitting or coughing, it will be treated extremely seriously by prosecutors.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the devolved Administrations on tackling the covid-19 outbreak.

There have been regular discussions between the UK government and Devolved Administrations throughout the crisis, including through the COBR committee and Ministerial Implementation Groups. This is in addition to regular official and ministerial engagement, including weekly calls led by the Secretary of State for Health.

As was the case under the previous administration, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster continues to lead engagement with the Devolved Administrations through regular calls with the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, and the First and deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland. The most recent call took place on 24 July.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to award honours to individuals and organisations that have helped to tackle the covid-19 outbreak in Wales.

I refer the Honourable member to the answer given to PQ 68430 on 7 July 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure business readiness in the agricultural sector in northern Wales at the end of the transition period.

The Government is working to support agricultural businesses right across the country in getting ready for the end of the UK transition period. Further details of our actions and the steps which businesses in northern Wales and across the UK need to take can be found on gov.uk/transition.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government has made on border planning for the Welsh coast for the end of the transition period.

I refer the hon. Member to the oral statement made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 13 July about the publication of a detailed Border Operating Model. This will allow Welsh border industry and traders to prepare for the end of the transition period.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) a green and (b) a resilient recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

In his speech of June 30, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear that in recovering from COVID-19, we must build back better, build back greener, build back faster, and to do that at the pace that this moment requires. At my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer's economic update on July 8, the Government set out the next stage in our plan to support the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

We are taking action to support a Green Recovery in every sector including: over £3 billion to transform energy efficiency in homes and public buildings; over £1 billion support for ultra-low emission vehicles; £800 million to capture carbon from power stations and industry; £640 million in Nature Climate Fund; and £100 million for research and development into Direct Air Capture technologies.

We will continue to build on this and deliver a stronger, greener, more sustainable economy after this pandemic.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he is providing to small builders in North Wales.

Whilst policy relating to construction is a devolved matter, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a £330 billion support package of Government-backed and guaranteed loans so as to help businesses to access finance, including those in Wales.

Measures include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which enables small and medium-sized enterprises, with a turnover of up to £45 million, to access vital financial support. This is available to businesses in Wales via high street banks and the Development Bank of Wales. The Chancellor has extended the CBILS so that all viable businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. In addition, we announced the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, which provides loans of up to £50,000 to benefit small businesses with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders.

The Welsh Government has announced a new £500 million Welsh fund which will support firms of all sizes, including social enterprises.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support innovative and fast-growing firms during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware of the role that innovative businesses play in supporting economic growth as our economy recovers from the Covid-19 crisis. That is why my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.25 billion package to help protect firms driving innovation in the UK.

This package includes the Future Fund, which provides innovative companies with convertible loans, investing between £125k and £5m, on the condition that third-party investors at least match the Future Fund’s commitment. Developed by Government and delivered by the British Business Bank, the Future Fund launched for applications in May and will initially be open until the end of September. As of 12 July, the Future Fund had facilitated 429 loans totalling £420 million.

SMEs focusing on research and development are also benefiting from £750 million of grants and loans through Innovate UK.

This package builds on the government’s existing support for innovative, high-growth firms including the British Business Bank’s £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme, internationally competitive R&D tax reliefs, and our commitment to increase public R&D spending to £22 billion by 2024-25.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) businesses, (b) trade unions and (c) workers on developing guidance on workplace safety during the covid-19 outbreak.

There was an extensive series of engagements to support the drafting process for guidance on safe return to work, with several roundtables chaired by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, meetings with businesses, unions and other representative organisations and written consultations.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to facilitate the development of electric vehicle battery manufacturing in the UK; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits for North Wales and Wrexham of Stoke-on-Trent becoming a manufacturing location for those batteries.

There are a range of factors that will influence the location of any UK Gigafactory investment, and the final location decision will be a commercial matter.

The Government has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. Through the Automotive Sector Deal, we are working with the industry to develop world-leading battery technologies.

We have already invested £274 million in the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The FBC is a cutting-edge programme, helping UK businesses to lead the world in the design, development, and manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles. Under the FBC, we have invested £120 million in the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the first phase of which was completed in March 2020, and which will provide a state-of-the-art pilot facility to test new cell technology. UKBIC will play a key role in laying the groundwork to secure a battery Gigafactory in the UK.

The Faraday Institution commissioned a study which showed that by 2040, an estimated eight Gigafactories (of 15GWh per year capacity) will be needed in the UK and consequently employment in the automotive industry and battery supply chain could increase to 246,000 jobs.

The Government has announced up to £1 billion of additional funding to develop UK electric vehicle supply chains, and for further electric vehicles research and development. This funding will accelerate mass production of key technologies in the UK, through major investments in the manufacturing of batteries, electric motors, power electronics, and hydrogen fuel cells, along with their component and materials supply chains.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what fiscal steps he is taking to support the charity sector in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS is continuing to work closely with the civil society sector to assess the needs of the sector and how the government can best support it to continue its vital work. The Government has committed a £750m targeted funding package to support the Voluntary and Community Sector, which builds on the significant package of support available across sectors, including the Job Retention Scheme. A further £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts has been unlocked to support urgent work tackling youth unemployment, providing emergency loans for civil society organisations and improving the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

Ensuring charities can begin fundraising activities will be a crucial part of the sector’s recovery. DCMS has published a collection of guidance for DCMS sectors relating to COVID-19. This includes practical guidance and resources from the Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising supporting charities to safeguard the public, staff and volunteers as they plan to return to fundraising activities in a safe and responsible way. This can be viewed at;


https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-dcms-sectors-in-relation-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support pupils’ mental health during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been working closely with partners to provide resources and guidance to support and promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes signposting to resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

We have encouraged schools to focus on pastoral support as more pupils return to school this term. Children in Reception, year 1 and year 6 are now able to return to primary school, and year 10 and year 12 pupils are able to receive face-to-face support at secondary school. Primary schools with capacity can bring back additional groups, in line with existing protective measures. We have also given schools the flexibility to have face-to-face ‘check-ups’ with all pupils during the summer term.

The return to school is a key part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as in addition to providing more opportunities for physical activity, attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. The department has now published detailed plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September. The guidance for schools is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to put in place further specific support for school staff to understand the issues that pupils will face with their mental wellbeing. This includes training for teachers, such as a new module developed with clinical experts on how to teach about mental health in health education. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open. Leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week, the government also announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities, including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he is making on the reopening of schools during the covid-19 outbreak for eligible year groups.

The Government’s plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

From the 1 June, we have asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside the children of critical workers and vulnerable children of all ages. Where primary schools have capacity, they have the flexibility to choose to welcome back additional pupils. It is up to schools to decide which pupils to welcome back, based on their knowledge of their children and communities

From 15 June, secondary schools have been able to invite year 10 and year 12 pupils (years 10 and 11 for alternative provision schools) back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers to supplement their remote education.

Primary and secondary schools also have the flexibility to invite pupils in other year groups in for a face-to-face meeting before the end of this term, where it would be beneficial. We have asked schools to ensure this happens in line with wider protective measures guidance, and guidance on the numbers of pupils permitted on-site at any one time.

The daily national figures for the proportion of schools open to eligible year groups can be found at the following publication:

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The data is collected from individual education establishments and the published figures include estimates for non-response.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the numbers of overseas students of the difference in tuition fees for British nationals living in Britain and those who have lived overseas for longer than three years.

To qualify for home fee status in England, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the United Kingdom and meet the relevant ordinary residence requirements. Most persons must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and Islands or, in some cases, the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the 3 years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course, excluding periods of temporary absence.

No assessment has been made of the number of British nationals who do not qualify for home fee status in England by virtue of their residence.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure schools provide casual directly employed workers with the same level of financial support as casual agency workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Supply staff who are directly employed by schools, including supply staff employed on a casual basis, are able to receive financial support during the COVID-19 outbreak at the same level as casually employed agency staff.

We expect schools to ensure any employees funded by public money continue to be paid from their existing staff budgets, and not to furlough staff, in line with the HMRC guidance to public sector organisations: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

The support available for casual directly employed staff is outlined in the ‘actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak’ guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#should-schools-continue-to-pay-contingent-workers-that-they-directly-employ-on-a-zero-hours-or-casual-basis.

19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of online interactive taught lessons during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Since 23 March, in line with the scientific advice, nurseries, schools and colleges have remained open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children. The Department is committed to ensuring that all children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances, including vulnerable pupils who do not attend school. It is up to each school to determine how to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have already shared resources for children who are at home. Our latest guidance on remote education during COVID-19 outbreak is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

This includes an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free.

Leading state schools collaborated to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. The Oak National Academy’s role is to supplement, not to replace, existing provision.

Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV via the red button, on iPlayer and online at BBC Bitesize.

The Government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education. This includes providing devices and internet access for vulnerable children who need it most, ensuring every school that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of education technology. Provision of internet access, and technical support, will continue to be available to schools during the phased return of children and young people. Devices will be owned by schools and organisations and will benefit children’s education long after schools have opened to all pupils.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of import fees for plants on the ornamental horticultural industry after the end of the transition period.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendation from the Horticultural Trades Association for the introduction of a trusted trader scheme for the import and export of plants after 1 July 2021.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will suspend all import inspections for plants and plant products until 1 July 2021 to allow sufficient time for the necessary infrastructure to be put in place.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the readiness of the IT systems required for the importing and exporting of plants from 1 January 2021.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect on garden retailers of proposals for place of destination registration.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of (a) the end of the transition period and (b) proposed changes to the plant inspections regime on plant health.

The UK intends to ensure that its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime remains appropriate to address the risks it faces. The plant health services already conduct risk-based checks at the border, determined according to an assessment of the risk presented by the import of different plants and goods from different origins. This risk assessment and risk management approach will apply to SPS goods from the EU from 1 January 2021 and consequently, high-risk items will be subject to import checks to protect Great Britain’s (GB) biosecurity. The highest-risk items (to be regulated from January) are those assessed as presenting a significant risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases from the EU. These risk-based checks will be in line with World Trade Organization SPS principles and consistent with our obligations under the EU Withdrawal Act, where we need to ensure that requirements and processes in retained EU law are corrected so that they are operable at a UK level and focused on UK risks.

For goods imported from the EU, GB will be carrying out a phased implementation of import checks which will be aligned to the risks posed by different regulated commodities. Lower-risk goods will receive a lower frequency of checks. Fees need to be adapted, therefore, to ensure there is no over-recovery of costs. We will begin charging for import services, on goods arriving from the EU, from 1 April 2021. This will enable a more accurate calculation of the fees and will allow businesses and government to implement the change successfully. The methodology used to calculate fees for plant health services was agreed with the trade following a fees review and consultation in 2017. We will consider the impact on SMEs again in our next fees review and subsequent consultation.

In arriving at the decision to delay the introduction of plant health import inspection fees for goods arriving from the EU, officials have had to balance the need to support affected businesses against legal considerations and the rules around managing public money. Delaying these fees until 1 April 2021 strikes the right balance between these competing demands.

In early 2021 the IT systems used to facilitate the import and export of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current PEACH and eDomero systems to new services building on IPAFFS and EHC Online technology. The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for users to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before, during and after migration.

All current and new IT systems have undergone intense scrutiny and stress testing to ensure they can cope with the volumes of plant imports we are anticipating.

We are committed to ensuring our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. To meet this commitment the Government is investing an unprecedented £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology in GB, to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the transition period. The Place of Destination scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until July when Border Control Posts are functioning for all third-country trade. The Place of Destination scheme has been designed to provide flexibility to businesses, minimising any disruption to trade at the border. There are no fees associated with registration for the Place of Destination scheme.

Defra is pleased that the Horticultural Trade Association is considering a Trusted Trader scheme which may assist business without compromising the effective operation of our plant health import and export controls. As part of the risk-based regime we will review how regulations and processes can be adjusted to reflect the associated risks of specific activities. For instance, we will maintain a risk-based approach to the surveillance of individual business trading in regulated plant material and the frequency of checks on imported plant material will be determined according to the risk profile of such goods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2020
What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to promote UK agricultural produce abroad.

We work in tandem with the Department for International Trade to open new markets and secure export opportunities for our farmers and food producers. Our Food is GREAT campaign builds demand, drives awareness and increases positive perceptions of UK food and drink products in key overseas markets. Furthermore, the ‘bounce-back’ package of trade support and promotion measures announced in June will continue to help our food and drink businesses grow their exports.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the dairy industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Edmonton on 12 May 2020, PQ 42136 [https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-05-01/42136/].

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, in what form humanitarian aid from the UK has been provided to civilians in Yemen in the last 12 months.

The UK provided £240 million in aid to Yemen in the financial year (19/20) through UN and NGO humanitarian and development partners, delivering a range of interventions. This included providing on average 500,000 Yemenis each month with cash transfers and vouchers through the World Food Programme.

DFID funding to UNICEF screened over 400,000 children for severe acute malnutrition and enrolled 45,000 children in nutrition programmes following screening. Through DFID funded NGOs, including CARE and ACTED, we treated a further 8,000 children and pregnant women for acute malnutrition,

UK aid helped provide over 1 million people with access to clean drinking water and sanitation and over 1.5 million with an emergency water supply. The UK also contributed 25% of the costs of Oral Cholera Vaccination campaigns in 2019, which have helped to vaccinate more than 2 million Yemenis since they began in 2018.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to support British charities responding to the covid-19 pandemic.

UK Civil Society organisations (CSOs) are crucial partners for DFID and play a critical role in ensuring UK aid reaches the most vulnerable in the global response to COVID-19. UK charities, such as Christian Aid and Humanity & Inclusion, are receiving funding to support vulnerable people around the world during the crisis. We have allocated £18 million to charities through the Rapid Response Facility and over £24 million through our partnership with Unilever.

A new UK Aid Direct funding round has also been launched, some of which has been set aside for rapid access by existing UK Aid Direct grant holders who are able to respond immediately to COVID-19. As DFID’s country network adapts programming to respond to COVID-19, country teams are considering how they can do this through partners, including through CSOs.

In addition, DFID welcomes the vital role that NGOs will continue to play in service delivery through multilaterals. UN agencies have undertaken a review of their existing procedures related to partnership management and issued additional internal guidance to simplify and expedite collaboration where appropriate. We will be working with the UN and DFID’s country offices to increasingly better understand and track eventual flows to NGOs in-country.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to promote UK agriculture exports.

Our food and drink sector is vital to our economy. In 2019, exports increased by nearly 5% to £23.7bn.

We want to see this success continue and on 22 June we launched, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a ‘Bounce Back’ package which includes facilitated UKEF access for SMEs and export masterclasses and webinars. This package of focused activity will further boost our trade efforts for the agricultural sector and prepare for the new opportunities presented by our future Free Trade Agreements.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to local authorities to increase the amount of road space provided for cycling.

On 9 May, the Secretary of State launched the new Emergency Active Travel Fund making £225 million available to local authorities in England this year. Any funding on top of the Department for Transport’s current budgets will have Barnett Consequentials applied in the usual way for Wales. This funding is designed to help authorities increase provision for walking and cycling during the period of social distancing restrictions. This fund represents the first stage of a £2 billion investment in walking and cycling. This is the largest ever boost for active travel, and will deliver transformational change.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support the rail industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has offered operators of all of its franchises a short-term Emergency Measures Agreement, a six month pause of the financial mechanisms within their Franchise Agreements. This offer has been accepted in all cases and the agreements have been in place since 1 April, effective from 1 March. They have stabilised the industry, kept services running and provided assurance for those working on the railway. We continue to work to support operators as needed and bring stability and certainty to the industry during this turbulent time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the benefit of music-based interventions in the care of people living with dementia.

The Department has commissioned research on living well with dementia from the National Institute for Health Research, which includes the methods and effectiveness of music therapy. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance for social prescribing link workers to expand music prescriptions, which is available at the following link:

https://musicfordementia.org.uk/advice-resources/toolkits-resources/toolkits-resources-for-social-workers-and-link-workers/

We will be setting out our strategy on dementia for England for future years in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to include in the National Dementia Strategy recognition of the benefits of music-based interventions in the care of people living with dementia.

The Department has commissioned research on living well with dementia from the National Institute for Health Research, which includes the methods and effectiveness of music therapy. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance for social prescribing link workers to expand music prescriptions, which is available at the following link:

https://musicfordementia.org.uk/advice-resources/toolkits-resources/toolkits-resources-for-social-workers-and-link-workers/

We will be setting out our strategy on dementia for England for future years in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Apr 2021
What steps his Department is taking to reform mental health legislation.

On 13 January we published our White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act 1983. Our public consultation is open for a further week in which we are inviting views to ensure we develop the right proposals.

We will respond to this with a formal report which will inform the development of our planned Mental Health Bill.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) increase the use and (b) improve the quality of technology in the health and social care sectors in North Wales.

As health and social care are devolved, the use and quality of technology in the health and social care sectors in North Wales are matters for the Welsh Government. The United Kingdom Government works closely with the Welsh Government on the use of technology in these settings.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health of NHS workers in North Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

Health is a devolved matter so this would be a matter for the Welsh government.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with UK manufacturers to increase the supply of personal protective equipment.

As of 15 May, over 13,000 businesses have contacted the Government with offers of help on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). Many are related to the manufacture of PPE for the National Health Service and care sectors, a vast majority of which we are taking forward, predominantly from United Kingdom-based companies but also including multinational companies. Some offers were not progressed due to financial and capability considerations.

The Department engages directly with potential manufacturers to qualify and prioritise the opportunity, based on availability of/access to raw supplies, lead-times to manufacture, and other commercial considerations. Product prototypes are submitted to a Technical Product Review process, to ensure they meet essential health, safety and quality standards for PPE. Financial due diligence and fraud prevention measures are also undertaken, after which the Department can contract with the manufacturer.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government’s efforts to secure sufficient PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. He is also driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies. As at 15 May, the Department has entered into contract and placed orders with eight manufacturers to provide millions of items of PPE products to the National Health Service and carers. Details of this work can be found in the links below. The volumes will increase in the coming weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/millions-more-items-of-ppe-for-frontline-staff-from-new-business-partnerships

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/70-million-face-masks-for-nhs-and-care-workers-through-new-industry-deal

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to increase investment in infrastructure to improve access to town centres in North Wales.

The Treasury’s priority is to support the whole UK economy through Covid-19 and enable a strong and sustainable recovery from the crisis.

On 8 July, the Chancellor provided a Summer Economic Update to Parliament, where he confirmed an additional £500 million of funding for the Welsh Government in response to Covid-19. In total, the Treasury is providing £2.8 billion through the Barnett formula to help the Welsh Government to recover and respond to the needs of its economy. This is in addition to key schemes available UK-wide to support businesses and the labour market.

The Government is also investing £150m in the North Wales Growth Deal to help deliver jobs and economic growth to the local area.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps he is taking to support regional economic growth in North Wales as the part of his economic recovery plans.

The Treasury’s priority is to support the whole UK economy through Covid-19 and enable a strong and sustainable recovery from the crisis.

We have taken unprecedented steps to support viable businesses to stay afloat and protect the incomes of the most vulnerable. The Welsh Government and Office of the Secretary of State for Wales play a key part in these discussions, and there is regular engagement on local economic issues and plans on regional economic growth and recovery in Wales.

On 8 July, the Chancellor provided a Summer Economic Update to Parliament, where he announced new initiatives to help businesses recover across the UK, such as Eat Out to Help Out to generate consumer spending, and temporary reduced rates of VAT to support consumers and businesses in sectors which have been badly impacted. This is in addition to providing £2.8 billion to the Welsh Government through the Barnett formula to help the Welsh Government to respond to Covid-19 and meet the needs of its economy.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on supporting high street businesses impacted by the covid-19 outbreak in North Wales.

The Treasury’s priority is to support the whole UK economy through Covid-19 and enable a strong and sustainable recovery from the crisis.

We have taken unprecedented steps to support viable businesses to stay afloat and protect the incomes of the most vulnerable. The Welsh Government and Office of the Secretary of State for Wales play a key part in these discussions, and there is regular engagement on local economic issues and plans on regional economic growth and recovery in Wales.

On 8 July, the Chancellor provided a Summer Economic Update to Parliament, where he announced new initiatives to help businesses recover across the UK, such as Eat Out to Help Out to generate consumer spending, and temporary reduced rates of VAT to support consumers and businesses in sectors which have been badly impacted. This is in addition to providing £2.8 billion to the Welsh Government through the Barnett formula to help the Welsh Government to respond to Covid-19 and meet the needs of its economy.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of supporting people who have been self-employed for less than a year, and are therefore ineligible for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, by reducing the level of income tax due on their earnings during that first year.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) continues to be one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world as the economy reopens.

It has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the scheme. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons.

However, the newly self-employed may still be eligible for the other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of financial support for individuals and businesses. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support people who rely solely on rent from tenants for income during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has announced unprecedented support for businesses affected by Coronavirus including giving them access to cash to pay their rent, salaries or suppliers. The Government has also taken steps to protect commercial tenants from eviction and is working with the sector to publish a Code of Practice to guide and encourage all parties to work together to protect viable businesses and ensure a swift recovery.

In the residential sector, we recognise the pressures which residents and landlords are facing. That is why the Government has extended the suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation for a further 2 months and included Buy-to-let mortgages in the extension to the window for applying for a mortgage holiday until 31 October 2020.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of his Department's covid-19 support schemes for (a) small businesses, (b) SMEs and (c) large businesses.

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. On 12 May the Government published new statistics that show businesses have benefitted from over £14 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis. This includes:

· 268,000 Bounce Back Loans (BBL) for small businesses, worth £8.3 billion

· 36,000 loans worth over £6 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for SMEs

· £359 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) for large firms

Figures from the Bank of England show that over £17.5 billion has been distributed to large firms through the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). Together, these schemes ensure almost all viable UK businesses can apply for a government backed loan.

In addition, the Government has implemented a range of further measures which are providing support to millions of businesses of all sizes, including:

· The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – now extended until October

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

· Grant funding for small businesses, and retail, leisure and hospitality businesses

· 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

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to dismantle the operations of county lines drugs gangs in North Wales.

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities.

That is why we are delivering a £25m programme of investment to help put a stop to these ruthless gangs. Our overall package launched in October last year and includes: expanding the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre, increased disruption on the rail networks by the British Transport Police’s County Lines Taskforce, operational activity against high harm lines in the three major exporting force areas (the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, West Midlands), investment in new technology, and increased support for victims. Our funding has supported joint operations across England and Wales, including with North Wales Police.

Our investment is already delivering results; as a result of the first phase of activity, between November 2019 and March 2020, the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, West Midlands and the British Transport Police made over 650 arrests, closed nearly 140 deal lines, seized cash and drugs with a total value of over £3 million, made over 100 weapons seizures, and safeguarded a number of individuals, including 140 children.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of police officers in northern Wales.

The Government is committed to delivering an extra 20,000 police officers over the next three years.

The Home Office has confirmed the allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. 6,000 additional officers have been allocated to forces across England and Wales by the end of March 2021.

North Wales Police has been allocated 62 additional officers in year one of the uplift. The force had recruited 23 additional officers by the end of March 2020.

To support this recruitment drive, North Wales Police will receive a funding increase this year of £10.4 million.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many armed forces veterans in Clwyd South constituency are in receipt of funds from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

The Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme came into force on 6 April 2005 to pay compensation for injury, illness or death attributable to Service that occurred on or after that date. It replaced the previous compensation arrangements provided by the War Pensions Scheme and the attributable elements of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Pensions Scheme. Tax-free lump sum awards are paid to all Service personnel and veterans as compensation for pain and suffering for an injury or illness that is predominantly caused or made worse by Service. Where a lump sum award has been made at tariff levels 1-11 (reflecting a more serious injury/illness), the claimant will also be awarded a tax-free index-linked income stream known as a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP). A GIP will be paid from service termination for life to recognise long-term loss of earnings.

The most recent statistics on the number of armed forces pension and compensation recipients by Parliamentary constituency is published on the Gov.uk website and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/location-of-armed-forces-pension-and-compensation-recipients-2019

A further update will be published in August 2020.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department has taken to support Government procurement during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Ministry of Defence is utilising its considerable acquisition and commercial expertise to support the wider national effort against Covid-19 through providing a range of procurement, supply chain management and logistics advice across Government. The Department has also been closely liaising with its own suppliers.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support the safe reopening of high streets as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Through our Safer Urban Centres Guidance, the Government has set out how our high streets can be made COVID secure through social distancing. Building on this, our £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) is providing councils with additional funding to support their business communities and local economies with measures that enable safe trading in public places. This funding is playing a key role in getting people back to work, supporting businesses and helping to reinvigorate our communities, safely kick starting the economy as lockdown eases.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made in finding accommodation for rough sleepers in North Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

Housing and sourcing accommodation for rough sleepers in Wales is a devolved matter.

In England, almost 15,000 vulnerable people have been housed in emergency accommodation, including hotels, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to returns from local authorities. This includes people coming in directly from the streets, people previously housed in shared night shelters and people who have become vulnerable to rough sleeping during the pandemic.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support he is providing to help local authorities in North Wales experiencing a reduction in income during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local government is a devolved matter, and therefore MHCLG do not engage directly with Welsh councils.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken provide food and support to people identified by the NHS as the most vulnerable in society.

On 22 March, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government asked clinically extremely vulnerable individuals to shield and announced steps to support them to stay at home.

To support these individuals, we are working closely with local authorities, the food industry, local resilience and emergency partners, and voluntary groups to ensure these individuals have both support and access to essential items such as groceries and medicines through deliveries and priority supermarket delivery slots, if they do not have alternative means of accessing these.

The system to deliver food packages is now up and running and capacity is building in line with current demand.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure victims of crime can continue to access support during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to ensuring victims and witnesses receive the support they need during this challenging time.

We have been working across government, with the sector and local bodies through our Covid-19 Victims and Witnesses Silver Group, which has helped to identify needs to ensure support is available for victims and witnesses.

We have secured £25million as part of the £76million government package for charities supporting vulnerable people including victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, made almost £600k of funding available to assist helpline services and committed £3million per annum to Independent Sexual Violence advisers until 2022.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to support the hospitality and tourism industries in Northern Ireland to prepare for the lifting of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Secretary of State and I are working closely with Cabinet colleagues and the NI Executive to support businesses, including those in the tourism and hospitality sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances faced by businesses across the country, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of measures to support businesses, employees and the self-employed. This includes government backed loans and direct support for wages, which are available to the hospitality and tourism sectors.

In Northern Ireland, this is supplemented by additional support for businesses from the NI Executive following significant increases of approximately £1.3bn in the spending power of the Executive to enable it to respond to Covid-19. The Executive has used this additional spending power to deliver the £25,000 Business Support Grant to help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery across some of the most significantly affected industries, including hospitality and tourism. This is in line with the £25,000 Business Support Grants being delivered in England, Scotland and Wales where the Business Support Grants are available for eligible businesses within the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The Government has been developing guidance to help tourism and hospitality businesses plan for social distancing and hygiene measures and the NI Executive is considering how this can be tailored to Northern Ireland. I am pleased that the NI Executive has published dates for the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sectors in NI beginning with camping and caravan sites as well as self-catering accommodation on 26 June.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Nov 2020
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on co-ordinating a UK-wide response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for Scotland and I are in regular discussions with our ministerial colleagues on co-ordinating a UK-wide response to the covid-19 outbreak. A UK-wide response is integral to the Government’s response to covid-19.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on co-ordinating a UK wide response to the covid-19 outbreak.

I have regular discussions with all my Cabinet colleagues on the Covid-19 outbreak, including the co-ordination of a UK-wide response.

This Government continues to be absolutely committed to a UK-wide approach. We will continue to work together with the Scottish Government and other Devolved Administrations to ensure a coordinated approach across the UK, while respecting the devolution settlements.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with his Cabinet colleagues on co-ordinating a UK-wide response to the covid-19 outbreak.

I have regular discussions with all my cabinet colleagues on the Covid-19 outbreak, including the co-ordination of a UK-wide response.

This Government is absolutely committed to a UK-wide approach. We will continue to work together with the Scottish Government and other Devolved Administrations to ensure a coordinated approach across the UK, while respecting the devolution settlements.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Welsh Government on the (a) effectiveness and (b) quantity of testing for covid-19 in Wales.

Eligibility for Covid-19 testing in Wales is a devolved matter. The UK Government has regular discussions with the Welsh Government to identify how the effectiveness of testing in Wales can be improved and the quantity increased. The two Governments are working closely and constructively to ensure our approaches are compatible and to minimise any differences cross-border. As of 9.00am on 15 July, the number of tests carried out in Wales was 9,307.9 per 100,000 people. However, testing per 100,000 people in England remains higher at 15,390.7.

In recent weeks, the UK Government has taken measures to increase testing capacity in Wales by opening two new regional testing sites. The sites, in Deeside and in Ebbw Vale, will both use testing equipment provided to them by the UK Government as well as having the tests analysed in UK Government laboratories.

The UK Government is also supporting the increased testing of care home staff and all care homes in Wales are being offered weekly testing for their staff through the UK Government’s social care portal.

The UK Government has also allocated additional funding to the devolved administrations and to local authorities in England to support Test and Trace schemes. The Welsh Government will receive an additional £18 million in support.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the support available to extremely vulnerable adults in Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

For those who are at the highest risk in our society, we have ensured more is done to keep them safe. The shielding programme, which was initiated by the UK Government, is an unprecedented package of support for those most at risk from coronavirus. It has required collaboration between the food and drink industry, drivers, volunteers and councils. Consistency to support the vulnerable has been key. This is why the UK Government and the Welsh Government are working together to protect the most vulnerable in Wales and I discuss this support as part of my regular dialogue with the First Minister and his Ministerial team.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales