Steve Reed Portrait

Steve Reed

Labour (Co-op) - Croydon North

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

(since April 2020)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)
24th Jun 2019 - 6th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Civil Society)
3rd Jul 2017 - 24th Jun 2019
Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) (Civil Society)
3rd Oct 2016 - 3rd Jul 2017
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
8th May 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
7th Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Administration Committee
10th Dec 2012 - 11th Nov 2013


Department Event
Wednesday 19th May 2021
09:25
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
19 May 2021, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
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Department Event
Monday 14th June 2021
14:30
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Oral questions - Main Chamber
14 Jun 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Housing, Communities and Local Government (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Fire Safety Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 194 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
Speeches
Monday 19th April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

There has been a 400% increase in donations to the Conservative party from developers under the current Prime Minister. In …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th April 2021
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018
To make provision about the oversight and management of the appropriate use of force in relation to people in mental …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from ComRes, Four Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, for completing surveys. These fees help meet constituency office costs and support …
EDM signed
Monday 18th January 2021
Godfrey Colin Cameron
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Steve Reed has voted in 222 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Steve Reed 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
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
(23 debate interactions)
Luke Hall (Conservative)
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(7 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Steve Reed's debates

Croydon North 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 Croydon North signature proportion
Petitions with most Croydon North signatures
Steve Reed has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Steve Reed

14th January 2021
Steve Reed 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
22nd July 2020
Steve Reed signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 756), dated 20 July 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 21 July 2020, be annulled.
20 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Liberal Democrat: 3
View All Steve Reed's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Steve Reed, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Steve Reed

Thursday 11th June 2020

Steve Reed has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Steve Reed


To make provision about the oversight and management of the appropriate use of force in relation to people in mental health units and similar institutions; to make provision about the use of body cameras by police officers in the course of duties in relation to people in mental health units; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 1st November 2018 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to amend Part 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to make provision about maternity and paternity leave for parents of babies born prematurely; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 26th October 2016
(Read Debate)

Steve Reed has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


484 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
3 Other Department Questions
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, how many times and on what dates he has met with Richard Desmond since he became Prime Minister.

Details of Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Prime Minister, which ministers attended the meeting with SPAC Nation at Downing Street on 9 May 2018.

Details of ministerial meetings are published and available on the gov.uk website; no such Ministerial meeting took place.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Prime Minister, what the purpose was of the visit by SPAC Nation to Downing Street on 9 May 2018.

Details of ministerial meetings are published and available on the gov.uk website; no such Ministerial meeting took place.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 757, on Slavery: Prosecutions, how many prosecutions there have been involving child victims under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in each year since 2015.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) records all offences charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and within those, the offences that involve child abuse are flagged. Since the Act came into force and up to the end of September 2019, the number of Modern Slavery Act offences flagged as child abuse is as follows:

  • 2015-2016: 1
  • 2016-2017: 21
  • 2017-2018: 26
  • 2018-2019: 8
  • April-Sept 2019: 3

Data Source: CPS Case Management Information System

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences, the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding, or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020, to Question 757, on Slavery: Prosecutions, if her Department will publish annually the number of prosecutions that take place under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 of cases involving child victims.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) publishes a detailed breakdown of prosecutions for all cases flagged as modern slavery and child abuse within the 2018-19 Violence against Women and Girls Report. This is supplemented by the quarterly Data Bulletins, which are available on the CPS Website.

The CPS reviews their data publication policy periodically throughout the year and at the beginning of the financial year. As part of this review the CPS will consider what data it will publish in 2020/21.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutions there have been under the Modern Slavery Act since 2015 for cases involving child victims.

The CPS records all offences charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and within those, the offences that involve child abuse are flagged. Since the Act came into force and up to the end of September 2019, the CPS has prosecuted 59 Modern Slavery Act offences involving child abuse.

Cases referred to the CPS by the police as modern slavery are often prosecuted under other legislation. The CPS has prosecuted 209 defendants for human trafficking offences involving child abuse, from 2015/16 to September 2019.

There is no indication of the number of individual defendants prosecuted for these offences or the final outcome of the prosecution proceeding or if the charged offence was the substantive charge at the time of finalisation. It is often the case that defendants will be prosecuted for more than one offence in the same set of proceedings.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what proportion of staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

As of 31 January 2020, there are no apprentices in the Attorney General’s Office (AGO). This is 0% of the total staff employed within the department.

As of 31 November 2019, there are 39 apprentices in Government Legal Department (GLD). This is 1.53% of the total staff employed within the department.

As of 31 December 2019, 3.7% of staff employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are on an apprenticeship scheme.

As of 31 December 2019, there are 4 apprentices in the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). This is 0.85% of the total staff in the department.

As of 31 November 2019, there are no apprentices at HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI). This is 0% of the total staff employed within the department.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021, to Question 179137, on Regional Planning and Development: Public Opinion, whether his Department has commissioned work to be undertaken by external polling and communications agencies into public attitudes on the Government's Levelling Up agenda.

I refer the hon. Member to my response to PQ179137, answered on 15 April 2021 which confirmed that details of departmental expenditure and contracts are published on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish records of all activities undertaken by Crown Representatives as part of the work of his Department.

Crown Representatives help the government to act as a single customer. They work across departments to:

  • ensure a single and strategic view of the government’s needs is communicated to the market;

  • identify areas for cost savings or operational improvements;

  • act as a point of focus for cross-cutting supplier-related issues.

Crown Representatives cover all sectors of service provision including small and medium enterprises, voluntary sector organisations, mutually owned organisations, large suppliers and specific sectors. All Crown Representatives complete Conflict of Interest declarations every six months.

Information about the Crown Representative programme, including a list of the current Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategic-suppliers

We will write to the hon. Member with further information and place a copy of the letter in the House Library.



Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish research commissioned by the Government and undertaken by external polling and communications agencies into public attitudes on the levelling up agenda.

As has been the case with successive administrations, Government routinely works with suppliers to provide polling and market research work so as to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform policy-making. Details of departmental expenditure and contracts are published on GOV.UK.

Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it is his Department's policy that elections scheduled for May 2021 go ahead as planned.

Primary legislation states that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.

We continue to work closely with the electoral community, including electoral suppliers, and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely - and in a way of their choosing.

Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice. Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review. The House will be kept updated.

The Government has also engaged with the Parliamentary Parties Panel to ensure that views from political parties are taken on board.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's policy is on the use of non-disclosure agreements in the civil service for settling cases involving racial discrimination or abuse grievances.

The Cabinet Office publishes guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in the Civil Service. This is publicly available here. It makes clear that such clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

As part of the Government's evidence for the Women and Equalities Committee report on the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrminination cases, we provided details on the number of non-disclosure agreements used in the Civil Service including those that were used in cases of alleged discrimination. This represents the latest data we have available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, many non-disclosure agreements have been used by each Government department for settling discrimination cases in each of the last five years.

The Cabinet Office publishes guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in the Civil Service. This is publicly available here. It makes clear that such clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

As part of the Government's evidence for the Women and Equalities Committee report on the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrminination cases, we provided details on the number of non-disclosure agreements used in the Civil Service including those that were used in cases of alleged discrimination. This represents the latest data we have available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a list all meetings the Prime Minister has had with donors to the Conservative Party since he became Prime Minister.

Ministers publish details of their government meetings with external individuals and organisations on GOV.UK.

The Government does not collate details of whether such individuals or organisations have made donations to any political party in the past.

This would not be a material consideration in deciding whether to hold any meeting, nor with the topics discussed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Cabinet Secretary is undertaking an inquiry into the circumstances by which the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made his decision on the Westferry Printworks development, PA/18/01877/A1 on 14 January 2020.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has yesterday published a comprehensive statement to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the manner in which the Westferry planning appeal was determined, and released a comprehensive collection of associated documents into the public domain; and I also refer the Hon. Member to the Secretary of State’s speech in the Opposition Day Debate.

The Cabinet Secretary has not undertaken an investigation; he has written to the Hon. Member in relation to this matter in reply to his letter. Given the Hon. Member publicly released his original letter, I am placing a copy of this reply in the Libraries of the House.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on which dates data on people who are medically extremely vulnerable to covid-19 and should therefore be shielded has been provided to local authorities; and the details of how many individuals were provided on each occasion.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) - acting as the data controller for the shielded patient list (SPL) (ie persons who are medically extremely vulnerable to covid-19), as supplied by the NHS - has provided data of individuals on this list to local authorities. GDS initially provided data from the ‘registered list’ to local authorities in late March. From 2 April GDS provided the entire SPL, which was updated by the NHS on 9 April and 6 May, and then on a rolling basis.

Individual local authorities are only able to access SPL records where the postcode matches their relevant area.

The number of NHS SPL individuals was 2,232,175 as at 26 May 2020 and the number of 'registered list' individuals was 1,190,213 as at 26 May 2020. Note that the ‘registered list’ is broadly a subset of the SPL, not additional to it.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what contingency plans he has in place for the elections on 7 May 2020 in the event of a covid-19 outbreak.

The Government continues to assess the impact of Covid-19 and is reviewing any implications for the delivery of public services on an ongoing basis. Our approach has been, and will continue to be, guided by the evidence and latest advice from medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer.

We are currently working to facilitate the local, mayoral, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections on 7 May going ahead as planned.

We will of course continue to monitor the situation, and we are developing our responses and contingency plans as necessary.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has submitted a witness statement to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in Module Five in his capacity as a previous (a) Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and (b) Mayor of London.

The Inquiries Act 2005 empowers the Chair of an Inquiry to require the production of evidence, including from witnesses. The Prime Minister has received no requests for a witness statement from the Chair of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The London Fire Commissioner (which replaced LFEPA in 2017) is a core participant in the Inquiry.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of staff employed by the Department for Exiting the European Union were apprentices.

Data regarding the number of apprentices in each Government Department is published yearly as part of routine Government transparency. The most recent report was published in September 2019, covering the 2018-2019 financial year, and can be found on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of staff employed by No. 10 Downing Street are apprentices.

Data regarding the number of apprentices in each Government Department is published yearly as part of routine Government transparency. The most recent report was published in September 2019, covering the 2018-2019 financial year, and can be found on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) jobs created and (b) homes built in Hartlepool as a result of Local Growth Deals for the Tees Valley Unlimited Local Enterprise Partnership.

As required by Government, Tees Valley Combined Authority publish an annual report on the progress towards delivering growth deal targets. The latest report is available here: https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Tees-Valley-Combined-Authority-Delivery-Report-2019-20.pdf

That report highlights the following targets and progress across the Tees Valley:

Key performance indicator

Delivered to date

Forecast 2021 – 2025

Total Forecast

Jobs created

527

11,943

12,470

Apprenticeships created

646

420

1,066

Learners assisted

9,710

8,392

18,102

Houses completed

1,078

2,910

3,988

Detailed output figures are not available for Hartlepool.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much investment from local growth deals for the Tees Valley Unlimited Local Enterprise Partnership was made on projects in Hartlepool.

Tees Valley Combined Authority was allocated £126million through local growth deals. As an integrated Local Enterprise Partnership and Combined Authority this formed part of a ‘single pot’ joining 24 different government funds in order to maximise programme flexibility and investment.

This overall programme of activity is detailed in Tees Valley Investment Plan 2019-2029, which is available at: https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Investment-Plan-2019-20-Digital.pdf

Much of this investment is for schemes benefitting all of the Tees Valley. A full list of supported projects is available at: https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/investment/projects/, including support for the Hartlepool Waterfront, as well as business incubation spaces, and new training facilities in the town.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many full-time equivalent staff from his Department were employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit in each of the last five years.

The Cities and Local Growth Unit is the Government’s local growth team, working across two Departments and reporting jointly into the MHCLG and BEIS Secretaries of State. In each of the last five years, BEIS FTE employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit (CLGU) is detailed in following chart.

BEIS FTE employed in the CLGU from 2017 to *2021

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

91.1

102.4

125.8

133.1

153.4

*153.4 reflects data up to 28th February 2021

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many full-time equivalent staff from his Department are employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit.

The Cities and Local Growth Unit is the Government’s local growth team, working across two Departments and reporting jointly into my Rt. Hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. As of 28 February 2021, the most recent date for which data is available, the Unit employed 153.4 FTE BEIS staff.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2021 to Question 149245 on Local Growth Deals, on what basis the Government has calculated that £15 billion of public and private sector investment has been leveraged through Local Growth Fund investment.

Local Enterprise Partnerships provide self-reported Local Growth Fund monitoring returns on a quarterly basis. Each monitoring return is verified and approved by their Accountable Body’s Section 151 Officer or equivalent, prior to submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. These returns include self-reported details of private and public sector investment that has been leveraged because of the Local Growth Fund investment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many projects have been delivered in each Local Enterprise Partnership through Local Growth Deals in each round of the Growth Deal programme.

All payments from the 3 rounds of Growth Deals have been issued to Local Enterprise partnerships (LEPs) as of last year. LEPs are continuing to deliver the projects funded under these deals and currently there are 2109 Local Growth Fund (LGF) projects across all 38 LEPs as shown in the table.

LEP

Total Projects

Black County

64

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley

34

Cheshire and Warrington

59

Coast to Capital

88

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

27

Coventry and Warwickshire

35

Cumbria

34

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

55

Dorset

39

Enterprise M3

88

Greater Lincolnshire

36

Gloucestershire

28

Greater Manchester

69

Greater Cambridge and Peterborough

51

Heart of the South West

53

Hertfordshire

67

Humber

51

Lancashire

52

London

143

Leeds City Region

160

Leicester

20

Liverpool City Region

138

New Anglia

48

North East

63

Oxfordshire

31

Sheffield City Region

80

Solent

38

South East

94

South East Midlands

58

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

32

Swindon and Wiltshire

24

Tees Valley

48

Thames Valley Berkshire

43

The Marches

21

West of England

50

Worcestershire

24

York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

64

Total Projects

2109

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has calculated an estimate of the return on investment from projects delivered by Local Growth Deals funding for each of those deals agreed with Local Enterprise Partnerships; and if he will publish that calculation.

The Local Growth Fund has invested in high value projects in England to boost local economic growth, including transport, skill, business support and housing projects to name but a few. This has empowered local areas to identify and bring forward genuine local priorities.

Local Enterprise Partnerships have reported that, to date over £15 billion of public and private sector investment has been leveraged through Local Growth Fund investment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with commercial property companies since 1 March 2020.

Departments publish quarterly details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations on GOV.UK. Details for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

The latest published data covers January to March 2020. Data for April to June 2020 will be published in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of new sites required for the provision of telecommunications infrastructure in order for the UK to meet government targets for the rollout of 5G.

The government’s ambition is for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027. This will be achieved by a combination of upgrading existing sites and acquiring new sites.

Network deployment plans are a matter for the mobile network operators, but the government is undertaking a number of actions to support this. We have consulted on whether further changes to the Electronic Communications Code are needed to tackle barriers to network deployment, upgrading and sharing. Our consultation closed on 24 March 2021, and we are currently analysing responses. The government is also working to ensure that the planning system continues to support the deployment of mobile infrastructure, and we plan to publish our technical consultation very shortly.

We are confident that through these actions we will achieve our 5G rollout ambitions.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £500 million pledged in the 2019 Conservative Party Manifesto has been allocated for youth services.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament and in the recently completed Spending Review, £30m was committed from the fund as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so that they can access youth support workers, and beneficial activities outside of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation and eligibility criteria will be announced in due course.

DCMS is currently undertaking a review of all its spending on services for young people, including future plans for the Youth Investment Fund, which will support 2021 Spending Review proposals.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, and on the youth services that support them. The 2020-21 £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund was announced to protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations. The funding is allocated from the government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support, which is already benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities. More than £88 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the UK economy of the removal of visa free travel for British musicians within the EU.

The Government recognises the world-leading position of the UK music sector and the rich breadth of musical talent across the UK. According to UK Music’s 2020 report, the sector contributed £5.8bn GVA to the UK economy in 2019 and generated £2.9bn in export revenue.

In negotiations with the EU, the government fought for a good deal for our world-leading creative industries. The UK’s proposal was developed in consultation with our creative sectors, and would have enabled performers, artists and support staff to tour and perform in the EU without needing work-permits. Regrettably, the EU rejected our proposals.

The Government is committed to supporting the sector to maintain its world-leading position, and to help it recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. We recognise that the new provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State.

Therefore, UK cultural professionals, including musicians, seeking to perform within the EU will be required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each Member State in which they intend to perform. We are committed to continuing to help the music sector understand and adapt to these changes. These issues are being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, to ensure the sector gets the clarity and support it needs.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage parents to set up technical controls on their children's gaming devices to control their gaming and online use.

The government continues to work with industry and the age ratings bodies to help consumers learn about parental controls available on devices, including through initiatives such as AskAboutGames and PEGI advice about safe gaming.

We also welcomed the launch in January 2020 of the games industry’s Get Smart About P.L.A.Y. campaign encouraging parents to use parental controls and take an active role in their children’s gaming.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2019, to Question 6701, on Young People, for what reason the referenced long-term vision for young people is not the responsibility of the Department for Education and the Minister for Children and Families.

Policy relating to young people is shared between several government departments. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is responsible for out of school activities for young people. DCMS officials are working closely with several other government departments to develop a bold and ambitious youth offer, including the Department for Education.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2019 to Question 3229 on Children and Young People, which Department will be developing the long-term vision for young people; and which Minister will have responsibility for that strategy.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport is working with colleagues across Government, and with young people, to build an ambitious long-term youth offer. The Secretary of State and Minister for Civil Society are responsible for this.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department plans to develop a cross-government strategy for children and young people.

Last year the government announced its intention to set out a long-term vision for young people and has been working to develop this. Building on this announcement, in September the Chancellor announced a £500m Youth Investment Fund to build 60 new youth centres across the country, refurbish around 360 existing youth facilities, and provide over 100 mobile facilities for harder to reach areas. The funding will also be used to ensure that young people have access to a range of positive activities and qualified youth workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what respite care his Department is planning to provide for (a) lone parents and (b) carers looking after children with special needs or disabilities who may not be able to care for their child if they contract covid-19.

The welfare of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers is a high priority for the government, especially during this period of uncertainty. We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that appropriate arrangements and support are in place for all Department for Education sectors – from the early years and childcare, to schools and children’s social care, including for children with special educational needs. The government is providing local authorities with an additional £3.2 billion to help them cope with the impact of the pandemic, including within the SEND and children’s social care sectors. The access of parents and carers to respite care and their subsequent ability to safely meet the health and care needs of their children is key to determining whether vulnerable children and young people are safer in their home or educational setting. However, the responsibility for commissioning any at-home provision lies with the local authority responsible for maintaining Education, Health and Care plans, though it may be possible for some of the provision to be provided by the school or college. Guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has provided to (a) Pupil Referral Units and (b) other specialist or alternative education providers on regular physical contact with pupils during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department has published guidance to all schools, including Alternative Provision (AP) settings and pupil referral units (PRUs), on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings. The guidance can be found at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

We have also issued wider guidance regarding ongoing provision for vulnerable children, including in AP and PRUs:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

We will support these settings, via local authorities and other key agencies, to identify the best way to protect young people in AP and PRUs, and to keep them open where it is feasible to do so.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it his policy that children’s social care workers on temporary contracts who are not eligible for sick pay be paid in the event that they self-isolate as a result of suspected covid-19.

Local authorities have the day-to-day responsibility for their child and family social care workforce and for the delivery of children’s social care including the terms and conditions of their employees. We are working closely with them to support their social care workforce, to provide stability of services for our most vulnerable children.

£1.6 billion of additional funding is being provided to support local authorities address any pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including in children’s social care.

We are working with the sector, the Treasury and other government departments to assess COVID-19 related cost pressures on local authorities arising from children’s social care. We are also closely monitoring what’s happening on the ground, to help ensure social care workers get the support they need every step of the way in the weeks and months ahead.

More generally, the government has announced a significant package of temporary measures for those who may be unable to work. This includes a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element and nearly a £1 billion increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants. Taken together, these measures and those announced at Budget provide over £6.5 billion additional support through the welfare system for people affected by COVID-19. These changes will benefit all new and existing claimants.

Anyone can check their eligibility and apply for Universal Credit by visiting the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/what-youll-get.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is undertaking to ensure that children’s social care workers who have no recourse to public funds restrictions on their passports will be able to access Government assistance in the event that they need to self-isolate and are unable to work during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has introduced a range of measures to provide assistance for those affected by COVID-19, including those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

COVID-19 has been added to the list of communicable diseases so anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of their immigration status, will be treated for free.

Eligible individuals with NRPF can also benefit from the unprecedented levels of support the government is now also providing through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The government has also extended Statutory Sick Pay to be payable from Day 1 rather than Day 4 and made Contributory Employment and Support Allowance available from the first day of sickness rather than the eighth, subject to other eligibility criteria.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what respite care his Department plans to provide for parents of children who would normally be cared for by older relatives who are being advised to self-isolate due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government is clear that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. Early years and childcare settings are closed except for children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Local authorities are working to support childcare settings to ensure that there are sufficient places for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

Guidance for early years and childcare providers is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's announcement on 18 March 2020 that schools, colleges and early years settings should close, whether (a) after school and (b) holiday clubs are included in that closure; and whether he has plans to allocate financial support to those organisations during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for childcare providers, schools and colleges to remain closed, except for those children who absolutely need to attend. Guidance covers Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children of all ages, including childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare and clubs. This includes before- and after-school and holiday care. Further details of the guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

On 23 March 2020, the government also provided further guidance directing youth centres and community centres to close. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.

Regarding financial support, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a package of support for businesses. This includes business rates and Statutory Sick Pay relief, and a range of loans and grants. Furthermore, under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HM Revenue & Customs will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance has been issued to local authorities on children’s play services.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework sets the regulatory standards for learning and development and safeguarding and welfare requirements for all early years providers caring for children aged 5 and under. The framework defines 7 areas of learning and development and is clear that each area must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.

The EYFS does not promote a particular pedagogical approach - it is for individual early years settings to determine how the areas of learning should be implemented to support children to meet the expected level of development by the end of the reception year.

The EYFS Statutory Framework is available at the link below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure children on the at-risk register are fully supported by professional staff throughout the covid-19 outbreak.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for government. Local authorities have the key day-to-day responsibility for delivery of children’s social care and we are working closely with them to ensure stability of services for our most vulnerable children.

£1.6 billion of additional funding is being provided to support local authorities address any pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including for delivering children’s social care.

In addition, through the Coronavirus Act 2020 we have taken powers to bring previously registered social workers onto the register of social workers held by the regulator, Social Work England. Alongside this we have launched the Social Work Together programme. Information about this is available at www.socialworkengland.org.uk/news/social-work-together/.

The Government have also published guidance to local authorities accessible at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if children living in temporary accommodation will be able to continue attending school.

From Monday 23 March, all schools and childcare settings are closed except to vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Where the work of a parent or guardian is critical to our response to COVID-19, children should only be sent to school and/or a childcare provider where they cannot be cared for safely at home.

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care plans. Those who have a social worker include children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority. A child may also be deemed to be vulnerable if they have been assessed as being in need or otherwise meet the definition in Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Leaders of educational settings and designated safeguarding leads know who their most vulnerable children are and will have the flexibility to offer a place to those on the edges of receiving children’s social care support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's annual report 2018 to 2019, published on 4 March 2020, what steps he is taking to tackle the (a) weak risk assessment and (b) poor decision making identified in that report.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's annual report 2018 to 2019 published on 4 March 2020, what steps his Department is taking to tackle poor information exchange at critical points between agencies.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's annual report 2018 to 2019 published on 4 March 2020, what steps his Department is taking to improve the operation of multi-agency public protection arrangements.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's annual report 2018 to 2019 published on 4 March 2020, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children that are home educated are effectively safeguarded.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel: annual report 2018 to 2019, published 04 March 2020, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Rapid Reviews are undertaken within the timescales set out in statutory guidance.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation report, published by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel on 04 March 2020, what plans he has to evaluate a practice framework that can provide a comprehensive approach at the point when a child has been identified as being at risk of criminal exploitation.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel's report entitled Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation published on 4 March 2020, what plans his Department has to undertake a review of Working Together 2018.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation report, published by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel on 4 March 2020, whether he plans to take steps to improve the National Referral Mechanism for children at risk of criminal exploitation.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s report entitled Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation: review, published on 4 March 2020, if his Department will work with the (a) Home Office, (b) Youth Justice Board, (c) Association of Directors of Children’s Services and (d) police to agree a simple dataset on child criminal exploitation for local collection.

The government welcomes the 'Safeguarding children at risk from criminal exploitation' report from the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and thanks them for their detailed work and consideration. Child protection is a priority and when a child dies or faces serious harm and it is vital that lessons are learned from these tragedies. The government thanks the Panel for its recommendations and is considering carefully how to respond. In doing so, my ministerial colleagues and I will discuss the report with the Panel, and with those delivering children's social care and other interested parties.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect on the wellbeing of vulnerable children of the UK's departure from the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Education made extensive preparations for leaving the EU based on government planning assumptions to ensure continued support for vulnerable children. We are working with the Home Office and local authorities to ensure that vulnerable children in the care system secure a status under the EU Settlement Scheme and have their rights protected in future.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department's policy is to support foster carers to maintain contact with children that they have fostered.

Maintaining contact is consistently one of the most important issues raised by children and young people. Many children value the relationships that they have, not only with family, but also with previous carers. Children should be supported and encouraged to maintain positive and constructive contact with all those who are important to them and this should include previous foster parents unless this is not consistent with the child’s best interest.

The department is currently talking to the sector to find ways that foster parents can be supported with all aspects of contact, including contact with children that they have previously fostered.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that fostering services are paying (a) at or (b) above the national minimum allowance level to foster carers.

The National Minimum Standards for fostering services are clear that every foster parent should receive an allowance that covers the full cost of caring for a child. Whilst local authorities determine the allowance paid to foster parents in their area, the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) serves as a baseline to the minimum amount that foster parents can expect to receive per week to cover the cost of a child living in their home.

The NMA rates for 2020-21 were published on 6 February. We have notified Directors of Children’s Services and reiterated that whilst it is not mandatory in regulations, we expect all fostering services to pay at least this amount.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of adequacy of the national minimum fostering allowance paid to foster carers to provide high quality care for the children they are fostering.

No foster parent should be out of pocket because of their fostering role. The National Minimum Standards for fostering services are clear that every foster parent should receive an allowance that covers the full cost of caring for a child. Whilst it is for fostering services to decide the level of financial support offered to foster parents in their area, the Department for Education recommends the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) as a minimum benchmark. No foster parent should expect to receive anything less than the NMA per week. The NMA is uplifted annually to keep in line with inflation.

Over and above the NMA, it is for fostering services to set their own payment systems. Many fostering services currently operate local fee payments for foster parents, which is often based on their skills, experience and qualifications, and/or tier based on the complexity of the child’s needs. Many local authorities also offer additional allowances for equipment costs or to cover expenses such as travel or emergency clothing or initial set-up costs.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 11622, on Pupils: Mental Health, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of standardising the tools such as surveys used by schools to monitor their pupils’ wellbeing.

Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils by providing support and activities tailored to their particular needs. It is up to schools to decide what support to offer pupils and what measurement tools to use to inform those decisions.

The Department is working on guidance which will build upon the toolkit[1] issued by Public Health England. It will set out how schools can use existing measurement tools to inform different aspects of their provision. The Department will consider the use and suitability of existing tools, and decide whether to take any further action to support schools in the context of that work.

[1] https://www.annafreud.org/media/4612/mwb-toolki-final-draft-4.pdf.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Education, whether his Department collects data from local authorities on the number of (a) trafficked and (b) at risk children in their care.

The latest information on episodes of need where trafficking was identified as a factor at the end of assessment is included in the department’s ‘Characteristics of children in need: 2018 to 2019’ statistical publication, available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2018-to-2019.

Table C3 of this publication shows that, at a national level, trafficking was identified as a factor at the end of assessment in 2,490 (0.5%) of the 498,870 episodes with assessment factor information in the year ending 31 March 2019.

Information on looked-after children is collected from local authorities in the annual looked-after children census, but does not include information on whether the child is specifically considered to be at risk of being trafficked.

The latest information on looked-after children is published in the ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’ statistical release, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption Support Fund, how many claims have been received on behalf of previously looked after children on special guardianship orders by financial year; how many of those claims have been successful (a) in total and (b) by local authority area; and what the average amount awarded was for those claims (i) in total and (ii) by local authority area.

As at the end of December 2019, the total number of approved applications on behalf of previously looked-after children on special guardianship orders was 3,619 with an average funding of £3,033. The number of rejected applications was 13 (0.4%). The breakdown by financial year and local authority area is attached.

As at December 2019, the total number of approved applications were 42,103 with an average funding of £3,321. The total number of rejected applications was 176 (0.4%). The breakdown by financial year and local authority area is attached.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption Support Fund, how many claims have been received by financial year; how many of those claims have been successful (a) in total and (b) by local authority area; and what the average amount awarded was for those claims (i) in total and (ii) by local authority area.

As at the end of December 2019, the total number of approved applications on behalf of previously looked-after children on special guardianship orders was 3,619 with an average funding of £3,033. The number of rejected applications was 13 (0.4%). The breakdown by financial year and local authority area is attached.

As at December 2019, the total number of approved applications were 42,103 with an average funding of £3,321. The total number of rejected applications was 176 (0.4%). The breakdown by financial year and local authority area is attached.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the number of non-residential university buildings that are (a) under and (b) over 18m in height that have aluminium composite material cladding.

The safety of students and staff across the education estate remains a high priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on fire safety. In line with the cross-government approach, we identified university-owned residential buildings over 18 metres with potentially dangerous aluminium composite material cladding. In the light of updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings published on 20 January 2020 by MHCLG, the department will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate, and we will continue to work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work, if any, is undertaken. The department does not hold information on cladding of non-residential university buildings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the number of non-residential university buildings that are (a) under and (b) over 18m in height that have high pressure laminate cladding.

The safety of students and staff across the education estate remains a high priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on fire safety. In line with the cross-government approach, we identified university-owned residential buildings over 18 metres with potentially dangerous aluminium composite material cladding. In the light of updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings published on 20 January 2020 by MHCLG, the department will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate, and we will continue to work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work, if any, is undertaken. The department does not hold information on cladding of non-residential university buildings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on the number of non-residential university buildings that are (a) under and (b) over 18m in height that have combustible cladding that is neither high pressure laminate or aluminium composite material.

The safety of students and staff across the education estate remains a high priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on fire safety. In line with the cross-government approach, we identified university-owned residential buildings over 18 metres with potentially dangerous aluminium composite material cladding. In the light of updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings published on 20 January 2020 by MHCLG, the department will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate, and we will continue to work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work, if any, is undertaken. The department does not hold information on cladding of non-residential university buildings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many previously looked after children on a (a) special guardianship order, (b) child arrangements order and (c) residence order and (d) adoption order in each local authority area received a pupil premium plus grant in 2019-20.

The numbers of children previously looked after counted for pupil premium plus in each local authority in 2019-20 are shown in the attached table, including the numbers of those on (a) special guardianship order, (b) child arrangements order, (c) residence order and (d) adoption order.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to respond to the Call for Evidence on Building Bulletin 100: Design for Fire Safety in Schools, (BB100), that closed on 31 May 2019.

?The Department for Education will publish the response to the Call for Evidence on Building Bulletin 100: Design for Fire Safety in Schools in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of pupils eligible to receive pupil premium funding in (a) Croydon North constituency and (b) London Borough of Croydon.

The pupil premium is additional funding that state-funded schools in England receive to help improve the attainment and wider outcomes of pupils from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds; and also of looked after and previously looked after children.

Schools are allocated deprivation pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils on roll at the time of the January school census who have been registered for benefits-based free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last six years (known as Ever6 FSM). Schools also receive pupil premium funding at a higher rate (known as pupil premium plus) for pupils who have left local authority care in England and Wales through adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order. Pupils who are in local authority care for one day or more also attract pupil premium plus funding; this is paid to the local authority and managed by the Virtual School Head.

The Department publishes information annually showing the number of pupils at school, local authority, Parliamentary constituency and national levels who attract the pupil premium to the schools they attend – this is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2019-to-2020.

The Department does not routinely monitor or publish statistics on the number of pupils who would be eligible for the deprivation pupil premium through having a parent in receipt of benefits that meet the qualifying criteria for FSM, but who do not attract this funding to the schools they attend because they are not registered for FSM.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of pupils claiming pupil premium funding in (a) Croydon North constituency and (b) London Borough of Croydon.

The pupil premium is additional funding that state-funded schools in England receive to help improve the attainment and wider outcomes of pupils from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds; and also of looked after and previously looked after children.

Schools are allocated deprivation pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils on roll at the time of the January school census who have been registered for benefits-based free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last six years (known as Ever6 FSM). Schools also receive pupil premium funding at a higher rate (known as pupil premium plus) for pupils who have left local authority care in England and Wales through adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order. Pupils who are in local authority care for one day or more also attract pupil premium plus funding; this is paid to the local authority and managed by the Virtual School Head.

The Department publishes information annually showing the number of pupils at school, local authority, Parliamentary constituency and national levels who attract the pupil premium to the schools they attend – this is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2019-to-2020.

The Department does not routinely monitor or publish statistics on the number of pupils who would be eligible for the deprivation pupil premium through having a parent in receipt of benefits that meet the qualifying criteria for FSM, but who do not attract this funding to the schools they attend because they are not registered for FSM.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy that schools for students with high levels of special education needs should employ an onsite nurse.

As the department’s guidance ‘supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ sets out, clinical support for children in schools who have long-term conditions and disabilities remain a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissioning responsibility. CCGs should ensure their commissioning arrangements are adequate to provide the ongoing support essential to the safety of these vulnerable children whilst in school. The guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his Department's policy to bring forward legislative proposals to ban the use of corporal punishment in the home.

The government has no plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban parents from using physical punishment to chastise their child.

The government does not wish to interfere in how loving families bring up their children. Legislation already exists to ban the beating of children by their parents; the defence of reasonable chastisement can only be used when a parent is accused of assault and not when the charge is actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm or child cruelty.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the effect on the development of children of the increasing use of smart speakers among 5-15 year olds; and if he will make a statement.

The EdTech Strategy, published in April last year, set out our vision for the use of technology in education and included commitments to help improve the evidence base on the impact of technology. The strategy, funded by £10 million, seeks to support the use of technology to help drive efficiencies, cut teacher workload, support inclusion, and ultimately, improve outcomes for children and young people. The strategy marks the development of the EdTech Demonstrator Schools and Colleges programme which aims to spread good practice in the use of technology. The programme is due to launch across the country in the Spring.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a yearly standardised mental health questionnaire for all secondary school children.

Schools make a real difference to the mental wellbeing of their pupils, and the Government recognises that this is already a priority for many of them. According to the Department’s school snapshot survey published in winter 2018, 92% of secondary schools and 86% of primary schools already use tools such as surveys to monitor their pupils’ wellbeing.

To help more schools to access evidence-based approaches to measure and support wellbeing, the Government will provide wellbeing measurement advice that will enable schools to navigate the resources and tools available to them.

The Government will continue to engage with leading experts on the measurement of mental health and wellbeing in schools. Nationally, the Government draws upon large-scale sample surveys to understand trends in children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and we recently published the first ‘State of the nation’ report on this vitally important issue.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 5444, on Universities: Fire Regulations, whether his Department holds data on the number of university residential, teaching and research accommodation buildings over 18 metres in height that have (a) ACM cladding and (b) other forms of combustible cladding.

The safety of students and staff across the education estate remains ministers' highest priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on fire safety. In line with that cross-government approach, we identified university-owned residential buildings over 18 metres with potentially dangerous ACM cladding. In the light of updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings published on 20 January by MHCLG, the department will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate, and will continue to work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work, if any, is undertaken.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 5444, on Universities: Fire Regulations, whether his Department holds data on the number of university residential, teaching and research accommodation buildings below 18 metres in height that have (a) ACM cladding and (b) other forms of combustible cladding.

The safety of students and staff across the education estate remains ministers' highest priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on fire safety. In line with that cross-government approach, we identified university-owned residential buildings over 18 metres with potentially dangerous ACM cladding. In the light of updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings published on 20 January by MHCLG, the department will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate, and will continue to work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work, if any, is undertaken.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will write to local authorities to request that their commissioning of short breaks services use criteria that allow for the funding of emotional and practical support for parents of children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

We recognise that short breaks services for disabled children are vital and we very much recognise the need for this provision. Section 17(11) of the Children Act 1989 sets out the meaning of “disabled” and includes children who are “substantially and permanently handicapped by illness” which can include life threatening or terminal illnesses.

The government made local authority provision of short breaks compulsory in 2011. In performing their duty under paragraph 6(1)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989, a local authority must provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, a range of services which is sufficient to assist carers to continue to provide care or to do so more effectively. The published guidance ‘Short Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children’ provides local authorities with information on their duties. This guidance is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/245580/Short_Breaks_for_Carers_of_Disabled_Children.pdf.

Between 2011-2015 the government provided over £800 million to help local authorities implement the 2011 Short Breaks duties. Ongoing funding now rests with local authorities, and it is right that they have the freedom to make decisions based on the needs of their local area which allows them to prioritise the most vulnerable. This is deliberately flexible to enable local authorities to meet the needs of parents and carers.

The government has confirmed an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care for every year of this parliament. This is in addition to the continuation of existing social care grants.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that short break services commissioned by local authorities provide adequate (a) support and (b) flexibility for parents with a seriously ill child.

We recognise that short breaks services for disabled children are vital and we very much recognise the need for this provision. Section 17(11) of the Children Act 1989 sets out the meaning of “disabled” and includes children who are “substantially and permanently handicapped by illness” which can include life threatening or terminal illnesses.

The government made local authority provision of short breaks compulsory in 2011. In performing their duty under paragraph 6(1)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989, a local authority must provide, so far as is reasonably practicable, a range of services which is sufficient to assist carers to continue to provide care or to do so more effectively. The published guidance ‘Short Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children’ provides local authorities with information on their duties. This guidance is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/245580/Short_Breaks_for_Carers_of_Disabled_Children.pdf.

Between 2011-2015 the government provided over £800 million to help local authorities implement the 2011 Short Breaks duties. Ongoing funding now rests with local authorities, and it is right that they have the freedom to make decisions based on the needs of their local area which allows them to prioritise the most vulnerable. This is deliberately flexible to enable local authorities to meet the needs of parents and carers.

The government has confirmed an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care for every year of this parliament. This is in addition to the continuation of existing social care grants.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2019, to Question 6117, on Schools: Insulation, if his Department will undertake an audit of schools to establish what forms of cladding are present on all buildings in the education estate.

The safety of pupils, students and staff across the education estate remains the Department’s highest priority.

The Department has taken appropriate action as part of the cross-government response to the Grenfell Tower fire. Updated building safety guidance for owners of residential buildings was published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 20 January. In light of this guidance, the Department for Education will gather any additional information required on residential buildings across the education estate and work with building owners to ensure that any subsequent remediation work is undertaken.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the relationship between child poverty and demand on children's services.

The Children in Need review: final data and analysis, published in June 2019, found a moderate correlation between Looked After Children rates in 2018 and the percentage of children in low-income families in 2016. This is available in figure 5d, p.11 & 12 from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/809108/CIN_review_final_analysis_publication.pdf.

Comprehensive data on trends in the numbers and characteristics of children in need are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-children-in-need#history.

In preparation for the Spending Review, to help ensure decisions are based on the best available evidence, the government is working with the sector to develop a sharper and more granular picture of demand for children’s services.

As set out in the Manifesto, the government is committed to undertaking a review of the care system that covers the key issues facing vulnerable children and young people.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has forecast the number of children in need requiring support from children's services in each of the next five years.

​The Department for Education does not publish forecasts of future demand for children’s social care. Comprehensive data on past trends in the numbers and characteristics of children in need are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-children-in-need#history.

In preparation for the Spending Review, to help ensure decisions are based on the best available evidence, the government is working with the sector to develop a sharper and more granular picture of future demand for children’s services

And, as set out in the Manifesto, the government is committed to undertaking a review of the care system that covers the key issues facing vulnerable children and young people.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2020 to Question 3230, on Children and Young People, what data his Department holds on the number of times the comprehensive children’s rights training package has been undertaken.

630 civil servants completed this training package between its launch on 20 November 2018 and 31 December 2019.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of children in care placed in homes more than 50 miles from their home are in provision rated (a) Outstanding, (b) Good, (c) Requires Improvement, and (d) Inadequate by Ofsted.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase capacity in the the children’s home care system.

All local authorities have a duty to ensure they have sufficient provision to meet the needs of children in their care. We recognise that some local authorities are facing challenges ensuring there is sufficient provision in their areas to meet the needs of children. We are continuing to take steps to understand this issue and support local authorities.

We are working to increase placement options so that children are placed in homes that meet their needs. This includes £5 million from our £200 million Innovation Fund to increase councils’ residential capacity and improve commissioning practice. We also recognise that a lack of capacity in the fostering system can impact demand for children’s homes places and we have made nearly £500,000 in seed-funding available for 7 partnerships to test new approaches to sufficiency planning and commissioning in foster care.

We provided funding to local and combined authorities to commission feasibility studies into opening new secure provision to increase available capacity. The Residential Care Leadership Board is also sharing learning across the sector. In 2020-21, local government is getting an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant in 2020-21. This will support local authorities to meet rising demand.

The department is continuing to look at what else we can do to support local authorities to ensure that children in care are provided with suitable accommodation that meets their needs. As set out in the manifesto, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system to make sure that all care placements and settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the effectiveness of multi-agency working for children and young people with SEND.

Effective multi-agency working is integral to delivering joined-up and impactful support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

We are committed to improving the services and support that these children and young people receive, which is why this government announced an additional £780 million investment in high needs funding for 2020-21.

However, we recognise that funding alone is not enough and this government is taking active steps to improve join-up across education, health and care to support children and young people with SEND. We have established the SEND System Leadership Board, bringing together commissioners across education, health and care to improve the way partners jointly plan, commission and deliver SEND provision. In addition, in September 2019 we launched the SEND review. A key focus of this review is how we can improve cross-system working across education, health and care to support the most positive outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make an assessment of the proportion of pupils removed from the school roll without an exclusion with special educational needs.

A pupil’s name can lawfully be deleted from the admission register on the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended.

All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8, as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register. The Department does not hold information centrally on the reason pupils are removed from the school register.

The Department has made clear the practice of off-rolling, whereby children are removed from school rolls without formal exclusion in ways that are in the interests of the school rather than the pupil, is unacceptable. Informal or unofficial exclusions are unlawful and we have previously written to schools to remind them of the rules on exclusions. Any school off-rolling on the basis of academic achievement is quite simply breaking the law.

We are continuing to work with Ofsted to tackle the practice of off-rolling. Since September 2019, Ofsted’s new education inspection framework details that where inspectors find off-rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report, and where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his Department's policy that residential schools should be required to notify (a) Ofsted or (b) the Independent Schools Inspectorate on allegations of child sexual abuse.

It is not part of current policy that residential schools should notify Ofsted or the Independent Schools Inspectorate on allegations of child abuse. Statutory guidance in “Keeping Children Safe in Education” requires all schools to refer allegations of abuse against children to the local authority, who are the relevant agency to investigate.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to implement a nationally agreed framework that sets out the expectations for supported living of (a) care leavers and (b) children in care.

This is a priority area for this government. We are already considering where further changes should be made to ensure that semi-independent and independent settings are used appropriately and that they are of good quality. As set out in the manifesto, we are also committed to undertaking a review of the care system, considering how we support vulnerable children and young people in order to meet their needs and improve their outcomes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2018-19 Annual Report, published by Ofsted in January 2020, what steps his Department plans to take to reduce the level of skills shortages in the residential social care workforce.

The Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 introduced for the first-time quality standards for children’s homes. This includes the new and improved mandatory qualifications for those working in residential childcare, which were designed specifically to better meet children’s needs, by ensuring each new entrant demonstrates their competence in the core knowledge and skills required. The Regulations set out that it is the children’s home’s registered person’s responsibility to ensure staff have the necessary experience, qualifications and skills to meet the needs of each child, including any ongoing continuous professional development.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s Interim Report (April 2018) recommended further workforce regulation through introducing professional registration arrangements for staff in children’s homes. The department responded by issuing a Call for Evidence in summer 2019 to gather sector perspectives on wider workforce issues including workforce regulation, qualifications, training and professional standards. We recognise that in order to provide good quality care, we need a high quality, motivated workforce that feel valued and is adequately trained and qualified. We are currently exploring options following on from the Call for Evidence findings. We also understand that some residential homes face challenges attracting and retaining the right number of staff and the department is in regular dialogue with the sector about this issue.

The care review is a fundamental part of this government’s manifesto. We are moving forward with plans to review how we support vulnerable children and young people, in order to meet their needs and improve their outcomes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the role played by academic achievement in the removal from the school roll of pupils without an exclusion.

A pupil’s name can lawfully be deleted from the admission register on the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended.

All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8, as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register. The Department does not hold information centrally on the reason pupils are removed from the school register.

The Department has made clear the practice of off-rolling, whereby children are removed from school rolls without formal exclusion in ways that are in the interests of the school rather than the pupil, is unacceptable. Informal or unofficial exclusions are unlawful and we have previously written to schools to remind them of the rules on exclusions. Any school off-rolling on the basis of academic achievement is quite simply breaking the law.

We are continuing to work with Ofsted to tackle the practice of off-rolling. Since September 2019, Ofsted’s new education inspection framework details that where inspectors find off-rolling, this will always be addressed in the inspection report, and where appropriate, could lead to a school’s leadership being judged inadequate.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the finding by Ofsted on page 16 of its Annual Report 2018-19, published on 21 January 2020, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the lack of children’s homes in the right places.

All local authorities have a duty to ensure they have sufficient provision to meet the needs of children in their care. We recognise that some local authorities are facing challenges ensuring there is sufficient provision in their areas to meet the needs of children. We are continuing to take steps to understand this issue and support local authorities.

We are working to increase placement options so that children are placed in homes that meet their needs. This includes £5 million from our £200 million Innovation Fund to increase councils’ residential capacity and improve commissioning practice. We also recognise that a lack of capacity in the fostering system can impact demand for children’s homes places and we have made nearly £500,000 in seed-funding available for 7 partnerships to test new approaches to sufficiency planning and commissioning in foster care.

We provided funding to local and combined authorities to commission feasibility studies into opening new secure provision to increase available capacity. The Residential Care Leadership Board is also sharing learning across the sector. In 2020-21, local government is getting an additional £1 billion grant for adult and children’s social care. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant in 2020-21. This will support local authorities to meet rising demand.

The department is continuing to look at what else we can do to support local authorities to ensure that children in care are provided with suitable accommodation that meets their needs. As set out in the manifesto, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system to make sure that all care placements and settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England have Aluminium Composite Material cladding on them.

The information requested in not held centrally.

Following the Grenfell tragedy the Department contacted all bodies responsible for safety in school buildings in England, instructing them to carry out checks to identify any buildings which had Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding of potential concern, so that they could be further investigated and any risks managed and dealt with appropriately and promptly. This work focused on identifying schools with ACM over 18 metres or with residential accommodation, and on student residential buildings over 18 metres with ACM.

The safety of pupils, students and staff remains the Department’s highest priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the Department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as part of the cross-government programme to remediate buildings with potentially dangerous cladding. That approach will continue, and we welcome the package of measures to improve building safety standards announced on 20 January by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The Department is already looking at ways to ensure the education estate complies fully with the updated advice to building owners, announced as part of that package, on actions they should take in relation to cladding.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timetable is for the publication of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel First National Review.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s first national review focuses on what can be done to protect children who are threatened and exploited by criminal gangs. The date for publication is being determined, as is that for the triennial analysis of serious case reviews, 2014 to 2017. We expect that both documents will be published in the coming weeks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timetable is for the release of the analysis of serious case reviews from 2015 to 2018.

The independent Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s first national review focuses on what can be done to protect children who are threatened and exploited by criminal gangs. The date for publication is being determined, as is that for the triennial analysis of serious case reviews, 2014 to 2017. We expect that both documents will be published in the coming weeks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that unsafe combustible cladding is removed from student accommodation.

We are pleased to see that the engagement with the letter of 18 November from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education to all 138 higher education institutions has had a 100% response rate.

The safety of pupils, students and staff remains ministers’ highest priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as part of the cross government programme to remediate buildings with potentially dangerous cladding, including student accommodation. That approach will continue, and we welcome the package of measures to improve building safety standards announced on 20 January by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We are already looking at ways to ensure the education estate complies fully with the updated advice to building owners, announced as part of that package, on actions they should take in relation to cladding.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many university vice-chancellors have replied to his letter of November 2019 on the issue of fire safety procedures and safeguards across university residential, teaching and research accommodation.

We are pleased to see that the engagement with the letter of 18 November from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education to all 138 higher education institutions has had a 100% response rate.

The safety of pupils, students and staff remains ministers’ highest priority. Since the Grenfell fire, the department has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, as part of the cross government programme to remediate buildings with potentially dangerous cladding, including student accommodation. That approach will continue, and we welcome the package of measures to improve building safety standards announced on 20 January by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We are already looking at ways to ensure the education estate complies fully with the updated advice to building owners, announced as part of that package, on actions they should take in relation to cladding.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard in policy making; and if he will make a statement.

The government is committed to giving due consideration to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when making policy and legislation. This includes, in article 12 of the Convention, giving children the right to express their views in all matters affecting them.

In order to help government departments give consideration to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we have put in place a comprehensive children’s rights training package. This package is available across the whole Civil Service and includes access to a Child Rights Impact Assessment template. The tools in the package provide a structured way for policy makers to consider how their policies will impact on children’s rights and promote the voice of the child in policy making. We continue to encourage all departments to make use of the training and template so that consideration of children’s rights is further embedded in government policy and law-making.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the effect on vulnerable children of the reduction in central Government funding for children and young people’s services from £813 in 2010-11 per child and young person to £553 in 2017-18.

The government is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children.

Over the 5-year period from 2015 to 2020, councils will have had access to more than £200 billion. Within that, we have seen councils prioritise spending on the most vulnerable children, with spending on child protection increasing from £2.2 billion to £2.4 billion in 2018-19.

In order to help support local authorities meet rising demand, the government is providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adult and children's social care in every year of this Parliament. This is on top of the continuation of the £410 million social care grant in 2020-21.

As set out in the Conservative Party’s manifesto, we will review the care system to make sure that all care placements and settings are providing children and young adults with the support they need.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward proposals for the regulation of semi-supported housing for young people.

Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported, regardless of the type of their placement. Due to this reason, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This was set out in the Conservative Party’s manifesto and it is an early priority to deliver on this commitment. Doing so will allow us to go even further and to make sure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

‘Fostering Better Outcomes (2018)’ sets out our ambitions for foster care, including our plans to undertake a digital project to explore how technology can help improve the quality and consistency of data on foster parents, to inform recruitment, planning and vacancy management. This project has been underway since October 2019. The aim of the project is not to design a central register but to improve our understanding of the feasibility and potential of national digital approaches to addressing the current challenges.

While most children in care are placed in children’s homes or foster care, an increasing number of children are placed in independent and semi-independent settings. For many older children, this is the right type of placement to meet their needs and develop their independence ahead of adult life. Where local authorities place children in these settings, they must ensure that these settings are suitable. It is unacceptable for any child to be placed for any amount of time in a setting that does not meet their needs and keep them safe.

We cannot imagine a circumstance under which a child under the age of 16 should be placed in an independent or semi-independent setting that does not deliver care, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has written to local authorities asking them to review these placements. We are considering where we must go further to ensure that these settings are used appropriately and that they are of good quality.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will bring forward proposals for a central register of foster parents.

Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported, regardless of the type of their placement. Due to this reason, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This was set out in the Conservative Party’s manifesto and it is an early priority to deliver on this commitment. Doing so will allow us to go even further and to make sure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

‘Fostering Better Outcomes (2018)’ sets out our ambitions for foster care, including our plans to undertake a digital project to explore how technology can help improve the quality and consistency of data on foster parents, to inform recruitment, planning and vacancy management. This project has been underway since October 2019. The aim of the project is not to design a central register but to improve our understanding of the feasibility and potential of national digital approaches to addressing the current challenges.

While most children in care are placed in children’s homes or foster care, an increasing number of children are placed in independent and semi-independent settings. For many older children, this is the right type of placement to meet their needs and develop their independence ahead of adult life. Where local authorities place children in these settings, they must ensure that these settings are suitable. It is unacceptable for any child to be placed for any amount of time in a setting that does not meet their needs and keep them safe.

We cannot imagine a circumstance under which a child under the age of 16 should be placed in an independent or semi-independent setting that does not deliver care, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has written to local authorities asking them to review these placements. We are considering where we must go further to ensure that these settings are used appropriately and that they are of good quality.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide more school places for children with complex special educational needs.

The Government is committed to investing in school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Department has allocated £365 million to local authorities across 2018 to 2021 through the Special Provision Capital Fund. This funding supports local authorities to create places for pupils with SEND. This funding also improves facilities for them in mainstream and special schools, nurseries, colleges and other education providers. The Department will continue to keep capital funding for pupils with SEND under review ahead of the next Spending Review.

In addition to this, 43 new Special Free Schools have opened since 2012 with a further 48 approved to open in the future. This will provide an additional 5,000 high quality new places. The Department also approved bids from local authorities for 37 new Special Schools and hope to announce the successful trusts to run these schools early this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to bring forward proposals for long term reform of the children's social care system as set out in the December 2019 Queen's Speech.

Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported, regardless of the type of their placement. Due to this reason, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This was set out in the Conservative Party’s manifesto and it is an early priority to deliver on this commitment. Doing so will allow us to go even further and to make sure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

‘Fostering Better Outcomes (2018)’ sets out our ambitions for foster care, including our plans to undertake a digital project to explore how technology can help improve the quality and consistency of data on foster parents, to inform recruitment, planning and vacancy management. This project has been underway since October 2019. The aim of the project is not to design a central register but to improve our understanding of the feasibility and potential of national digital approaches to addressing the current challenges.

While most children in care are placed in children’s homes or foster care, an increasing number of children are placed in independent and semi-independent settings. For many older children, this is the right type of placement to meet their needs and develop their independence ahead of adult life. Where local authorities place children in these settings, they must ensure that these settings are suitable. It is unacceptable for any child to be placed for any amount of time in a setting that does not meet their needs and keep them safe.

We cannot imagine a circumstance under which a child under the age of 16 should be placed in an independent or semi-independent setting that does not deliver care, and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has written to local authorities asking them to review these placements. We are considering where we must go further to ensure that these settings are used appropriately and that they are of good quality.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all mainstream schools can offer an inclusive education to all children with special educational needs.

We are committed to inclusive education of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the progressive removal of barriers to learning and participation in mainstream education. This commitment is reflected in the law on SEND and underpins all aspects of the SEND system. We have made our expectation clear that every school is a school for pupils with SEND and that every teacher is a teacher of pupils with SEND.

To support mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils with SEND effectively, we will provide, for example, an extra £780 million in high needs funding next year. This figure is an increase of 12% compared to this year, bringing the total amount for supporting pupils with the most complex needs (including pupils in mainstream schools who have an education, health and care plan) to £7.2 billion. This increase will be the largest year-on-year increase since the high needs funding block was created in 2013.

We have also launched a review of the SEND system, which is considering how the system has evolved since 2014, how it can be made to work best for all families and how we can ensure quality of provision is the same across the country. The review is also looking at how all schools and colleges can provide the best possible support to enable all children and young people with SEND to thrive and prepare for adulthood.

Our commitment to support for pupils with SEND is also reflected in the teacher-training approach that special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching. As part of teachers’ initial training, qualified teachers must have demonstrated their ability to recognise and respond to a wide range of pupils’ needs, including pupils with SEND.

Additionally, a SEND schools’ workforce contract worth £3.9 million has been in place over the period 2018 to 2020 to equip the workforce to deliver high quality teaching to pupils with all types of SEND.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department has provided to local authorities on the effect of air pollution on the spread of covid-19.

We have provided no specific guidance to local authorities on the effect of air pollution on the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, on 7 April, we asked the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) to issue a call for evidence addressing areas of current scientific uncertainty related to the potential interactions between COVID-19 and UK air pollution. The AQEG report assessing available evidence was published on the UK Air website on 1 July. The report concluded that there is currently very limited evidence to support the concept of transmission of viable live SARS-Cov-2 virus via ambient (outdoor) particulate matter.

We continue to work with our colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the wider research community to improve our understanding of this issue.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to enable local authorities to monitor air pollution levels.

The Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) regime requires that local authorities review and assess air quality in their area. When a local authority assesses that air quality objectives may be exceeded, it should carry out appropriate air quality monitoring. Defra provides technical and policy guidance to local authorities to assist them in meeting these LAQM responsibilities. Defra also provides technical support to local authorities via a dedicated local air quality management Helpdesk (phone, email and webpage) and calculation tools to support local authorities in their monitoring and modelling efforts to ensure a consistent approach.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the number of local authority areas with air pollution levels higher than World Health Organisation guidelines.

We do not routinely assess air pollution levels against World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines at a local authority level. However, local authorities are required to review and assess local air quality with regard to air quality standards and objectives under the Local Air Quality Management regime.

We have committed to setting a new ambitious target for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). As part of that work we have explored progress made towards WHO PM2.5 guidelines on a national level and a report was published in July 2019.

The Government is committed to evidence-based policy making and will consider the WHO annual mean guideline level for PM2.5 when setting the target, alongside independent expert advice, evidence and analysis on a diversity of factors. It is important to get this right and set a target that is ambitious, achievable and focuses on how the greatest public health benefits can be achieved.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department is providing to local authorities to introduce low emission zones.

Air pollution poses one of the biggest environmental threats to public health, which is why the Government is already investing £3.8 billion to clean up our air. This includes £880 million ring-fenced for local authorities to tackle previously identified nitrogen dioxide exceedances. The Defra/Department for Transport Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) continues to work closely with those local authorities developing and implementing local clean air plans, which can include charging Clean Air Zones (CAZs). JAQU provides these local authorities with guidance on the practicalities of setting up a CAZ, including information on both the digital interface and the physical infrastructure required to make CAZs function effectively.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on ensuring staff safety at household waste recycling centres when those centres re-open after the covid-19 outbreak.

It is legal for household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) to remain open during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, we know that some local authorities are finding this challenging, which is why on 5 May Defra published some guidance to help local authorities do this.

We worked with industry, local authorities and other Government departments, including Public Health England, on developing the guidance which includes a section on workforce safety. The key principle of the guidance is that human health must be protected while maintaining safe systems of working. Social distancing must also be observed by both staff and visitors to HWRCs wherever possible. The guidance makes it clear that residents must only visit HWRCs if they cannot store safely at home the items they wish to dispose of.

Here is a link to the guidance on the GOV.UK website:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-local-authorities-on-prioritising-waste-collections/managing-household-waste-and-recycling-centres-hwrcs-in-england-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding the National Roads Fund will provide for local authority road upgrades between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

The Department’s forecast expenditure in 2020/21 on Major Road Network and Large Local Major schemes is £116m. £310m has been budgeted in 2021/22. The budgets for future years are subject to the next Spending Review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many local authorities have submitted Local Pinch Point Fund expressions of interest; and for what projects.

In November 2020, the Chancellor announced the Levelling Up fund that will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets. The prospectus and guidance for local authorities applying to the Fund was announced at Budget 2021.

This Fund has superseded smaller funding streams such as the Local Pinch Point Fund. Local authorities have been encouraged to consider prioritising submitting their pinch point projects for the first round of the Fund.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many bids to funds for transport infrastructure improvements offered by his Department have Ministers directed councils to submit as bids to the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund announced at the spending review will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities, including investing in local transport schemes. Further details on how the Fund will operate will be published in the prospectus shortly – including who can bid, the types of projects eligible for funding, and the criteria for assessing proposals.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department holds data on the level of profits made by bus operating companies in each year from 2010.

The Department does not hold data on the level of profits made by bus operating companies.

5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will reduce the five-week waiting time to receive a first payment of universal credit in the event of an outbreak of covid-19.

DWP has contingency plans in place that prioritise activities to protect payments to claimants and access to new claims when capacity is compromised.

Our jobcentre staff gauge claimants’ financial need and as part of this, every claimant can access an advance of up to 100% of the total expected monthly award, which they can pay back over a period of up to 12 months.

Proposed repayments of the advance are explained, and all claimants are advised to request a level of advance which is manageable both now and when considering the repayments required. We have announced that from October 2021, the repayment period for these advances will be extended further, to 16 months.

Claimants can discuss queries about how fluctuating income effects Universal Credit with jobcentre staff and case managers, who can also signpost to services appropriate to the individual circumstances.

Universal Credit takes earnings into account in a way that is fair and transparent. The amount paid reflects, as closely as possible, the actual circumstances of a household during each monthly assessment period. This allows Universal Credit awards to be adjusted on a monthly basis, ensuring that if claimant’s incomes falls, they do not have to wait several months for a rise in their Universal Credit award. Currently there are no plans to change assessment periods.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will suspend the use of sanctions on benefit claimants in the event of a covid-19 outbreak.

The department has no plans to suspend the use of sanctions in the event of an outbreak because – as is the case now - the decision to apply a sanction is considered on a case by case basis and takes into consideration the claimant’s capability and circumstances.

When claimants tell us that they are self-isolating or that they have been diagnosed with covid-19, we will review the claimant’s conditionality requirements to ensure that they remain reasonable, helping them avoid sanctions.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's recent investigation into a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council, what assessment he has made of whether local authorities' fixed charges for short-term residential care are in line with statutory guidance.

In determining fixed charges for short-term residential care, a local authority must follow the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) 2014 Regulation (the Regulations) and have regard to the Care and Support Statutory (CASS) guidance.

It is the role of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, to look at individual complaints about local authority failure to follow policies, including those on whether fixed charges for short-term residential care are in line with statutory guidance.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2021 Question 135951 on Public Health: Finance, if he will publish an update on the timescale for the announcement of individual local authority public health grant allocations for 2021-22.

Public health allocations to local authorities in England were published on 16 March 2021 and are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-health-grants-to-local-authorities-2021-to-2022

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) external consultants and (b) arms-length bodies his Department has employed to work on the NHS Test and Trace programme in each month since the inception of that programme; and what the cost of their employment is each month.

Figures on how many consultants are employed each month on the Test and Trace programme is not collected as the number is subject to continual week on week change. Audited information for the monthly costs of consultants is not currently available.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average daily cost is of a consultant employed to support NHS Test and Trace; how many consultants are employed to support NHS Test and Trace; and how many days in total of consultancy time were contracted by his Department to support NHS Test and Trace.

The actual average cost per day to the Department for a consultant is £1,100 per day and approximately 2,500 consultants are currently employed on NHS Test and Trace. Information on the number of days in total of consultancy time contracted to support NHS Test and Trace is not collected in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to announce the public health grant allocations for local authorities for 2021-22.

We expect to confirm individual local authority public health grant allocations for 2021/22 shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for the participation of local authorities in the roll-out of covid-19 vaccines.

Local authorities will play a vital role, working together with the National Health Service and local care providers, to ensure we make the best possible use of initial supplies of the vaccine. The NHS has identified Senior Responsible Officers to link local authorities and the social care system. The Government will continue to support councils and will ensure everyone who has been clinically prioritised to receive a vaccine will have access as soon as possible.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many tasks have been undertaken by volunteers through the NHS Volunteer Responders programme in each month since it was set up, up to and including September 2020.

As of 20 September 2020, NHS Volunteer Responders have undertaken 861,192 tasks since the start of the programme, which went fully live on 7 April 2020.

The following table sets out the number of completed tasks by month from March to September 2020.

Month 2020

Completed tasks

March

1

April

80,362

May

171,521

June

176,532

July

181,797

August

162,879

September (up until and including 20 September)

88,100

Total

861,192

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value is of contracts awarded to Randox Laboratories for the delivery of covid-19 testing since 1 March 2020.

Information on Test and Trace contracts is available publicly on https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 49702 on Protective Clothing: Local Government, how many items of personal protective have been delivered through the PPE Portal each week since April 1st 2020.

Week by week data is not available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the value of contracts awarded to (a) eBay and (b) Clipper Logistics to develop an online portal to enable primary, social and community care providers to order personal protective equipment.

The contract with Clipper Logistics was put in place by Supply Chain Coordination Ltd (SCCL), the management function of NHS Supply Chain, via a sub-contract with its existing primary logistics supplier. This was for an initial 3 month period from March to June at a value of £1.3m (monthly extensions at estimated values of £450,000) for storage and distribution of PPE to all NHS Trusts. This contract was subsequently varied for a 3 month period from May to July at a value of £1.95m (monthly extensions at estimated values of £650,000) to provide an eCommerce solution involving an eBay platform for the storage and distribution of PPE by Clipper to care homes and GP surgeries.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to provide postcode level data on (a) positive and (b) negative covid-19 tests obtained through (i) Pillar 1 and (ii) Pillar 2 testing strands to (A) local resilience forums and (b) local authority Directors of Public Health.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level (including sex, age, occupation and postcode) test and case data. Directors of Public Health are also receiving fully identifiable test, case and contact tracing data where the case data includes, address, postcode, sex, age, NHS Number, occupation, test date, and additional data describing progress through the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing process. Public Health England (PHE) provides access to this data via a secure platform to Directors of Public Health to support them to carry out their outbreak management responsibilities. This data is currently updated on a daily basis.

PHE began providing record level positive test data, including postcodes, to local authorities (including Directors of Public Health) on 24 June.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department holds data on the average time taken for a covid-19 positive test result to be reported to the relevant local authority by test setting.

We do not currently hold the information in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that positive covid-19 test results under the commercial Deloitte system are shared with relevant local authorities.

Deloitte is contracted to provide professional services support to the Department and the National Testing Programme. Deloitte’s role has included setting up testing facilities; coordinating the set-up of home and satellite delivery channels; and designing the digital platform that enables people to book a test and register their kit. Deloitte makes this digital information available to the National Pathology Exchange.

Once results are generated in the labs, the results information also flows to the National Pathology Exchange where the result is matched to the individual’s demographic information. These results are passed to Public Health England every 30 minutes through a data flow. As such, Deloitte does not have a role in the generation of results or the handling of positive case data.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all positive covid-19 test results are shared with relevant local authorities within a time frame that enables an individual's contacts to be traced.

All upper tier local authorities have access to record level test and case data, including sex, age, occupation and postcode. Directors of public health are also receiving fully identifiable test, case and contact tracing data where the case data includes, address, postcode, sex, age, National Health Service number, occupation, test date, and additional data describing progress through the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing process.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department holds data on the proportion of identified contacts who are then traced as a part of the NHS Test and Trace system.

These data are collected as management information from the NHS Test and Trace Service. The Department plans to publish information from the first week of the tracing service, on Thursday 11 June.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the new Joint Biosecurity Centre will interact with Local Resilience Forms and Local Health Protection Boards.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre is aligned to the CONTAIN strand of the Government’s Test, Trace, Contain and Enable programme. The aim of CONTAIN is to prevent local outbreaks and, where not possible, to contain them locally to minimise the spread of the virus and avoid the need for escalation to a national lockdown.

The JBC/CONTAIN’s regional teams will work closely with local authorities, Local Health Protection Teams and Local Resilience Forums in managing outbreaks of COVID-19 at a local level. Further information on how the JBC will link in with these organisations will be provided in the near future.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what means local authorities were informed of the launch date of the NHS test and trace service.

The upcoming launch of the Test and Trace Service was announced to local authorities on Friday 22 May as a briefing note, press release and slide pack announcing the service and £300 million to develop local outbreak control plans which tailor the authorities’ response to the virus at the local level.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional resources his Department plans to provide to local authorities to support the test, track and trace programme during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have agreed £300 million worth of new dedicated funding to support local authorities with implementing Test and Trace and local outbreak plans.

This money will be allocated shortly following standard procedures.

Alongside financial contributions, the NHS Test and Trace service is developing comprehensive guidance to assist local authorities in developing their own COVID-19 outbreak plans.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many individual items of personal protective equipment have been delivered to local authorities through the Clipper distribution system to date.

The Government is working with e-commerce expertise to roll out a new online portal to help primary care and small social care providers to order critical personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE Portal acts as an emergency top-up route for health care providers that cannot obtain sufficient PPE through their usual wholesaler routes.

All health and care providers should continue to use their usual wholesaler routes as their primary access route for PPE, whether invited to register with the portal or not.

As of Tuesday 30 June, over 16 million items of PPE have been delivered via the PPE Portal, with over 11,000 orders for PPE having been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to engage with local authorities on the use of their staff for the purposes of covid-19 contact tracing.

Local authority staff will be a key part of contact tracing as the NHS Test and Trace service focusing on local outbreak management and this element of the service is being developed jointly between Public Health England and representatives from local government sector organisations.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authority public health officials receive data on positive covid-19 test results in their local authority area.

The priority has always been to ensure that public health bodies, such as Public Health England (PHE), have the data they require under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations, and under the updates to the Control of Patient Information Regulations, to undertake their vital work in relation to contact tracing, case management and health surveillance. PHE provides the results to the appropriate local PHE Health Protection Team, who work with their respective local authorities as part of their routine public health response arrangements. We are developing a solution for our stakeholders to access the additional Management Information data that will further support their work, and local authorities and the National Health Service are top priorities.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local authority areas are trialling the clipper distribution system for personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The personal protective equipment (PPE) Portal has now been rolled out to general practitioners and small social care providers in all local authorities in England, totalling over 21,000 providers and delivering over 22 million items of PPE. Originally, the pilot involved inviting small groups of healthcare providers to register with the portal from the following local resilience forum (LRF) areas:

- Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly;

- Northumbria;

- Nottinghamshire;

- Hertfordshire; and

- Thames Valley.

As the LRFs are based on police areas, the list above does not correspond to local authority boundaries. For example, Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland local authorities are all within Northumbria LRF.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the number of patients admitted to hospitals from care homes on (a) a weekly basis from 1 February 2020 to date and (b) the weekly average for admissions for the same time period for each year between 2015 and 2019.

Information is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the Government determines the level at which the immigration health surcharge is set.

The Department’s most recent assessment looked at actual data on surcharge-payers’ use of the National Health Service between April 2015 and September 2019 and their length of stay in the United Kingdom. This estimated the total costs to the NHS of treating the average surcharge-payer to be around £624 per person per annum.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12296, on Special Educational Needs: Nurses, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups ensure their commissioning arrangements are adequate to provide the ongoing support essential to the safety of vulnerable children whilst in school in line with the guidance.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCG) should ensure that commissioning arrangements are adequate to provide the ongoing support essential to the safety of vulnerable children whilst in school.

NHS England have advised that CCG Chief Operating Officers are now co-signatories for Local Safeguarding Partnership plans which should include collaborative governance processes and partnership solutions for the commissioning arrangements for children with special needs.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, what the timeframe is for the establishment of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member the Member for St Albans on 3 February 2020, UIN 9144.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-01-28/9144/

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many buildings across the NHS estate have High Pressure Laminate cladding.

Fifteen National Health Service buildings are currently understood to have High Pressure Laminate cladding and these are being reviewed to determine their specific situation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many buildings in the National Health Service estate have High Pressure Laminate cladding.

The safety of patients, visitors and staff has always been the top priority of the National Health Service. Guidance on fire safety is provided to the NHS through the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 05 series - Firecode.

The BS 8414 test methods were developed by the British Standards Institute in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment and they evaluate whether a cladding system subject to fire breaking out of an opening (such as a window) in an external wall, will result in excessive fire spread via the outside of the building and the potential for fire to re-enter at a higher level. The BS 8414 test and associated pass/fail guidance represents one route by which cladding systems may be judged as meeting the necessary standards in certain circumstances. However other means of demonstrating compliance with the required standard may be equally valid. Cladding systems used in the NHS should meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Fifteen NHS buildings are currently understood to have High Pressure Laminate cladding and these are being reviewed to determine their specific situation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his Department's policy that the cladding systems used on buildings throughout the National Health Service estate are required to have passed a BS8414 test.

The safety of patients, visitors and staff has always been the top priority of the National Health Service. Guidance on fire safety is provided to the NHS through the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 05 series - Firecode.

The BS 8414 test methods were developed by the British Standards Institute in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment and they evaluate whether a cladding system subject to fire breaking out of an opening (such as a window) in an external wall, will result in excessive fire spread via the outside of the building and the potential for fire to re-enter at a higher level. The BS 8414 test and associated pass/fail guidance represents one route by which cladding systems may be judged as meeting the necessary standards in certain circumstances. However other means of demonstrating compliance with the required standard may be equally valid. Cladding systems used in the NHS should meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Fifteen NHS buildings are currently understood to have High Pressure Laminate cladding and these are being reviewed to determine their specific situation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many buildings across the National Health Service estate currently have Aluminium Composite Material cladding.

The safety of patients, visitors and staff has always been the top priority of the National Health Service. Across the National Health Service, there are nine buildings identified as having Aluminium Composite Material cladding. These include residential buildings over two storeys and non-residential ones over 18 metres. This cladding is being remediated by the trusts that are responsible for the buildings.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with representatives from Croydon University Hospital in relation to the pause in recruitment for (a) gay and (b) bisexual men for the PrEP impact trial.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is currently provided in England through the three-year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept. The Department has held no discussions with representatives from Croydon University Hospital in relation to the pause in recruitment for gay and bisexual men.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 8 March 2021 to Question 162625, whether any new jobs will be created by the location of HM Treasury's Northern Campus in Darlington.

The Darlington economic campus is an important part of the government’s wider Places for Growth programme, which aims to move 22,000 Civil Servants out of London by 2030. HM Treasury will be filling roles in the Darlington economic campus through both voluntary relocation and direct recruitment. The new office will include a range of roles and levels of seniority. The mixture of voluntary relocation and direct recruitment, and the exact nature of the roles, will be determined in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he had sight of the lists of areas for priority funding from the (a) Levelling Up Fund and (b) UK Community Renewal Fund prior to the publication of those lists.

On the Levelling Up Fund, Ministers approved metrics at the design stage based on alignment with the policy goals of the Fund. Ministers did not see a list of specific places before agreeing the list of metrics. At no point did Ministers make changes to the index, weightings or metrics recommended by officials.

On the Community Renewal Fund, the design of the fund, including the allocation process was led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his video using HM Treasury branding and promoted on social media channels on 2 March 2021 is consistent with the (a) civil service code and (b) Government Communications Propriety Guidance.

All digital content posted on HM Treasury’s social media channels in the lead up to Budget 2021 was produced by the Department’s in-house communications team as part of its Budget communications strategy in full accordance with the civil service code and Government Communications Propriety Guidance.

The HM Treasury-branded videos published on March 1 and March 2 provide an overview of the COVID-related support the government has introduced to protect lives and livelihoods since the start of the pandemic, as well as featuring real people impacted by the measures.

The videos are objective, explanatory and relevant to government responsibilities, coming at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the cost to the public purse was of his video using HM Treasury branding and promoted on his social media channels on 2 March 2021.

All digital content posted on HMT’s social media channels in the lead up to Budget was produced by the department’s in house communications team at no additional cost.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many new full-time equivalent jobs will be created by the location of (a) HM Treasury's Northern Campus in Darlington and (b) the new national infrastructure bank in Leeds.

At least 750 roles from across HM Treasury, the Department for International Trade, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Office for National Statistics will be based at the Darlington economic campus. The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) is a new institution and will be headquartered in Leeds. The UKIB will be launched in interim form later in the Spring with the recruitment of the bank’s Chair currently underway.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with commercial property companies since 1 March 2020.

Treasury ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 68708, on Local Government Finance: Coronavirus, whether Barnett Consequentials will flow from his Department's covid-19 local authority funding scheme.

Any new funding for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will have the Barnett formula applied to it in the usual way.

This would be on top of the £8.9 billion of additional funding that we have already confirmed for the devolved administrations in relation to Covid-19.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the revenue that will accrue to the public purse from ending the exemption on primary or sole residences from capital gains tax.

The estimated cost of the exemption of Capital Gains Tax on gains on the disposal of a person’s main or only residence was £26.7bn for 2017-18. Further information is provided in the official statistics on non-structural tax reliefs that are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/main-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

3.8% of staff employed by HM Treasury as at 31st December 2019 are apprentices. (based on headcount)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of reducing Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights on the UK's carbon emissions.

As announced on 14 January, HM Treasury is undertaking a review of Air Passenger Duty to ensure regional connectivity is strengthened while meeting the UK’s climate change commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The government takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and uses a range of levers at its disposal, including spending, taxation and regulatory policy, to meet its climate and environmental objectives.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of outstanding applications of asylum from applicants living in the (a) London Borough of Croydon and (b) Croydon North constituency have exceeded a 12 month wait.

Whilst we hold data on the current addresses of asylum claimants, data on how many and what proportion of outstanding applications of asylum have exceeded a 12 month wait and how many applications are outstanding, from applicants living in the (a) London Borough of Croydon and (b) Croydon North constituency could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish data on the total number of asylum applications awaiting a decision broken down by duration of more or less than 6 months. This can be found in the published Immigration Statistics, Asy_04 as at end of September 2020:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many outstanding applications for asylum there are from people living in the (a) London Borough of Croydon and (b) Croydon North constituency.

Whilst we hold data on the current addresses of asylum claimants, data on how many and what proportion of outstanding applications of asylum have exceeded a 12 month wait and how many applications are outstanding, from applicants living in the (a) London Borough of Croydon and (b) Croydon North constituency could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The Home Office does publish data on the total number of asylum applications awaiting a decision broken down by duration of more or less than 6 months. This can be found in the published Immigration Statistics, Asy_04 as at end of September 2020:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on the reopening of registry offices to enable people who wish to marry to formally give notice.

The local registration service in England and Wales has been advised that notices of intention to marry or form a civil partnership can be taken where these can be safely delivered in line with public health and local authority guidelines.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020 to Question 1248 on Visas: Married People, what her Department's definition of adequate maintenance is.

Adequate maintenance is defined by Paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules to mean, after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of Income Support.

Published guidance on adequate maintenance for spouses is on GOV.UK here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/452967/IDI_Adequate_Maintenance_and_Accommodation_Appendix_FM_Annex_1_7A.pdf

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have an independent child trafficking guardian.

Last year, the Government successfully expanded Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) to one third of local authorities.

An evaluation of the ICTG service within the early adopter sites was published in July 2019 and can be found https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819723/evaluation-independent-child-trafficking-guardians-final-horr111.pdf.

This evaluation was conducted on the service provided in the three initial sites of Greater Manchester, Hampshire and Wales between February 2017 and January 2019. Over this time period, 445 children were referred to the ICTG service.

Later this year the Home Office will publish its next evaluation of the ICTG service, which will provide further updates on outcomes of the service including the number of children it supports.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether British citizens in receipt of personal independence payments are exempt from the minimum income requirement when applying for a spousal visa.

The minimum income requirement must be met by all those who are subject to this requirement. However, we recognise some sponsors will have a reduced earning capacity as a result of disability or caring for someone with a disability. Therefore, an applicant who is applying for a spousal visa whose sponsor is in receipt of a specified disability-related benefit, including personal independence payments, will be exempt from meeting the minimum income requirement.

In such cases the sponsor is required to demonstrate adequate maintenance which is equivalent to the Income Support level.

Sponsors will need to show they remain exempt from the minimum income requirement at each application application stage or they will otherwise need then to meet the requirement.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 February 2020 to Question 12894, on Immigration: EU Nationals, if his Department will work with local authorities to estimate the number of looked-after children that (a) are eligible for settled status and (b) have applied successfully for settled status.

The Home Office has put in place a comprehensive vulnerability strategy to ensure the EU Settlement Scheme is accessible for all, including children in care.

The Home Office has engaged extensively with relevant stakeholders such as the Department for Education, Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Children’s Services to assess the needs of this group and ensure they are supported. That engagement continues, and all parties are committed to ensuring local authorities are supported throughout the process.

The vital role local authorities and health and social care trusts (HSCT) have with regards to looked after children accessing the EU Settlement Scheme has been agreed nationwide. Those responsibilities include the identification of eligible children and the recording of each application made. This includes the outcome status and future plans for converting pre-settled status into settled status.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of potential child victims of trafficking currently not supported by an Independent Child Trafficking Guardian.

Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTGs) have been rolled out in one third of local authorities in England and Wales. If a child presents indicators of trafficking in these areas, first responder organisations have a responsibility to make a referral to the ICTG service.

The Home Office will publish its next evaluation of the ICTG service later this year, which will provide further updates on outcomes of the service including the number of children it supports.

The Government is currently considering improvements to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 made by the Independent Review in 2019, which considered Section 48, which makes provision for ICTGs. The Government remains committed to the national roll out of ICTGs.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of children whose parents have no recourse to public funds that live in (a) Croydon North constituency and (b) the London Borough of Croydon.

The Home Office does not hold the data requested and information on the UK’s resident population is a matter for the independent Office for National Statistics. The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition is applied to the leave of most migrants in the UK as a legitimate means of maintaining and protecting our economic resources.

In those cases where leave has been, or is being, granted for family or private life reasons the NRPF condition can be lifted on application to the Home Office, including for reasons involving the welfare needs of children. In addition, immigration legislation specifically provides for assessments of child welfare needs to take place and support to be provided by a local authority under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds figures on the number of looked-after children who are (a) eligible for settled status and (b) have applied successfully for settled status.

The available published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications and concluded applications by the applicant’s age and nationality to 31 December 2019, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, statistics tables, tables EUSS_01, EUSS_02 and EUSS_04, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2019.

The Home Office has been engaging with relevant stakeholders such as the Department for Education, Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Children’s Services to assess the needs of looked-after children and care leavers and ensure they are supported.

To support this, guidance about the EUSS to help local authorities and Health and Social Care Trusts understand their responsibilities for supporting looked-after children and care leavers and how to apply has been created and issued.

A New Burdens Assessment has been produced in collaboration with key stakeholders representing local authorities and children’s social services to ensure they are adequately funded to support looked after children and care leavers who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has been holding monthly teleconferences for local authority staff who are undertaking this work. The teleconferences provide a forum to obtain information, ask questions and raise issues. A designated help line number has also been made available for local authority staff to contact trained caseworkers in the Home Office should they need to discuss any aspect of the EU Settlement Scheme, be it a specific case issue, or a matter of general information.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds figures on the number of vulnerable adults who are (a) eligible for settled status and (b) have applied successfully for settled status.

The available published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications and concluded applications by the applicant’s age and nationality to 31 December 2019, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, statistics tables, tables EUSS_01, EUSS_02 and EUSS_04, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2019.

The Home Office has been engaging with relevant stakeholders such as the Department for Education, Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Children’s Services to assess the needs of looked-after children and care leavers and ensure they are supported.

To support this, guidance about the EUSS to help local authorities and Health and Social Care Trusts understand their responsibilities for supporting looked-after children and care leavers and how to apply has been created and issued.

A New Burdens Assessment has been produced in collaboration with key stakeholders representing local authorities and children’s social services to ensure they are adequately funded to support looked after children and care leavers who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has been holding monthly teleconferences for local authority staff who are undertaking this work. The teleconferences provide a forum to obtain information, ask questions and raise issues. A designated help line number has also been made available for local authority staff to contact trained caseworkers in the Home Office should they need to discuss any aspect of the EU Settlement Scheme, be it a specific case issue, or a matter of general information.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to support local authorities make applications to the EU Settlement Scheme on behalf of looked-after children.

The available published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications and concluded applications by the applicant’s age and nationality to 31 December 2019, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, statistics tables, tables EUSS_01, EUSS_02 and EUSS_04, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2019.

The Home Office has been engaging with relevant stakeholders such as the Department for Education, Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Children’s Services to assess the needs of looked-after children and care leavers and ensure they are supported.

To support this, guidance about the EUSS to help local authorities and Health and Social Care Trusts understand their responsibilities for supporting looked-after children and care leavers and how to apply has been created and issued.

A New Burdens Assessment has been produced in collaboration with key stakeholders representing local authorities and children’s social services to ensure they are adequately funded to support looked after children and care leavers who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office has been holding monthly teleconferences for local authority staff who are undertaking this work. The teleconferences provide a forum to obtain information, ask questions and raise issues. A designated help line number has also been made available for local authority staff to contact trained caseworkers in the Home Office should they need to discuss any aspect of the EU Settlement Scheme, be it a specific case issue, or a matter of general information.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to answer Questions 311, 312 and 313 tabled by the hon. Member for Croydon North on 20 December 2019.

The response for UINs 311, 312 and 313 were given on 25th June 2020.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to publish its response to the Violence and abuse toward shop staff: call for evidence, which was published on 5 April 2019.

The Government recognises the damaging impact that violence and abuse can have on victims, businesses, and the wider community; and we are committed to tackling this issue.

To ensure that our response to retail crime is as robust as possible we work with a wide range of partners through the National Retail Crime Steering Group, including the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and British Retail Consortium.

In addition, we launched a call for evidence on violence and abuse toward shop staff to help strengthen our understanding of the scale and extent of the issue. The call for evidence has now closed and we are carefully analysing the responses before deciding what further action may be required. We intend to publish the government’s response in due course.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the spread of cults in the UK.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is responsible for matters relating to faith and religion within Government.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department holds information on the number of cults operating in the UK.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is responsible for matters relating to faith and religion within Government.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has an agreed definition of a cult.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is responsible for matters relating to faith and religion within Government.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether areas subject to tier 3 covid-19 restrictions will receive support from armed forces personnel to assist with mass testing.

Military support is provided at the request of other Government Departments and the civil authorities through the Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA) process. Any further assistance to mass testing will be at the request of the local authority in consultation with DHSC and the devolved administrations where appropriate. Defence remains ready to contribute where required.

Defence continues to assist with mass testing across the UK, notably in support of the Liverpool mass testing pilot.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 April 2021 to Question 183159, on Planning, whether training is offered to Ministers without responsibility for the planning portfolio on how they should interact with the planning system.

Yes, training is offered to Ministers without responsibility for the planning portfolio on how they should interact with the planning system.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities who used reserves to balance their 2020-21 budgets.

Individual local authorities determine the level of reserves that they hold. Data on movements in reserves in 2020/21 will be made available when the Revenue Outturn data is published by the Department in October.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has monitored the sector’s finances closely through a monthly reporting exercise. We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on local government and would ask any local authority that is faced with an unmanageable pressure or is concerned about their future financial position to approach MHCLG for discussion.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to set out a long-term funding plan for local authorities.

Our primary aim during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to continue to support councils in dealing with the immediate impacts and in promoting recovery and renewal at local level; and also to support and maintain critical mainstream services.

We have done this by directing resources to the highest priority areas; by ensuring that we offer as much stability as we can through our approach to funding allocations, within the time horizons of a one-year Spending Review; by giving councils increased flexibility in balancing the contribution of national and local taxpayers in funding local services; and by being measured and realistic in our ambitions for future funding reform.

The Government recognises the importance of providing local authorities with longer-term clarity to enable their forward planning. Decisions about funding beyond this financial year will be made at the Spending Review later this year


Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking in response to the National Audit Office report, Local government finance in the pandemic, published March 10 2021.

The Department engaged closely with the NAO throughout the development of their report. The report sets out that the Government acted swiftly and flexibly in the face of the unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and that there was intensive engagement with the sector throughout this period. The Department joins the NAO in acknowledging the invaluable contribution councils have made to the pandemic response. We welcome these and other findings of the report, and have begun to implement the recommendations





Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Cabinet Colleagues improve their (a) links with and (b) understanding of local authorities and local government finance.

The Department has risen to the huge challenges of the pandemic and has been an effective voice for local government, securing an unprecedented £12 billion of direct support for councils to tackle the impacts of COVID-19 as part of an over £36 billion package for local councils, communities and businesses. In doing so, we have worked collaboratively with key departments to engage regularly and constructively with local authorities on issues of mutual interest.

We value our deep connections with council stakeholders at every level, and have worked closely across government on future plans for adult social care, the levelling up agenda, readiness for each step of the roadmap out of lockdown and other cross-cutting issues, to ensure their needs are understood. This has included the Secretary of State ensuring the needs of local government are considered at a range of meetings attended by Cabinet colleagues, including the COVID-19 Operations Cabinet Committee for issues in relation to the pandemic, alongside his attendance at other Cabinet Committees on matters of interest to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed new permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use on rural employment.

As we have stated in our previous responses, we aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the consistency of the proposed new permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use with the National Planning Policy Framework.

As we have stated in our previous responses, we aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing a longer period of time between the creation of the new Class E and the introduction of permitted development rights to enable the change to residential use.

As we have stated in our previous responses, we aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to introduce a requirement for access to green space to permitted development rights.

Our National Model Design Guide and supporting guidance notes includes reference to the importance of nature and green infrastructure, including easy access for all to open space and natural environments for health and wellbeing and social benefits.

Permitted development rights include the change of use of existing buildings and extending existing buildings upwards, and development is therefore limited by the constraints of the existing site. We therefore do not currently have any plans to introduce a requirement for access to green space for such rights.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the actual spending power of English local government for the financial year 2021-22.

The Government has made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to his oral contribution of 19 April 2021, Official Report, col 642, on Covid-19: Hospitality Venues and High Streets, what proportion of consultation responses supported his Department's proposed extension to permitted development rights to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 180986, on Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Pay, how many civil servants working in his Department have declared remuneration for paid work for organisations and companies outside of Government; and what steps he is taking to ensure that all that paid work has been properly declared.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service


The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/


The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review


The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions


Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board, any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support local government to play a full role in the Net Zero transition as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change in the Reducing UK emissions Progress Report to Parliament, published in June 2020.

The Government is committed to tackling climate change, and local authorities have a vital contribution to make. Their unique insight into local opportunities and priorities, their role as place-shapers, and their convening power enable them to drive carbon emissions reductions and develop climate resilient services across their whole area, with co-benefits for better public health and thriving local economies


Tackling emissions at a local level will make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of transport, energy and buildings. As such, many parts of Government work closely with local government to deliver national strategies for carbon reduction effectively at the local level


In 2020 the Government launched the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund. In March we announced a further £300 million under the Green Homes Grant, to help lower income households cut emissions and save money on bills:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-boosts-energy-efficiency-spending-to-13-billion-with-extra-funding-for-green-homes

The Local Energy programme also supports Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), local authorities and communities in England to play a leading role in decarbonisation and clean growth. The Government's wider plan to work with local government to deliver national strategies for carbon reduction will be set out in our forthcoming net zero strategy


The Government will also publish a bold and ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan which will set out how to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport, and a Heat and Building Strategy setting out how local authorities can contribute to reducing emissions from household heating. Different decarbonisation solutions will be required and will work best in different places across the UK, and we have engaged with local government at all levels in developing these strategies


The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, now and over the course of the net zero transition.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2021, to Question 159023, on Housing: Construction, whether his Department has plans to collate data on how many premises have changed use to Class E since 1 September 2020.

We do not hold data on how many premises change use to Class E. Change of use within Class E does not require planning permission.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 180511, on Housing: Cafes, when his Department plans to publish that impact assessment; and what form that impact assessment will take.

As we stated in our previous response, we aim to publish an impact assessment on the measures as soon as possible in accordance with the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. It will be a full regulatory impact assessment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a Member of Parliament is permitted to chair a Town Deal Board.

MPs are members of Town Deal Boards and they are permitted to chair those boards, provided that there is local agreement. In general, however, Town Deal Boards have chosen to appoint private sector chairs. The Towns Fund Prospectus and further guidance published by the department both provide further detail on the role and responsibilities of the Town Deal Board Chair.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179135 on Towns Fund: Standards, whether he plans to publish the referenced governance reviews.

Governance reviews are carried out for all Town Deal Boards prior to offering Town Deals. Where any recommendations are made, they must be actioned before Heads of Terms are signed for those deals. The reviews are an internal process carried out by MHCLG officials and there are no plans to publish them.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179133 on Planning, when he plans to announce which aspects of the reforms his Department plans to legislate for.

The Planning for the Future White Paper proposes significant changes to the focus and processes of planning, to secure better outcomes - including improving our precious countryside and environment, and increasing the supply of land for new, beautiful homes, and sustainable places


Our consultation received over 44,000 responses - showing just how important this is to people. We will publish a response setting out our decisions on the proposed way forward, ahead of introducing legislation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what training his Department provides to Government Ministers on how Ministers are advised to interact with the planning system.

On appointment, planning Ministers in MHCLG are provided with training regarding their role in dealing with planning casework before they undertake any duties in that regard.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department last undertook a review of the rules for how Government Ministers interact with the planning system.

Current Guidance on Planning Propriety Issues was published in 2012. This guidance was reviewed recently, and new guidance is expected to be published shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to provide further funding to local enterprise partnerships through Local Growth Deals.

We are changing the way we support local economic growth to regenerate our town centres and high streets, support individuals into employment, improve local transport links and invest in local culture. At the Budget, we announced the Levelling up Fund which builds on and consolidates prior programmes such as the Local Growth Fund. We will be working with local businesses on the future role of Local Enterprise Partnerships, with a view to announcing more detailed plans ahead of summer recess.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of councils charging for social care.

The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2021/22 confirmed that Core Spending Power is forecast to rise by 4.6% in cash terms - a real terms increase. We are also rolling forward £1.4 billion of Social Care Grant funding from 2020-21. To this, we are adding £300 million of further funding, taking the total Social Care Grant to £1.7 billion. Councils will also have access to almost an additional £800 million through a 3% Adult Social Care precept. This is on top of continuation of all existing social care funding, including £2.1 billion of the improved Better Care Fund


Complementing this is an unprecedented package of support for local authorities to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including £4.6 billion of un-ringfenced funding for Covid-19 pressures in 2020/21 and an additional £1.55 billion of un-ringfenced funding for Covid pressures in 2021/22, including social care


We are now preparing for another Spending Review, which will be an opportunity to look at inflationary and demographic pressures and new service requirements – to ensure sector sustainability across the full Spending Review period.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department holds records on meetings undertaken by special advisers employed by his Department.
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that all meetings undertaken by Ministers in his Department are declared.
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether officials from his Department receive remuneration for paid work for organisations or companies outside of Government.

The Department has procedures in place for the declaration of conflicts of interests which includes a requirement to declare remuneration for paid work for organisations or companies outside of Government in line with the Civil Service Code. Where the civil servant is a member of the Departmental Board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests, will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication. For more junior posts, this information is held within the Department.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to produce a definition of levelling up against which the effectiveness of the Government's policies can be assessed.

The Spending Review established a set of provisional priority outcomes and metrics across all departments and policy areas which have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-review-2020-documents . This includes an outcome to “raise productivity and empower places so that everyone across the country can benefit from levelling up”. These outcomes are now being embedded by departments into Outcome Delivery Plans, which will set out strategy and planning information for delivering the priority outcomes and for delivering on strategic “enabling” activities that are crucial to successful delivery. We continue to work with Departments x-govt to design and deliver our approach to levelling up.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to carry out further consultation with representatives of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector on the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK in places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

Officials have held 26 engagement events on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, attended by over five hundred representatives from a breadth of sectors including businesses, public bodies, higher education institutions, voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups. We will continue to engage stakeholders as we consolidate policy development for UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what further stakeholders his Department plans to consult on the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK in places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

Officials have held 26 engagement events on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, attended by over five hundred representatives from a breadth of sectors including businesses, public bodies, higher education institutions, voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups. We will continue to engage stakeholders as we consolidate policy development for UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22 and the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, whether the place-based portion will be targeted based on indices of multiple deprivation data.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for people and places.

A portion of the Fund will target places most in need across the UK, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities. It will support people and communities, opening up new opportunities and spurring regeneration and innovation.

A second portion of the Fund will be targeted differently to people most in need through bespoke employment and skills programmes that are tailored to local need. This will support improved employment outcomes for those in and out of work in specific cohorts of people who face labour market barriers.

The Government will set out further details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in a UK-wide investment framework published later in 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of cafes that could be converted to residences under the proposed permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use.

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

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what impact assessment his Department has carried out on plans to create a new permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use.

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

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what stakeholder engagement his Department undertook to inform the design of the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that will have a visible impact on people and their communities. The Government regularly engages with a wide range of stakeholders as part of ongoing work to support local economic growth as we recover from Covid-19.

As part of putting together proposals, it is important that bidding authorities consult a range of local stakeholders across the full geography of a place in developing their proposed investments for the Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken to invest in new civic infrastructure.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes guidance on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding, and how bids will be assessed.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the proposed recovery and devolution White Paper.

Levelling up all areas of the country remains at the centre of government’s agenda. We want to devolve and decentralise to give more power to local communities, providing an opportunity for all places to level up. That is why we intend to bring forward a White Paper in due course, setting out our plans for devolution and detailing how the UK government will partner with places across the UK to build a sustainable economic recovery.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department has issued to lead local authorities on who would be an appropriate chair of a Town Deal Board.

The Town Deal Board is the vehicle through which the vision and strategy for the town is defined and is responsible for producing the Town Investment Plan. Town Deal Boards have all generally appointed a private sector chair, as set out in the Towns Fund Prospectus and the Towns Fund further guidance published by the department provides further detail on the roles and responsibilities of the Town Deal Board Chair.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that Town Deal Boards operate in accordance with guidance issued by his Department.

As set out in the Towns Fund further guidance, we expect the Town Deal Board to align with the governance standards and policies of the town’s lead council. This should include clear processes for managing conflicts of interests and guidance on the declaration of pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests and exemptions. All Town Deal Board members must sign a code of conduct based on the Seven Nolan Principles and the lead council is required to publish the board’s governance and decision-making structures.

My officials have carried out governance reviews for all Town Deal Boards as part of the Town Investment Plan assessment process, where relevant making recommendations for improvements and monitoring implementation.

Our Towns Fund Delivery Partner is also supporting Town Deal Board’s through a leadership training programme which will promote good practice in Town Deal Board’s and governance structures beyond the Town Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish details for each of the 53 agreed Town Deals confirming which aspects of the town investment plans will be funded.

Once Heads of Terms are agreed between the department and towns for all Town Deals, the department plans to publish these on GOV.UK. Towns are also expected to publish the Heads of Terms on the lead local authority website.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking in response to the Planning for the future consultation.

The consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’ closed on 29 October 2020, and received over 44,000 responses, showing the significant interest the reforms generated. We received views from across the sector, including from local authorities, the private sector, community groups, and large numbers of individuals. We also held a series of roundtables with key stakeholder groups, and officials attended over sixty events run by external organisations.

We are considering all of this feedback carefully, and will publish our response setting out the proposed way forward. We anticipate introducing legislation to deliver aspects of the reforms and will continue to engage with the range of interests involved the planning system as our proposals are developed further.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the rental income his Department will receive for the provision of sites for telecommunication infrastructure for each of the next five years.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government estimates the following income in each of the next five years for the provision of sites for telecommunications infrastructure:

Financial Year

Amount

2021/22

£120,000

2022/23

£30,000

2023/24

Nil

2024/25

Nil

2025/26

Nil


Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will list the dates that (a) he and (b) officials in his Department met with representatives of the Speed up Britain Campaign.

No meetings have taken place between Ministers in the Department and representatives of the Speed Up Britain Campaign. To ascertain if any officials from the Department have met with this organisation would require an extensive search of records, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on Gov.uk.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what rental income his Department has received for the provision of sites for telecommunications infrastructure for each of the last five years.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government received the following income in each of the last five years for the provision of sites for telecommunications infrastructure:

Financial Year

Amount

2016/17

£ 68,988

2017/18

£ 70,213

2018/19

£ 95,893

2019/20

£109,500

2020/21

£ 95,254

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much each local authority will receive in funding allocations under the Welcome Back Fund.

On Saturday 20 March we announced the £56 million Welcome Back Fund to support local authorities and their business communities to reopen safely and successfully as lockdown restrictions ease. This funding builds on the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund announced in May 2020, doubling original funding allocations with an additional £6 million for coastal communities given the unique challenges they face. The full list of Welcome Back Fund allocations can be found on Gov.uk .

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many FTE staff from his Department were employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit in each of the last five years.

The Cities and Local Growth Unit sits across two Departments, reporting jointly into the MHCLG and BEIS Secretaries of State. In each of the last five years, MHCLG FTE employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit is detailed in following chart.

MHCLG FTE employed in the CLGU from 2017 to *2021

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

64.4

83.9

102.7

110.4

379.6

*379.6 reflects data up to 28 February 2021, and is inclusive of an increase in FTE after a restructuring within MHCLG ​​

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many FTE staff from his Department are employed in the Cities and Local Growth Unit.

The Cities and Local Growth Unit works across two Departments, reporting jointly into the MHCLG and BEIS Secretaries of State.

As of 28 February 2021, the most recent date for which data is available, the Unit employed 379.6 FTE MHCLG staff.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the legal fees paid by local authorities that are in dispute with telecommunication companies regarding site rental income relating to the Electronic Communication Code.

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of revenues to local authorities for the provision of site rental for telecommunications infrastructure for each of the next five years.

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will list the annual revenues to local authorities in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland for the provision of sites for telecommunications infrastructure, for each of the last five years.

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what meetings (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with other Government departments on the effect of reduced rental income to local authorities from site provisions for telecommunications infrastructure.

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Electronic Communication Code on local authority revenues.

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect on economic productivity of the (a) Towns Fund and (b) Levelling Up Fund.

The £3.6 billion Towns Fund will drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long-term economic and productivity growth through land use, economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure, and connectivity. Full details of the intervention framework can be found in the Towns Fund Further Guidance. The Department will publish its Monitoring and Evaluation strategy in the Spring.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be created by the (a) Towns Fund and (b) Levelling Up Fund.

The £3.6 billion Towns Fund will drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long-term economic and productivity growth through land use, economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure, and connectivity. Full details of the intervention framework can be found in the Towns Fund Further Guidance. The Department will publish its Monitoring and Evaluation strategy in the Spring.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish research Commissioned by his Department into public attitudes to its levelling up agenda by external polling and communications agencies.

I refer the hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 168941 on 18 March 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish Government commissioned research into public attitudes to its levelling up agenda by external polling and communications agencies.

I refer the hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 168941 on 18 March 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish all local authority budgets set for the 2021-22 financial year.

The Department is currently collecting data on local authorities' budgets for the 2021/22 financial year. This information is scheduled to be published as usual in June at www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing and www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-capital-expenditure-receipts-and-financing .

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the individual allocations of funding to Town Deals were calculated.

In 2019, we invited 101 places to develop proposals for Town Deals. Towns submit these proposals in a Town Investment Plan. Those plans are robustly assessed against a range of criteria, with value for money a central consideration. The funding allocation is based on quality of the Town Investment Plan and the projects it contains. Full details of our assessment are set out in the Towns Fund Further Guidance.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reduced central Government grants to local authorities since 2010 on the resources and capacity of planning departments.

We want to ensure that local authority planning departments are well resourced and that planning professionals have the right skills to make creative decisions and take forward our ambitious proposals for planning reform. Since 2010 we have provided direct grant support to local authorities and Neighbourhood Planning Groups to help them engage their communities in Neighbourhood Planning to shape and influence the places in which they live and work.

The Planning White Paper states that we will explore options to introduce a new planning fee structure to ensure that local planning authorities are properly resourced to improve the speed and quality of their decisions. We will also develop a comprehensive resources and skills strategy for the planning sector to support the implementation of our reforms.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to ensure that (a) there are clear processes for managing conflicts of (i) actual and (ii) potential commercial interests the decision making of Town Deal Boards, (b) Town Deal Board governance standards are adhered to and (c) Town Deal Boards sign up to a code of conduct based on the Seven Principles of Public Life, as outlined in his Department's document entitled Towns Fund: further guidance, last updated on 12 October 2020.

As set out in the Towns Fund further guidance, we expect the Town Deal Board to align with the governance standards and policies of the town’s Lead Council. There should be clear processes for managing conflicts of interests (commercial, actual and potential) in decision-making, which must apply to all involved with the work of the Town Deal Board. The governance and decision-making structures of the Town Deal Board should be made public by the Lead Council.

The Lead Council should also provide guidance on the pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests individuals must declare, outline the process for declaring those interests and explain the process for requesting an exemption. This includes signing a code of conduct based on the Seven Nolan Principles.

My officials have carried out governance reviews for all Town Deal Boards, making recommendations, where relevant, for improvements and monitoring implementation.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the reason is for the difference between the £9 billion in total investment through local growth deals and the £12 billion allocated to that fund.

Government has awarded £9.1 billion from the Local Growth Fund to local areas via three rounds of Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The remaining elements relate to Department of Transport and Department for Education projects as well as MHCLG housing programmes including long-term housing transactions through the Home Building Fund, and pre-commitments for the Regional Growth Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish all planning applications called in and recovered appeals by his Department in 2021 to date.

The Government publishes called in decisions and recovered appeals on gov.uk, and they are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-applications-called-in-decisions-and-recovered-appeals#recovered-planning-appeals .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to page 34 of the Towns Fund Guidance, if he will publish for each Town Deal project (a) total spend, (b) forecast spend, (c) output metrics and (d) other reporting data which lead authorities are required to provide to the Government.

I refer the hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 168945 on 18 March.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 165560, if he will publish the Accounting Officer's assessment of the Levelling Up Fund.

I refer the Hon. Member to my previous Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question UIN 165560.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of savings made by local authorities from their budgets in 2020-21.

Since the start of the pandemic the Government has allocated over £8 billion directly to councils for their expenditure pressures. According to our monthly financial monitoring returns, estimated expenditure pressures for the financial year are £7.3 billion. The Chancellor announced at the Spending Review that local authorities will be provided with over £3 billion of additional support for COVID-19 in 2021-22, taking total COVID support to over £11 billion


Core Spending Power increased from £46.2 billion in 2019-20 to £49 billion in 2020-21, a 6% increase in cash terms, and then to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This recognises the resources councils need to meet their pressures, including foregone efficiency savings, and maintain current service levels.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many times he has met with officials from (a) the Treasury and (b) his own Department to discuss the methodology for the allocation of funding under the (i) Levelling Up Fund and (ii) Community Renewal Fund.

The prospectuses published at Budget for the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund provide guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes guidance on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding and how bids will be assessed.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the Levelling Up Fund prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents.

A methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined for the UK Community Renewal Fund has also been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many times he has met with representatives from local government to discuss the Community Renewal Fund.

The UK Government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. The Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Through this Fund, we will establish new ways of working between the UK Government and places across the UK. The UK Government will work more directly with local partners and communities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are best placed to understand the needs of their local areas and more closely aligned to the local economic geographies to deliver quickly on the ground.

The Government has been engaging with key stakeholders on the design and priorities of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund since 2016, including holding a series of engagement events.  Our engagement events have taken place across the UK. Over 500 stakeholders attended these events across a variety of sectors, including representatives from local government.

We will continue to engage stakeholders as we consolidate policy development for UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish all details of all the Town Deals published on 3 March 2021, including details of the projects which received funding and those which did not.

The 45 towns which were offered Town Deals on 3 March are currently reviewing their prospective Deals. Once towns have accepted their Town Deal offers, Heads of Terms are signed and then also published on local authority websites, which include the details of projects MHCLG has agreed to fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has plans for an appeal process to challenge priority status for capacity funding under the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents.

While preference will be given to bids from higher priority areas, the bandings do not represent eligibility criteria, nor the amount or number of bids a place can submit. Bids from categories 2 and 3 will still be considered for funding on their merits of deliverability, value for money and strategic fit, and could still be successful if they are of exceptionality high quality.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the average cost to local authorities that are not prioritised for capacity funding of bidding for funding from the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents.

While preference will be given to bids from higher priority areas, the bandings do not represent eligibility criteria, nor the amount or number of bids a place can submit. Bids from categories 2 and 3 will still be considered for funding on their merits of deliverability, value for money and strategic fit, and could still be successful if they are of exceptionality high quality.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish any equalities impact assessment that was conducted for the Towns Fund.

The Towns Fund is helping level up the country, driving economic regeneration, productivity and growth.

The Government’s approach to considering equalities impacts is set out in both the Towns Fund Prospectus, published in November 2019 and the Further Guidance published in June 2020.

All local authorities are required to consider the equalities impacts of their proposals as part of the Public Sector Equality Duty. In the guidance we also made clear the responsibilities of the Town Deal Board to fulfil duties on public authorities under the Equalities Act 2010.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish Government commissioned research into public attitudes to its levelling up agenda by external polling and communications agencies.

The Department has not commissioned research into public attitudes on the levelling up agenda by external polling or communications agencies.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the data used to assess (a) need for improved transport connectivity (in England only), (b) need for regeneration and (c) need for economic recovery and growth to select areas for priority funding as part of the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents .

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish data underpinning the selection of areas for capacity funding under the Levelling Up Fund for each priority tier against each metric listed in the Levelling Up Methodology Note.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents .

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has developed metrics to assess the progress of its levelling up agenda in each (a) local authority area and (b) region.

As reaffirmed at the Spending Review, the Government is levelling up opportunity across the UK so that people feel that they can succeed in their local area. The Spending Review established a set of provisional priority outcomes and metrics across all departments and policy areas which have been published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-review-2020-documents


These outcomes are now being embedded by departments into Outcome Delivery Plans, which will set out strategy and planning information for delivering the priority outcomes and for delivering on strategic “enabling” activities that are crucial to successful delivery.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what representations he has received on the ministerial determination of the application for development at Sandleford Park.

No representations have been received concerning this appeal.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to announce plans to allocate funding to towns not selected to bid for the Towns Fund in 2019.

The Government’s new Levelling Up Fund (LUF) includes £300 million that had been set aside for a Towns Fund competition. As set out in the LUF prospectus, proposals can be submitted for town centre and regeneration projects from individual or groups of smaller towns that did not receive investment from the Towns Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to support areas of high deprivation not listed as priority areas for capacity funding under the Levelling Up Fund to bid for Levelling Up Funding.

We recognise that levelling up requires a multi-faceted approach and the Levelling Up Fund is part of a broad package of complementary UK-wide interventions. The Levelling Up Fund will be allocated competitively and is open to all local areas.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents .

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he discussed any planning applications (a) due to be submitted and (b) under consideration at his meeting with development firm Thakeham on 28 February 2020.

A delegate at a local government conference had his photograph taken with the Secretary of State on 28 Feb 2020. At no point was an individual planning application raised.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of potential conflicts of interest regarding the ministerial determination of the planning application for Sandleford Park, in the context of the owner of Bloor Homes being a Conservative Party donor.

All planning casework decisions are made in line with published propriety guidance. This decision will be taken on the basis of evidence heard at a public inquiry overseen by an independent planning Inspector, and the reasons for it will be set out in a published decision letter.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to section 4.4 of his Department's policy paper, UK Community Renewal Fund: prospectus 2021-22, published on 3 March 2021, how the amount of funding available to lead authorities listed in the UK Community Renewal Fund Prospectus of up to £14 million will be (a) determined and (b) made available for supporting preparation ahead of the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Government is providing an additional £220 million funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches. It will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

We are reserving up to £14 million of the Fund as capacity funding to support local places to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. As set out in the prospectus, we will set out details on how this capacity funding will be distributed later this year. The allocation of capacity funding under the UK Community Renewal Fund does not pre-determine the allocation approach for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much money from the Towns Fund is being diverted into the Levelling Up Fund.

Towns will be able to benefit from the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund (LUF), which will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets. The LUF prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22.

As set out in the prospectus, proposals can be submitted for town centre and regeneration projects from individual or groups of smaller towns that did not receive investment from the Towns Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what consultation was conducted with local authorities in respect of the Levelling Up Fund; and if he will publish those responses.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that will have a visible impact on people and their communities.. The Government regularly engages with a wide range of stakeholders as part of ongoing work to support local economic growth as we recover from Covid-19.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to assess the value for money of Town Deals.

Every Town Investment Plan we receive is robustly assessed against a range of criteria, with value for money a central consideration. Full details of our assessment are set out in the Towns Fund Further Guidance, which can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/926422/Towns_Fund_further_guidance.pdf

Funding is distributed through local authorities who are the accountable body. Local authorities have their own comprehensive processes in place for managing public money. Funding for projects will only be released when full, green book compliant, business cases have been approved.

The Department will publish its monitoring and evaluation strategy for the Towns Fund in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason he decided to determine the appeal proposed Sandleford Park planning application by Bloor Homes rather than the planning inspector; and if he will publish the advice of the planning inspector on that application.

This appeal was recovered for Ministerial decision by officials under delegated powers, with no Ministerial involvement. Decisions on recovering appeals are made in accordance with the Written Ministerial Statement of June 2008. This appeal was recovered as being residential development of over 150 units or on sites of over five hectares, which would significantly impact on the Government’s objective to secure a better balance between housing demand and supply and create high quality, sustainable, mixed and inclusive communities. A public inquiry into the scheme will be held in May, overseen by an independent planning Inspector, who will prepare a report and recommendation for Ministers. That will be published alongside the final decision.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether an equality impact assessment was undertaken for the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund prospectus sets out the Government’s approach to considering equalities impacts. The prospectus notes that to ensure we are considering the potential impact of funding on individuals with protected characteristics, we will give due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty at key decision points and will seek information from applicants and lead authorities to support this process.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department took legal advice on the (a) Levelling Up Fund and (b) Community Renewal Fund.

The prospectuses published at Budget for the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund provide guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes guidance on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding and how bids will be assessed.

In designing new programmes, it is important to learn lessons and we have worked closely with stakeholders and professionals across Government to understand how we can design funds which meet our priorities and take in to account our legal responsibilities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Accounting Officer produced an assessment for the Levelling Up Fund.

The department follows the principles set out in Managing Public Money for all of its policies and programmes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Accounting Officer produced an assessment of the (a) Community Renewal Fund and (b) Levelling Up Fund.

The department follows the principles set out in Managing Public Money for all of its policies and programmes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which Ministers in his Department had responsibility for category allocations of the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents . This also sets out the steps the departments took to finalise the index.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether bids submitted to the Levelling Up Fund by local authorities require the support of the local Member of Parliament in order to be considered.

The Government recognises the important role of Members of Parliament in championing the interests of their constituents. We expect bidding authorities to consult local Members of Parliament as part of their bid, though such support from local Members of Parliament is not a necessary condition for a successful bid. Members of Parliament can have a positive role in prioritising bids and helping broker local consensus.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the formula for determining which areas will have access to capacity funding under the Community Renewal Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published on 3 March, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

The lead authority of each of the 100 priority places will receive capacity funding to help them invite bids locally and appraise these bids. Each lead authority will receive £20,000 per priority place. This funding can be incurred from April 2021 for staff or other resources needed to coordinate and appraise bids. It will be paid to lead authorities in the summer and will be paid regardless of whether bids are successful.

We are committed to transparency and a methodological note will be published explaining how the index of economic resilience was developed.

A portion of the Community Renewal Fund will be reserved for capacity funding, to be allocated to local partners for preparation for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This will be made available when the long-term allocation profile for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is published later this year. We will also set out details on how this capacity funding will be distributed at this time. The allocation of capacity funding under the UK Community Renewal Fund does not pre-determine the allocation approach for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Local Enterprise Partnerships are planned to be involved in the delivery of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be a flagship policy in delivering this Government’s commitment to level up the country and will target the people and places most in need across the UK. It will be focused on our domestic priorities and seize the opportunities that come from our departure from the EU and the bureaucracy of EU structural funds.

Spending Review 2020 set out the main strategic elements of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the Heads of Terms.  We will publish further details about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in a UK-wide Investment Framework later in 2021 and its funding profile will be set out at the next Spending Review.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many iterations of the priority list for capacity funding under the Levelling Up Fund were developed; and whether any areas were added to that list by Ministers.

As set out in the prospectus published last week, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish all correspondence between his office and the HM Treasury on the priority list for capacity funding under the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published last week, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the metrics for the determination of bids for funding under the Levelling Up Fund; and whether the metrics of the determination of those bids will include a scoring system.

As set out in the prospectus published last week, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the methodology to determine which (a) places and (b) lead authorities were prioritised for capacity funding to help prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

At Budget 2021, the UK Government published a prospectus for the UK Community Renewal Fund: an additional £220 million funding for 2021/22 to help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022.

The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches. It will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

As set out in the prospectus published on 3 March, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density. We are committed to transparency and a methodological note will be published explaining how the index of economic resilience was developed.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the metrics that inform the index local authorities most in need of capacity funding for allocation under the Levelling Up Fund, as published alongside the Levelling Up Fund prospectus.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index


Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to paragraph 8.6 on page 21of the Levelling Up Fund: Prospectus, published in March 2021, when he plans publish details of the assessment and scoring process for bids to that fund.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The Fund will be allocated competitively. The prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes information on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding, and how bids will be assessed. Further guidance and templates for bid submissions will be published shortly.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many bids for funding under existing housing and planning schemes have councils been asked to submit instead to the Levelling Up Fund.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The Fund will be allocated competitively. The prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes information on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding, and how bids will be assessed. Further guidance and templates for bid submissions will be published shortly.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether successful Town Deal bids are planned to be announced on or before 29 March 2021.

My officials are currently conducting assessment of the final set of Town Investment Plans and I look forward to making further announcements in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the names of all Town Deal Board Chairs.

Town Deal Boards are central to the success of the Towns Fund. They bring together local businesses, community and public sector organisations to develop a joint vision and strategy for the Town. The majority of Town Deal Boards are chaired by business people and details are published on the relevant local authority websites.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish documents of each bid submitted for a Town Deal.

As we have set out in the Towns Fund Further Guidance, the final Town Investment Plan should be published on the Lead Council’s website (or a Town Deal specific website). Once towns have accepted their Town Deal offers, Heads of Terms are signed and then also published on local authority websites.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his policy that remaining Town Deal bids will be assessed by 29 March 2021.

My officials are currently conducting assessment of the final set of Town Investment Plans and I look forward to making further announcements in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a proportion of the Levelling Up Fund will be pre-committed.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. Further details of how the Fund will operate will be announced shortly.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the cost to the public purse has been of the team responsible for administering the Local Growth Fund in each of the last three years; and what the cost will be of the team responsible for administering the Levelling-up Fund.

The Local Growth Fund (LGF) supports capital projects designed to deliver local economic growth through Mayoral Combined Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Cities and Local Growth Unit (CLGU), is a joint BEIS and MHCLG civil service team, overseeing LGF alongside other local growth programmes examples of these are the Towns Fund, Coastal Communities Fund and Devolution Deals . It is not therefore possible to provide a breakdown of exact FTE or costs for this programme.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. The Fund will be jointly managed by the Treasury, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Transport.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many FTE staff in his Department (a) were responsible for the Local Growth Fund in (i) 2019-20 and (ii) 2020-21 and (b) will be responsible for the Levelling Up Fund once the Local Growth Fund funding comes to an end.

The Local Growth Fund (LGF) supports capital projects designed to deliver local economic growth through Mayoral Combined Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Cities and Local Growth Unit (CLGU), is a joint BEIS and MHCLG civil service team, overseeing LGF alongside other local growth programmes examples of these are the Towns Fund, Coastal Communities Fund and Devolution Deals . It is not therefore possible to provide a breakdown of exact FTE or costs for this programme.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. The Fund will be jointly managed by the Treasury, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Transport.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether every region in England will be allocated funding through the proposed levelling up fund.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities. Further details of how the Fund will operate will be announced shortly.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2020 to Question 124761 on Local Government: Reorganisation, whether elections due to be held in North Yorkshire, Somerset and Cumbria will be deferred to allow any proposed local government reorganisation.

We have received representations for and against the postponement of local elections due to take place in the areas of Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset on account of proposals for re-organisation, and we are considering those proposals and whether to follow past precedents to postpone local elections for one year in areas where reorganisation is under consideration. An announcement will be made in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to publish allocations to local authorities for the extension to the Troubled Families scheme for the financial year 2021-22.

Local authorities have now received their individual allocations for the Troubled Families Programme in 2021-22. There are no current plans to publish these. Up to £165 million has been made available for the programme in that year.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for the publication of details on the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

The Fund will be jointly managed by HM Treasury, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Transport.

We will publish a prospectus for the fund early this year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding from the Towns Fund has been paid to each of the qualifying towns for that fund.

So far, each of the 101 towns has received capacity funding of £140,000, £162,019 or £173,029 depending on population size. In September 2020, each town also received a capital grant of £500,000, £750,000 or £1 million as part of £81.5 million accelerated funding to help towns respond to the immediate challenges of Covid-19.

In October 2020, we announced offers of Town Deals to the first seven towns. The first payments will be made once full business cases have been agreed for projects within those deals, and paid annually thereafter. This includes projects put forward to be fast-tracked. The majority of the remaining towns have now submitted their Town Investment Plans and these are being assessed by officials in the Department.

Furthermore, on 26 December 2020, we announced that up to £830 million has been allocated from the Future High Streets Fund. 15 areas have been awarded £255 million, with a further 57 areas to receive provisional funding of £576 million. This is a major boost for local high streets. The investment will support areas to recover from the pandemic and help transform underused town centres into vibrant places to live, work and shop.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information he holds on which local authorities in England have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and examples.

Adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism sends a clear signal that local authorities are serious about tackling antisemitism in their local communities. The definition is already used in guidance for the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, the Premier League, and a number of political parties, providing examples of the kinds of behaviours which, depending on the circumstances, could constitute antisemitism.

The Secretary of State wrote to all local councils in early 2020 to further encourage those who had not taken this important step to combatting antisemitism in their communities. We are currently compiling the information from local authorities and will encourage those who have not adopted the definition to do as at the earliest opportunity.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for the publication of details on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms.  The Government will publish a UK-wide investment framework in Spring 2021 and confirm multi-year funding profiles at the next Spending Review. Further details on the operation of the additional funding in 2021/22 will be published soon.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the additional costs that will be incurred by local authorities as a result of having to take safety precautions in order to hold local elections during the covid-19 outbreak.

The costs of delivering local elections are met by local authorities. We recognise that delivering local authority services, including elections, safely in the context of the pandemic, will increase costs. We have allocated to councils in England a further £1.55 billion non-ringfenced grant for Covid-19 expenditure pressures and made clear that priorities for use of that funding include additional local election costs as a result of Covid-19.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to bring forward legislation to allow local authorities to continue meeting remotely after May 2021.

To extend the facility for councils to continue to meet remotely, or in hybrid form after 7 May 2021 would require primary legislation.

There is no option to extend the current regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020 as section 78 (3) contains the sunset date of 7 May 2021.

There is considerable pressure on the Government’s legislative programme, but the Government is carefully considering next steps in this area.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 133882 on planning permission, how long on average the 31 referenced holding directions have been in place.

Of the 31 holding directions in place as of the 8 January, 3 are no longer in place. There are currently (as at 19 January 2021) 28 Article 31 Holding Directions in place. Directions are often used in respect of controversial or complex planning applications, and the average length of time these 28 Directions have been in place is 132 days. Directions restrict local authorities from granting planning permission for planning applications. They do not prevent authorities from considering applications and forming a view on them. Ministers will generally not consider requests to call applications in until authorities have formed a view on them.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 133882 on planning permission, which planning applications the 31 referenced holding directions correspond to.

Of the 31 holding directions in place as of the 8 January, 3 are no longer in place. There are currently (as at 18 January 2021) 28 Article 31 holding directions in place, which relate to the following planning applications


LPA

LPA Application Reference

Bristol City Council

20/01930/F

East Lindsay District Council

S/090/00615

N/031/01113/20

S/002/01542/20

S/002/01541/20

S/002/00079/20

N/031/01131/20

N/031/01128/20

N/031/01119/20

N/134/00775/20

S/090/01117/20

N/084/00587/20

N/031/1127/20

S/090/01122/20

N/031/01129/20

S/090/00771/20

S/090/01120/20

S/090/00613

N/110/00906/20

Enfield Borough Council

19/01988/FUL

Greater London Authority

PA/14/2425

4172

Halton Borough Council

17/00468/FUL

Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council

2020/01283/FUL

Havering Borough Council

P1604.17

Luton Borough Council

19/00428/EIA

North Warwickshire Borough Council

PAP/2018/0140

Stevenage Borough Council

19/00743/FPM

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason his Department does not maintain a list of expired holding directions issued under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015; and if he will make a statement.

Holding directions issued under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 are not substantive decisions. They are merely a procedural tool which restricts the grant of planning permission by a local authority, and are used to allow Ministerial consideration of requests to call in planning applications. Once a decision on whether to call in an application or not has been made, the direction ceases to have effect.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many holding directions issued under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 are currently in effect; and if he will publish a list of those directions by local authority area.

There were a total of 31 Article 31 holding directions in effect as of 8 January 2021. These directions were all issued by officials under delegated powers. Directions related to applications in the following local authorities: Bristol, East Lindsey, Enfield, the Greater London Authority, Halton, Hammersmith, Havering, Luton, North Warwickshire and Stevenage.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what number and proportion of holding directions made under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 have been issued by officials of his Department without ministerial involvement.

There were a total of 31 Article 31 holding directions in effect as of 8 January 2021. These directions were all issued by officials under delegated powers. Directions related to applications in the following local authorities: Bristol, East Lindsey, Enfield, the Greater London Authority, Halton, Hammersmith, Havering, Luton, North Warwickshire and Stevenage.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2020 to Question 122720 on Planning Permission: Hillingdon, if he will publish the holding decision put in place by his Department on the planning application 4266/APP/2019/3088 in Hillingdon.

As they are a procedural tool rather than a substantive decision, the department does not routinely publish Article 31 Directions, although recipient local authorities often choose to do so.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support local authorities in meeting the target of cutting UK carbon emissions by at least 68 per cent of 1990 levels by the end of 2030.

Half of English councils have committed to reducing their direct emissions to zero by 2030, enormously supporting the ambition set by the Prime Minister. Local action can accelerate deployment of new technologies and drive significant cost efficiencies through strategic coordination, including vital new energy and transport infrastructure.

As we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic we need to ensure that our recovery plans support our climate change response. By building back greener and better, we can achieve our climate goals, protect our biodiversity and natural capital, and sustain climate-resilient economic development, all in a fair and inclusive way.

A significant amount of support has been made available for councils to act on climate change, from heat networks to cycle paths to flood defences. Councils are uniquely positioned to align local needs, opportunities and resources to deliver strategic interventions at all scales. We will continue to work with councils to enable them to build back greener and better locally, through an effective planning framework and devolution.

Environmental principles are embedded in?growth funds and the national planning framework. To give a few?examples:

Finally, MHCLG is supporting clean growth initiatives through existing funding pots, including the Towns Fund and Local Growth Fund, and local institutions are using strategic plans to support the UK’s net zero by 2050 commitment. My officials are working with other departments including BEIS and DEFRA to ensure that green recovery and clean growth form a key part of our emerging local economic recovery planning.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what resources his Department plans to provide to Local Authorities organising elections for May 2021 to ensure that those elections are carried out in a covid secure way.

My Department and the Cabinet Office have been working together with the Electoral Commission, the Association of Electoral Administrators, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, the Local Government Association, and Public Health England, to identify and resolve challenges presented by the impact of Covid-19 to the delivery of the local and mayoral elections in England and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales in May 2021.

In the Spending Review we are making available £1.55 billion to local authorities to support the costs of Covid-19 in 2021-22. We have also received specific requests for additional Covid related local election costs to be supported. We will set out more detail about the £1.55 billion in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has received proposals on restructuring from local authorities in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset.

Councils in North Yorkshire, Somerset and Cumbria have until 9 December to submit their final proposals for local government reorganisation. We have already received more than one outline proposal from each area. All proposals received will be carefully considered.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to consult on the design of the (a) UK Shared Prosperity Fund and (b) Levelling Up Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for people and places. To help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, the Government will provide £220 million additional funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be published in the new year.

Officials have held 26 engagement events on the UKSPF, attended by over five hundred representatives from a breadth of sectors including businesses, public bodies, higher education institutions, voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups. We will continue to work with interested parties as we develop the fund.

The Government is also launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England. This will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. Projects should be genuine local priorities, prepared in collaboration with local stakeholders that have clear benefits to the local community and are aligned with a broader local economic strategy. The Spending Review makes available up to £600 million in 2021/22. We will publish a prospectus for the Fund and launch the first round of competitions in the new year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Levelling Up Fund announced in the Spending Review 2020, what weight he plans to attribute to the support that each tier of elected official gives to a bid when he makes a decision on the allocation of funding.

The Government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England that will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

Projects should be genuine local priorities, prepared in collaboration with local stakeholders that have clear benefits to the local community and are aligned with a broader local economic strategy. We will provide further details in the prospectus, which will be published in the new year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish the provisional local government finance settlement for 2021-22.

We will bring forward proposals for the annual local government finance settlement for 2021-22 as soon as we can.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many holding directions he has issued under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015; how long on average those holding directions have lasted; and in which local authority areas those holding directions have been issued.

Holding directions are issued – in most cases by officials without ministerial involvement – to allow planning ministers to consider requests to call in planning applications. Holding directions usually expire when a decision is made on whether to call the application in. The department does not maintain records of expired holding directions and therefore cannot provide the information as requested.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to call in the planning application 4266/APP/2019/3088 in Hillingdon.

The Secretary of State has received requests to call-in the planning application for redevelopment of the Former Master Brewer Site in Hillingdon. A decision has not yet been issued and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the criteria by which bids for funding from the Levelling Up Fund will be assessed.

The Government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England, that will attract up to £800 million for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the usual way. This will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

The Fund will be open to all local areas and allocated competitively. In its assessment process, the Fund will adopt the approach in the refreshed Green Book to ensure that investment supports levelling up and spreads opportunity across the UK – with projects assessed on how well they deliver policy aims and their impact on local areas.

We will publish a prospectus for the Fund and launch the first round of competitions in the New Year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Levelling Up Fund announced in the Spending Review 2020, how his Department will assess which local authority areas are able to bid for funding.

The Government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England, that will attract up to £800 million for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the usual way. This will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

The Fund will be open to all local areas and allocated competitively. In its assessment process, the Fund will adopt the approach in the refreshed Green Book to ensure that investment supports levelling up and spreads opportunity across the UK – with projects assessed on how well they deliver policy aims and their impact on local areas.

We will publish a prospectus for the Fund and launch the first round of competitions in the New Year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how his Department calculated the £14 per head that will be distributed to local authorities to support clinically vulnerable residents under the local shielding framework.

MHCLG is providing councils with over £32 million to support Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people for the 28-day period that the additional guidance is in place for CEV individuals. Funding is calculated per CEV individual on the Shielded Patient List (SPL) within the council boundaries, irrespective of whether they request support. The funding level is based on experience to date. It is designed to give councils flexibility to provide support to CEV individuals, such as access to food and to local support services, enabling them to stay as safe as possible over this period.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities subject to Tier 3 local covid-19 alert level restrictions are able to balance their budgets in financial year 2020-21.

Government has provided £6.4 billion directly to councils to help them support their communities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now providing additional funding to support the recent announcement of additional national restrictions. The Government has also introduced a co-payment scheme, designed to help local authorities recoup some of the?irrecoverable losses in sales, fees and charges?income?in 2020/21.

We recognise that even with the considerable support already provided, there will be individual authorities with either unique circumstances or residual issues resulting in unmanageable pressures. We will continue to work with local government to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses and that we have a collective understanding of the costs they are facing. We would ask that any local authority who is concerned about their financial position, or ability to set a balanced budget, should approach MHCLG for discussion.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the oral contribution by the Prime Minister of 12 October 2020, official report, column 24, on covid-19 update, when he plans to release details of the £1 billion of new financial support for local authorities.

On Thursday 22 October, the Secretary of State confirmed individual allocations of the £1 billion of new financial support for councils, further information can be found on the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jenrick-confirms-allocations-of-1-billion-funding-for-councils-this-winter.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95648, how many local authorities have agreed a Reopening High Streets Safely Fund contract; and what the value of those agreed contracts is.

The department is in the process of agreeing contracts with 310 local authorities across England. The total value of the fund is £50 million. Local authorities are entitled to claim their full allocation on eligible activity up until 31 March 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much has been allocated to local authorities from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to date.

We have provided £50 million to councils across England to help them ensure that high streets are able to safely reopen during the pandemic. The funding is coming from the European Regional Development Fund and has been allocated to all local authorities in England with responsibility for managing high streets (314). The amounts available to each local authority is based on the size of their populations. A minimum grant of £30,000 has been set to ensure those areas with very low populations do not get nominal amounts of funding. The full list of allocations was published on 29 May and can be found in Annex A of the Fund Guidance.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities have received money from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to date.

Local authorities are reimbursed for eligible expenditure incurred in arrears once a Reopening High Streets Safely Fund contract has been agreed. This occurs through a quarterly payment cycle with the first one commencing in October.

Local authorities have been able to deliver activities supported by the fund from 1 June 2020. The funding allocated will be made available until 31 March 2021. However, we would expect funding to be spent before then, as the focus is to develop a safe trading environment for companies and consumers as quickly as possible.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities have applied for funding from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund to date.

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund has been allocated to all local authorities in England with responsibility for managing high streets (314). Local Authorities have until 31 March 2021 to spend their allocation. The full list of allocations was published on 29 May and can be found in Annex A of the Fund Guidance.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much of the £60 million announced by his Department to support the enforcement of covid-19 regulations in local areas will be allocated to local authorities.

On 22 September the Government announced that £60 million of further funding would be provided to the police and local authorities to support a range of additional enforcement and compliance activity. Further information will be set out in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the names of the individuals who attended his meeting with Residential Land, M&G, Redrow and Berkeley Homes on 16 March 2020.

Ministers meet with a range of stakeholders and organisations on a regular basis. It is not usual practise to publish full details of such discussions, but there was a broad conversation on general housing issues. Information relating to this meeting was included in the quarterly Ministerial transparency return, which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mhclg-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-january-to-march-2020 .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the minutes of his meeting with Residential Land, M&G, Redrow and Berkeley Homes on 16 March 2020.

Ministers meet with a range of stakeholders and organisations on a regular basis. It is not usual practise to publish full details of such discussions, but there was a broad conversation on general housing issues. Information relating to this meeting was included in the quarterly Ministerial transparency return, which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mhclg-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-january-to-march-2020 .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what correspondence he has had with Bruce Ritchie, owner of Residential Land since 1 July 2019.

Ministers and officials have regular engagement with a range of organisations and stakeholders. Correspondence was received from Residential Land in relation to a roundtable discussion organised earlier this year.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the proposed recovery and devolution White Paper will be published.

As we set out in June, the Government intends to bring forward the English Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in the Autumn, detailing how the UK government will partner with places across the UK to build a sustainable economic recovery.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding will be available through his Department's proposed Shared Prosperity Fund.

The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to creating a UK Shared Prosperity Fund that tackles inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations, whilst at a minimum matching the size of European structural funds in each nation. Final decisions on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will need to be made through a cross-Government Spending Review, and we will set out further plans for the fund in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what meetings (a) he has and (b) Ministers in his Department have held with tobacco companies or their representatives since March 1st 2020.
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to publish a national map of brownfield sites.

All local planning authorities in England are required to prepare, maintain and publish registers of previously developed (brownfield) land that they have assessed as being appropriate for residential development.


Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the number of local authority run swimming pools including pools run under contract by third parties that have (a) reopened after the covid-19 lockdown and (b) remained closed.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published guidance on the safe reopening of swimming pools and it can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-gyms-and-pools-to-reopen-safely.

Decisions on reopening are made by local authorities and this information is not held centrally.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 10 September 2020 to Question 86071 on Parking: Large Goods Vehicles, which Department or Agency he is referring to as Border Departments; and who the responsible Minister is.

Border department means any of:

(a) the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs;

(b) the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy;

(c) the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; or

(d) the Secretary of State for Transport.

Ministers’ responsibilities are defined by their own departments and published on Gov.uk

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which Government department will be providing funding to local authorities for the provision of covid-secure marshals, announced by the Prime Minister on 9 September 2020.

We will provide further details on marshals, including details on the funding department, in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department plans to publish on the provision of covid-secure marshals, announced by the Prime Minister on 9 September 2020.

The Government is encouraging the introduction of Covid-secure marshals to help support our high streets and public spaces, making sure that people feel safe to enjoy them. Details will be published in due course, including any plans for guidance.

We have worked closely with local authorities who have already deployed marshals in order to develop our approach when rolling out this policy. For example, in Leeds City Council marshals supported reopening of non-essential retail and the reopening of the hospitality sector, whilst in Cornwall, marshals helped in the ‘Safer Summer’ scheme at the busiest times of day to give friendly help and guidance to those visiting and working in towns.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many changes of building use to residential under permitted development rights complied with minimum space standards in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold information in the format requested.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities have requested permission to undertake article 4 direction to restrict the scope of permitted development rights in each of the last five years; and how many of those requests were granted.

None.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department took to notify local authorities that they would be included in the The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020.

The Special Development Order requires Border Departments to discuss specific proposals with local authorities.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has identified sites for proposed lorry parks that he is seeking planning permission for under The Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020.

Such sites are identified by Border Departments.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with commercial property companies since 1 March 2020.

Details of Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on Gov.uk.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his oral answer to the hon. Member Lancaster and Fleetwood of 20 July 2020, Official Report, column 1828, on the Westferry Printworks scheme, if he will publish the (a) referenced advice from officials and (b) date on which that advice was provided.

All advice received by the Secretary of State from officials has been placed in the public domain, other than that subject to legal privilege. The relevant advice on timing is included within these documents and published on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference the National Audit Office report, Review of the Town Deals selection process, published 21 July 2020, what (a) criteria, (b) process and (c) sources of evidence his Department used to assess and rank towns for purposes of allocating funding under the Towns Fund.

The selection process comprised two stages. The first was an initial assessment carried out by officials: scoring, ranking, filtering and prioritising of all 1,082 towns across England against a range of criteria; creating a framework for decision-making to support ministers to select towns. The second was ministers’ selection of towns to be invited to develop proposals for Town Deals. More information can be found within the NAO Review of the Town Deals Selection Process (July 2020).

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which Ministers were authorised to determine the towns that would receive funding from the Towns Fund.

The current Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and former Minister for the Northern Powerhouse were responsible for final decisions on which towns were selected. Ministers considered a range of factors in identifying and prioritising towns, including levels of deprivation and exposure to economic shocks.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will operational by the end of the transition period.

The Government remains committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to succeed European structural funds and provide vital investment in local economies. The fund will bind together the whole of the United Kingdom, tackling inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations.

We recognise the importance of this funding to local places. Through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund we have a real opportunity to design a fund that is driven by our domestic priorities. Final decisions on the design of the fund will be taken after a cross-government Spending Review.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has directed officials in his Department to undertake an investigation into Leicester City Council.

Ministers are carefully monitoring the impacts of the pandemic on local authorities to identify councils that may need particular support. The Secretary of State has sought assurance on the role of Leicestershire councils who are within the lockdown area. The Department continues to work with the councils, agencies and other government departments on how best to respond locally.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason he has asked officials in his Department to undertake an investigation into Leicester City Council.

Ministers are carefully monitoring the impacts of the pandemic on local authorities to identify councils that may need particular support. The Secretary of State has sought assurance on the role of Leicestershire councils who are within the lockdown area. The Department continues to work with the councils, agencies and other government departments on how best to respond locally.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 900118 on Urban Areas, if he will publish information on (a) how the Towns Hub will function and (b) the number of civil servants that are working on the Towns Hub.

The Towns Hub is providing support to 100 towns that are currently developing proposals to agree Town Deals as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. The Towns Hub consists of central and regional teams in The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with 17 full-time equivalents and the Towns Fund Delivery Partnership led by Arup. Furthermore, the Towns Hub is supported by colleagues across MHCLG and other government departments. More details are available in the Towns Fund further guidance.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which Minister has been given responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse.

The Transport Secretary has Cabinet responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse and transport, including Northern Powerhouse Rail. As Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, I have responsibility for driving regional growth across the Northern Powerhouse and levelling up across the whole country.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 13 February 2020 to Question 14834 on the Towns Fund, when he plans to publish the (a) qualitative indicators and (b) quantitative indicators that formed the basis of the robust selection methodology used to choose the 100 towns.

The Government is not able to publish the full selection methodology used to choose the 100 Towns that will work towards Town Deals at this time. This is because it includes information that relates to the formulation and development of Government policy which is still live and ongoing.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities in devolved areas are eligible to apply for his Department's covid-19 local authority funding scheme in relation to lost income.

On 2 July the Secretary of State announced a new component of the Government’s comprehensive COVID-19 councils support package, to address the impact of lost non-tax income from sales, fees, and charges.

The income scheme applies to England only and aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charges which they had reasonably budgeted for the current financial year. Under the scheme councils will bear the first 5 per cent of losses compared to their budgeted income – reflecting the fact these income sources are by their nature volatile from one year to the next – and the Government will cover 75 per cent of losses beyond this.

A set of principles will be used to define relevant income which is eligible under the new scheme. Further details of the scope of this scheme, including the eligibility principles, will be shared with councils ahead of the start of the process of collecting, calculating, and compensating for relevant losses. Individual local authorities will be responsible for making sure that the claims they make meet these principles. The scheme will not compensate for lost commercial investment income.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish further details of the process for local authorities to apply for additional funding to help cover lost income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July the Secretary of State announced a new component of the Government’s comprehensive COVID-19 councils support package, to address the impact of lost non-tax income from sales, fees, and charges.

The income scheme applies to England only and aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charges which they had reasonably budgeted for the current financial year. Under the scheme councils will bear the first 5 per cent of losses compared to their budgeted income – reflecting the fact these income sources are by their nature volatile from one year to the next – and the Government will cover 75 per cent of losses beyond this.

A set of principles will be used to define relevant income which is eligible under the new scheme. Further details of the scope of this scheme, including the eligibility principles, will be shared with councils ahead of the start of the process of collecting, calculating, and compensating for relevant losses. Individual local authorities will be responsible for making sure that the claims they make meet these principles. The scheme will not compensate for lost commercial investment income.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether lost commercial income is included in his Department's scheme to reimburse local authorities for lost income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July the Secretary of State announced a new component of the Government’s comprehensive COVID-19 councils support package, to address the impact of lost non-tax income from sales, fees, and charges.

The income scheme applies to England only and aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charges which they had reasonably budgeted for the current financial year. Under the scheme councils will bear the first 5 per cent of losses compared to their budgeted income – reflecting the fact these income sources are by their nature volatile from one year to the next – and the Government will cover 75 per cent of losses beyond this.

A set of principles will be used to define relevant income which is eligible under the new scheme. Further details of the scope of this scheme, including the eligibility principles, will be shared with councils ahead of the start of the process of collecting, calculating, and compensating for relevant losses. Individual local authorities will be responsible for making sure that the claims they make meet these principles. The scheme will not compensate for lost commercial investment income.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he last attended his Department's weekly call with local authority leaders.

The Secretary of State chaired a COVID-19 webinar for all council leaders and chief executives, on Thursday 25 June.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the 2012 Guidance on Planning Propriety Issues is the current guidance for Ministers on how to interact with planning applications.

Yes, the 2012 Guidance on Planning Propriety Issues is the current guidance for Ministers on how to interact with planning applications. The Secretary of State has asked his Department to review the extant Planning Propriety Guidance to see how there can be clearer, practical guidance to Ministers and civil servants.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2020 to Question 59479, on Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the criteria of the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund with the Equality Act 2010.

The public sector equality duty is complied with at programme level for the European Regional Development Fund in England. This compliance applies to all projects funded by the programme, including the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF). Local authorities will be subject to that duty in delivering this additional targeted funding. The RHSSF is targeted at specific ERDF programme priorities, and is not designed to fund all of the activities covered by the Safer Public Places guidance published on 13 May.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that local authorities do not need to set emergency budgets to reduce services as a result of increased costs and lost revenues during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided an unprecedented £3.2 billion of additional unringfenced support to local authorities to address the pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is on top of the 4.4 per cent real terms increase in Core Spending Power this year.

Furthermore, as I set out to the House on Monday 15 June, the Secretary of State and I are working closely with ministerial colleagues on the further steps the Government will take as part of a comprehensive plan to ensure councils' financial sustainability over the financial year ahead. Ministers will continue to keep the House informed as these plans develop.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what consultation he plans to undertake as part of his work to establish a comprehensive plan for financial sustainability for local authorities.

The comprehensive plan that I spoke to the House about on Monday 15 June, is being developed and informed by ongoing discussions with local government and the department’s monthly financial monitoring exercise. Going forward, ministers and officials will continue to consult councillors, officials, and other stakeholders on the plan. Ministers will keep the House informed.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons local authorities are not permitted to fund (a) street wardens and (b) town ambassadors to support the reopening of high streets through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

Our £50 million Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) will provide councils with additional funding to support their business communities with measures that enable safe trading in public places. We have provided guidance for local authorities on the activities that can be funded through RHSSF. This includes the provision of Information Officers to deliver?business-facing?awareness activity, as set out in strand three of eligible activity in the fund guidance.

The RHSSF is not intended to fund all of the interventions listed in the Safer Public Spaces guidance, published in May, which included the option of public-facing stewards and street ambassadors to help manage pedestrian flows. Such roles are not eligible for funding under the RHSSF as they are not aligned with the four areas of eligible activity set out in the Fund guidance.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the ministerial code and to his discussions with the developer of the Westferry Printworks development (PA/18/01877/A1) in Tower Hamlets at a fundraiser for the Conservative Party prior to making his decision to grant approval for the development on the 14 January 2020, when he registered that discussion, and whether he made that registration to the Permanent Secretary of his Department.

Ministers act in accordance with the MHCLG Guidance on Planning Proprietary Issues and the Ministerial Code.

The full reasons for the Secretary of State’s decision are set out in his Decision Letter of 14 January, which is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/857952/20-01-14_DL+IR_Westferry.pdf

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what (a) powers and (b) guidance has been given to Local Authorities to enable local lockdowns in the event of an increase in covid-19 cases in their local area.

My Department has been working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and the Department of Health and Social Care to develop a framework for the local management of further outbreaks. In addition, all upper tier local authorities have been asked to develop local outbreak control plans based on the existing statutory responsibilities of their Directors of Public Health. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, alongside other relevant Departments, is considering whether further powers are required for local authorities to manage future outbreaks in line with these plans.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which Minister will make a decision on the Westferry Printworks development planning decision, PA/18/01877/A; and when that decision will be made.

My officials will be writing to the parties shortly about the process for redetermination.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the evidential basis for his decision to overturn the decision of the planning inspector in relation to the Westferry Printworks development, PA/18/01877/A1 on 14 January 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The full reasons for the Secretary of State’s decision are set out in his Decision Letter of 14 January, which is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/857952/20-01-14_DL+IR_Westferry.pdf.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to provide local authorities with additional powers to respond to and control localised covid-19 outbreaks.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has been working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop the framework for the local management of further outbreaks, and all Upper Tier Local Authorities have been asked to develop local outbreak control plans based on the existing statutory responsibilities of their Directors of Public Health. MHCLG, alongside other relevant departments, are considering whether further powers are required for local authorities to manage future outbreaks in line with these plans.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional resources his Department plans to provide to local authorities in support of their role as the main enforcing authority for health and safety in industries including retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and leisure during the covid-19 outbreak.

Through the £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, local authorities are being supported to help safely reopen high streets and other commercial areas. My Department has also issued guidance to help owners and operators of public spaces to identify the issues and potential interventions that can be made to facilitate social distancing in the public realm. We are encouraging all businesses, local authorities, landowners, transport operators and local partnerships to work together to provide for social distancing. My Department recognise that the capacity of specialist enforcement offers will need to be carefully managed. We expect that local authorities will adopt a sensible risk based approach and make judgements about where best to direct their activity to prioritise their public health responsibilities to prevent and control outbreaks.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish a list of expenditure related to the covid-19 outbreak that the Government will reimburse local authorities for.

The Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government continues to work closely with local authorities in the UK to manage the impacts of Covid-19 on our society.

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

In relation to this additional funding, the Government has asked local government to prioritise the following service areas during the Covid-19 crisis: adult social care; children’s services; public health; fire and rescue services; waste management services; shielding the clinically vulnerable people; homelessness and rough sleeping; domestic abuse; managing excess deaths.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has made an assessment of the effectiveness of its coordination with Local Resilience Forums during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government and each Local Resilience Forum partnership will, as with any emergency, seek to identify and learn lessons from the response.

MHCLG engages frequently with all Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) to discuss and manage the response to Covid-19. This includes having a dedicated Government Liaison Officer from MHCLG who provides a direct line of contact into central government; involvement in Strategic Coordination Groups held by each LRF; weekly calls with LRF Chairs; and individual engagement with LRFs by Ministers and senior officials.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the postponement of local government elections during the covid-19 outbreak, whether his Department plans to enable parish councils to co-opt new councillors in the event that there have been no requests for an election.

The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/395) postpone parish council by-elections that would otherwise be required to be held by 5 May 2021 until 6 May 2021.

These Regulations came in to force on 7 April and are designed to allow that co-opting can be used to fill vacancies in the usual way.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria his Department used to determine that £1.6 billion was required by local authorities in emergency covid-19 funding.

This Government has now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address any pressures they are facing in response the Covid-19 pandemic, across all service areas.

Since we announced an initial £1.6 billion on 18 March we have kept funding needs under review, using monthly data collections and our conversations with councils and their representative bodies to refine our assessment.

The additional £1.6 billion announced on 18 April is based on?our?latest?and best?assessment of?the distribution of?additional Covid-19 pressures. The additional funding is un-ringfenced, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major Covid-19 service pressures in their local area.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to involve local authority employed environmental health officers in Government organised contact-tracing of covid-19.

MHCLG continues to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and local authorities to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

DHSC are in the process of recruiting 18,000 staff, and that number will be increased if needed. Local authority membership bodies are helping to design the model and authorities will be asked if they can contribute staff to this collective effort. The recruitment process is underway and staff will of course receive training and support for the role they are given.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 39552, on Local Government Finance: Coronavirus, if his Department will publish a summary of the referenced data that councils have provided to his Department.

Councils have provided data to MHCLG on finance pressures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The data collection was not a formal return but best estimates to inform work in Government on supporting local authorities. The April collection was the first in a monthly series to provide ongoing information on financial pressures. We will seek to publish a summary in due course to share understanding of the evolving situation.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with local authorities on the development of government policy for local recovery following the covid-19 outbreak.

This Department has ensured that there has been regular and significant contact between Ministers, regional mayors and council leaders throughout this crisis to respond to the Covid-19 emergency.

This includes calls between the Communities Secretary and Ministers, and regional mayors, as well as regular teleconferences hosted by the Communities Secretary for all local government leaders and chief executives, with other Ministers present to answer questions. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is also discussing priorities and support measures with councils in each of the nine English regions, alongside a Ministerial-led Covid19 local delivery board with councillors. Further to this, a Ministerial-led Economic Recovery Working Group has been established, made up of local government leaders from across England including several Metro Mayors to help inform Government’s plans for economic recovery.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Local Resilience Forums receive advance notice of (a) how much and (b) what types of personal protective equipment will be delivered in their respective areas.

MHCLG is working with DHSC to ensure that Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) receive the PPE needed in their areas and over 53 million items of PPE have been delivered to LRFs since the beginning of April. This is a large scale and complex logistical challenge supported by military planners who aim to give LRFs as much notice of how much and what types of PPE are being delivered to their respective areas as possible.

We have further refined the daily LRF PPE drops process with DHSC using our improved data analysis and continue to identify any outstanding issues to inform future PPE drops.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on local authorities of responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of additional funding worth over £3.2 billion, alongside introducing a number of measures to support immediate cashflow concerns. This package of support responds to the range of pressures councils have told us they are facing. Additionally, the data that councils have provided to the Department in recent weeks has been crucial in building a picture of what is happening on the front-line. The Department will continue to work with the sector to develop our understanding of the pressures that local authorities are currently facing.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure vulnerable children living in temporary accommodation (a) with shared toilets and kitchens, and (b) that is over-crowded are not at put at additional risk of contracting covid-19.

Time spent in?temporary accommodation ensures that no family is without a roof over their head, and this is particularly important when we are dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

Housing authorities must ensure that the accommodation is suitable for the applicant and their household until the duty ends (for example, until they are offered settled accommodation or they are no longer eligible for assistance).

If you are living in accommodation that you share with other people, or if you share facilities with other people, you should follow current PHE guidance on self-isolation and self-distancing within the home.

If you are having to leave accommodation, you should get in touch with your local authority

You can find Government guidance on cleaning your house to minimise the risk of infection here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, if officials from his Department will meet with (a) Cats Protection, (b) the Dogs Trust and (c) other animal welfare charities to discuss his Department’s proposed changes to the pet’s clauses within the Government’s model shorthold assured tenancy contract.

We will shortly publish a revised version of the national Model Tenancy Agreement, the Government’s recommended contract for assured shorthold tenancies in the private rented sector. This is intended to make it easier for tenants with pets to find private landlords who will accept them.

We have invited representatives of Dogs Trust and Cats Protection to meet with officials where we hope to collect views and solutions from various stakeholders in order to inform Government policy on pets in the private rented sector.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding has been allocated to support (a) planning development and (b) processing of applications by local authorities for (i) fracking and (ii) onshore wind sites in each of the last five years.

Between March 2015 and February 2020, the Government’s Shale Support Fund, for the purpose of building capacity and capability in mineral planning authorities to deal with shale gas applications, made the following payments to mineral planning authorities: £46,173 (2015); £365,000 (2016); £123,947.42 (2017); £252,858 (2018) and £193,000 (2019). The final year of the Fund closed in February 2020.

The Department has not provided funding in relation to planning support for onshore wind applications in this time period.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department collects data on which local authorities have designated suitable areas for onshore wind energy developments in their local plans.

The Department does not collect such data. The National Planning Policy Framework indicates that plans should consider identifying suitable areas for renewable and low carbon energy. However, local authorities are not required to designate suitable areas specifically for wind energy development.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2020, to Question 3760, on Buildings: Insulation, what the timescale is for the publication of the report on the results of the Task 6 Testing and Task 7 Assessment; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer to Question UIN 3760 on 21 January 2020; the report will be published shortly.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 21370, on Leasehold: Reform, for what reasons he has provided actions undertaken by his Department in 2018 in answer to the referenced question regarding the 2019 Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's report entitled Leasehold reform, Twelfth Report of Session 2017-19, HC 1468.

Question 21370, answered on 2 March, related to a request by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee in its 2019 report on leasehold reform for a review of the Leasehold Advisory Service to be undertaken. A review of the organisation was undertaken in 2018, a few months prior to the Committee's report, and there are ongoing actions since the review which were outlined in the previous answer.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 27 February 2020 to Question 18683, on Building Regulations: Fires, what the Government's timetable is for responding to the technical review of Approved Document B of the building regulations.

Following the call for evidence and the summary of responses published in December 2018, we will be responding shortly to the subsequent consultation on sprinklers, signage and evacuation alert systems.

We will also announce the next steps for other fire safety measures that were raised in the call for evidence on the technical review of Approved Document B.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government,what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations of carrying out the data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems.

In September 2019 the Department announced the provision of £4 million new burdens funding to support local authorities with the External Wall Systems data collection. This funding allows local authorities to collect data on their own social stock, and on the private residential stock, hotels and student accommodation in their areas.

No estimate has been made of the cost to housing associations to provide data on their own social residential properties.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has a policy on the use of fire-resistant glazing in high rise residential blocks.

The Government does not specify which materials or approaches to construction should be used to meet the requirements of the building regulations, as a prescriptive approach would limit the ability for innovation.

Developers and designers should use the guidance in Approved Document B to decide whether fire resistant glazing or fire resistant material in corridors could be used to meet the requirements of the regulations in the construction of buildings.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his Department's policy to support a mandatory competent person scheme for the installation of fire-resistant glazing.

Competent persons schemes are voluntary under the building regulations 2010, and we expect that the installation of fire resistant glazing would be covered by the existing scheme for general glazing. More generally, the issue for increasing competence across industry is being addressed through the work of the industry led Competence Steering Group to deliver the reforms recommended by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his Department's policy that all high-risk buildings should contain fire safety corridors equipped with fire-resistant material.

The Government does not specify which materials or approaches to construction should be used to meet the requirements of the building regulations, as a prescriptive approach would limit the ability for innovation.

Developers and designers should use the guidance in Approved Document B to decide whether fire resistant glazing or fire resistant material in corridors could be used to meet the requirements of the regulations in the construction of buildings.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will visit Croydon North constituency to meet with leaseholders of Radnor House that are facing large bills for the removal of combustible wooden cladding from the building in which they live.

The Department has regular engagement with residents living in buildings with unsafe cladding, including correspondence from residents of Radnor House.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's report entitled Leasehold reform, Twelfth Report of Session 2017-19, HC 1468, what steps his Department has taken in response to the recommendation set out in paragraph 201 of that report.

In 2018 the Government conducted an internal review of the support and advice to leaseholders provided through the Leasehold Advisory Service. The review concluded there is a need to maintain the delivery of free, initial, independent advice, and a need to clarify and strengthen the aims and objectives of the organisation so it is clear what this advice should achieve and for whom it is designed.

It also concluded that the Leasehold Advisory Service should concentrate resources on improving the provision of advice and support to leaseholders, including minimum standards regarding the quality of advice.

The Government continues to work closely with the interim chair and her team on a programme to improve and strengthen the Leasehold Advisory Service, and to consider the advice and support needs of leaseholders in the longer term.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the market for professional indemnity insurance for (a) fire assessors, (b) surveyors and (c) other fire safety professionals.

The Government is aware that the market for professional indemnity insurance has hardened and is engaging with the insurance industry on the challenges that presents.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2020, to Question 680, on Building Safety, what further steps his Department is taking to ensure that necessary remediation happens at pace.

For buildings which require non-ACM remedial works, residents’ safety remains this Government's utmost priority and there is no excuse for building owners not ensuring that residents are safe in their homes. Government will continue to support leaseholders and is reviewing options on how best to do so.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2020 to Question 11599 on Buildings: Insulation, whether the Government has plans to mandate building owners to proactively share information on cladding; and what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on including that step in the forthcoming Bill on fire safety.

The Home Office will bring forward legislation shortly to put beyond doubt that building owners and managers of all multi-occupied residential buildings must assess the risks from cladding and front doors to individual flats under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This legislation will:

  • require building owners to review their fire risk assessments to comprehensively cover all common parts of these buildings.
  • affirm that fire and rescue services can take appropriate enforcement action, in particular supporting the remediation of buildings with unsafe cladding in high rise buildings
  • provide the firm foundation required for taking forward recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase One report (accepted in principle by the Government in October 2019), which called for new legal duties on building owners for high-rise residential buildings around inspection and information sharing with Fire and Rescue Authorities. A consultation on Home Office proposals is due to be issued in the spring.

Additionally, the forthcoming Building Safety Bill will put a requirement on dutyholders to ensure accurate and up-to-date building safety information is available and accessible to those who need it. A Mandatory Occurrence Reporting system will be established by the Building Safety Regulator, and dutyholders will be required to report any structural safety or fire safety related event which is perceived by them to represent a significant risk to life, in buildings within the scope of the new regime.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of fire damage.

As identified in the call for evidence (paragraphs 15 and 16), published in December 2018, the Department intends to assess the scope of the fire safety requirements of the building regulations including the need for property protection objectives as part of the technical review of Approved Document B of the building regulations. The Department will be setting out its intentions shortly.

The call for evidence and a summary of the responses received are available at the following:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence

The Department has not recently carried out an assessment of fire damage to the public purse however the Department regularly monitors the fire statistics published by the Home Office.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what funding he plans to make available to remove dangerous non-ACM cladding systems from buildings, to avoid the costs falling on leaseholders.

The Government has taken urgent action on building safety, including committing £600 million for remediating unsafe ACM cladding on high-rise buildings in the social and private sectors. Government intervention is wholly exceptional and based on the unparalleled fire risk ACM poses.

Residents’ safety remains this Government's utmost priority and there is no excuse for building owners not ensuring that residents are safe in their homes. Government will continue to support leaseholders and is reviewing options on how best to do so.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his Department's policy that the revised scope of Approved Document B of the building regulations will include property protection.

As identified in the call for evidence (para 15 and 16), published in December 2018, the Department intends to assess the scope of the fire safety requirements of the building regulations including the need for property protection objectives as part of the technical review of Approved Document B of the building regulations. The Department will be setting out its intention shortly.

The call for evidence and a summary of the responses to the call for evidence are available at the following:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to ensure that cladding does not prevent leaseholders living in buildings below 18 metres in height from selling their properties.

Government will continue to support the industry to refine the process for valuing buildings with cladding.? Building owners must be forthcoming with any information on the cladding used, responding promptly to residents and valuer enquiries.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his oral statement of 20 January 2020, Official Report, column 23, whether it is his Department's policy to make property protection a consideration of the fire safety Building Regulations when regulating to improve building safety.

As identified in the call for evidence (para 15 and 16), published in December 2018, the Department intends to assess the scope of the fire safety requirements of the building regulations including the need for property protection objectives as part of the technical review of Approved Document B of the building regulations. The Department will be setting out its intention shortly.

The call for evidence and a summary of the responses to the call for evidence are available at the following:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/technical-review-of-approved-document-b-of-the-building-regulations-a-call-for-evidence.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2020 to Question 11605 on Buildings: Insulation, whether the Government plans to provide councils with additional support to help identify the persons responsible for individual buildings with unsafe cladding.

Local authorities and housing associations have been asked to undertake a data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems. The responsibility for collecting and providing information for the data collection lies with local authorities and housing associations.

The Department published a technical note on 18 July 2019 to provide local authorities and housing associations with additional support in identifying the details of external wall systems of buildings above 18 metres. Subsequently, in September 2019 we announced the provision of £4 million new burdens funding to support local authorities with the data collection.

The Department is in regular contact with local authorities and housing associations to support them as they carry out the data collection.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the oral contribution of the then Parliamentary Under Secretary on 19 April 2018, official report, column 578, on Fire Safety Remedial Work: Leaseholder Liability, what metrics his Department uses to assess the effectiveness of the increased Government funding provided to the Leasehold Advisory Service.

The Leasehold Advisory Service’s published business plan contains objectives, Key Performance Indicators and metrics to assess the effectiveness of Government funding of all aspects of its service, including in relation to building safety. The business plan can be found here: https://www.lease-advice.org/files/2019/07/LEASE-BUSINESS-PLAN-2019-20.pdf .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to commission large-scale fire safety tests on systems with (a) timber cladding and (b) expanded polystyrene insulation.

Acting on advice from the Expert Panel, the government has commissioned research from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to support further understanding of the fire performance of Non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) external wall systems. This includes bespoke medium scale tests on timber cladding panels

The results of this?research will be?published shortly. So?far, the results show that none of the materials tested present as significant a fire hazard as ACM (and other metal composites) with unmodified polyethylene core.

Subject to the research findings, a decision will be made as to the testing of further materials used on external wall systems, including timber cladding. This may include tests at large medium or small scale. We currently have no plan to commission a large-scale fire safety test on systems, incorporating timber cladding or expanded polystyrene.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the value of contracts awarded by his Department to the British Standards Institute was in each of the last five years.

My Department has not awarded any contracts to the British Standards Institute for the period requested.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has commissioned large-scale fire safety tests on expanded polystyrene in rendered systems.

Acting on advice from the Expert Panel, the government has commissioned research from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to support further understanding of the fire performance of Non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) external wall systems. This includes bespoke medium scale tests on timber cladding panels

The results of this?research will be?published shortly. So?far, the results show that none of the materials tested present as significant a fire hazard as ACM (and other metal composites) with unmodified polyethylene core.

Subject to the research findings, a decision will be made as to the testing of further materials used on external wall systems, including timber cladding. This may include tests at large medium or small scale. We currently have no plan to commission a large-scale fire safety test on systems, incorporating timber cladding or expanded polystyrene.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent progress his Department has made on the release of funds to cover the cost of the remediation of unsafe aluminium composite material cladding on privately owned blocks of flats in London.

Information on the progress of applications to the Private Sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund is reported in the monthly building safety programme data releases, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aluminium-composite-material-cladding#acm-remediation-data.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2020 to Question 5442 on Buildings: Fire Prevention, whether his Department has published all large-scale test reports and data that it has commissioned the Building Research Establishment to undertake.

We have published all reports from BRE on the results and data from the large scale BS 8414 tests undertaken by the Department.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the names of the members of the Independent Expert Advisory Panel.

Information on the Independent Advisory Panel including core membership can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/building-safety-independent-expert-advisory-panel .

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2020, to Question 3225 on Care Homes: Insulation, when his Department plans to issue a formal consultation on banning combustible materials on care homes and sheltered housing below 11 metres in height.

The Department is seeking views on the ban of the use of combustible materials in and on external walls of buildings, including building types covered and the height threshold. The consultation closes 13 April 2020 and is available at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-ban-on-the-use-of-combustible-materials-in-and-on-the-external-walls-of-buildings

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 05 February 2020, to Question 5442, on Buildings: Fire Prevention, whether the Expert Panel has concluded that High Pressure Laminate D class cladding is less dangerous than Aluminium Composite Material Cladding with a Fire retardant (FR) polyethylene core.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 6113 on 21 January 2020. The results of the bespoke non-ACM tests ?research will be?published shortly.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2020 to Question 5442 on Buildings: Fire Prevention, whether the Expert Panel has concluded that High Pressure Laminate D class cladding with combustible insulation is more dangerous than Aluminium Composite Material Fire retardant (FR) cladding with combustible insulation.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 6113 on 21 January 2020. The results of the bespoke non-ACM tests ?research will be?published shortly.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2020 to Question 5442 on Buildings: Fire Prevention, whether the Expert Panel has concluded that High Pressure Laminate D class cladding has a higher calorific potential than all Aluminium Composite Material cladding.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 6113 on 21 January 2020. The results of the bespoke non-ACM tests ?research will be?published shortly.

6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on leaseholders who have been forced to declare bankruptcy because of inability to pay combustible building cladding remediation costs.

The Department does not hold this information. The Government has committed £200 million for the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on private sector residential high-rise buildings.

We are aware of concerns leaseholders have about meeting the cost of remediation of fire safety issues other than ACM cladding remediation. Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner, and they should consider all routes to meet costs, to protect leaseholders – for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work. However, we do not want the cost to be a barrier to remediation, so the Department is considering options to support leaseholders with Her Majesty’s Treasury.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of remedial fire safety works other than the replacement of ACM cladding on the ability of Housing Associations to develop new affordable housing.

The Department is helping landlords refine the estimates of the costs associated with ensuring their buildings are safe. As part of that we continue to engage with landlords, including housing associations, to understand their capacity to deliver these safety improvements. We are aware of the impact these costs might have on housing associations' other plans, but landlords also have an obligation to ensure their buildings are safe. Action has been taken to address buildings with the greatest safety risks associated with ACM cladding and supported funding for the remediation of 140 buildings in the social housing sector through the government’s social sector ACM cladding remediation fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that insulation concealed behind render in External Wall Insulation systems is correctly identified in the audit of high-rise buildings.

Local authorities have been asked to undertake a data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems – including their external facing materials and their insulation. The responsibility for collecting and providing information for the data collection lies with local authorities and housing associations. Local authorities have powers under Section 235 of the Housing Act 2004 to require building owners to provide documentation. This may be used to require information on the external wall system of a building, which includes insulation. New burdens funding has been provided to local authorities to offer support for the completion of the External Wall Systems data collection.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 9039 on Buildings: Insulation, whether (a) he and (b) his Ministers have met any groups of affected leaseholders.

The Department has had regular correspondence and engagement with leaseholders living in buildings with unsafe cladding, and we are aware of the concerns they have. The Government’s priority is to ensure that unsafe ACM cladding is removed and replaced so that residents feel safe in their homes. The Department has engaged with a named contact for each building to ensure progress is being made.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the £5 million of funding that his Department has allocated to local authorities to undertake identification of the cladding used on buildings in their areas.

Local authorities have been asked to undertake a data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems. In recognition of the extra work required, £4 million of New Burdens funding was allocated to local authorities in November 2019. Its allocation reflected the distribution of high rise residential buildings across local authorities. The Department is in regular contact with both local authorities and housing associations to support them as they carry out the data collection.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will publish a progress report on the building safety programme in relation to cladding and insulation materials on high-rise buildings in England.

The Department publishes a monthly data release which provides information on the remediation and funding status of ACM clad high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings in England. The latest information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-december-2019.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the accuracy of the information provided by building owners to local authorities on the cladding and insulation on their buildings.

Local authorities have been asked to undertake a data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems. The responsibility for collecting and providing information for the data collection lies with local authorities and housing associations. Local authorities have powers under Section 235 of the Housing Act 2004 to require building owners to provide documentation. This may be used to require information on the external wall system of a building. New Burdens funding has been provided to local authorities to offer support for the completion of the External Wall Systems data collection.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of enforcement powers available to local authorities to compel building owners to provide accurate information on the cladding and insulation present on their buildings.

Local authorities have been asked to undertake a data collection exercise on residential buildings 18 metres and over in height to identify their external wall systems. Local authorities have powers under Section 235 of the Housing Act 2004 to require building owners to provide documentation which may include the type of materials on the external wall systems of buildings. Local authorities can pursue enforcement action against buildings that are hazardous through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) regime.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2020 to Question 7630 on High Rise Flats: Insulation, what steps his Department will take to reduce the time period between the removal of combustible cladding and the installation of replacement non-combustible cladding.

We have regular engagement with a named contact from each high-rise residential building with unsafe ACM cladding to ensure progress with remediation is being made. Where building owners are failing to make acceptable progress towards completing remediation, further action will be taken. Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his oral contribution of 20 January 2020, Official Report columns 24-36, what steps he plans to take to ensure ACM cladding is removed from buildings below 18m in height.

The updated advice for building owners makes clear that ACM cladding with an unmodified polyethylene filler presents a significant fire hazard on residential buildings at any height with any form of insulation and action to remediate unsafe wall systems and remove unsafe cladding should be taken as soon as possible. Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner. This advice can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-advice-for-building-owners-including-fire-doors.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 5443 on High Rise Flats: Insulation, whether the Building Research Establishment report into the fire at the Cube building in Bolton will be published.

Information from the Report has been shared with the Expert Panel, Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020, to Question 5437, on Buildings: Insulation, how many groups of affected leaseholders (a) he and (b) his Ministers have met to discuss the remediation of unsafe cladding on their blocks.

Ministers and officials from the Department have had regular correspondence and engagement with numerous leaseholders living in buildings with unsafe cladding, and we are aware of the concerns they have. The Government’s priority is to ensure that unsafe ACM cladding is removed and replaced swiftly so that residents may be and feel safe in their homes. My Department have engaged with a named contact for each building to ensure progress is being made.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2019 to Question 6702, on Buildings: Fires, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of these publications on fire safety in the construction sector.

This work is regularly commissioned by the Department as part of an ongoing contract relating to the investigation of fire incidents. Through this contract BRE Global investigate issues that may have implications for Building Regulations and the guidance that supports Building Regulations, such as the Approved Documents. An important element of this contract is to ensure that findings from fire investigations are made available to the fire community and other stakeholders. We always review the need for these type of publications before commissioning them.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policy on the applicability to cladding of paragraph 12.7 of the Approved Fire Regulations of the view expressed by Dr Barbara Lane in her evidence to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry that I cannot agree with the clarification provided after the Grenfell Fire, that the Filler material referred to in Section 12.7 of the ADB 2013, was intended to incorporate the external surface (dealt with by means of Diagram 40) when it is formed of an aluminium composite panel.

The steps which the Department took in relation to the guidance in Approved Document B are matters that will be looked at in the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department holds a copy of the report undertaken by the Building Research Establishment on behalf of the Government into the 1991 Knowsley Heights fire.

The Building Research Establishment was commissioned by the Department to investigate the fire at Knowsley Heights. The report is held by the National Archives and can be requested. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11197377

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policy on the applicability to cladding of paragraph 12.7 of the Approved Fire Regulations of the letter from the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology to the Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, dated 10 May 2018.

In December 2018 the Government introduced regulations that banned the use of combustible materials in the external walls of specific types of high-rise buildings.

The ban provides clear performance requirements for materials in the external walls.

The amendment to the Building Regulations was introduced alongside a commitment to review the ban annually as stated in the Explanatory Memorandum published alongside SI 2018/1230.

The Government is currently consulting on reducing the current height threshold from 18 metres to 11 metres. The consultation closes on 13 April 2020 and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-ban-on-the-use-of-combustible-materials-in-and-on-the-external-walls-of-buildings

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 5436 on High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention, if his Department will request that the owner of the Cube building in Bolton publishes the referenced review documents.

We have been clear that building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and for taking action to address safety issues when they are identified.

24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of buildings that have had combustible cladding removed have not had replacement cladding installed.

Information on the number of high-rise residential buildings with ACM cladding that require remediation that have had the ACM cladding removed is available in the monthly building safety programme data release here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-december-2019 . Information is not held on those buildings that have had replacement cladding installed but have not yet completed remediation, including receiving building control sign-off where necessary.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2020 to Question 1897 on Buildings: Fires, for what reasons the Government commissioned Building Research Establishment to produce the report on External Fire Spread.

This work was commissioned as part of an ongoing contract relating to the investigation of fires.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2020, to Question 4752, on Buildings Insulation, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that building owners rather than leaseholders are financially liable for the remediation of unsafe timber cladding.

Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner, and they must remedy any safety risks uncovered. Building owners should consider all routes to meet costs, protecting leaseholders where they can – for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work.

We are aware of the concerns of leaseholders about meeting the cost of remediation. We do not want the cost to be a barrier to remediation, so the Department is considering options to support leaseholders with Her Majesty’s Treasury.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to respond to the letter of 20 December 2019 from the hon. Member for Croydon North in regard to the remediation of decorative wooden cladding on Radnor House.