Stephanie Peacock Portrait

Stephanie Peacock

Labour - Barnsley East

Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

(since April 2020)
6 APPG memberships (as of 21 Apr 2021)
Belgium, Ceramics, Industrial Heritage, Luxembourg, Oracy, Parkrun
2 Former APPG memberships
Medical Cannabis under Prescription, Social Care
Women and Equalities Committee
8th May 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Jan 2018 - 14th Mar 2019
International Trade Committee
4th Dec 2017 - 2nd Jul 2018
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
16th Oct 2017 - 4th Dec 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
14:15
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Citizenship and Passport Processes in Northern Ireland
12 May 2021, 2:15 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Kevin Foster MP - Minister for Future Borders and Immigration at Home Office
Robin Walker MP - Minister of State at Northern Ireland Office
Kristian Armstrong - Head of Passport and Nationality Policy at Home Office
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 20th May 2021
13:25
Department Event
Thursday 17th June 2021
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral questions - Main Chamber
17 Jun 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
National Security and Investment Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 194 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 269
Speeches
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Carbon Monoxide: Safety, Testing and Awareness

I have called for this debate today following my question in this place in February, when I asked the Government …

Written Answers
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Business: Renewable Energy
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 24th July 2019
PERIOD POSITIVE PLEDGE
That this House welcomes the Period Positive Pledge which has now been adopted by institutions and organisations across the world …
Bills
Employment and Workers' Rights Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
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: Unite the Union
Address of donor: 128 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN
Estimate of the probable …
EDM signed
Thursday 18th March 2021
Agriculture
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stephanie Peacock has voted in 231 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stephanie Peacock 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
Victoria Prentis (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(60 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(23 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(18 debate interactions)
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View all Stephanie Peacock's debates

Barnsley East 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 Barnsley East signature proportion
Petitions with most Barnsley East signatures
Petition Open
445
of 308,598 signatures (0.14%)
Petition Open
396
of 2,532 signatures (15.64%)
Petition Open
362
of 349,577 signatures (0.10%)
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.


Latest EDMs signed by Stephanie Peacock

18th March 2021
Stephanie Peacock signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 18th March 2021

Agriculture

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 158), dated 15 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 16 February 2021, be annulled.
10 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Green Party: 1
14th January 2021
Stephanie Peacock signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Stephanie Peacock's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stephanie Peacock, 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.


Stephanie Peacock has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Stephanie Peacock has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Stephanie Peacock


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision about employment conditions and workers' rights; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 27th April 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

233 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many death certificates refer to industrial disease in (a) each year since 2010, (b) March and April 2019, and (c) March and April 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond. A copy of the UKSA response has been placed in the library of the House.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many members of staff will be allocated to work for the Office for Veterans' Affairs.

There are 8 members of staff working in the Office for Veterans’ Affairs with more staff, who have already been recruited, joining shortly. Plans to increase the Office for Veterans’ Affairs beyond its current size are in place with recruitment due to begin shortly. Future increases in the size of the Office will be determined by the capacity it needs to ensure the United Kingdom becomes the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. Beyond the Office for Veterans’ Affairs there are many Civil Servants across Government Departments working everyday to support this country’s veterans.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress his Department has made on the implementation of the Government’s Strategy for Our Veterans.

The Strategy for our Veterans sets out the Government’s ambition to make the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. In January the Government published its first Action Plan to deliver this strategy following a UK-wide consultation on how to implement it.

This plan included the creation of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which this Government has already delivered, and that Office are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Strategy. A number of the actions are already complete, such as the establishment of charity-facing posts within the Ministry of Defence and the recruitment of more Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champions, to help those who have left the military transition into employment. Progress is being made in all areas, with a number of other commitments due to be completed in the coming months; these include the publication of a factsheet drawing together key data on veterans, and shortly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government will publish guidance for local authorities on allocating social housing for the Armed Forces community. In addition to the actions set out in the Strategy, we have already set out plans to introduce railcards for veterans and make it easier for veterans to get an interview for a job in the Civil Service.

Work on many of the other commitments in the consultation’s action plan is in full swing, and the Government looks forward to announcing further progress over the coming months.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government’s Strategy for Our Veterans will classify the very seriously injured as a priority group.

The Strategy for Our Veterans is inclusive of all veterans who access UK services, covering all experiences, conflicts and circumstances. As the Government works towards delivering the Strategy, it may be appropriate to provide certain cohorts of veterans with particular types of focused support to recognise their specific experiences or circumstances. As detailed within the Strategy for our Veterans UK Government Consultation Response, the Government already provides bespoke services to support the very seriously injured, such as the Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans (IPC4V) framework and benefit cap exemptions.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses to become carbon neutral.

Achieving our net zero goal requires all businesses to take action. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has set out his Ten Point Plan for the UK to lead the world into a Green Industrial Revolution. This innovative programme sets out ambitious policies and £12 billion government investment to support up to 250,000 green jobs. It will accelerate our path to reaching net zero by 2050, and could unlock three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

The Prime Minister has also appointed my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs as the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion ahead of COP26. My Hon. Friend’s role is to encourage UK business to sign up to climate action via the Race to Zero science-based targets initiative, to champion the actions that UK businesses are already taking and to help UK businesses exploit the many opportunities of the transition to a low carbon economy.

As a result of my Hon. Friend’s campaign, 30 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to Race to Zero, and he is about to launch a national small business mass mobilisation campaign.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses to switch to renewable energy sources for their power supply.

The Government is working with stakeholders to drive the ambitious action needed from UK businesses to help tackle climate change and reduce their impact on the environment.

Significant financial savings are available to businesses taking steps to improve their energy efficiency and decarbonise to achieve Net Zero. We are working to encourage as many UK businesses to pledge to join the Race to Zero campaign and set climate targets. The UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs, will also be launching a small and micro business campaign ahead of COP26, which is aimed at mass mobilising local businesses and getting as many as possible to sign up to the Race to Zero via a new UK landing page on the SME Climate Hub.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations (SECR) came into force on 1 April 2019 and have been introduced to simplify requirements for businesses to report on their energy use and carbon emissions. This provides greater levels of transparency, helping to stimulate demand for low carbon energy supplies.

We are supporting small-scale renewable electricity through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme (SEG). The SEG provides small-scale renewable generators the right to be paid for the excess energy they export to the grid.

The Clean Heat Grant (CHG) will be targeted at households and small non-domestic buildings, to enable the installation of heat pumps and, in limited circumstances, biomass, to provide space and water heating.

The Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) will follow on from support for biomethane under the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which is due to close to new applicants on 31 March 2021. The GGSS will provide tariff support for biomethane produced via anaerobic digestion. It will launch in autumn 2021 and will be open to applicants for four years.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on pubs, clubs and breweries of the ban on off sales during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

During the new national restrictions in place from 5 November, hospitality venues are permitted to sell alcohol through delivery or via click and collect where remote ordering has been utilised. Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including breweries, are permitted to remain open.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support pubs, clubs and breweries affected by the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

The Government is providing an unprecedented package of support for hospitality businesses including an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 31 March 2021 and grants of up to £3000 per month in addition to loans, business rate holidays and VAT cuts.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the areas that were allocated additional financial support in response to going into the Tier 3 local covid alert level will still receive those funds.

Yes. We set out in guidance to local authorities on 3rd November what additional support will be available to make grants to business. This covers both during the period of national restrictions and for the prior period where some areas were in High and Very High Local Covid Alert Levels.

Where local authority areas were previously in Local Covid Alert Level 3 (Very High) they may have accessed additional enhanced business support settlements. These settlements are now part of the Additional Restrictions Grant and they will still receive the agreed funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 3 November 2016 to Question 51063 on the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme, whether the Government has made any direct payments to the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme under the guarantee arrangements since November 2016.

No such payments have been made.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much is held in the investment reserve funds for the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.

As at 30 September 2020, the Investment Reserve stood at £1,216m.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has received from its share of the surplus from the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme since the surplus-sharing arrangement was agreed.

Since the agreement was reached in 1994, the Government has received £3,111.8m as its share of surpluses. This is in return for the provision of the guarantee that ensures pensions are paid. The guarantee has enabled an investment strategy that has resulted in scheme members receiving payments 33% higher than they would have been if they received only their actual earned pension up to privatisation.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy how many fishing and aquaculture businesses have applied to the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme in England.

As of 22 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme across all sectors, to over 16,600 businesses. At this time we cannot provide a breakdown of funding by sector, as we have given lenders a temporary dispensation from uploading their data to the British Business Bank’s system in order to let them focus on issuing new loans. This is a pragmatic step that reflects the urgency of getting loans issued. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April. As of Thursday 23rd April HMRC had received about 512,000 claims with a total value of about £4.5bn. This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy how many loans have been granted to fishing and aquaculture companies under the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.

As of 22 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme across all sectors, to over 16,600 businesses. At this time we cannot provide a breakdown of funding by sector, as we have given lenders a temporary dispensation from uploading their data to the British Business Bank’s system in order to let them focus on issuing new loans. This is a pragmatic step that reflects the urgency of getting loans issued. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional paid family leave to help working parents cope with school closures.

The Government is committed to supporting individuals through this difficult time, that is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a substantial package of measures to support businesses and individuals as part of the national effort in response to coronavirus.

Employees are entitled to time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependent, This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19), including if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed. We encourage employers to support parents who choose to take leave, and those who choose to work flexibly. Parents’ employment rights are protected whilst taking existing leave entitlements or sick pay.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for the implementation of the long-term protection of pension bonuses for members for the Mineworkers' Pensions Scheme.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent on 15 January 2020 to Question 1709.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of local and regional news outlets on matters affecting those outlets as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is clear that local and regional newspapers play an invaluable role in the fabric of our society, and it has been an absolute priority to ensure we do all we can to support news publishers at this time of financial instability. With this in mind, we continue to focus both on alleviating the existential threat posed by the pandemic and simultaneously progressing commitments made in our response to the Cairncross Review.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have held regular roundtable discussions and bi-lateral meetings with stakeholders from across the industry to better understand their developing needs and concerns, and to inform the support measures we have put in place. To date, these include designating journalists as ‘key workers’; issuing guidance to local authorities on the importance of newspaper delivery; ensuring the use of ‘keyword blocklisting’ technology is not disproportionately limiting news publishers’ online advertising revenues for Covid-19 related stories by ad-blocking coronavirus-related terms; implementing a significant public information campaign across the local and national press to ensure that authoritative, up-to-date information about the Government’s response to Covid-19 is distributed through reliable channels; and fast-tracking the commencement of zero-rating of VAT on e-newspapers.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the roll-out of superfast broadband to communities in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) Barnsley.

The department invested over £10 million in broadband rollout across South Yorkshire. As a result of this, as well as commercial investment, 98% of premises in South Yorkshire now have access to superfast broadband. Nearly 14% of premises can also access gigabit-capable connectivity - up from 0% in February 2016. A further £780,000 has been made available to bring more South Yorkshire premises in scope for a broadband upgrade.

In Barnsley, 98% of premises in Barnsley have access to superfast broadband which is up from 44% in November 2011. Nearly 20% of premises have access to gigabit-capable connectivity, up from 0.4% in August 2018.

For those premises that are still struggling with slow speeds, there are a number of options available to them. DCMS runs a voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents. ‘Top-up’ schemes run by Local Authorities, who provide their own funding on top of DCMS’s, are also operating across the UK.

The government also introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) on 20 March 2020. The USO gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. The government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has taken steps to restrict targeted online advertising by gambling businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and Gambling Commission do not hold data on the frequency at which targeted advertising is shown to or seen by social media users. The nature of targeted advertising makes it difficult to generate accurate figures as the number of targeted gambling advertisements varies considerably between users.

Targeted gambling advertising on social media platforms, like all forms of gambling advertising, is subject to strict controls. Rules on content mean that these adverts must never seek to exploit or appeal to children or vulnerable people, and rules on placement mean that they must never be targeted at these groups. In October 2019 the Gambling Commission issued a challenge to industry to make better use of advertising technology to target away from vulnerable people. Following this, it was announced in April that industry has committed to make better and more consistent use of customer data to ensure paid-for advertising is targeted away from vulnerable people on social media platforms.

The government is aware of concerns that the anxiety and isolation experienced as a result of measures in place to curb the spread of covid 19 may increase the risk of gambling-related harms for some people. In recognition of this, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage has written to operators to urge them to increase the prominence of safer gambling messaging in all adverts during the current period, including online. In addition, the ASA has written to operators warning them that they must continue to abide by existing rules and must not look to exploit the current situation.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the UK gambling industry on the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

The government has made clear that we expect operators to be aware of the potential risk for increased gambling harm as people spend much more time at home and online. I have written and spoken to operators to remind them that they should be particularly responsible regarding player protections and advertising at this time, as have the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority. We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully.

The government has welcomed the ‘10 commitments’ launched by the Betting and Gaming Council to ensure safer gambling practices amongst its members. Following engagement and correspondence with the government and the Commission, BGC members have also pledged for the next six weeks to replace all slot, casino and bingo advertising on TV and radio with safer gambling adverts or to donate the slots to charity, and their online advertising will focus more on safer gambling measures.

The Gambling Commission has published Covid specific guidance to customers about staying safe when gambling online, including on how to limit ad exposure on social media and access support if needed. This all comes against a backdrop of continuing government and regulator action, including the introduction of tighter age and identity verification requirements, a ban on credit card gambling and the introduction of Gamstop integration as a condition of holding a licence.

We continue to hold operators to account if they fail to adequately protect consumers at this difficult time and will not hesitate to step in if that becomes necessary.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health and wellbeing of school and college students during the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak, and associated measures and restrictions, such as social distancing and school closures, will be impacting on the mental wellbeing of many people, including children and young people. The government has made student wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the support we have already put in place for schools, colleges and universities will be critical during this time.

The return to school for all pupils is being prioritised due to the significant and proven impact caused by being out of school, including on wellbeing. The support schools provide to their pupils as they return to face-to-face education should include time devoted to supporting wellbeing, which will play a fundamental part in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing recovery. The expectations for schools in this regard are set out clearly in the main DfE guidance to schools which also signposts further support, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

We are also providing support and training to schools through the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme, a Department for Education-led initiative alongside the Department of Health and Social Care, Higher Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations. It is funding local experts to provide training, advice and resources for schools and further education providers to help support pupil and student, parent and carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery considering the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Over 90% of local authority areas in England have reported that they are delivering additional training and support into local schools and further education providers because of the Wellbeing for Education Return funding and have been continuing to do so remotely.

We have also put in place a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16 to 19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year to support education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to this, the return to school for all pupils from 8 March will be supported with a new £700 million package, which includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary, secondary and special schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This will help schools to provide their disadvantaged pupils with a one-off boost to the support, both academic and pastoral, that has been proved most effective in helping them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-education-recovery-package-for-children-and-young-people.

For further education (FE) we are also committed to providing and signposting wellbeing guidance and support, and ensuring that specialist mental health support is available for all students and staff in FE who need it. The FE operational guidance includes a specific section on supporting the mental health of staff and students in addition to signposting providers to additional resources, such as webinars and online platforms. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision.

The department’s College Collaboration Fund (CCF) is a £5.4 million grant funding programme open to all statutory FE colleges, to be delivered in the financial year 2020/21. We particularly welcomed applications that address one of five specific quality improvement needs. Five of the funded projects are designed to provide remote/online mental health and wellbeing support to students and/or staff.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS), providing up to £3 million to fund the mental health platform Student Space in response to COVID-19, and have asked the OfS to allocate an additional £15 million towards student mental health, through proposed reforms to Teaching grant funding. Student Space is a mental health and wellbeing platform designed to bridge any gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and works alongside existing services. Ensuring students have access to quality mental health support is a top priority, which is why we asked the OfS to look at extending the platform. I am delighted they have been able to extend the platform to support students for the whole 2020/21 academic year.

For students that need specialist support the government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health. The NHS will receive around an additional £500 million this year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

The department and the Department of Health and Social Care have convened a Mental Health in Education Action Group. The purpose of the Action Group is to look across the age ranges at the impact of COVID-19 on children, young people and staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities.

Furthermore, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, appointed Dr Alex George (an A&E Doctor) as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise the government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges, and universities. As Youth Mental Health Ambassador, he will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to champion the government’s work on children’s and young people’s mental health and shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, colleges, and universities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the digital divide in access to remote learning for school and college students.

The Department is providing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care. We have secured 1.3 million laptops and tablets and have already delivered over 1.2 million of these to schools, colleges, trusts, local authorities, and further education providers to support disadvantaged children and young people who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The Department are making deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term. The Government is providing this significant injection of laptops and tablets on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has extended support to disadvantaged 16-to-19 year olds, including those in further education. Schools with sixth forms, colleges and other further education institutions are being invited to order laptops and tablets to further support disadvantaged students to access remote education.

The Department has partnered with mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children go online as well as delivering over 70,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

The Department is grateful to EE, Lycamobile, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, Vodafone, iD Mobile and giffgaff for supporting the mobile data offer. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Four major mobile network operators, Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, have also committed to working together to make access to Oak National Academy free for school children. Additionally, the Department is grateful to BT and EE, who have made access to BBC Bitesize resources free from the end of January 2021.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health and wellbeing of school and college staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under, and is enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience, and service as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has worked in partnership with the sector and mental health experts to provide a range of support for mental health and wellbeing. This includes improving access to resources and the development of the first ever wellbeing charter for staff which the Department intends to publish in the coming months.

The Department has taken action to respond to the mental health needs of school leaders as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak by launching a £95,000 pilot led by Education Support to provide online support and telephone supervision from experts to around 250 school leaders. This service has now been extended until March 2021. The outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing support. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

The £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme continues to support staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures children and young people may be feeling as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as to any emotional response they or their teachers may be experiencing. Additional support can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-pupils-wellbeing. The Government has also provided over £10 million funding to mental health charities – including Mind, the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK to help them adapt, expand, and reach those who are most vulnerable.

Following my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement on 13 January 2021, the Department is also convening a new Mental Health in Education Action Group, chaired by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Children and Families, and my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities. This group will look at how we support young people and staff with their wellbeing as they return to school and university. On 4 February my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister appointed Dr Alex George as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges and universities. He will be joining the new Mental Health in Education Action Group.

As well as providing additional COVID-19 specific mental health advice and support for children and young people, our Relationships, Health and Sex Education curriculum includes mental health and wellbeing. We have a host of online training materials and implementation guides, which give inclusive advice to schools and staff on how best to support pupils’ mental health, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

The Government remains committed to long term improvements to support children and young people’s mental health, set out in the government’s response to its green paper and NHS Long Term Plan. This includes rolling out new Mental Health Support Teams to work with a fifth to a quarter of schools and colleges across the country by academic year 2023/24, offering training for a senior mental health lead in every state school in the country, and Link Programme training for all schools and colleges to help frontline health and education professionals work together effectively.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to help replace the provision of educational and skills training offered under the Union Learning Fund after the Government ceases its funding of that Fund.

The Union Learning Fund (ULF) only rarely directly provides learning, as its main role has been to link individuals to training that is funded and provided elsewhere, for example via the adult entitlement to fund adults to gain English and Maths qualifications at level 2 and basic digital skills (level 1).

Adult skills are key in supporting the economy and tackling disadvantage and so we are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (£1.34 billion in 2020/21). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning and training up to level 2 for unemployed people aged 19 and over.

The AEB supports 4 statutory entitlements to full funding for adult learners:

o English and maths, up to and including level 2, for individuals aged 19 and over, who have not previously attained a GCSE grade A* - C or grade 4, or higher, and/or

o First full qualification at level 2 for individuals aged 19 to 23, and/or

o First full qualification at level 3 for individuals aged 19 to 23.

o Specified digital skills qualifications for adults with no or low digital skills (came into effect from 1 August 2020).

The fourth statutory entitlement to fully fund specified digital skills qualifications for adults, aged 19+, with no or low digital skills came into effect from 1 August 2020. This will ensure adults, aged 19 and over, can study for specified qualifications in basic digital skills free of charge to get the skills and capabilities they need to get on in life and work. These statutory entitlements apply in devolved and non-devolved areas.

Instead of continuing to support the ULF, the funding will be used to support larger and wider initiatives in adult education. The National Skills Fund and the Skills Recovery Package will expand the funding and support open to all. As announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, in September as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, this includes for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to develop an equitable system for awarding exam results for the 2020-21 academic year.

GCSE, AS and A levels

Students have worked hard in preparation for their exams this year and teachers have made tremendous efforts to provide high quality remote education. Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we announced in January that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. In ensuring our approach was developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from students, parents, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.

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

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

Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs)

On 25 February, the outcome of the Department for Education’s joint consultation with Ofqual on the arrangements for awarding Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) including BTECs, as well as the approach to awarding other general qualifications was also published.

The diverse nature of VTQs and other general qualifications means that one approach to awarding cannot be taken to all these qualifications. Different approaches should be taken to three groups of VTQs. However, it is important that there is as much fairness as possible between VTQ students and students taking GCSEs, AS and A levels.

The first group are qualifications used to support progression to further or higher education, which includes many Pearson BTEC qualifications. These will be awarded through teacher assessed grades similar to those being implemented for GCSE and AS/A level awarding.

The second group are VTQs used to enter directly into employment. Exams or assessments will continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence and can be delivered in line with public health measures. However, where the assessment cannot take place safely it will be delayed.

The third group are smaller qualifications that are used for progression to further or higher education but are not like GCSEs or A levels in their structure, such as Functional Skills Qualifications and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Exams and assessments for these will continue in line with public health measures, including remotely, but with alternative arrangements available for those who cannot access the assessments.

Apprenticeships

Apprentices working towards mandatory qualifications as part of their apprenticeship framework or standard are assessed in the same way as students taking those same qualifications through other routes.

Additionally, apprenticeship end-point assessments can continue and should take place remotely wherever possible, in line with the guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education on the delivery of assessment. Our intention is to safeguard the quality of apprenticeships, and end-point assessment is an integral part of that. We do not consider that it would be appropriate to estimate an apprentice’s occupational competence by other means.

To support students taking qualifications used to enter directly into employment and apprentices nearing completion, face-to-face training and learning can take place in schools and colleges where it is essential to enable students and apprentices to prepare for and undertake their exams, assessments and end-point assessments. Furthermore, on 22 February it was announced that all school and further education students will be able to return from 8 March. This means that students taking qualifications which confer occupational competence and apprentices can get back to face-to-face teaching and training, which we know is important for their mental health and educational achievement.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure that teachers are offered priority access to a covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. The JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Under the priority groups for the first phase of vaccine rollout, those over 50 years of age, and all those 16 years of age and over who are clinically extremely vulnerable or have certain underlying health conditions, are eligible for vaccination within the first phase of the programme. This captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19 and will include thousands of those in the education and childcare workforce.

In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, the JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education is working with DHSC and Public Health England to ensure that the education and childcare workforce is considered for prioritisation in the rollout of the vaccine.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding is available to support the mental health of pupils and staff at (a) school and (b) home for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools already support the mental wellbeing of their pupils as part of their curriculum provision and pastoral support. This is paid for from schools’ core funding, which is rising in each financial year by £2.6 billion in 2020/21, £4.8 billion in 2021/22 and £7.1 billion in 2022/23, compared to 2019/20 funding levels. Pastoral support is a core job for schools; we do not place restrictions on spending because it is important that schools are free to decide how best to use the core funding they receive.

We have also put in place a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package, with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16-19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year to support education settings in putting the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

The Wellbeing for Education Return, a Department for Education led initiative alongside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England, Public Health England, and key voluntary sector organisations, backed by £8 million, has trained local experts to provide additional advice and resources for schools and colleges. This is to help support pupil, student, parent, carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery, in light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Alongside this, the department has launched a £95,000 pilot led by the Education Support charity to provide online peer-support and telephone counselling from experts to around 250 school leaders. The pilot will end in March 2021. The outcome of the pilot will inform any future wellbeing and mental health interventions for staff.

The College Collaboration Fund is a £5.4 million grant funding programme open to all statutory further education colleges, to be delivered in the 2020/21 financial year. We particularly welcomed applications that address one of five specific quality improvement needs. Five of the funded projects are designed to provide remote/online mental health and wellbeing support to students and/or staff.

We worked closely with DHSC on their wellbeing and mental health support plan for COVID-19. The plan sets out the support available for individuals in the context of a second wave, and the winter months, including support for children and young people. As part of taking forward this work, the department will also be convening a mental health action group to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system. We will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

For children and young people who need specialist support, the government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health for all, with an additional investment of £2.3 billion a year by the 2023/24 financial year through the NHS Long Term Plan. The NHS will also receive approximately an additional £500 million this financial year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support that they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. The government has also provided £9 million in funding to mental health charities, including Mind, the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK, to help them adapt, expand, and reach those who are most vulnerable. We have also extended the Barnardo’s See Hear, Respond support for vulnerable children, including support for mental health.

In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams for all schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support. The department will be convening an action group to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system and we will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the (a mental and (b) physical health of (i) teachers and (ii) school and college staff.

The Department recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under. We are enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience and service to our country’s children and young people as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has been working closely with members of our Expert Advisory Group on staff wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, and we understand the pressures that teachers and leaders are facing.

The Department has taken decisive action to fund a pilot with Education Support to provide professional supervision from experts and peer support for school leaders, managing the pressures caused by COVID-19. This service will run until at least December 2020, and the outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing and mental health interventions. Alongside this, the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme is already supporting staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures children and young people may be experiencing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June, the Department announced a range of commitments to support the wellbeing of teachers and other education professionals in schools and colleges. These include the creation of a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector. The charter will help create an open culture around wellbeing and mental health, breaking down stigma, and will include a range of commitments by the Government and for employers in schools and colleges to promote and protect staff wellbeing. Further information on this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to develop a long term plan for education during and beyond the covid-19 outbreak.

Education recovery is a priority for the Department as schools recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19. Schools have been open for all pupils full-time since the start of the autumn term. It continues to be the Department’s aim that all pupils remain in school full-time as this is the best place for them to be for their education, development and wellbeing.

The Department recognises that all children and young people have had their education disrupted as a result of COVID-19. The Department has announced a catch up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Alongside the Catch up Premium, the Department has announced a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme, which will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.

The Department is also delivering a remote education support package which includes access to the right technology to deliver remote education, peer to peer training on how to use this effectively, and practical tools, guidance and webinars. Additionally, over 340,000 laptops and tablets, owned by schools, trusts or local authorities, are being made available by the Department this term to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted.

Understanding the long term impact of COVID-19 disruption on attainment and progress is a key research priority for the Department , and it has commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to consider catch up needs and monitor progress over the course of the year. This will help inform strategic policy for supporting the school system.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to schools to help disadvantaged pupils catch-up on time missed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. The government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a catch-up premium worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a support guide for schools, which is available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

The guidance includes evidence-based approaches to catch-up for all students and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021, which is available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

Alongside this universal grant, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will deliver proven, successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people. Research shows high-quality individual and small group tuition can add up to five months of progress for disadvantaged pupils.

Schools continue to receive the pupil premium, worth almost £2.4 billion this year. We strongly encourage school leaders to review their Pupil Premium Strategy to ensure that it responds to the needs of pupils as they resume learning in the autumn term.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that early intervention children's services are adequately funded.

The government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services and early intervention. This will be kept under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

We have also committed over £100 million to support access to social care services and remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Further, we have committed additional funding worth £26.4 million directly to charities to support them and £1.6 million to expand the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline.

In order to ensure engagement with all children in their care and to support effective risk assessment, through emergency legislation and with Social Work England, we have reinstated the professional registration of 8,000 former social workers so that they can re-join the profession, providing additional resource where it is required.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children's services have adequate resources to support vulnerable children effectively (a) during and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services and early intervention. This will be kept under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

We have also committed over £100 million to support access to social care services and remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Further, we have committed additional funding worth £26.4 million directly to charities to support them and £1.6 million to expand the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline.

In order to ensure engagement with all children in their care and to support effective risk assessment, through emergency legislation and with Social Work England, we have reinstated the professional registration of 8,000 former social workers so that they can re-join the profession, providing additional resource where it is required.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for children's services in light of the finding of the report published by Barnardo's, the Children's Society, Action for Children, the NSPCC and the National Children's Bureau that there has been a £2.2 billion decline in available funding for children's services over the last decade.

The government announced at the Local Government Finance Settlement that English councils' core spending power is rising by over £2.9 billion this financial year. This includes £1 billion of new grant funding that can be used flexibly by local authorities to deliver adult and children’s social care services. Further to this, the government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services. We will keep this under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

Longer term funding decisions are for this year’s Spending Review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support teachers in providing face-to-face and online support to students in different year groups and classes during the proposed phased re-opening of schools.

The Department has asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of key workers), from 1 June. From 15 June, secondary schools can invite year 10 and 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, which will remain the predominant mode of education for these pupils this term. Priority groups can continue to attend full-time.

The Department has published guidance to help schools prepare for wider opening which includes sections on curriculum as well as staff workload and wellbeing. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

The Department has also published a planning guide for primary schools which includes a section on what to teach and how. The guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-primary-schools.

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


Teachers will continue to be able to access support to deliver remote teaching to year groups not eligible to be in school at this time. Schools are encouraged to consider how Oak National Academy or other remote education platforms can provide additional support, as well as how education delivered in school, if manageable, could be made available to pupils learning remotely. The Department has provided a range of information, guidance and support for teachers on educating children during the COVID-19 outbreak which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of Edenred to meet the demand for free school meals while schools are closed 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.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the timely provision to families with children on free school meals of vouchers to spend in a supermarket of their choice.

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.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many free school meal vouchers have been issued since schools were closed in response to 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.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have chosen their own alternatives to the free school meal voucher system.

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.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

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

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to ensure that disadvantaged children do not experience a comparative reduction in attainment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has taken rapid, wide-ranging action to help schools and parents support all young people during the school closures. This includes publishing an initial list of online education resources and guidance for parents, supporting the launch of a new online academy, and supporting the BBC package of TV and online education materials.

The Department is doing everything it can to ensure that schools and other education providers are getting the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while pupils are not attending school. We will do everything possible to make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of COVID-19.

The Government has already committed over £100 million to boost remote education, including by providing devices and internet access to vulnerable children who need it most. Devices have been ordered for the most disadvantaged Year 10 pupils who are preparing for examinations, as well as for children receiving support from a social worker, and for care leavers.

Schools also continue to receive additional funding in the form of the pupil premium – worth around £2.4 billion annually – to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

The Department recognises that disadvantaged pupils making the transition into new primary and secondary schools and into post-16 education risk missing out on crucial support. The Department is looking at how to draw on best practice being put into place by schools and how to support links between education providers. The Department is also looking at how other providers might support children and young people with engagement and development activity now and in the run up to schools reopening.

The Department is also considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils, especially the disadvantaged, who have been affected by school closures.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to issue advice to schools and high education institutions on possible closures as a result of covid-19.

The Department sends a daily email to schools, colleges and other education providers, which gives updates and new guidance. All advice is on GOV.UK and is frequently updated in line with developments.

The Department is also working closely with the English higher education sector to ensure they have the latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and other relevant Government departments.

Vice chancellors and college principals will make decisions about their own institutions using the latest PHE guidance. The Department is working closely with the sector to facilitate this.

Advice continues to be that campus accommodation should remain open unless advised otherwise by PHE. Many universities are home to international students, care leavers and students who are estranged from their families – all of whom might not have anywhere else to go.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on school closures as a result of covid-19.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, held several conversations with his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland regarding school closures. Cooperation with devolved administrations is ongoing.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children in secondary school in Barnsley who were eligible for free school meals went on to higher education in each year since 2010.

The attached tables show the number and proportion of disadvantaged young people attending state-funded schools and colleges in Barnsley that went on to higher education after 16 to 18 study (taking A level or other level 3 qualifications) in academic years 2010/11 to 2017/18.

Table 1 includes figures for students eligible for free school meals until 2013/2014 and table 2 shows figures of students eligible for pupil premium from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018.

Free school meals and pupil premium status of students is based on eligibility in year 11. From 2017/18, the 16-18 group of leavers contains additional students who took level 3 qualifications not included in the 16-18 attainment tables. Information on student destinations is published annually at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-destinations.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people in (a) Barnsley and (b) Barnsley East constituency commenced study at a higher education institution in each year since 2010.

Information on students enrolled in UK Higher Education is collected and published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). More information is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk.

The number of undergraduate and postgraduate higher education entrants who were domiciled in Barnsley and Barnsley East constituency prior to study in each year between 2010/11 and 2018/19 has been provided in the table.

The decline in undergraduate entrants into higher education in Barnsley East constituency and Barnsley local authority can partly be explained by the demographic changes in the area. The entry rate for 18-year-olds into higher education in the Barnsley East constituency has increased from 14.8% in 2010/11 to 21.6% in 2018/19.

Undergraduate and postgraduate entrants domiciled in Barnsley local authority and Barnsley East constituency prior to study

UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

Academic years 2010/11 to 2018/19

Source: DfE analysis of the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) Student Record

Academic Year

Entrants from Barnsley Local Authority

Undergraduates

Postgraduates

Total entrants

2010/11

1945

520

2465

2011/12

1855

425

2280

2012/13

1490

375

1865

2013/14

1410

415

1825

2014/15

1395

485

1880

2015/16

1470

485

1955

2016/17

1325

480

1805

2017/18

1335

545

1880

2018/19

1355

540

1895

Academic Year

Entrants from Barnsley East constituency

Undergraduates

Postgraduates

Total entrants

2010/11

685

170

855

2011/12

620

135

755

2012/13

555

110

670

2013/14

475

150

625

2014/15

495

165

660

2015/16

525

155

685

2016/17

490

155

645

2017/18

430

180

615

2018/19

455

185

640

Notes:

1) Figures are based on the HESA standard registration population.

2) Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

3) Totals may not sum due to rounding.

4) Parliamentary constituency is derived from the student's postcode prior to study.

Statistics for the 2019/20 academic year will become available in January 2021.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons four of the 76 offshore Marine Protected Area sites were consulted on ending bottom trawling practices.

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

In England, we have 40 offshore Marine Protected Areas which have been designated to protect a variety of important habitats, species and geological features. Outside of the Common Fisheries Policy, we now are focused on ensuring these sites have the appropriate level of protection from bottom trawling.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has developed an ambitious programme for assessing sites and implementing byelaws, where necessary, to manage fishing activity in all English offshore Marine Protected Areas. We recognise the urgency to establish management measures to protect the marine environment. We will engage fully with all stakeholders and have established a process to enable evidence gathering and consultation, with the aim of all sites being protected within 3 years. As soon as the transition period ended, the MMO moved quickly to launch a consultation on draft management measures for the first four sites. All English offshore sites have been prioritised based on the features sensitivity to fishing activity and these four sites were considered the most urgent.

The consultation closes on the 28th March 2021 and the MMO is keen to hear views on the proposed management measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the length of time it will take to protect all 76 offshore Marine Protected Areas from bottom trawling in those protected areas.

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

In England, we have 40 offshore Marine Protected Areas which have been designated to protect a variety of important habitats, species and geological features. Outside of the Common Fisheries Policy, we now are focused on ensuring these sites have the appropriate level of protection from bottom trawling.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has developed an ambitious programme for assessing sites and implementing byelaws, where necessary, to manage fishing activity in all English offshore Marine Protected Areas. We recognise the urgency to establish management measures to protect the marine environment. We will engage fully with all stakeholders and have established a process to enable evidence gathering and consultation, with the aim of all sites being protected within 3 years. As soon as the transition period ended, the MMO moved quickly to launch a consultation on draft management measures for the first four sites. All English offshore sites have been prioritised based on the features sensitivity to fishing activity and these four sites were considered the most urgent.

The consultation closes on the 28th March 2021 and the MMO is keen to hear views on the proposed management measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to convene an emergency flood summit before a major flood event to ensure that adequate resources are available to (a) local authorities and (b) the Environment Agency in order to protect communities.

There are currently no plans to convene an emergency flood summit before a major flood event. As part of our ongoing preparedness work for flooding, the department engages across Government to understand and mitigate risks that flooding may pose.

In anticipation of a major flood event, Defra facilitates continuous cross-Government situational awareness and rapid coordination of the central Government response. This aids effective decision making in a significant flooding emergency.

To ensure adequate resources are available, we have committed to review local government funding for local statutory flood and coastal erosion risk management functions to ensure it is fair and matches the needs and resources of local areas. We want to make the funding framework for local government funding simpler, more up to date and more transparent.

Flood funding is part of the overall local government settlement and 2020-21 saw the biggest year-on-year increase in the overall settlement for over ten years, an average 4.4% real terms increase. As set out at the Spending Review, we will be making an additional £2.2 billion available to local government to deliver local services.

The Environment Agency (EA) is prepared to take action this winter wherever it is needed. The EA has 40 kilometres of metal frame temporary barriers, which can be delivered anywhere in the country within 12 hours, providing additional protection to locations where there are no permanent defences or where forecast river levels could overtop existing defences. The EA also has 250 high volume pumps available and 6,500 trained staff across the country, including 314 trained flood support officers. In addition, the EA has trained its contractors to be on hand to support local incident teams preparing for and responding to flooding across England. The EA routinely trains the Army civil contingency battalions as they rotate to ensure additional trained support is available to help deploy barriers should a major incident occur.

Through its communications, including social media, the EA has been encouraging residents and business to sign up to its free flood alert service so they can Prepare, Act and Survive. As of 8 January 2021, there were over 1.52 million properties in England signed up to the EA's free flood warning service, which sends a message directly by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in (a) the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone and (b) around the Barents Sea; and what the timeframe is for securing those fishing agreements.

The UK has a Fisheries Framework Agreement with Norway. The annual bilateral negotiations with Norway for opportunities during this year will begin shortly, however some UK vessels already have access and will sail imminently. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for agreements to not conclude by December; it is important agreements are met which are balanced for the whole industry.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plan does the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in the Svalbard Exclusive Economic Zone; and what the timeframe is for securing that fishing agreement.

The UK fleet continues to benefit from fishing opportunities in the waters around Svalbard as a result of arrangements between the UK and Norway. The Marine Management Organisation has now received the relevant information from the operators involved and the relevant licensing processes are complete.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone; and what the timeframe is for securing that fishing agreement.

The UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iceland on 11 November 2020. This agreement provides a platform for cooperation on fisheries issues but does not provide for annual negotiations or exchanges of fishing opportunities. The UK has not had fishing opportunities in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone since 2008.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks of interest to the UK had Total Allowable Catch limits set above the scientific advice in the last 12 months.

For stocks which the UK has an interest in, and that have assessments advising on their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), 36 (67%) Total Allowable Catches (TACs) were set at MSY out of a total of 54 in 2020. A full list is set out in the “Analysis of the outcomes of the 2019 December EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council & EU-3rd Country Negotiation” report submitted to the Select Committee on the European Union on 1st April 2020.

The UK advocates an approach to TACs setting for 2021 founded on the best available scientific advice and which aims to deliver sustainability improvements.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks the UK advocates should have Total Allowable Catch limits set above the scientific advice.

For stocks which the UK has an interest in, and that have assessments advising on their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), 36 (67%) Total Allowable Catches (TACs) were set at MSY out of a total of 54 in 2020. A full list is set out in the “Analysis of the outcomes of the 2019 December EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council & EU-3rd Country Negotiation” report submitted to the Select Committee on the European Union on 1st April 2020.

The UK advocates an approach to TACs setting for 2021 founded on the best available scientific advice and which aims to deliver sustainability improvements.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is Government policy in total allowable catches negotiations with the EU on deep sea species that all deep-sea stocks should follow the precautionary approach advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

The UK Government supports the application of the precautionary approach in setting total allowable catches (TACs) for deep sea stocks. The deep-sea stocks that are subject to a total allowable catch and which will be negotiated with the EU for 2021 and 2022 are :

  • Black scabbardfish (BSF)
  • Alfonsinos (ALF)
  • Roundnose grenadier (RNG)
  • Roughhead grenadier (RHG)
  • Red seabream (SBR)
  • Orange Roughy (ORY)
  • Deep-water catsharks (API)
  • Frilled shark (HXC)
  • Gulper shark (CWO)
  • Portuguese dogfish (CYO)
  • Longnose velvet dogfish (CYP)
  • Black dogfish (CFB)
  • Birdbeak dogfish (DCA)
  • Kitefin shark (SCK)
  • Great lanternshark (ETR)
  • Velvet belly (ETX)
Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks the Government has assessed to be deep sea species.

The UK Government supports the application of the precautionary approach in setting total allowable catches (TACs) for deep sea stocks. The deep-sea stocks that are subject to a total allowable catch and which will be negotiated with the EU for 2021 and 2022 are :

  • Black scabbardfish (BSF)
  • Alfonsinos (ALF)
  • Roundnose grenadier (RNG)
  • Roughhead grenadier (RHG)
  • Red seabream (SBR)
  • Orange Roughy (ORY)
  • Deep-water catsharks (API)
  • Frilled shark (HXC)
  • Gulper shark (CWO)
  • Portuguese dogfish (CYO)
  • Longnose velvet dogfish (CYP)
  • Black dogfish (CFB)
  • Birdbeak dogfish (DCA)
  • Kitefin shark (SCK)
  • Great lanternshark (ETR)
  • Velvet belly (ETX)
Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2020 to Question 98265 and to the November 2020 spending review CP 330, whether he plans to ensure that the Environment Agency receives adequate funding to meet its long-term investment scenario of £1 billion per year.

The Environment Agency's Long-Term Investment Scenarios (LTIS) assess what could happen with regard to flood risk over the next 50 years in England, and recommend a long-term annual average investment need over that period for works that are cost-beneficial.

LTIS considers total investment from all sources and is not a recommendation for levels of Government spend alone. However, total investment in flood risk management is currently in line with the LTIS optimum investment levels, and will rise above this through the next 6 year flood defences delivery programme beginning in April 2021.

At the Budget earlier this year, the Government confirmed it will invest a record £5.2 billion over six years to build around 2,000 new flood defences and better protect 336,000 properties. In addition, up to £170 million will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction by March 2022, along with a £200 million investment in an innovative flood and coastal resilience programme.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which areas will receive funding from the £200 million announced in July 2020 for innovative projects to improve flood resilience.

We are investing £200m in a new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme to pilot new and creative approaches to improve resilience to flooding and coastal change in 25 areas across England. On 9th November 2020, we invited Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and Coast Protection Authorities (CPAs) to work together with partners to develop their expressions of interest by 15 January 2021. Areas will then be selected based on a range of criteria, including repeated significant flooding in the past. Some initial funding will be used help the areas selected to develop their project proposals into more detailed plans during spring 2021, before the projects formally begin from summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which areas will receive funding from the £170 million announced in July 2020 for shovel-ready flood defence schemes.

In July, £170 million capital funding was announced to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction before the end of 21-22. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus.

The schemes, which were shortlisted and approved based on their economic growth and recovery potential, will together better protect more than 10,000 local businesses and safeguard around 100,000 jobs.

The following table provides a breakdown of funding by scheme for each area:

Project

Funding

Severn Valley Flood Risk Management Scheme

Up to £30,000,000

Leeds FAS

Up to £21,000,000

Sheffield Upper Don Valley coastal& the Upper Don Catchment NFM Programme

£16,000,000

Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (LFRMP) Tidal Walls and Barrier

£43,486,439

Hebden Bridge

£12,000,000

Derby OCR

£10,000,000

Team Valley

£6,000,000

Severn Valley NFM and carbon offsetting

£5,400,000

Lowdham

£5,000,000

Tenbury Wells

Up to £4,895,000

Benacre and Kessingland Flood Risk Management Scheme

£3,297,660

Bude, The Crescent

Up to £2,140,000

Brighton Marina to River Adur

£2,000,000

Padiham

£2,000,000

Lancaster, Caton Road

£1,400,000

Leeds FAS, Natural Flood Management

£1,320,000

Hexham

£1,000,000

Peak District, peatland restoration

£960,000

East Cowes

£500,000

Falmouth IUDM inc Tidal Prince of Wales Pier

£500,000

Penketh & Whittle

£480,000

Ponteland FAS

£450,000

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on updating plans for all (a) catchments and (b) coastal cells in England.

The government recognises the important role that strategic planning plays in managing flood and coastal erosion risks.

The Flood Risk Regulations 2009 set out the current statutory process for regional flood risk planning over a six-year cycle. The Environment Agency is working with Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) to review and update Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) as part of the next cycle of flood risk planning.

This will aim to improve local flood risk management planning and will also inform the government’s long-term commitment to transform local flood risk planning, as set out in the government Policy Statement on Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management.

Coastal erosion is a natural and ongoing process and the government is committed to supporting communities on the coastline to adapt to and manage the risks of climate change. Defra has provided £1 million to refresh the 20 Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) in England. The Environment Agency is working with coastal authorities to update SMPs which set the future policy direction and management of the coast.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 104129 on Floods: Building Regulations, if his Department will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to update British Standard 85500:2015 on flood resilient construction for new buildings and retrofits for existing buildings to make it more explicit for the reinstatement of flood-damaged properties.

The British Standards Institute is independent of Government and reviews its standards every five years. There is a consultation in progress as to whether to proceed with a review of BS85500:2015, which is due to close on 22 November.

Defra and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) keep in regular contact on these matters. MHCLG keeps building regulations under review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 104127 on property level flood resilience grants, how many Risk Management Authorities have developed local Property Flood Resilience grant schemes and applied to Regional Flood and Coastal Committees for a contribution towards their cost through local-levy or grant-in-aid.

In England, 46 Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) have developed Property Flood Resilience (PFR) schemes with an element of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant-in-Aid or levy funding within the current investment period (2015-2021).

Elements of PFR work may also be carried out within wider flood risk management schemes. However, it is not currently possible to readily identify the number of additional RMAs that have done this.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much and what proportion of flood defence funding has been allocated to (a) Yorkshire and Humber, (b) the South East, (c) London, (d) the North West, (e) the East of England, (f) the West Midlands, (g) the South West, (h) the East Midlands, (i) the North East and (j) England in each year since 2009.

Capital flood defence grant-in-aid per Office of National Statistics region is shown in the table in the attached document. Actual expenditure for 2019/20 and 2020/21 is not yet available and are allocations only, based on the Environment Agency’s latest consented Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management investment programme.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Blanc review into the affordability of flood insurance is planned for publication.

The report was published on Thursday 5 November.

This link can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-insurance-review-2020-blanc-review

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 10 September 2020, Official Report, column 759, which Members she has had Zoom calls with and when on the issue of flooding.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, businesses and local communities and sympathises with all those affected. The Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with hon. Members whose constituencies have been affected by flooding.

I am always willing to discuss flooding, or other pertinent matters, with hon. Members, and I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given on 17 September 2020, PQ UIN89799. [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-14/89799]

For completeness, meetings and other engagements I have had with hon. Members so far this year are detailed below.

Date

Event

8 October 2020

Meeting with South Yorkshire November 2019 flood-affected Members and other local risk management authorities

7 October 2020

End of day debate, flooding in Staffordshire, led by the hon. Member for Stafford

1 September 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for South Ribble

30 September 2020

End of day debate, flooding preparedness in Yorkshire, led by the hon. Member for Barnsley Central

21 July 2020

All-Party meeting about the Severn Valley, attended by the hon. Members for Shrewsbury and Atcham, Gloucester, Montgomeryshire, West Worcestershire, North Herefordshire, Stroud, Stafford, the Rt Hon Member for Ludlow, and Defra’s PPS the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire

20 July 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for North East Derbyshire

4 June 2020

Meeting with the Rt Hon Member for Scarborough and Whitby and the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton

3 June 2020

End of day debate, flood defences for Tenbury Wells, led by the hon. Member for West Worcestershire

14 May 2020

Members surgery with the hon. Members for Don Valley and Barnsley Central

7 May 2020

Meetings with the hon. Members for Don Valley and Brigg and Goole

30 April 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Cheadle

23 April 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Shipley

16 March 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale

11 March 2020

Westminster Hall debate, flooding of the River Severn, led by the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham

9 March 2020

End of day debate, improving rainwater attenuation and reservoirs to prevent flooding, led by the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington

4 March 2020

Opposition debate, flooding, led by the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the hon. Member for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

27 January 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Macclesfield

30 January 2020

Westminster Hall debate, South Yorkshire flooding, led by the Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the hon. Member for Barnsley East

20 January 2020

End of day debate, Lowestoft flood barrier, led by the hon. Member for Waveney

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95729, whether the Environmental Agency received enough funding from all of its sources of funding to reach its estimated investment need for flood and coastal protection.

The 2020 Budget announced £5.2 billion of Defra capital investment for the six years starting in 2021. This equates to £866 million per year. In addition there will be partnership funding contributions, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government investment direct to local authorities and revenue investment for the maintenance of defences.

Subject to the upcoming comprehensive spending review, it is very likely the overall level of investment over the six years from 2021 will exceed the £1 billion per year identified in the Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95729, how much funding the Environment Agency has received from all its sources of funding including Government investment in each year since 2010.

The table below shows all the sources of funding for Environment Agency (EA) expenditure by year since 2010/11. This includes central government funding to the Environment Agency, together with local levy and other sources which includes partnership-funding-contributions to Environment Agency schemes that are partially funded by government Grant in Aid.

Estimated Total Flood and Coastal Risk Management Expenditure through Environment Agency (EA), 2010/11 to 2019/20 (£m)

Financial Year

EA Central Government Funding Resource

EA Central Government Funding Capital

EA Local Levy

EA funding from other sources

Total

2010/11

291.6

360.0

30.9

17.1

699.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

33.7

16.9

599.1

2012/13

268.0

269.1

20.2

27.2

584.5

2013/14

250.6

315.3

29.1

39.4

634.4

2014/15

282.6

466.7

24.1

42.9

816.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

18.2

55.8

739.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

27.1

55.0

843.6

2017/18

338.2

403.1

29.3

49.8

820.4

2018/19

304.8

453.0

35.5

42.8

836.1

2019/20*

316.7

514.1

38.9

38.0

907.7

*Note that for 2019/20 the accounts have not yet been finalised for the last financial year, these figures are still subject to change.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimates the Environment Agency has made of the funding required for flood risk mitigation projects in each year since 2010.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) Long Term Investment Scenarios (LTIS) for England sets out the total national level of investment required for FCERM. The Environment Agency produced LTIS 2009, 2014 and LTIS 2019. LTIS is used as evidence for government and others considering future policy and investment choices.

The latest LTIS was published in 2019 and shows that the EA’s best estimate of the overall economic optimum level of investment has a long-term annual average of over £1 billion. The 2020 Budget announcement for capital funding is consistent with the ‘optimal’ spend suggested by LTIS. Overall funding is expected to at least meet the LTIS recommendation, allowing for faster progress towards long term adaptation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding the Environment Agency has been allocated for flood risk mitigation projects in each year since 2010.

Defra provides the majority of its funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management to the Environment Agency (EA) as Grant-in-Aid, which is the mechanism for financing Non-Departmental Public Bodies, such as the EA. The EA spends this funding directly on manging flood risk, but it also passes some of this funding on as capital grants for flood or coastal erosion defence improvements to local authorities or Internal Drainage Boards – local public authorities established in areas of special drainage need which manage water levels within their respective drainage districts.


The capital funding allocated to the EA for flood and coastal erosion risk management in present and future financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22 can be found in table 1 (page 4) of the document available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Expenditure on flood and coastal erosion risk management by the EA, Defra and Lead Local Flood Authorities for 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the same document. Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on GOV.UK soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of flood warning systems in the UK.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Approximately 1.4 million people in England are signed up the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service which sends a message directly to people by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued. On average, over 99% of messages sent are received within 15 minutes.

The Environment Agency is continually reviewing the adequacy and improving its warning service to enable people to take timely and appropriate action. These improvements mean that by 2022 the flood warning service will be expanded to all places at a high risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding the Government has allocated to flood resilience schemes in each year since 2010.

All the flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes delivered by the Environment Agency help to increase the resilience of people and places to flooding or coastal erosion risk.

Expenditure by the Environment Agency 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the document available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Financial Year

EA Resource (£m)

EA Capital (£m)

Total (£m)

2010/11

291.6

360.0

651.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

548.5

2012/13

268.0

269.1

537.1

2012/14

250.6

315.3

565.9

2014/15

282.6

466.7

749.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

638.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

761.5

2017/18

339.2

403.1

742.3

2018/19

304.8

453.0

757.8

Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on the GOV.UK website soon.

The Government invested in property flood resilience measures for homeowners as part of flood recovery schemes delivered by local authorities in 2013/4 (£24 million) and 2015/6 (£45 million). There are new recovery schemes underway for those impacted by the exceptional flooding of November 2019 (closes December 2021) and February 2020 (closes July 2022).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reforest upstream areas to reduce flooding risk.

The Government’s new £640 million Nature for Climate Fund will drive up tree planting and peat restoration rates, including in upland areas. This fund will complement many of the Environment Agency’s existing flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes that include nature-based solutions such as tree planting. In addition, the Environment Agency’s new National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy outlines the need to increase the use of nature-based solutions including tree planting to slow the flow of or store flood water to reduce flooding risk.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for the Environmental Agency.

The Environment Agency has the resources to deliver its statutory duties. It receives grant in aid from the Government plus charge income for its regulatory services. In 2019/20 the Environment Agency had a budget of £1.377 billion and in 2020/21 the Environment Agency’s budget is £1.742 billion.

In the spring Budget the Chancellor announced record funding of £5.2 billion for flood defences between 2021 and 2027, offering better protection from flooding for 336,000 homes and non-residential properties. The Environment Agency also received £120 million for repairs following winter flooding.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the Environmental Agency has spent on flood defence measures in each year since 2010.

Expenditure on flood and coastal erosion risk management by the Environment Agency 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the document available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Environment Agency spend taken from the above reference document is as follows:

Financial Year

EA Resource (£m)

EA Capital (£m)

Total (£m)

2010/11

291.6

360.0

651.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

548.5

2012/13

268.0

269.1

537.1

2012/14

250.6

315.3

565.9

2014/15

282.6

466.7

749.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

638.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

761.5

2017/18

339.2

403.1

742.3

2018/19

304.8

453.0

757.8

Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on the GOV.UK website soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimates the Environment Agency has made on funding needed for future flood risk mitigation.

The Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios for England estimate that an average spend of over £1 billion per year is needed on flood and coastal protection over the next 50 years. Investment at this level will avoid existing flood and coastal erosion risk increasing and illustrates the challenge of managing these risks in the face of climate change.

The estimated investment need refers to all sources of funding and not just central Government investment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference his Department's 25 year environment plan progress report of 11 June 2020, what recent assessment he has made on progress towards meeting the Government's long-term target of at least three-quarters of water bodies, including rivers, lakes, canals, coastal waters, and groundwater, to be restored to as close as possible to their natural state.

The Environment Agency's latest water body classification results 2019 showed that 16% of waters overall and 14 % of rivers are at Good Ecological Status. This is the same result as the data for 2016 which means progress in improving the ecological status of England's surface water has plateaued. More needs to be done and we need to go further and faster. The Government remains committed to bringing at least three quarters of our water to as close as possible to its natural state as soon as is practicable and in support of this, we will be bringing forward a further legally binding target in the Environment Bill. We are tackling pollution from poor farming practice with regulation, financial incentives and educational schemes for farmers. Water company investment is being scaled up to £4.6 billion, the highest yet, in the next five-year period. A new task force comprising the Government and water companies will help address the problem of sewage discharge from storm overflows and our new chemicals strategy will build on a robust statutory regime to ensure chemicals are managed and handled safely.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September to Question 91696, which hon. Members from the South Yorkshire Area the Minister has been in contact which and when on the issue of a roundtable.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected.

The hon. Member for Sheffield South East and the hon. Member for Barnsley Central have written to my office, and I replied, discussing the issue of holding a roundtable.

In addition, I have engaged in the House with the hon. Members for Barnsley Central and Barnsley East on the issue of a roundtable through Parliamentary Questions on this and in a Westminster Hall debate.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to undertake a formal public consultation on economic link reform in relation to fisheries management and landing a higher proportion of fish in the UK.

The Government will consult on proposals for reform of the economic link imminently. As fisheries management is a devolved matter the consultation will cover England only.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, under what statutory authority Ministers may dispense with the Fish Quota Allocation to the commercial fishing sector on behalf of the Crown.

The fish quota is distributed by the Secretary of State under common law powers. This is set out in the publicly available UK Quota Management Rules and in the Quota Management Rules for of the Fisheries Administrations.

We are also seeking related powers in the Fisheries Bill which would supplement these common law powers in future. Clause 2(2) provides for the Joint Fisheries Statement to include policies relating to the distribution of quota. Clause 25 sets out criteria for the distribution of quota.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of water bodies are in good ecological health in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, and (d) Northern Ireland.

The Environment Agency's latest classification results for England show that 16% of surface water bodies meet the criteria for good ecological status or good ecological potential. We are committed to improving our water with a legally binding target in the Environment Bill and we are making a concerted effort on many fronts. This includes working with water companies who are investing £4.6 billion in improvements, educating and incentivising farmers to reduce harmful run-off and developing a new chemicals strategy.

Water quality in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many water samples have been taken in each year since 2010.

The numbers of water samples taken each year since 2010 are:

Year

Number of Samples Taken

2010

131,602

2011

137,250

2012

155,394

2013

159,737

2014

135,452

2015

122,103

2016

112,022

2017

95,247

2018

87,605

2019

100,037

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish information on the (a) known and (b) potential areas within the UK's exclusive economic zone of sensitive or vulnerable deep-sea habitats for (i) coldwater corals, (ii) deep-sea sponges, (iii) mud and sand emergent epifauna, (iv) bryozoan patches and (v) xenophyophore patches.

Information on the extent, or area covered, and distribution of marine habitats is currently publicly available in different formats.

Created by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in 2018, UKSeaMap provides a broad-scale overview of the coverage of different physical seabed habitats in the UK. In addition to this, the JNCC’s UK Marine Protected Area mapper portal provides up to date detailed information on the known distribution and extent of sensitive deep-sea habitat types such as deep-sea sponge aggregations and cold-water corals, and also provides information on their protection status. Through the Canyons Marine Conservation Zone, located in the far south-west of the UK, Defra is protecting the only known example of cold-water corals within English waters, so action is being taken. All other instances of cold-water corals in the UK are recorded from Scottish waters such as the Rosemary Bank Seamount, East & North West Rockall Bank, Anton Dhorn Seamount and Darwin Mounds.

We are also currently in the process of mapping and analysing data on the condition of biogenic reefs, hard structures made up of living organisms, and underwater rocky communities, specifically looking at those habitats with sensitive emerging epifauna, such as corals and sponges. The results are not yet publicly available, although we are in the process of finalising the report for external publication.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many areas of less that 800 metres depth in UK territorial waters have been closed to bottom trawling following identification of a vulnerable marine ecosystems since the implementation of the Deep-sea Access Regulation (EU) 2016/2336.

The deep-sea access regulation provides the European Commission with delegated powers to establish a list of areas where Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are known or likely to occur below a depth of 400m. Once identified, those areas will be closed to fishing with bottom gears in accordance with the regulation. The Commission requested advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in October 2019, and details of a related ICES workshop report and the advice request can be found at the links below. The workshop report also includes a summary of existing VME protection measures through national conservation initiatives, including in UK waters (ref. pages 8 and 9).

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/Fisheries%20Resources%20Steering%20Group/2019/WKREG/WKREG2019.pdf

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2019/Special_Requests/eu.2019.19.pdf

The UK, while still a Member State, submitted UK-related VME data to assist the implementation process of the deep-sea access regulation. When ICES provides its advice the Commission will proceed with implementation in EU waters. As this will happen after the end of the transition period the UK will be in a position to develop the retained regime in our waters from next year, taking the ICES UK-related advice into consideration as we do so.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has set a date for the South Yorkshire flood summit.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. I have been in contact with hon. Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table.

Prior to lockdown, Defra officials were working to set this up. However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays. Officials continue to work on the logistics for holding a meeting in response to the November 2019 flooding and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Yesterday (21 September) the Government announced an extension of the £5,000 grant scheme available to homes and businesses affected by flooding last winter.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) scheme will be extended by nine months to take into account delays to repair work and the additional pressures placed on local authorities by coronavirus. The extension will give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has spent on flood defence by region in the UK in the last 12 months.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Defra provides most of its funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) to the Environment Agency (EA) as grant-in-aid, which is the mechanism for financing non-departmental public bodies such as the EA. The EA spends this funding directly on managing flood risk, but it also passes some of this funding on as capital grants for flood or coastal erosion defence improvements to local authorities or Internal Drainage Boards.

The EA allocated capital grant-in-aid for 2019/20 per Office for National Statistics (ONS) region as follows. This information is a forecast only, based on the EA’s current consented FCERM investment programme (approved and published in April 2019).

ONS Region

2019/20 £

East Midlands

67,321,698

East of England

55,614,346

London

40,116,579

North East

10,119,997

North West

58,167,332

South East

58,641,225

South West

39,507,690

West Midlands

32,554,347

Yorkshire and the Humber

117,484,419

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has held with regional stakeholders in South Yorkshire on (a) the winter 2019 floods and (b) flood defence support in the last 12 months.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. Following the winter 2019-20 flooding, the Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with regional stakeholders.

As Minister for floods I engaged in a Westminster Hall debate focused on the flooding in South Yorkshire over the winter. This was attended by the hon Members for Barnsley East, Kingston upon Hull North, Rother Valley, Newport West, and the Rt Hon Member for Doncaster North. I have also met with the hon Member for Don Valley to discuss the impact of the winter floods and Sheffield City region's planned investment programme.

A number of hon Members from South Yorkshire have also written to Defra since November 2019. These include the hon Members for Barnsley Central, Don Valley, Rother Valley, and the Rt Hon Members for Doncaster North and Wentworth and Dearne.

Recently South Yorkshire, Sheffield, Upper Don Valley and the Upper Don Catchment NFM programme schemes received an allocation of the £170 million announced on 14 July, £15.4 million for the Sheffield Upper Don scheme and £600,000 for the NFM programme. Following this announcement, I met with the Member for Penistone & Stocksbridge to discuss flooding.

I have been in contact with hon Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Additionally, my officials have been engaging actively with eligible local authorities on the Property Flood Resilience Fund to provide clarity on the guidance for these schemes and to provide clarity on delivery questions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has had on the winter 2019-20 flooding with hon. Members whose constituencies were affected.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. Following the winter 2019-20 flooding, the Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with hon Members whose constituencies were affected.

The Secretary of State has made a number of site visits and hosted an event following the winter floods in November 2019 and February 2020. These included visits to Ironbridge and Shrewsbury. He has also met individual Members including the hon Member for Halifax and the Rt Hon Member for Newark to discuss flooding in their constituencies.

In addition, I have taken part in a Westminster Hall debate on the South Yorkshire flooding with several affected Members. I have also met hon Members to discuss flooding in their constituencies including the hon Member for North East Derbyshire, the hon Member for Brigg and Goole and the hon Member for Don Valley. I have also attended an end of day debate with the hon Member for West Worcestershire.

I also attended an all-party meeting about the Severn Valley, held on 21 July 2020. The hon Members for Shrewsbury and Atcham, Gloucester, Montgomeryshire, West Worcestershire, Ludlow, North Herefordshire, Stroud, Stafford, and Defra's Parliamentary Private Secretary, the hon Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, attended.

I have been in contact with hon Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that non-assessed fish stocks are not overfished.

The Government has and will continue to use the best scientific advice available in setting fishing opportunities for species that are subject to a Total Allowable Catch (TAC). This includes those stocks which do not have a Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) assessment.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to meet Aichi Target 6 under the Convention on Biodiversity; and what assessment the Government has made of its effectiveness in seeking to meet that target.

Within the confines of the Common Fisheries Policy, the UK has made significant progress in introducing sustainable fisheries measures, including a landing obligation, subsidies and incentives for more selective gear, accreditation schemes, and area-based management measures.

For 2020, the UK will have 67% of its Total Allowable Catches set at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) out of total of 54 stocks with MSY assessments.

We recently published our Marine Strategy Part One assessment on the health and resilience of our marine ecosystems, including our progress towards the achieving our objective of good environmental status (GES) in UK waters. This encompasses the scope of Aichi Target 6.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is his policy that a zero total allowable catch limit be set for the herring stock in ICES divisions 6a and 7b-c.

Whilst joint scientific advice is issued for the herring stock in ICES divisions 6a and 7b-c, they are managed separately. Since 2016, a small Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has been set based on ICES advice to enable monitoring of the stock, specifically the levels of mixing between different stocks North and South. TAC setting for 2021 will be a matter for negotiation, using this and any other available scientific evidence.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Environment Agency's water quality monitoring programme, what number of (a) samples have been taken and (b) sampling points there have been in (i) each year since 2010 and (ii) each month since January 2020.

The table below shows the number of water quality samples taken by the Environment Agency, and the number of sample points, in each year since 2010:

Year

No. samples taken

No. sample points

2010

131602

18079

2011

137251

17286

2012

155394

16790

2013

159737

18498

2014

135452

17962

2015

121755

16088

2016

111951

15428

2017

94879

15335

2018

86737

13086

2019

97587

14439

The table below shows the number of water quality samples taken, and the number of sample points, in each month since January 2020:

Month

No. samples taken

No. sample points

January

9475

8175

February

7740

6612

March

7196

6189

Data for April is not yet available.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to resume sampling of rivers, groundwater and bathing waters to measure water quality.

In line with Government guidelines to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, the Environment Agency (EA) has paused all monitoring activities that are not essential to prevent serious harm to people or the environment, or to support responses to major incidents.

The EA will keep this under review and will restart non-critical activities (including routine environmental monitoring) in due course, in line with Government guidance on lockdown measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many samples of England's designated bathing waters have been taken to monitor water quality (a) since 2010 and (b) in each month of 2020.

From 2010 to the end of 2019, the Environment Agency (EA) collected and analysed 78,250 samples to monitor water quality at England’s designated bathing waters. The EA has not taken any samples yet in 2020 because the sampling season starts on 1 May and has been disrupted due to the Coronavirus emergency.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timetable is for the publication of the Water Framework Directive water body classifications.

During the Coronavirus emergency, the Environment Agency (EA) has prioritised activities critical to preventing serious harm to people or the environment, or to supporting responses to major incidents. The EA does not, therefore, currently have a release date for the Water Framework Directive water body classifications. The EA is considering this as part of its planning for the ‘restart’ phase of the Coronavirus emergency and will publish the classifications as soon as it reasonably can.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding has been allocated to water quality monitoring since 2010.

£130.5 million was allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) for water quality monitoring from 2015 to the end of 2019. This includes planning, sampling, analysing, recording and interpreting the data.

Prior to 2015, funding allocations within the EA were not recorded to the same level of detail and so accurate and consistent figures cannot be provided for the period 2010 to 2015.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many projects to support fishermen in selling their catch to local communities have been funded by the Government's fisheries support scheme.

The £1 million Direct Seafood Supply Scheme is due to be launched during this week, commencing with a call for projects. Applicants will have time to complete their bids for grants, which will be judged by a panel including fishing industry representatives. It is anticipated that decisions will be made and applicants informed from May 15.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many businesses have applied to the Coronavirus Fisheries Support Scheme.

The £9 million Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) went operational on Tuesday, April 21st. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has contacted just under 1000 registered fishing vessel owners directly by email, and the final 200 will be contacted today (28 April).

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many businesses have received a direct cash grant through the Coronavirus fisheries support scheme.

Of the 978 registered fishing vessel owners contacted, over 600 have returned completed application forms and 351 payments have been processed (to a total value of over £1.5 million) within the first five days. Further payments to all eligible fishing vessel owners will be made during this week and will continue in response to applications returned.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff have been employed by the Environment Agency in each year since 2009.

The below table shows the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) in England only from 2009:

a) Directly

b) Contracted Basis

Year

Perm Employees

Fixed Term Contract Employees

Employment Agency Staff

Contractors

Total

09/10

10,918

359

429

452

12,158

10/11

10,063

105

209

135

10,512

11/12

9,816

158

516

139

10,628

12/13

10,345

310

487

216

11,358

13/14

10,068

207

218

114

10,608

14/15

9,624

113

343

154

10,235

15/16

9,556

117

275

391

10,340

16/17

9,839

264

185

607

10,896

17/18

9,174

316

233

283

10,006

18/19

9,577

296

297

260

10,429

January 2020

9,918

359

219

256

10,752

The changes in the number of staff who work at the Environment Agency represent the Spending Review settlements and income received from charge payers. The response uses England only figures as pre 2013 the Environment Agency was made up of England and Wales. Following 2013 it is England only. In addition, 896 Full Time Equivalents transferred to Defra Corporate Services under a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) arrangement in November 2017.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much and what proportion of flood defence funding has been allocated to (a) Yorkshire and Humber, (b) the South East, (c) London, (d) the North West, (e) the East of England, (f) the West Midlands, (g) the South West, (h) the East Midlands, (i) the North East and (j) England since 2009.

Between 2010/11 and 2018/19 the Government has invested over £3.3 billion to better protect the country from flooding. This includes over 1,200 flood defence schemes which have better protected over 400,000 homes. The Government has also invested over £1 billion to maintain flood defences

In addition to this, in September 2019 a further £62.35 million of Government spending was announced to protect communities across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and South East of England from flooding. In total, more than 9,000 homes will be better protected against flooding through this round of funding.

ONS Region

2010/2011 to 2018/2019 Government Investment (£k)

National or Cross-Boundary

421,971

East Midlands

326,130

East of England

426,356

London

192,481

North East

130,100

North West

371,759

South East

547,220

South West

360,209

West Midlands

108,105

Yorkshire and the Humber

480,627

Total

3,364,957

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of planning applications were objected to by the Environment Agency because of flood risk concerns since 2009.

As a statutory consultee in development planning, the Environment Agency (EA) comments on all development proposals (other than minor development) in areas that are at (i) medium or high risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, (ii) within 20 metres of a Main River, (iii) within an area with critical drainage problems. The EA does not make the final decision on local planning approvals. Local planning authorities are responsible and accountable for approving proposals for new development in their local areas. In the majority of cases the EA’s flood risk advice is taken on board by local planning authorities.

Between 2009 and 2018, the EA initially objected to approximately 30% of planning applications where it was a statutory consultee on flood risk matters. However, by working with the local planning authorities and developers to gather additional information, or make modifications to the initial development proposals, the vast majority of these objections were overcome.

The EA, in working with communities, developers and planning authorities, ensures that necessary development in flood risk areas is designed to be safe and resilient to flooding, and does not increase risk to others. The success of the EA’s role is demonstrated in the reporting figures with over 99% of new homes in planning applications being made in line with our advice, and in 2018/19, over 95% of all planning applications (where flood risk was considered) were made in line with EA advice, where we were made aware of the planning decision.

Year

Planning decision in line with EA advice

Planning applications involving new homes decided in line with EA advice on flood risk

2018/19

95%

99%

2017/18

95%

99%

2016/17

96%

99%

2015/16

97%

99%

2014/15

96%

98%

2013/14

97%

99%

2012/13

95%

99%

2011/12

96%

99%

2010/11

97%

No data

2009/10

96%

No data

The EA publishes a comprehensive list of all applications where we’ve lodged objections on flood risk grounds. This can be seen at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-objections-to-planning-on-the-basis-of-flood-risk. Many of the issues will have been resolved before a final decision was made.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will call a flood summit in response to the November 2019 floods.

Minister Pow announced at the Westminster debate on Flooding in South Yorkshire, on 30 January, that she proposes to host a meeting with the Mayor of Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, Members of Parliament from South Yorkshire and the Environment Agency in the near future to discuss the recent flooding and the work that can be done locally to plan for the future.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
What recent discussions she has had with UK trade partners on maintaining International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

While the detail of free trade agreements is reserved for formal negotiations, we have committed in our public mandates to protect our labour standards as the British people would expect. These include health and safety, minimum wages and action on modern slavery. We will continue to uphold Britain’s high standards and remain an active member of the International Labour Organisation.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support businesses to electrify their road delivery fleet.

We recognise that business fleets have an important role to play in the transition to zero emission driving. A central part to supporting this transition is the recently announced 2030 phase out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, and the upcoming consultation on phasing out the sale of new diesel heavy goods vehicles.

The Government is investing £2.8 billion through a package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This includes £582m for grant schemes to help with the cost of purchasing vehicles and £1.3 billion for the associated recharging infrastructure, which supports businesses to make the transition. We are showing leadership by working towards electrifying the Government’s fleet. In 2017 the Government committed that 25% of central Government cars will be ultra low emission by 2022, and in 2018 through the Road to Zero strategy committed to 100% ultra low emission cars by 2030.

The Government has funded a series of R&D competitions, focussed on developing zero emission vehicle and associated infrastructure technology, including seeking solutions to electrify fleets and improve fleet charging capability. The £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial funded a series of industry-led trials of alternative propulsion technologies for UK commercial fleets. Other R&D programmes supporting fleet electrification include the £10m Wireless EV Charging for Commercial Users competition to examine the potential of wireless charging technology for taxi and home delivery fleets.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure a coordinated inter-departmental approach to tackling (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

The Government believes that any form of dangerous or inconsiderate driving behaviour is a serious road safety issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions.

Enforcement of road traffic laws is for the police. Last autumn the Department for Transport launched a Call for Evidence, part of a wider roads policing review, a thorough examination of roads policing of roads policing in England and Wales and its relevance to road safety. Responses to the Call for Evidence will inform the action plan that is being developed by the roads policing review governance board. This is jointly chaired by officials from the Home Office and the Department for Transport. The Call for Evidence closed in October and we are planning to publish our response later this year.

The Road Safety Statement, ‘A Lifetime of Road Safety’, published in July 2019, describes many actions that will contribute towards safer driving and riding all round. By improving the training of new drivers, exposing them to a better understanding of hazards on the road and explaining road safety message through ‘THINK!’ campaigns, we aim to produce novice drivers with a better understanding of the importance of sensible speeds.

The Department has allocated £500 million for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside of London, through the Integrated Transport Block for small scale transport schemes, including road safety measures. The Integrated Transport Block is not ring-fenced, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have the resources they need to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

The Government believes that any form of dangerous or inconsiderate driving behaviour is a serious road safety issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions.

Enforcement of road traffic laws is for the police. Last autumn the Department for Transport launched a Call for Evidence, part of a wider roads policing review, a thorough examination of roads policing of roads policing in England and Wales and its relevance to road safety. Responses to the Call for Evidence will inform the action plan that is being developed by the roads policing review governance board. This is jointly chaired by officials from the Home Office and the Department for Transport. The Call for Evidence closed in October and we are planning to publish our response later this year.

The Road Safety Statement, ‘A Lifetime of Road Safety’, published in July 2019, describes many actions that will contribute towards safer driving and riding all round. By improving the training of new drivers, exposing them to a better understanding of hazards on the road and explaining road safety message through ‘THINK!’ campaigns, we aim to produce novice drivers with a better understanding of the importance of sensible speeds.

The Department has allocated £500 million for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside of London, through the Integrated Transport Block for small scale transport schemes, including road safety measures. The Integrated Transport Block is not ring-fenced, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on transport in the North of changes to funding to Transport for the North.

The Government is committed to levelling up every part of this country, including the North. This is reflected in the recent Spending Review, which included funding for key transport infrastructure projects and programmes in the North. Recently, we’ve confirmed Teeside as the home of the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, are progressing a £500m scheme to bring back rail connections lost in the Beeching cuts including in the North, started work on the £51million A19 upgrade six months ahead of schedule and are progressing plans for the £1billion A66 upgrade.

The most recent allocation of core funding to Transport for the North will enable the organisation to continue to play a valuable role in delivering its statutory functions of developing a transport strategy for the region and helping the Department to prioritise, bringing strength of partnership among members to speak to the government with one voice. The Department will continue to work with TfN to achieve our shared ambition of world-class transport infrastructure in the region.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the airline industry on the repatriation of UK nationals.

The Government is working in partnership with the airline industry to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK, and up to £75 million in Government funding has been pledged to bring UK travellers back home.

The Department for Transport is working closely with the FCO and airlines to ensure effective communication with and support for Britons who are trying to return home, and is working intensively with international partners to keep air routes and critical transit hubs open so that passengers can return by commercial means wherever possible. Where commercial routes are no longer available, charter flights are being arranged.

This continues to be a challenging situation, as different countries introduce restrictions, but the Government and airlines are continuing to make progress, and a large number of Britons have now returned to the UK.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to prevent airports throughout the country from closing.

Following the Chancellor’s recent announcement, we are working urgently to develop proposals to support the UK aviation industry - we are committed to ensuring the sector and its employees come through this crisis.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road traffic accidents have taken place outside schools in each year since 2005.

The Department for Transport collects and publishes data on the location of road traffic accidents. However, we do not collect or define a variable which states whether these accidents occurred outside schools.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to replace Pacer trains when Northern Rail is renationalised.

The ongoing rollout of new trains, which are enabling the retirement of Pacers, will continue.

Northern is introducing 101 new trains as part of a £500 million investment across its network. The programme of introduction started in the summer last year on a phased basis, with the remaining trains introduced by summer 2020.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to publish her Department's responses to future recommendations made by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on 1st February 2021 to Question 143863

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will publish the criteria it uses to select which recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council to implement.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on 1st February 2021 to Question 143863

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which diseases are included in the D1 category her Department uses for assessments for industrial injuries disablement benefits.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of including pneumoconiosis in the D1 category in assessments on miners’ ability to claim pneumoconiosis support grants.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of including industrial diseases such as pneumoconiosis in the D1 category in assessments on the ability of miners to claim compensation.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria her Department uses to select which recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council to select.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to publish its responses to recommendations made by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average taken by her Department to implement recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to include coal miners in the prescription and guidance for D11 primary carcinoma of the lung where there is accompanying silicosis.

On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. The Council can only recommend prescription where there is good scientific and epidemiological evidence to establish the link between the disease and the occupation.

In June 2018, the IIAC published a position paper 41 “Coal Mining, Silicosis and Lung Cancer” recommending eligibility of coal miners for PD D11 due to an inherent part of their jobs involving tunnelling.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717040/coal-mining-silicosis-and-lung-cancer-iiac-position-paper-41.pdf

IIAC has recommended that there should be a change to the technical guidance. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, this has not yet been actioned, and as a result of Covid-19 other priorities have taken precedence over the last year. My officials are aware of the IIAC recommendation and will be carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council. We will take this forward as soon as possible.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will provide an email facility to allow support information for (a) children's disability living allowance, (b) mandatory reconsideration and (c) other benefits applications to be submitted electronically.

The Department is looking into alternative methods for submitting evidence. E-mail is one of the considerations. However, a robust solution that properly safeguards customer information is yet to be identified.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what comparative assessment her Department has made of the the level of emergency food parcels provided by food banks in the weeks of March 2020 with same period in 2019.

The Department does not keep official statistics on food bank use, so no such assessment has been completed.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has for an emergency food voucher referral system due to (a) the closure of referral agencies due to staff self-isolation or sickness relating to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) increased need for food banks due to the economic effects of that outbreak.

Food banks are independent charitable organisations and, as such, are best placed to decide on the most appropriate arrangements for supporting people who use them. As both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

I also refer the honourable member to the response given by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in response to an oral question made on 19 March:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-03-19/debates/EBB8F3D7-F9F4-4C5C-B913-86FD27851B5D/VulnerablePeopleFoodSupplies

[Additionally announcements were made at the Prime Minister’s daily briefings on 21 and 22 March in relation to food supply]

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to prevent low-paid workers from being pressured to work when Government guidance suggests they should self-isolate.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to start its review of the effect of the six-month rule which prevents terminally ill people who are expected to live longer than six months from having their benefits claims fast-tracked.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many terminally people have died while waiting for a decision on their personal independence payment claim in each year since 2009.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 6 working days.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

Between the introduction of PIP in April 2013 and 31st October 2019, the latest date for which published data is available, 143,030 decisions were made on claims which had been registered under SRTI. Of these, 5,470 claimants died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Table: Number of claimants who registered under SRTI and died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Claimant’s year of death

Number of claimants under SRTI who died prior to decision

2013

760

2014

1,040

2015

840

2016

840

2017

680

2018

780

2019 (to October 31st)

540

Total

5,470

Notes:

  • These figures include claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • It is possible for claims to transition between Normal and Special Rules during the course of the claimant journey.
  • The point of application is taken as the day the claimant registered a claim to PIP as recorded on the PIP computer system.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover claims on which a decision has been made and recorded on the PIP CS on or prior to 31st October 2019. Claims on which a decision has not been entered are excluded.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and cover GB only.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of appeals of a personal independence payment assessment were successful in 2019.

The table below provides information on the number of initial decisions following a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment where the decision was overturned at a tribunal hearing.

Appeals cleared January to September 2019

Number

Overturned

28,160

Upheld

10,930

Percentage of appeals cleared at a hearing where the decision
was overturned (%)

72

These figures cover appeals cleared in January 2019 to September 2019 against initial decisions following a PIP assessment. They do not include appeals relating to decisions prior to an assessment being completed (disallowances due to failure of basic eligibility criteria or non-return of the Part 2 form within the time limit and have not been marked as requiring additional support, or disallowances following the claimant failing to attend the assessment without good reason). Nor do they include appeals against decisions made at an Award Review or Change of Circumstance.

Since PIP was introduced 3.4 million initial decisions following an assessment have been made up to June 2019, and 9% have been appealed and 5% have been overturned at a tribunal hearing.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the longest time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

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

Measuring the longest time includes complex issues such as claims with a sanction, the process of habitual residency tests, outstanding evidence etc. which could mean a minority of claims wait longer than the average and would require analysis of multiple datasets and individual claimant records.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

Universal Credit is designed to mirror the way most people in work are paid, which is monthly. Our latest published data shows around 87% (October 2019) of new claimants are being paid in full and on time. If there are delays in making the first payment, this can be due to outstanding verification issues, such as proving bank statements or proof of rent. It can also be due to a claimant not signing their claimant commitment. For anyone waiting for their first Universal Credit payment, advances are available of the indicative monthly payment.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the shortest time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

Universal Credit is designed to mirror the way most people in work are paid, which is monthly. Our latest published data shows around 87% (October 2019) of new claimants are being paid in full and on time. If there are delays in making the first payment, this can be due to outstanding verification issues, such as proving bank statements or proof of rent. It can also be due to a claimant not signing their claimant commitment. For anyone waiting for their first Universal Credit payment, advances are available of the indicative monthly payment.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has paid to credit unions to distribute to benefits claimants in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Yorkshire and Humber and (d) England in each year since 2010.

Whilst some claimants choose to have benefit payments paid into Credit Union accounts, the Department does not have a contract with Credit Unions to distribute this money. DWP does not, therefore, make any payments Credit Unions to distribute money to benefit claimants.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claimants receive their benefits from a credit union in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Yorkshire and Humber and (d) England.

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

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has spent under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme in each year since its introduction.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current backlog is of payments to lenders under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timescale is for making payments to lenders under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long the average wait-time is for a caller to be put through to a phone operator on the personal independence payment helpline.

The average wait time for calls to the Personal Independence Payment helplines in December 2019 is shown in the table below in the format of hours:minutes:seconds.

December 2019

Average Speed of Answer

PIP Enquiries

00:12:58

PIP Reassessment Enquiries

00:11:39

PIP New Claims

00:01:53

PIP New Claims Special Rules for Terminally Ill

00:02:47

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) England have contacted the personal independence payment helpline in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information is not available

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of women affected by changes to the state pension age, in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) the UK in each year until 2029-30.

The Labour Government 1997-2010, the Coalition 2010-2015 and the Conservative Government of 1992-1997 have taken a similar approach to raising State Pension age. As you are aware, from the 1940s until April 2010, the State Pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men. The decision to equalise the State Pension age for men and women dates back to 1995 and addresses a longstanding inequality between men and women's State Pension age. Without equalisation, women who reach the age of 60 in 2019 would be expected to spend over 40 per cent of their adult lives in receipt of State Pension, on average. Changes to the State Pension age put right a long lasting inequality which was based on an outdated rationale that women were dependent on their husband's incomes.

Further changes were recommended by the Pensions Commission in 2005 as it became clear that things were changing, for example, life expectancy was increasing and a State Pension age fixed at age 65 was not sustainable or fair between generations. It recommended that in the future State Pension age should increase in line with life expectancy and also recommended the introduction of a State Pension age timetable that reflected this.

The 2010 to 2015 Government made the decision to bring in changes to the State Pension age, following extensive debates in both Houses of Parliament. The 2011 Pensions Act accelerated the equalisation of women's State Pension age by 18 months and brought forward the increase in men and women's State Pension age to 66 by five and a half years, relative to the previous timetables.

Women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1953 were affected by State Pension age equalisation under the Pensions Act 1995. The Pensions Act 2011 accelerated the equalisation of State Pension age, and included transitional arrangements limiting State Pension age delays, affecting women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 December 1953. It also brought forward the increase in State Pension age from 65 to 66 which affected women born between 6 December 1953 and 5 April 1960.

The Department for Work and Pensions only holds estimates at a Great Britain level. The latest estimates are that 4.84 million women in Great Britain are affected by the changes to the state pension age between 2010/11 and 2029/30 (rounded to the nearest 10,000). The figures are based on DWP calculations using the 2018-based ONS population projections. These estimates are the numbers reaching State Pension age, and are not necessarily the same as the number of new claims for State Pension.

A detailed breakdown of the overall 4.84 million figure is provided per tax year in the Table 1 below:

Table 1 – Number of women in Great Britain affected by SPA reforms between 2010/11 and 2029/30, Source: DWP calculations using ONS population projections, Rounded to the nearest 1,000

Tax Year

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

No of women

179,000

170,000

178,000

166,000

176,000

169,000

93,000

89,000

81,000

179,000

Tax Year

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

2028/29

2029/30

No of women

253,000

349,000

362,000

377,000

383,000

389,000

204,000

201,000

415,000

427,000

Information on the numbers affected by UK, constituent country, parliamentary constituency or local authority is not held by the Department for Work and Pensions. However, recent population projections for the UK can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/tablea11principalprojectionuksummary

Population by local area and higher local authorities can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/localauthoritiesinenglandtable2

Population projections by regional area can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/regionsinenglandtable1

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to stop the appearance of incorrect or phantom notifications from the NHS covid-19 app.

The version 3.9 update to the COVID-19 app deployed on 29 October 2020 removed the exposure notifications generated automatically from the Apple and Google Application Programming Interface. Users needed to update their app to version 3.9 for this to take effect. For those who have not yet done this the app will continue to send a follow up message to confirm when no action needs to be taken.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the number of people waiting of breast cancer screenings in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, and (c) England.

Local National Health Service breast screening services are working to ensure that all eligible women are invited for screening as quickly as possible. The number of women waiting for an invitation for breast screening has reduced by over 400,000 nationally since June 2020. Since that time, further women have become due for invitation and there are currently 896,240 women awaiting a screening invitation nationally.

Within South Yorkshire there are 30,852 women awaiting a screening invitation, of which 9,731 are in Barnsley.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been instructed to isolate through track and trace to date.

Since NHS Test and Trace was launched on 28 May, in total, as of 14 October, 1,133,094 people have been reached by the service and instructed to self-isolate. This figure includes both those testing positive and their contacts.

Weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace can be found on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) average stay, (b) maximum recorded stay and (c) average intensive care unit stay is for patients admitted to hospital after testing positive for covid-19.

This data is not available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people waiting for cancer screening tests following delays as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

We have interpreted the hon. Member’s question to refer to people awaiting tests after an initial screen, as opposed to the number of people waiting for screening invitations. This data is unavailable.

Although some appointments for cancer screening have been rescheduled during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect vulnerable patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken a robust approach to ensuring that people at highest risk are seen as a matter of priority. Week by week, we have seen the number of people in these screening pathways reducing. At the same time, there is a continued focus on sending out invites for routine screening that were previously delayed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle profiteering on the supply of personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The United Kingdom is paying the market rate for medical supplies and working with partners to ensure a fair international market for access to COVID-19 medical equipment.

Personal protective equipment prices can be affected by a range of factors, such as market conditions and air freight costs, but we are taking a number of steps to reduce inflated prices and we expect each wholesaler to apply their normal margins and levels of profit for these types of products.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria a person needs to meet in order to book a covid-19 test.

We have now made testing available to all symptomatic people across the whole of the United Kingdom. Most common symptoms include a new continuous cough, high temperature and a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. Anyone who suffers from these symptoms is eligible for a test.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is offering to people without access to the internet to book covid-19 tests.

Tests can be booked by calling 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland from any telephone.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether an email address is a pre-requisite for booking a covid-19 test.

Tests can be booked by calling 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland from any telephone.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that industrial chest disease is examined as a potential cause of death in the event that a retired miner dies of suspected covid-19.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of relaxing legislation on the completion of death certificates on the number of referrals of potential cases of death by industrial disease to coroners.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that guidance on the completion of death certificates advises medical practitioners to take into account (a) the former occupation of deceased patients with suspected covid-19 and (b) that those patients may have suffered from industrial disease.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to NHS trusts on recording covid-19 on death certificates.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that covid-19 is recorded on the death certificates of people that died as a result of that disease.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to undertake a review of death certificates issued during the covid-19 outbreak to ensure the virus is correctly identified as a cause of death in cases where covid-19 was suspected as (a) a direct and (b) an underlying cause.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on cancer (a) treatment and (b) care.

The situation is being closely monitored by the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The National Health Service is adapting how it runs its cancer services to ensure the safety of both patients and staff – this includes establishing dedicated cancer hubs for urgent treatment and diagnosis.

Essential and urgent cancer treatments are continuing. Cancer specialists are discussing with their patients the potential risks to them, either through undergoing or to delay treatment at this time.

Medical staff will always have the safety of patients at the centre of any decisions they make.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to decreasing emergency attendances since lockdown measures were introduced in response to the covid-10 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to encourage seriously ill people to go to hospital.

In line with Government advice, people have been advised that they should not leave their home during the COVID-19 outbreak unless it is essential to do so. This is central to our strategy which is to ensure that the National Health Service is not overwhelmed but also able to operate sustainably. Nevertheless, we have been clear from the outset that patient safety remains our priority and have ensured that urgent services, such as cancer operations, are protected. The Prime Minister has encouraged all patients needing urgent and emergency services to continue to come to hospital and receive treatment – and not to delay which might make someone’s condition worse. Clear and consistent processes have also been agreed between local partners to ensure the safe handling of emergency and urgent referrals from primary care. We are taking every step necessary to bolster the NHS’s resilience and capacity so it can provide the best possible care for those who need it.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken to mobilise UK manufacturing to supply personal protective equipment to frontline workers dealing with the covid-19 response.

The Department are working closely with industry, the National Health Service, social care providers and the army to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) are delivered to staff. Industry has reported constraints on supply of new stocks of PPE due to increase in global demand and the impact of COVID-19 in China, one of the largest global manufacturers of PPE. The Department is working to manage demand and secure additional stocks to further enhance our preparedness. The Department have asked manufacturers to increase existing capacity. On Friday 20 March, industry were asked to switch manufacturing capability to produce high priority PPE items.

Latest guidance on PPE can be found on the NHS website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-supply-use-of-ppe/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to address variations in NHS trusts' ability to test for covid-19.

The Government is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to expand testing capability.

We are working to ensure all National Health Service trusts have the ability and capacity to respond to demand.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to relieve pressure on mental health services as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Mental health providers are looking at how they can maximise the use of digital and virtual channels to keep delivering support and manage the impact of self-isolation on staff and patients. For example, where it is not possible to carry out home visits (e.g. because a patient may be self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID-19), care contacts may need to take place on the phone or through video consultation.

NHSX guidance has been published to support their use. As well as tools such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime, there are also products designed specifically for health and mental health.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the increase in covid-19 cases in Yorkshire.

The Government is responding to the outbreak of COVID-19 as a national issue and is actively implementing support plans across the nation.

More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing funding for mass testing for covid-19.

On 4 April 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care advised that the Government will be adopting a testing strategy based on five pillars.

This new national effort for testing will ensure everyone who needs testing will get it.

Testing has already reached the Government’s ambition of 10,000 tests per day by the end of March as committed and have set a new challenge of 100,000 tests per day, by the end of April using this new tiered approach.

More information can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878121/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-strategy.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of (a) low paid and (b) insecure work on life expectancy.

Health is good for work and work is good for health. We have taken a range of actions to help families keep more of what they earn including the recent announcement that on 1 April we will increase the National Living Wage for over 25s by 6.2% to £8.72. The Department for Work and Pensions is building a clearer picture of how people in low pay progress in work and what we can do to support them, so that everyone, at whatever life stage, can improve their employment outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of levels of child poverty on life expectancy.

The circumstances we are born in to and the conditions in which we live all have a major bearing on our health and wellbeing. The Government is committed to a sustainable long-term solution to child poverty in all areas of the United Kingdom, including reforming the benefits system so that it supports employment and higher pay. The approach we are taking goes beyond focus on income alone, so that we address the root causes of poverty and improve long-term outcomes from families and children, with a focus on parental employment and children’s educational attainment – the two areas that can make the biggest difference.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the funding required to respond effectively to an outbreak of Covid-19.

The Department is following Government plans to contain, delay, research and mitigate against COVID-19. Whilst in the current ‘contain’ phase all costs are being managed within existing health funding allocations. The Department has made £40 million available to fund COVID-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of cancelling NHS workers' leave to deal with a potential Covid-19 outbreak.

The Government published its action plan on 3 March.

As part of its phased response, the Government will ensure that the health and social care system is prepared to respond to all eventualities, at all phases of a potential future pandemic, the National Health Service, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland and local authorities have plans in place to ensure people receive the essential care and support services they need - and sometimes this might mean that other services are reduced temporarily. Plans are flexible to respond to different types of pandemics - ranging from a mild pandemic with a low impact on services, for example, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, through to a severe prolonged pandemic as experienced in 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle regional disparities in early diagnosis rates for pancreatic cancer.

Cancer Alliances are working with local sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems to improve care and reduce variation across whole patient pathways.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of surgical procedures for people with pancreatic cancer in (a) South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw, North Derbyshire and Hardwick Cancer Alliance and (b) England.

This information is not available as requested, and so no assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people with pancreatic cancer can receive surgery.

Increasing access to treatment by reducing variation and introducing new treatments as they become available will improve survival and are key ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the rates of (a) one-month, (b) one-year and (c) five-year survival of pancreatic cancer in the last three decades; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve (a) one-month, (b) one-year and (c) five-year survival rates for people with pancreatic cancer.

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage will contribute to improved survival rates. Increasing the number of cancers that are diagnosed earlier is a top priority for the National Health Service. The NHS Long Term Plan sets an ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028, up from the current rate of around 50%. In delivering this, NHS England and NHS Improvement aim to see 55,000 more people a year surviving cancer for five years by 2028.

Actions to improve early diagnosis include setting up Rapid Diagnostic Centres and committing up to £100 million to roll out innovative approaches and technologies, helping diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will undertake a review of the provision of local health services for veterans throughout the UK.

In England, individual local authorities are responsible for completing local health needs assessments. Guidance has been provided that explains how local authorities should consider veterans, this includes delivering on the armed forces covenant.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will consider options for updating this guidance.

In addition, the NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned central needs assessments on veteran mental health services, musculoskeletal rehabilitation services, prosthetics and veterans’ mental health needs in the criminal justice system. There is also a planned national engagement on veteran families’ health needs to start in March 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of adequacy of the provision of health services for veterans in each local authority in the UK.

In England, individual local authorities are responsible for completing local health needs assessments. Guidance has been provided that explains how local authorities should consider veterans, this includes delivering on the armed forces covenant.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will consider options for updating this guidance.

In addition, the NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned central needs assessments on veteran mental health services, musculoskeletal rehabilitation services, prosthetics and veterans’ mental health needs in the criminal justice system. There is also a planned national engagement on veteran families’ health needs to start in March 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle inequalities in research funding allocated to different forms of cancer.

As with other Government funders of health research, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

The NIHR’s cancer research expenditure has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £132 million in 2018/19. This constitutes the largest investment in a disease area.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase public awareness of the symptoms of (a) pancreatic and (b) other less survivable cancers.

Public Health England (PHE) has run several ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ (BCOC) campaigns to help improve early detection of cancer. These campaigns can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/

Several factors are considered when deciding which campaigns to develop and run, with one of the main criteria being the scope to save lives through earlier diagnosis. This can only be effective through broad awareness campaigns if the cancer has a high enough incidence to be able to impact upon through marketing campaigns, as well as a clear early sign or symptom that the public can act upon should it arise.

In 2017, PHE also ran a pilot campaign in the East and West Midlands which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of several cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Further information on the pilot is available at the following link:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/16-be-clear-on-cancer/Abdominal%20Symptoms%20Regional%20Pilot

PHE is currently undertaking new data analysis and research to determine the future direction of BCOC activity.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of the UK's vaccine (a) development and (b) production to respond effectively to emerging diseases.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) continually reviews the United Kingdom’s current vaccination programmes and carries out horizon-scanning of vaccines in development over the next 3-5 years. This ensures JCVI advice to the Government includes the best available vaccines to deal with current and emerging diseases.

To deal with rapidly emerging threats, the Department’s Global Health Security Programme also provides core funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). For instance, regarding the current spread of novel coronavirus, CEPI are supporting three programmes developing vaccines against this disease.

Furthermore, our first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre was announced in December 2018 and has been awarded £66 million by the UK Government. It will act as a focal point for the establishment of a modern Vaccines Manufacturing Industry in the UK and is expected to be operational in 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the outbreak of Coronavirus in the People’s Republic of China, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of disease screening arrangements at UK airports.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures. Our approach has at all times been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. Professor Whitty, Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts, and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges.

These measures do not include the introduction of ‘medical screening’, such as temperature screening. Expert advice suggests that medical screening would be of very limited effectiveness and detect only a small minority of cases as symptomatic. This is because symptoms do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days, after infection, meaning that only a very small proportion of people would be likely to present symptoms during a flight or immediate arrival to the United Kingdom and therefore be picked up by temperature screening.

Travellers who have arrived from Wuhan within the last 14 days are asked to stay indoors and self-isolate and contact NHS111 for further information – irrespective of whether they show signs of infection – while people in Northern Ireland should phone their general practitioners. Nobody who has returned from the area should leave home until they have received clinical advice that it is safe to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Home Department on the (a) identification and (b) segregation of people entering the UK who are at risk of carrying the Coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures. Our approach has at all times been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. Professor Whitty, Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts, and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges.

These measures do not include the introduction of ‘medical screening’, such as temperature screening. Expert advice suggests that medical screening would be of very limited effectiveness and detect only a small minority of cases as symptomatic. This is because symptoms do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days, after infection, meaning that only a very small proportion of people would be likely to present symptoms during a flight or immediate arrival to the United Kingdom and therefore be picked up by temperature screening.

Travellers who have arrived from Wuhan within the last 14 days are asked to stay indoors and self-isolate and contact NHS111 for further information – irrespective of whether they show signs of infection – while people in Northern Ireland should phone their general practitioners. Nobody who has returned from the area should leave home until they have received clinical advice that it is safe to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the (a) Government and (b) pharmaceutical industry is taking to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to screen for the coronavirus at UK airports and international rail terminals during the period of high migration resulting from the Chinese lunar year festivities.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has established a contingency fund to tackle the potential effects of the Wuhan coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on additional measures to respond to an outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken with local authorities to develop contingency planning for monitoring people (a) infected with and (b) at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help UK citizens stranded overseas as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

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

We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The situation is fast moving, and our advice at this time is for British nationals to secure safe accommodation and to speak to their tour operator, airline and insurance company to discuss the options available to them. Consular teams are continuing to support British people who are experiencing disruption. We are working intensively with the Governments of those countries that have closed their borders to people travelling to and from the UK, to enable airlines to bring back British people to the UK, if that is what they want. British people abroad should keep up to date with our travel advice for the country/territory they are in. We have published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#if-youre-abroad-and-you-want-to-return-to-the-uk.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to UK citizens who cannot get in touch with the airline that has cancelled their flight back to the UK.

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

Consular staff at local embassies are working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The British Government is working with airlines to keep routes open and is calling for international action to keep air routes open for a sufficient period of time to enable international travellers to return on commercial flights. British people abroad should keep up to date with our travel advice for the country/territory they are in. We have published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#if-youre-abroad-and-you-want-to-return-to-the-uk

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that base rate cuts are passed on by lenders to mortgage prisoners.

The Financial Conduct Authority have written to all closed-book firms following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging them to pass on base rate reductions in accordance with their fair treatment guidelines.

Data released in July 2020 stated that customers with inactive lenders pay on average just 0.4% more than borrowers with the same lending characteristics with active lenders. The Government is committed to helping mortgage prisoners where they will see genuine benefit and will continue to work with the Financial Conduct Authority and industry to provide switching options for borrowers with an inactive lender.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether an agency worker that was not a live assignment but was on the payroll of an agency on 19 March 2020 qualifies for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

An agency worker that was not on a live assignment but was on the payroll may qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, provided other eligibility criteria are met; in particular, that the employee was included on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year. It is for the agency to decide whether to offer to furlough a worker.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications have been made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in each region of the UK.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department holds data on the number of applications by region made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to provide support to mortgage prisoners.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with many organisations in the public and private sectors on a variety of issues. The Treasury is discussing the issue of mortgage prisoners with consumer groups, mortgage lenders, the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance.

A mortgage prisoner is defined by the FCA as an existing customer that may be experiencing harm because they are unable to switch to a better deal. The Government is aware that these borrowers have been in a difficult and stressful situation. That is why we have worked closely with the FCA to implement their rule change to remove the regulatory barrier that has prevented some customers from switching.

Lenders are currently making the necessary adjustments and system changes to enable them to use the modified affordability assessment for borrowers looking to re-mortgage. We expect lenders to start offering these borrowers products using the new rules in Q2 2020.

I have written to Stephen Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UK Finance, to outline my expectation that as many of its members as possible should move quickly to offer new deals to borrowers that are eligible to switch under the new FCA rules.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many Help to Buy ISAs were opened in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) England.

We do not collect regional data for Help to Buy ISA account openings, therefore cannot confirm the amount of accounts opened specifically in those areas. However, as of June 2019, 1.6 million Help to Buy ISAs have been opened. 339,747 bonuses have been claimed throughout the UK, including (a) 645 in Barnsley East, (b) 34,192 in Yorkshire and Humber, and (c) 259,506 in England.

Further regional data about bonuses claimed under the Help to Buy ISA scheme, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/official-statistics-on-the-help-to-buy-isa-scheme

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much revenue to the Exchequer was generated through fixed penalty notices for speeding in each region of the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Home Office does not collect data on the revenue generated through fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for speed limit offences in each region.

Data on the number of FPNs issued for motoring offences including speed limit offences can be found in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2020

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to strengthen legislation to improve protections for victims of stalking and their families.

Stalking is a terrible, insidious crime that can have a devastating impact on victims’ wellbeing. This Government is committed to protecting and supporting victims and is determined to do everything we can to stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.

The Government has significantly strengthened the law to improve protection for victims of stalking. In 2012 we created two stalking offences to highlight stalking as a specific behaviour and through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 the maximum sentence for the offence of stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress was raised from five to ten years’ imprisonment.

In January 2020 we introduced new civil Stalking Protection Orders. These enable early police intervention, pre-conviction, to address stalking behaviours before they become deep-rooted or escalate. Stalking Protection Orders can be used in relation to any type of stalking and have the flexibility to impose both restrictions and positive requirements on the perpetrator. A breach of this order has a criminal penalty, carrying a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the police are adequately resourced to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

Excess speed is still a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads. Anyone who breaks the speed limit should expect to face proper sanction.

The enforcement of speeding offences and anti-social behaviour on roads is an operational matter for the police. It is for chief officers to decide how to prioritise enforcement in accordance with local priorities and demand and their PCC’s police and crime plan.

On 4 February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21.

Decisions regarding the number of officers and how they are deployed are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

Excess speed is still a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads. Anyone who breaks the speed limit should expect to face proper sanction.

The enforcement of speeding offences and anti-social behaviour on roads is an operational matter for the police. It is for chief officers to decide how to prioritise enforcement in accordance with local priorities and demand and their PCC’s police and crime plan.

On 4 February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21.

Decisions regarding the number of officers and how they are deployed are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the economic effect on police officers of their pay freeze.

At the Spending Review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that pay rises in the public sector will be restrained and targeted in 2021/22. The pay freeze will apply to headline pay uplifts only. Other payments, such as progression pay, overtime and special allowances will continue as before.

The Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) provides independent advice to the Government on pay and conditions for police officers. The Review Body will provide recommendations on the implementation of the £250 uplift for those earning less than £24,000 and the number of officers it will apply to.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of phone calls received by the police relating to people breaking covid-19 restrictions since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government does not hold information on how many phone calls the police have received relating to people breaking covid-19 restrictions since the start of the covid-19 outbreak

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been arrested for breaking covid-19 restrictions.

The number of arrests in relation to breaches of Covid-19 restrictions are not distinguished from broader statistics covering arrests for breach of the peace and other public order offences.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations are published monthly by ACRO with the most recent release being made on Tuesday 29 September.

They show that for the period between 27 March - 27 September 2020, a total of 19,045 fixed penalty notices have been issued by police forces in England (16,373) and Wales (2,672).

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fines have been issued to people breaking restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak to date.

Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under the new emergency COVID-19 health regulations are published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on a fortnightly basis. The latest information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

Information on how much has been collected in fines from people breaking public health regulations is not held centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much has been collected in fines from people breaking restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak to date.

Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under the new emergency COVID-19 health regulations are published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on a fortnightly basis. The latest information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

Information on how much has been collected in fines from people breaking public health regulations is not held centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to provide support to broadband engineers working on upgrading the broadband network who fear abuse as a result of 5G conspiracy theories.

Abuse, threats or harassment against telecoms engineers are unacceptable and where abuse against engineers does take place, the police should be notified so they can investigate and take appropriate action.

The UK telecommunications network consists of over 40,000 telecommunications masts and associated equipment that provides essential connectivity for everyone’s daily life. The security of these sites and the engineers working on them is primarily the responsibility of the companies which own the masts. The Government works closely with the telecommunications industry and we take the security and resilience of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure and the safety of the industry’s key worker personnel very seriously.

We know that individuals are setting out to damage 5G masts and we have seen a number of unacceptable confrontations targeting telecoms engineers. These confrontations include a small number of assaults. The NCA has rapidly developed a nationally co-ordinated response. The response to these incidents has been a collaborative one, with law enforcement working alongside industry to combat the threat, we will do all we can to make sure that any criminality is dealt with swiftly and robustly. As part of this response, the NCA has issued guidance for the telecommunications industry to issue to their staff on what they can do to ensure they remain safe and what they should do in certain situations.

Much of the anti-5G conversation is taking place on social media. These conversations have enabled the spread of conspiracy theories relating to masts, particularly their links to the coronavirus. These are of course, unsubstantiated. The NCA and partners are engaged with Social Media companies to take action to limit the spread and impact of these conspiracy theories.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on UK defence capacity of directing increased Royal Navy resources towards potentially illegal fishing activity.

Defence has made contingency plans to increase support to DEFRA to cover any potential illegal fishing activity if requested. We balance any request for assistance against critical outputs and keep our support under constant review. In the short term, we have units at increased readiness to support DEFRA and they will continue with planned activity until called forward.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many veterans have been granted access to services at DMRC Stanford Hall since it opened in 2018.

Since it opened in autumn 2018, 21 veterans have received treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall.

The responsibility for veterans' healthcare in the UK rests with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the NHS and its partners in the Devolved Administrations.

DMRC Stanford Hall currently provides services to a small group of veterans in the form of the Complex Prosthetic Assessment Clinic (CPAC), which is a joint Ministry of Defence (MOD) and NHS England commissioned outpatient clinic.

Work is ongoing between the MOD, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Devolved Administrations to explore high-pressure areas within the NHS that could be supported by the DMRC Stanford Hall, to determine whether and how it could benefit the veteran community.

In addition to the services provided to Service personnel and veterans at the DMRC, the Government has also committed funding to the development of an NHS England led National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), with plans for the facility to be operational in 2022. The NRC will be co-located with the DMRC at the Stanford Hall site, enabling the sharing of expertise and the use of facilities available at the DMRC.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make it his policy to enable veterans with ongoing (a) musculoskeletal and (b) neurological rehabilitation needs to access services provided by DMRC Stanford Hall.

Since it opened in autumn 2018, 21 veterans have received treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Stanford Hall.

The responsibility for veterans' healthcare in the UK rests with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the NHS and its partners in the Devolved Administrations.

DMRC Stanford Hall currently provides services to a small group of veterans in the form of the Complex Prosthetic Assessment Clinic (CPAC), which is a joint Ministry of Defence (MOD) and NHS England commissioned outpatient clinic.

Work is ongoing between the MOD, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Devolved Administrations to explore high-pressure areas within the NHS that could be supported by the DMRC Stanford Hall, to determine whether and how it could benefit the veteran community.

In addition to the services provided to Service personnel and veterans at the DMRC, the Government has also committed funding to the development of an NHS England led National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), with plans for the facility to be operational in 2022. The NRC will be co-located with the DMRC at the Stanford Hall site, enabling the sharing of expertise and the use of facilities available at the DMRC.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for veterans that have been medically discharged from the armed forces to be informed of their compensation award.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Dunfermline and Fife (Douglas Chapman) on 9 January 2020 to Question 138.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will commission an independent review and audit of the medical discharge process in the armed forces.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 December 2019 to Question 140 to the hon. Member for Dunfermline and West Fife (Mr Chapman).

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of medically discharged veterans that have experienced difficulties in finding adequate (a) housing, (b) employment and (c) healthcare.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the wellbeing of all veterans very seriously. MOD Ministers and officials have regular meetings with their counterparts in the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England to ensure that the health needs of veterans in England, including those who are medically discharged, are properly considered.

Within the UK, veterans, including those who are medically discharged, access public sector services in the same way as their fellow civilians, through a combination of UK Government, Devolved Government and local authority provision. The unique circumstances of each nation and region mean that in practice the level and method of service can, and should, be different as they are tailored to local needs, even if the principles and broad outcomes are consistent. The UK Government will continue to work with service deliverers across the UK who support veterans to collect and analyse data to ensure that appropriate support is provided for those veterans who need it most.

As part of the ten-year vision articulated in the Strategy for our Veterans, in October 2019 the Ministry of Defence introduced a ‘Defence Holistic Transition’ policy. ‘Defence Transition Services’ (DTS) was established at the same time, to support those Service leavers who face the greatest challenges to making a successful transition to civilian life, including those who are medically discharged. The full-spectrum service is available to all Service leavers exiting the Armed Forces and is based on the needs of the individual, providing the specific support they may need and interventions to ensure issues are resolved. This support extends for two years after discharge and longer if necessary.

The long-established Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides guidance to Service leavers in their transition from military to civilian life through a range of career and employment support services including skills development workshops, seminars, resettlement training advice, vocational training courses, career consultancy, one-to-one sessions and job finding support. A bespoke service is provided for the most vulnerable leavers through the CTP resettlement pathway.?This function is called CTP Assist and delivers an individualised, needs-based service to those?Service personnel who face the greatest barriers to employment as a consequence of their medical conditions.?This comprehensive employment support is made available to all Service personnel subject to medical discharge in order to maximise their?successful transition to civilian life.?All military personnel can access CTP two years before leaving and within two years of leaving; beyond that point they can access The Forces Employment Charity (RFEA) which provides support for life.

Statistics on the estimated employment outcomes for ex-Service personnel who used the services provided by CTP, including those who have been medically discharged, can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/career-transition-partnership-ex-service-personnel-employment-outcomes-statistics-index. The MOD also publishes annual statistical information on medical discharges among UK Regular Service personnel: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/medical-discharges-among-uk-service-personnel-statistics-index

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to support medically discharged veterans that are unable to access adequate (a) housing, (b) employment and (c) healthcare.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the wellbeing of all veterans very seriously. MOD Ministers and officials have regular meetings with their counterparts in the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England to ensure that the health needs of veterans in England, including those who are medically discharged, are properly considered.

Within the UK, veterans, including those who are medically discharged, access public sector services in the same way as their fellow civilians, through a combination of UK Government, Devolved Government and local authority provision. The unique circumstances of each nation and region mean that in practice the level and method of service can, and should, be different as they are tailored to local needs, even if the principles and broad outcomes are consistent. The UK Government will continue to work with service deliverers across the UK who support veterans to collect and analyse data to ensure that appropriate support is provided for those veterans who need it most.

As part of the ten-year vision articulated in the Strategy for our Veterans, in October 2019 the Ministry of Defence introduced a ‘Defence Holistic Transition’ policy. ‘Defence Transition Services’ (DTS) was established at the same time, to support those Service leavers who face the greatest challenges to making a successful transition to civilian life, including those who are medically discharged. The full-spectrum service is available to all Service leavers exiting the Armed Forces and is based on the needs of the individual, providing the specific support they may need and interventions to ensure issues are resolved. This support extends for two years after discharge and longer if necessary.

The long-established Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides guidance to Service leavers in their transition from military to civilian life through a range of career and employment support services including skills development workshops, seminars, resettlement training advice, vocational training courses, career consultancy, one-to-one sessions and job finding support. A bespoke service is provided for the most vulnerable leavers through the CTP resettlement pathway.?This function is called CTP Assist and delivers an individualised, needs-based service to those?Service personnel who face the greatest barriers to employment as a consequence of their medical conditions.?This comprehensive employment support is made available to all Service personnel subject to medical discharge in order to maximise their?successful transition to civilian life.?All military personnel can access CTP two years before leaving and within two years of leaving; beyond that point they can access The Forces Employment Charity (RFEA) which provides support for life.

Statistics on the estimated employment outcomes for ex-Service personnel who used the services provided by CTP, including those who have been medically discharged, can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/career-transition-partnership-ex-service-personnel-employment-outcomes-statistics-index. The MOD also publishes annual statistical information on medical discharges among UK Regular Service personnel: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/medical-discharges-among-uk-service-personnel-statistics-index

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of new developments built after 2019 are resilient to flooding.

We do not collect this data. The National Planning Policy and guidance on managing flood risk is clear that inappropriate development in areas at current or future risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, towards areas at least risk. Where development is necessary in a flood risk area, and where there are no suitable sites available in areas with a lower risk of flooding, it should be made safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere and be appropriately flood resistant and resilient.

The Environment Agency must be consulted on planning applications in areas at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea, and is a statutory consultee on all planning applications (other than for minor development) which is to be carried out on land in an area within Flood Zones 2 and 3; or in Flood Zone 1 which has critical drainage issues.

My Department publishes figures on the proportion of new residential addresses created in areas of high or medium risk of flooding within National Flood Zone 3, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/900933/1718_Residential_Address_Change_Statistics_Live_Tables_-_Update.xlsx with the figures are currently available for 2013-14 to 2017-18, in Live Tables P320 and P321.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will reassess the potential merits of making sustainable drainage systems compulsory in new housing developments at risk from flooding.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided and directed away from areas at highest risk. If new homes are necessary in a flood risk area, and no suitable sites at lower risk are available, the local authority should ensure that the development will be safe and will not increase flood risk elsewhere, and include sustainable drainage systems where appropriate.

Additionally, developers must comply with the Building Regulations which give priority to sustainable drainage systems in their hierarchy of arrangements for dealing with rainwater draining from roofs and paving giving access to the building.

We are reviewing our policy for building in areas at flood risk. This will seek to ensure that communities across the country know that future development will be safe from floods. We will assess whether current protections in the National Planning Policy Framework are enough and consider options for further reform.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the response rate of members of the public to planning consultations at Local Plan stages rather than site-specific planning applications.

Comprehensive data on the response rate to local authority public consultations on local plans is not available, so no formal assessment has been made. However, our engagement with the sector suggests that consultations can be dominated by the few willing and able to navigate the process, whilst previous studies suggest that only a small proportion of the public tend to engage in local plan consultations.

The Government believes that the best time to consider the strategic use of land is at the local plan stage, and settling these questions at the outset will bring more certainty that development will come forward in areas best identified for growth.

Our proposals in Planning for the Future will lead to better community engagement when local plans are being prepared, allowing members of the public to exert real influence over developments. New citizen engagement tools will make it easier to understand proposals and to express views

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96982, whether his Department has rejected any claims to the Bellwin scheme.

No Bellwin claims submitted in the last 12 months have been rejected in full. Before payment is made claims are assessed against the scheme terms.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96982, with how many local authorities his Department is working to finalise their application under the Bellwin scheme.

No Bellwin claims submitted in the last 12 months have been rejected in full. Before payment is made claims are assessed against the scheme terms.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much additional Government funding has been allocated to local authorities to manage the effects of flooding since November 2019.

Following the activation of the Flood Recovery Framework in November 2019 and February 2020, MHCLG has provided additional financial support to a number of local authorities under the Community Recovery Grant to assist those communities impacted to recover. Further support will be paid out via council tax discounts and business rates relief.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many claims were (a) made and (b) approved under the Bellwin scheme in respect to flooding incidents in England in each of the last 12 months.

The Department has approved 7 claims in the last 12 months and is working with a number of other local authorities to finalise their applications under the Bellwin scheme.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding has been allocated to local authorities in England to support the work of fire and rescue services in each year since 2010.

The funding that MHCLG allocates to local authorities in England is confirmed each year as part of the annual Local Government Finance Settlement. The Department publishes this data and the funding for both stand-alone Fire and Rescue Authorities and local authorities with fire and rescue responsibilities can be found online at the links below. The Home Office is the responsible department for fire services and provides in addition a number of specific grants to Fire and Rescue Authorities.

These publications show funding allocations but of course this Government believes that local authorities are best placed to know where the spending pressures lie in their local area. This funding is not ringfenced specifically for fire and rescue services, and local authorities may choose to spend the funding as they see fit. Each local authority is accountable to its local electorate for its spending.

This year’s settlement provided the largest year on year increase in Core Spending Power for local authorities in almost a decade: £2.9 billion or an average 4.4 per cent real terms increase.

2015/16

Settlement funding assessment model: final local government finance settlement 2019 to 2020

2016/17 - 2020/21

Key information for local authorities: final local government finance settlement 2020 to 2021

* The methodology for presenting local authority funding changed in 2015 and to go further back to 2010 would show an inconsistent series.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for local authorities to provide emergency accommodation for people with nowhere safe to stay in the next twelve months.

The Government is committed to supporting those who are most vulnerable both during this pandemic and beyond. As the pandemic progressed, we provided councils across England with £3.2 billion to manage the impacts of Covid-19,?including supporting homeless?people.

In addition, we are providing £606 million in 20/21 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This marks a £238 million increase in funding from the previous year.

On 24 May, the?Secretary of State?announced?plans for thousands of long-term, safe homes?to support many of the?vulnerable rough sleepers who have been supported during the Covid-19 pandemic. This?unprecedented?commitment?– the biggest of its kind since the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative?began?– will be backed by?£160?million?in 20/21 to inject 3,300 new units of accommodation over the next 12 months?, part of?6,000 in total.

The plans are being coordinated by?the Rough Sleeping Taskforce, led by Dame Louise Casey.?This work will?bring together local councils, charities, public sector partners and businesses, leading the next phase of the Government’s support for rough sleepers during the pandemic.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what formula the Government used to determine the additional funding for local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the impacts that Covid-19 is having on the sector’s finances and capacity. That is why, on 18 April, we announced a further £1.6 billion to support councils in delivering essential front line services. This funding recognises the additional costs and pressures which councils are facing as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

This package of support takes the total given to councils to help their communities through this crisis to over £3.2 billion, an unprecedented level of additional financial?support in recent times. It means councils will be able to continue to support the most vulnerable people during the pandemic, deal with immediate pressures and provide additional support across a range of vital services.

We recognise that this continues to be an uncertain picture and we are working closely with local government and the LGA to ensure we have a collective understanding of the costs they are facing. Allocations to individual local authorities will follow as soon as practicable.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of covid-19 on the adequacy of local authority finances.

The Government announced a further £1.6 billion to support councils in delivering essential front line services, on 18 April. This funding recognises the additional costs and pressures which councils are facing as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

This package of support takes the total given to councils to help their communities through this crisis to over £3.2 billion, an unprecedented level of additional financial?support in recent times. It means councils will be able to continue to support the most vulnerable people during the pandemic, deal with immediate pressures and provide additional support across a range of vital services.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with local authority leaders in England on the funding that local authorities require to respond to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Local Government Secretary has been working with local authorities and their leaders to understand the challenges and pressures experienced by councils from the Covid-19 outbreak. Local government is an essential part of our response to Covid-19 and the funding package of a further £1.6 billion, announced on 18 April, recognises the additional costs and pressures on finances that councils are facing as a result of the current crisis. It is in addition to the £1.6 billion of additional funding announced for councils in March.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities are adequately prepared to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak.

My Department continues to work with local partners, including local authorities and local resilience forums, to assist preparedness to manage the potential impacts of a Covid-19 outbreak. As part of business continuity and local risk assessment processes, local partners already have well developed pandemic-flu plans in place. Local partners are reviewing these plans to reflect the relevant scientific advice on Covid-19.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many objections to proposed developments on flood risk land from the Environment Agency have been overturned by the Government since 2009.

This information is not held in an accessible form, and answering this question would incur disproportionate cost.

This answer is given on the assumption that the phrase "overturned by Government" relates to (i) decisions made by independent Inspectors under the jurisdiction of the Planning Inspectorate, and (ii) to decisions made by the Secretary of State in relation to recovered appeals or "called in" planning applications.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much additional funding was allocated to flood-hit areas in the UK in the six months following the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Following Storms Desmond and Eva, the Government quickly identified that the immediate priority was to respond to the urgent needs of those affected and government paid out almost £300 million to help householders, communities and businesses to get back on their feet. Furthermore, government supported repairs to vital transport links, including getting the A591 in Cumbria open ahead of schedule, as well as improving flood defences and providing match funding for charity appeals.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much additional funding has been allocated to flood-hit areas in the UK since November 2019.

As result of the November 2019 flooding, the Government announced the activation of the flood recovery framework to support those communities most significantly impacted in England. My Department is still assessing the full extent of the flooding and will be releasing funding to eligible local authorities shortly.

Claims under the Bellwin Scheme in respect of the November flooding incidents in England are also being assessed for payment – the deadline for local authority claims was 17 February 2020.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people that served in the armed forces were identified as statutorily homeless by local authority housing services throughout England in each year since 2010.

Our veterans have played a vital role in keeping our country safe and we owe them a duty to ensure they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

A person who is vulnerable as a result of having been a member of Her Majesty’s regular armed forces has a priority need for accommodation and we have put in place an additional £1 million fund to boost support on offer to vulnerable?veterans?who are, or at risk of becoming homeless.

The Department introduced a new data collection tool in 2018 to improve the information we collect from local authorities on homelessness: the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC).

The figures for people that served in the armed forces identified as statutory homeless from 2018 onwards can be found in table A3 of the homeless tables:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness

Prior to 2018, the figures for levels of statutory homelessness in those who served in the armed forces can be found in the individual LA level tables (listed under discontinued tables):

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness#discontinued-tables

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much was spent in each region of the UK from income generated through fixed penalty notices in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Receipts from fixed penalty notices (FPNs) including those issued for speeding offences and penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) are collected by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and accounted for in the annual HMCTS Trust Statement. By statute these receipts are due to the Consolidated Fund, however, HM Treasury have agreed that annually £30m of the receipts from paid FPNs plus an additional £10 per paid PND should be ring fenced for use by victim services. The remaining receipts, under the latest HM Treasury spending review, are to be retained by MoJ and form part of their overall funding settlement.

In 2019-20 HMCTS collected £105.2m from FPNs and PNDs of which £30.088m was ring fenced to victim services and the remaining £75m was retained by MoJ. The ring-fenced victim services receipts from FPNs and PNDs form part of the overall MoJ budget for victims and witnesses, and thus it is not possible to quantify funding arising from fixed penalty notices relation to speeding or by region.

In 2019-20, the overall victims and witnesses budget was £96m, including the provision of annual victims service grants to 42 Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales and funding to commission emotional and practical support to help victims cope and recover from the effects of crime.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how the Government spends income generated through fixed penalty notices issued for speeding offences.

Receipts from fixed penalty notices (FPNs) including those issued for speeding offences and penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) are collected by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and accounted for in the annual HMCTS Trust Statement. By statute these receipts are due to the Consolidated Fund, however, HM Treasury have agreed that annually £30m of the receipts from paid FPNs plus an additional £10 per paid PND should be ring fenced for use by victim services. The remaining receipts, under the latest HM Treasury spending review, are to be retained by MoJ and form part of their overall funding settlement.

In 2019-20 HMCTS collected £105.2m from FPNs and PNDs of which £30.088m was ring fenced to victim services and the remaining £75m was retained by MoJ. The ring-fenced victim services receipts from FPNs and PNDs form part of the overall MoJ budget for victims and witnesses, and thus it is not possible to quantify funding arising from fixed penalty notices relation to speeding or by region.

In 2019-20, the overall victims and witnesses budget was £96m, including the provision of annual victims service grants to 42 Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales and funding to commission emotional and practical support to help victims cope and recover from the effects of crime.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he made for the implications of his policies of the UK’s commitments under the Paris Principles for National Human Rights Institutions when making appointments to the NI Human Rights Commission.

Appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in accordance with the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

A key part of the process is to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that there is pluralist representation by drawing from a strong and diverse field of candidates who have experience in the protection and promotion of human rights. This well-established approach supports the Government’s commitment to the Paris Principles.

The Government recognises the importance of the NIHRC retaining its ‘A status’ under the Paris Principles. We remain committed to supporting the work of the NIHRC and continuing to engage with the Commissioners going forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)