Steve Reed Portrait

Steve Reed

Labour (Co-op) - Croydon North

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

(since September 2021)
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
6th Apr 2020 - 19th Sep 2021
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
Monday 25th October 2021
14:30
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Oct 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Monday 29th November 2021
14:30
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Nov 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 251
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy

I thank Members who have contributed to today’s debate. We have heard excellent and very thoughtful speeches from Members in …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Costs
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the estimated cost to the public purse …
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
Monday 18th October 2021
1. Employment and earnings
6 September 2021, received £120 from YouGov, 150 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT, for participating in July survey. Hours: 30 …
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 257 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)
(26 debate interactions)
Luke Hall (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(7 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
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


671 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
26 Other Department Questions
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the estimated cost to the public purse was of changing the name of his Department.

Any necessary changes will be done in a cost-efficient way with expenditure being kept to a minimum.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department plans to take to assess the impact of (a) The Towns Fund, (b) the Levelling Up Fund and (c) the Community Renewal Fund against previously implemented area-based initiatives.

We are committed to robust monitoring and evaluation to understand the impact of our funding, ensure value for money and learn from what works to inform the design of future initiatives.

The Towns Fund evaluation will examine the impact of its interventions, including on: employment, land values, resident incomes, business turnover and profits, investment, well-being and perception of place.

This is summarised in the Towns Fund Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy, which the Department will publish in due course.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much and what proportion of the total funding has been allocated from the Towns Fund to date.

Through the Towns Fund all 101 Towns invited to submit proposals for a Town Deal have been provided with a Heads of Terms offer, worth a combined total of £2.4 billion; in addition, all 72 successful Future High Streets places have been allocated funding, worth a combined total of £830 million.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2021 on Revitalising high streets and town centres, whether it remains his policy to restrict the use of article 4 directions by local authorities.

Our new policy on Article 4 directions announced on 1 July requires that Article 4 directions are used appropriately and proportionately and are targeted so that they only apply to the smallest area possible. Any new Article 4 directions made by local authorities are required to be in accordance with this policy.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of instances of illegal street trading recorded by local authorities in England.

This data is not collected by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will publish the data held by his Department on the amount spent by local authorities in England on maintaining street lights in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold figures on the amounts spent by councils in England on maintaining street lights in each of the last five years.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will publish the figures it holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on pavement maintenance in each of the last ten years.

Local authorities provide expenditure returns to the Department, but the most detailed of these do not have a specific category for pavement maintenance. They have broader categories relating to roads; these can be found in tables A1 and RO2 in the local authority data tables which are linked from www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-capital-expenditure-receipts-and-financing and www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing respectively.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will publish any data it holds on the number of community or municipal funerals provided by local authorities in England in each of the last ten years.

This data is not collected by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will define levelling up.

Levelling up is about empowering local leaders and communities; growing the private sector and boosting living standards, particularly where they are lower; spreading opportunity and improving public services, particularly where they are lacking; and restoring local pride. As the Prime Minister set out in his speech on the 15 July 2021, the forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper will set out further details.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of criminal behaviour orders applied for by local authorities in England in each of the last ten years.

This data is not collected by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what budget his Department has set to cover the costs of spending associated with changing the name of his Department from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on maintaining coastal protection in each of the last ten years.

Local authorities in England report expenditure in long-established annual returns to the Department. Capital expenditure on coastal protection can be found in table A1 of the local authority data tables which are linked from www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-capital-expenditure-receipts-and-financing. Revenue expenditure on coastal protection is in table RO5 of the local authority data tables which are linked from www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of tree preservation orders issued by local authorities in England in each of the last ten years.

None.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has made an estimate of the number of local authorities in England that are providing guidance to businesses on the installation of new ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

The Department does not hold this information.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance to employers on 'ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic' which local authorities may use as part of their communications and engagement with local organisations.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to reform the planning system.

This Government seeks to unite and level up the country, ensuring opportunity is available for all, and our plans to modernise the planning system are an important part of this. We are continuing to reflect on the many responses received to last year's White Paper, and will set out our response.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has plans to undertake a review of the impact of changes to Permitted Development rules over the last ten years on the quality of new build homes.

Independent research into the quality standard of homes delivered through permitted development rights was undertaken in 2019. The research is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quality-standard-of-homes-delivered-through-change-of-use-permitted-development-rights

We now require all homes delivered under permitted development rights to meet Nationally Described Space Standards, and that adequate natural light be provided in habitable rooms.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of complaints made to local authorities in England on nuisance bonfires.

This data is not currently held centrally.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to reform local government in England.

The Government's policy is that local government reform should be locally led. Local government reform therefore is an ongoing locally led process rather than a one size fits all centrally led approach.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will publish the Levelling Up White Paper.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, levelling up and ensuring that the whole UK can benefit from the same access to opportunities remains core to the Government's vision.

As the PM set out in his speech on 15 July, the Government will publish a landmark Levelling Up White Paper in due course, articulating how bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods in all parts of the UK.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many community asset transfers have been carried out by local authorities in England since 2010.

The Department does not hold central data on the total number of community asset transfers that have been carried out by local authorities since 2010. Local authorities are responsible for setting their own community asset transfer policies and processes, and records of local community asset transfers are held by individual local authorities.

The Department have supported the online platform 'Keep it in the Community' to improve data on community-owned assets and assets of community value and to help make sure that more community groups are able to identify local assets of community value.

Through the £150 million Community Ownership Fund, the UK Government are supporting communities across the United Kingdom to own and manage the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them. Community groups can bid for up to £250,000 matched-funding to help them buy or take over local community assets or amenities at risk of being lost, to run as community-owned businesses. The Fund will also work alongside existing community asset transfer frameworks across the UK to support capital works and refurbishment as part of an asset transfer agreement, where the asset is at risk of being lost.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many tree preservation orders have been issued by local authorities in England in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold the requested information.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what data his Department holds on the number of home renovation grants that have been distributed by local authorities in England to bring empty properties back into use in each of the last ten years.

Statistics on loans, grants and other assistance provided by local authorities for the improvement of private sector housing are available on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2019-to-2020.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Paymaster 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
Paymaster 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
Paymaster 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
Paymaster General
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his timescale is for the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper.

We will publish a landmark Levelling Up White Paper later this year, articulating how bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to include proposals on devolution in the proposed White Paper on levelling up.

Levelling Up is at the heart of this government’s agenda to build back better after the pandemic and to deliver for citizens in every part of the UK. The detail of bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunity in every part of the UK will be published later in the year, as part of our landmark Levelling Up White Paper.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many non-disclosure agreements have been used by each Government department for settling grievance 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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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 (Department for Work and Pensions)
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)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take in response to the Environmental Audit Committee's recommendations to (a) remove the barriers to community energy and (b) implement practical support measures to enable community energy to fulfil its role of engaging people and communities in net zero.

The Government is supportive of community energy. We have responded to the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendations, our response can be viewed here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/62/environmental-audit-committee/publications/3/correspondence/.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
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)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been allocated to each Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund in each of the last four years.

£4.3 billion has been paid to Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund over the course of the last four years, to unlock local economic growth through investment in infrastructure across England. A breakdown in provided in the table below.

LEP

17-18 Payment

18-19 Payment

19-20 Payment

20-21 Payment

Total Payments 2017-21

Greater Birmingham & Solihull

£25,699,444

£19,303,020

£12,716,498

£31,847,061

£89,566,023

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough

£12,346,916

£16,705,458

£15,875,346

£35,737,637

£80,665,357

Greater Manchester

£127,373,045

£78,046,764

£47,904,463

£77,808,212

£331,132,484

Liverpool City Region

£53,563,639

£40,908,525

£27,084,532

£87,797,976

£209,354,672

London

£41,627,017

£35,379,854

£29,213,502

£83,631,227

£189,851,600

Sheffield City Region

£86,850,906

£42,471,649

£29,867,716

£43,238,940

£202,429,211

Tees Valley

£27,989,035

£13,708,247

£9,416,075

£14,216,773

£65,330,130

West of England

£49,831,528

£45,370,085

£13,575,065

£34,312,381

£143,089,059

North East

£42,505,549

£51,706,129

£28,063,127

£14,550,627

£136,825,432

Black Country

£31,264,295

£19,527,429

£19,044,119

£32,948,081

£102,783,924

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley

£10,873,571

£11,878,931

£3,050,399

£5,749,716

£31,552,617

Cheshire and Warrington

£18,269,116

£16,015,902

£8,234,770

£24,905,206

£67,424,994

Coast to Capital

£51,406,700

£45,815,341

£35,757,082

£47,281,837

£180,260,960

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

£16,731,067

£6,434,534

£4,772,967

£11,717,698

£39,656,266

Coventry & Warwickshire

£23,122,974

£14,858,866

£8,214,575

£24,561,463

£70,757,878

Cumbria

£7,123,593

£6,057,068

£6,818,265

£11,694,598

£31,693,524

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

£66,388,375

£32,359,889

£17,424,093

£40,086,356

£156,258,713

Dorset

£15,859,638

£19,368,567

£14,045,722

£12,741,255

£62,015,182

Enterprise M3

£45,663,923

£36,807,289

£17,491,536

£42,685,284

£142,648,032

Gloucestershire

£9,254,854

£8,499,446

£20,482,684

£14,856,992

£53,093,976

Greater Lincolnshire

£12,687,335

£8,733,858

£6,809,606

£18,153,052

£46,383,851

Heart of the South West

£36,132,181

£9,985,696

£13,146,492

£38,458,629

£97,722,998

Hertfordshire

£33,455,875

£42,585,327

£29,765,956

£27,274,460

£133,081,618

Humber

£27,269,412

£12,721,021

£11,050,217

£22,232,046

£73,272,696

Lancashire

£44,719,382

£34,856,510

£31,960,020

£38,640,069

£150,175,981

Leeds City Region

£72,228,329

£74,349,287

£73,510,320

£100,338,062

£320,425,998

Leicester & Leicestershire

£23,968,028

£15,694,684

£12,932,202

£17,896,716

£70,491,630

New Anglia

£41,334,111

£34,659,957

£24,661,848

£47,412,132

£148,068,048

Oxfordshire

£14,015,357

£11,813,194

£24,304,685

£14,290,548

£64,423,784

Solent

£24,302,028

£10,817,860

£9,252,686

£9,252,686

£53,625,260

South East

£92,088,396

£91,738,956

£54,914,715

£77,873,075

£316,615,142

South East Midlands

£23,738,436

£18,334,147

£28,912,343

£49,938,631

£120,923,557

Stoke and Staffordshire

£17,518,643

£11,283,922

£6,370,448

£15,345,059

£50,518,072

Swindon and Wiltshire

£19,279,293

£20,870,160

£16,117,812

£16,627,417

£72,894,682

Thames Valley Berkshire

£26,442,132

£29,417,022

£6,177,667

£19,874,541

£81,911,362

The Marches

£9,647,163

£8,187,720

£4,602,978

£12,626,193

£35,064,054

Worcestershire

£15,325,957

£4,853,087

£3,624,437

£10,368,876

£34,172,357

York, North Yorkshire, East Riding

£10,195,309

£23,651,587

£6,511,540

£14,632,518

£54,990,954

Total

£1,308,092,552

£1,025,776,988

£733,678,508

£1,243,604,030

£4,311,152,078

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
Secretary of State for Education
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what data his Department holds on the number of books no longer required in public library collections that have been made available for sale to the public in each of the last five years.

The government does not hold this information. The review and disposal of bookstock is the responsibility of each library authority and its individual libraries to determine.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what data his Department holds on the number of local authority football pitches that have been sold in each of the last 10 years.

This department and Sport England (the lead organisation with responsibility for grassroots sport in England) do not hold information on the number of local authority pitches that have been sold in each of the last 10 years.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

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.

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.

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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the recommendations of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ report, Technology use and the mental health of children and young people, whether it is his Department's policy to give the independent regulator for online safety powers to compel social media companies to share anonymous data for research into the benefits and risks for children and young people.

The government is developing world-leading plans to make the UK a safer place to be online. This includes a duty of care on online companies, overseen by an independent regulator with tough enforcement powers, to hold them to account. The regulator will have the power to require transparency reports from companies outlining what they are doing to protect people online. These reports will be published so parents and children can make informed decisions about their internet use.

We will carefully consider the recent report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, including its recommendations relating to access to anonymous data for research.

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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what data his Department holds on local authority provision of integrated advice, guidance and access to personal development opportunities for young people aged between 13 and 19.

The Government does not hold data on local provision relating to personal development of young people. All schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based, and which prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. It is important that schools’ provision helps young people to develop as rounded individuals. This is addressed through subjects such as citizenship and personal, social, health and economic education. The Department also expects schools to provide pupils with a range of extra-curricular activities to help further their development. Some of this will be provided by local authorities, but the Department does not hold this information centrally.

As part of 16-19 study programmes, students are expected to take part in meaningful non-qualification activities that develop their character, broader skills, attitudes, and confidence.

Schools and colleges have flexibility over how they deliver their curriculum and extra-curricular programme, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to mitigate staff shortages in (a) children’s homes and (b) urgent children’s care services as a result of covid-19.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for the 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 outbreak, including in providing children’s social care.

We recognise the extraordinary pressures on staffing across children’s homes and the difficult decisions providers are making to keep homes operating safely. We understand children’s homes are working closely with their local authorities on continuity plans for staff shortages at a local level and we are working closely with representative bodies to understand and monitor pressures, considering what further support we can provide.

In regards to social work, through the Coronavirus Act, we have taken powers to bring previously registered social workers onto the register of social workers held by the regulator, Social Work England, and have launched ‘Social Work Together’ to allow social workers to register their interest in returning to practice and to match them with employers. We are also looking to give local authorities additional flexibilities to meet the challenges of dealing with coronavirus.

The latest guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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.

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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further 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 (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of street litter bins maintained by local authorities in England.

Defra does not hold data on the frequency or road sweeping by local authorities in England, or on the number of street litter bins maintained by local authorities.

Local councils are responsible for keeping their public land clear of litter and refuse. It is up to councils to decide how best to meet this statutory duty.

Statistics on waste managed by local authorities are available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-collected-waste-management-annual-results.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the frequency of road sweeping by local authorities in England.

Defra does not hold data on the frequency or road sweeping by local authorities in England, or on the number of street litter bins maintained by local authorities.

Local councils are responsible for keeping their public land clear of litter and refuse. It is up to councils to decide how best to meet this statutory duty.

Statistics on waste managed by local authorities are available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-collected-waste-management-annual-results.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of bulky household waste collections carried out by local authorities in England.

Defra does not collect information on the number of bulky household waste collections in England.

However, Defra does collect data on the tonnages of bulky household residual waste and bulky items of household recycling collected from the kerbside.

This information is published as part of Local Authority waste management statistics, available here: WasteDataFlow - Local Authority waste management on data.gov.uk

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the local authorities in England that have responsibility for running of canals and waterways in their area.

There are over 30 navigation authorities in England and Wales with responsibility for varying lengths of inland waterways, ranging from the Canal and River Trust with around 2,000 miles of waterways down to privately-owned single canal companies. Within this range is a number of local authorities. However, the Government is not involved in the day-to-day running of inland waterways, which rests with the navigation authorities that own and manage them, and therefore does not hold information on them other than where there is a legal or statutory requirement.

The Inland Waterways Association, a national charity working to protect and restore waterways, and the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities maintain comprehensive lists and details of navigation authorities across the country.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department holds information on the number of recycling sites operated by each local authority in England.

Defra collects information on the number of Civic Amenity Sites (household waste recycling centres) operated by a local authority or its contractors. This information is only reported for quarter 4 (January to March) of each financial year. Two questions are completed, one by waste disposal authorities for each district and the other is completed by unitary authorities and waste collection authorities.

The latest available data is for January to March 2020. This data can be found at the following link: WasteDataFlow - Local Authority waste management on data.gov.uk

The data can be filtered by setting the 'question column' to 'Q013' (Waste Disposal Authorities) or 'Q015' (Unitary Authorities and Waste Collection Authorities). Then the number of Civic Amenity Sites for each local authority will be presented in the 'data column'.

Data for the period Jan - March 2021 is currently being reported by local authorities, and is provisionally scheduled to be published in December 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of local authorities’ ability to enforce animal health and welfare legislation that is designed to protect domesticated and wild animals.

The Government has already taken significant steps to improve the welfare of domestic and other animals. The Animal Health and Welfare Framework has been produced to help county councils, unitary authorities and metropolitan boroughs in England deliver their statutory duties in relation to the health and welfare of farmed animals. Published in May 2021, our Action Plan for Animal Welfare sets out an ambitious programme of future reforms which will strengthen our position as a world leader in this field.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 were developed to help improve standards and enforcement across a range of animal activities licensed by local authorities; for example, modernising the regulation of dog breeding, pet selling and animal boarding. Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the requirements of licenses in these areas and have access to appropriately trained officers. Statutory guidance aims to improve consistency with the interpretation and application by local authorities of the regulatory regime across England. Ultimately, however, it is for local authorities themselves to decide how best to use the powers of inspection and licensing available to implement the regime and deal with individual cases.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of motor vehicles abandoned in (a) lower tier local authority areas and (b) upper tier local authority areas in each of the last five years.

Defra do not hold any data from the last five years on the number of shopping trolleys or motor vehicles abandoned nor the amount spent by local authorities on seizing, storing and disposing of abandoned shopping trolleys.

Local authorities have powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to seize, store and dispose of abandoned shopping and luggage trolleys. They can also recover costs from the owners of the trolleys.

Local authorities may agree schemes with local businesses to make sure they collect their trolleys. The local authority cannot claim any costs associated with removing, storing or disposing of trolleys if the trolley owners are part of such a scheme.

Defra has not made an assessment of the environmental impact of abandoned shopping trolleys.

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (RDAA) places a duty on councils to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including private land, and council officers may legally enter land to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Authorities do not have to remove an abandoned vehicle if the cost of moving it to the nearest highway is unreasonably high. It is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned, and whether it is subject to their duty to remove it.

The Government has published guidance on councils’ powers for removing abandoned trolleys and responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles, which is available at gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/removing-abandoned-shopping-trolleys-council-powers and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/abandoned-vehicles-council-responsibilities

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the environmental impact of abandoned shopping trolleys.

Defra do not hold any data from the last five years on the number of shopping trolleys or motor vehicles abandoned nor the amount spent by local authorities on seizing, storing and disposing of abandoned shopping trolleys.

Local authorities have powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to seize, store and dispose of abandoned shopping and luggage trolleys. They can also recover costs from the owners of the trolleys.

Local authorities may agree schemes with local businesses to make sure they collect their trolleys. The local authority cannot claim any costs associated with removing, storing or disposing of trolleys if the trolley owners are part of such a scheme.

Defra has not made an assessment of the environmental impact of abandoned shopping trolleys.

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (RDAA) places a duty on councils to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including private land, and council officers may legally enter land to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Authorities do not have to remove an abandoned vehicle if the cost of moving it to the nearest highway is unreasonably high. It is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned, and whether it is subject to their duty to remove it.

The Government has published guidance on councils’ powers for removing abandoned trolleys and responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles, which is available at gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/removing-abandoned-shopping-trolleys-council-powers and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/abandoned-vehicles-council-responsibilities

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish data held by his Department on the amount spent by (a) upper and (b) lower tier local authorities on seizing, storing and disposing of abandoned shopping trolleys in each of the last five years.

Defra do not hold any data from the last five years on the number of shopping trolleys or motor vehicles abandoned nor the amount spent by local authorities on seizing, storing and disposing of abandoned shopping trolleys.

Local authorities have powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to seize, store and dispose of abandoned shopping and luggage trolleys. They can also recover costs from the owners of the trolleys.

Local authorities may agree schemes with local businesses to make sure they collect their trolleys. The local authority cannot claim any costs associated with removing, storing or disposing of trolleys if the trolley owners are part of such a scheme.

Defra has not made an assessment of the environmental impact of abandoned shopping trolleys.

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (RDAA) places a duty on councils to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including private land, and council officers may legally enter land to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Authorities do not have to remove an abandoned vehicle if the cost of moving it to the nearest highway is unreasonably high. It is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned, and whether it is subject to their duty to remove it.

The Government has published guidance on councils’ powers for removing abandoned trolleys and responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles, which is available at gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/removing-abandoned-shopping-trolleys-council-powers and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/abandoned-vehicles-council-responsibilities

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of shopping trolleys abandoned in each (a) upper tier local authority and (b) lower tier local authority in each of the last five years.

Defra do not hold any data from the last five years on the number of shopping trolleys or motor vehicles abandoned nor the amount spent by local authorities on seizing, storing and disposing of abandoned shopping trolleys.

Local authorities have powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to seize, store and dispose of abandoned shopping and luggage trolleys. They can also recover costs from the owners of the trolleys.

Local authorities may agree schemes with local businesses to make sure they collect their trolleys. The local authority cannot claim any costs associated with removing, storing or disposing of trolleys if the trolley owners are part of such a scheme.

Defra has not made an assessment of the environmental impact of abandoned shopping trolleys.

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (RDAA) places a duty on councils to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including private land, and council officers may legally enter land to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Authorities do not have to remove an abandoned vehicle if the cost of moving it to the nearest highway is unreasonably high. It is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned, and whether it is subject to their duty to remove it.

The Government has published guidance on councils’ powers for removing abandoned trolleys and responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles, which is available at gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/removing-abandoned-shopping-trolleys-council-powers and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/abandoned-vehicles-council-responsibilities

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the impact that increasing levels of isolations as a result of close contact with people testing positive for Covid-19 will have on the ability of local authorities to maintain refuse collections.

We are actively engaging with companies in the waste sector and local authorities to understand the current level of absences amongst their staff and the potential for this to impact their services.

We circulated a short survey to waste companies and local authorities on 21 July 2021 to gather data on staff absences and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver vacancies. We intend to continue gathering this data over the summer to continue our assessment of pressures on waste and recycling services.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of local authorities that provide a service to remove abandoned cars.

Defra does not hold data on the number of local authorities that provide a service to remove abandoned vehicles.

The Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 places a duty on councils to remove vehicles that are abandoned on any land in the open air, including private land, and council officers may legally enter land to investigate and remove abandoned vehicles.

Authorities do not have to remove an abandoned vehicle if the cost of moving it to the nearest highway is unreasonably high. It is for councils to determine whether any particular vehicle has been abandoned, and whether it is subject to their duty to remove it.

The Government has published guidance on councils’ responsibilities for removing abandoned vehicles, which is available at gov.uk.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of local authorities that have provided weekly bin collections in (a) 2010, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020.

According to data from the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the number of local authorities providing a weekly residual waste collection was (a) 202 in 2009/10, (b) 172 in 2014/15 and (c) 147 in 2019/20. In the data set, some local authorities may appear in more than one frequency category as they may operate several different schemes across their area. There are also a small number of local authorities who provide a residual waste collection more frequently than weekly.

The frequency of waste collections is for local authorities to determine. The Government supports comprehensive and frequent rubbish and recycling services and is developing proposals on consistent recycling collections, including requiring weekly food waste collections from all households in England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of household recycling and waste centres in each local authority area in (a) 2010, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020.

We collect information on the number of Civic Amenity Sites (household waste recycling centres) operated by a local authority or its contractors. This information is only collected in quarter four (January to March) via WasteDataFlow. Two questions are completed in WasteDataFlow, one by waste disposal authorities for each district and the other is completed by unitary authorities and waste collection authorities.

The datasets can be found at the following link: WasteDataFlow - Local Authority waste management - data.gov.uk, with the datasets for 2020, 2015 and 2010 attached.

The data can be filtered by setting the 'question column' to 'Q013' (Waste Disposal Authories) or 'Q015' (Unitary Authorities and Waste Collection Authorities). Then the number of Civic Amenity Sites for each local authority will be presented in the 'data column'.

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 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)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of staff employed by her Department are apprentices.

As of 31 December 2019, there were 72 apprentices in Defra. This is 1.4% of the total staff employed in the department.

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 last year, covering the 2018-19 financial year, and can be found on the GOV.UK website:

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

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information his Department holds on the number of checks undertaken by local authorities of road bridges.

The Department encourages adoption of an effective, integrated asset management approach to highway infrastructure including bridges through the UKRLG Code of Practice 'Well-managed highway infrastructure'.

There is a duty placed on highway authorities, by Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 (as amended) to maintain the highways network in their area, including the road bridges that they are responsible for. The Act does not set out specific standards of maintenance, as it is for each individual local highway authority to assess and keep records of which parts of its network need repair and what standards should be applied, based upon their local knowledge and circumstances.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what data his Department holds on the number of cycle training sessions local authorities have provided in each of the last ten years.

Data on the numbers of schoolchildren who have taken part each year in Bikeability training courses in each local highway authority area in England is available via the Bikeability Trust’s website at https://bikeability.org.uk/support/publications/. The total number of children trained across England rose from around 134,000 in 2009/10 to around 420,000 in 2019/20. The Department is providing an unprecedented £18 million of funding for the Bikeability programme in 2021/22 to allow even more training to be delivered.

The Department does not hold data on the number of adult cycling training sessions delivered in each local authority area each year, but is providing around £30 million of revenue funding in the current financial year to local authorities in England to enable them to deliver a wide range of programmes including adult cycle training courses.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the availability of local authority-provided community transport schemes.

The Government believes that community transport operators provide vital services which both encourage growth and reduce isolation by linking people with their communities.

Local transport authorities (LTAs) understand their communities best and so it is for them to determine their local community's needs. They have a power to fund services which they deem to be socially necessary.

To benefit from the transformational funding in England’s National Bus Strategy, LTAs are expected to continue working together with operators towards agreeing ambitious Bus Services Improvement Plans (BSIPs) by 31 October. The Government expects LTAs to work closely and in a spirit of co-operation with community transport bodies to ensure that BSIPs meet the needs of local communities.

£43 million of Bus Service Operators Grant is committed to LTAs annually so that they can subsidise socially necessary bus services, which includes community transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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 (Home Office)
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 (Home Office)
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 Education)
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)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional resources have been made available to local government to (a) administer the Infection Control Fund and (b) ensure that care providers accessing that fund are using it to ensure that care workers have financial support to self-isolate.

Since May 2020, the Government has made funding available through the Infection Control Fund and its successors to support adult social care providers to take measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Providers can use the funding to ensure that staff who are isolating in line with the Government’s guidance are paid as normal and do not lose income while doing so. The Department has written to local authorities and care providers to remind them of the importance of paying staff normal wages when self-isolating.

Since April 2021, local authorities may use a small amount of this funding capped at 1% of their total infection prevention and control allocation for reasonable administrative costs associated with distribution and reporting. Local authorities are also required to put in place sufficient processes to assure that the fund is correctly spent by providers.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that funds made available to care home providers under the Infection Control Fund are being used to ensure that care home workers receive their normal wages in full in the event that they need to self-isolate.

Since May 2020, the Government has made funding available through the Infection Control Fund and its successors to support adult social care providers to take measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Providers can use the funding to ensure that staff who are isolating in line with the Government’s guidance are paid as normal and do not lose income while doing so. The Department has written to local authorities and care providers to remind them of the importance of paying staff normal wages when self-isolating.

Since April 2021, local authorities may use a small amount of this funding capped at 1% of their total infection prevention and control allocation for reasonable administrative costs associated with distribution and reporting. Local authorities are also required to put in place sufficient processes to assure that the fund is correctly spent by providers.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of entries made by adult social care providers in the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund Capacity Tracker.

Since May 2020, the Government has made funding available through the Infection Control Fund and its successors to support adult social care providers to take measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Local authorities are required to report to the Department on how this funding has been used by providers in their geographical area. The Department reviews the information provided and may request that providers make their financial records available.

Providers in receipt of funding are also required to complete the Capacity Tracker, which collects daily and weekly data on the workforce, infection prevention and control measures such as personal protective equipment, designated setting vacancies and vaccination uptake for COVID-19 and flu by staff and residents. Data anomalies or areas of concern are followed up, including with individual providers, as necessary.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of incidents of food poisoning and contamination reported to local authorities in England.

Public Health England publishes notifications of food poisoning which are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-diseases-weekly-reports-for-2021

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Minister in his Department is responsible for the implementation of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018.

I am the Minister with responsibility for social care and mental health.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what figures his Department holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on providing counselling advice and support for people affected by alcohol abuse and dependency.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the level of childhood immunisation services provided by local authorities in England.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of bereavement support provided by local authorities in England.

No specific assessment has been made.

We continue to work closely with bereavement services to ensure support is available and assess what is required by the sector.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the number of local authorities that have published autism strategies.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 2 August 2021, to Question 31414, on Home Care Services: Local Government, if he will publish the content of the service continuity and care market review referred to in that Answer.

The Service Continuity and Care Market Review took the form of all local authorities carrying out a self-assessment in autumn 2020, to ascertain the risk to the continuity of care across all adult social care markets in England over the winter to the end of March 2021. We are unable to provide the content of these self-assessments as they are commercially sensitive and the disclosure of information may prejudice local authorities’ ability to deliver their services.

However, the National Audit Office published a high-level summary of the review findings in, ‘The adult social care market in England’ in March 2021, which is attached.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a market failure in the domiciliary care sector on local authorities.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to shape their local markets according to local needs, which includes securing the right balance of domiciliary, residential and other provision. Throughout the pandemic, we have made available over £2 billion in specific funding for adult social care, in addition to over £6 billion for local authorities to address pressures on their services. In partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Local Government Association, we carried out a service continuity and care market review to understand the robustness of local authorities’ plans and the level of support needed to maintain continuity of provision through winter 2020-21.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions Ministers in his Department have had with (a) local authority leaders and (b) public health directors on the guidance issued by his Department stating that people should not to travel into and out of (i) Kirklees, (ii) Bedford, (iii) Burnley, (iv) Leicester, (v) Hounslow, (vi) North Tyneside, (vii) Bolton and (viii) Blackburn with Darwen.

The Government has been in constant contact with local authority leaders and directors of public health to support local Covid-19 outbreak management in these areas.

The Department engages routinely with Local Authorities through our Regional Partnership teams, who have daily and weekly meetings with local authorities. The Director of Strategy & Engagement for Contain and their team meets with Local Authority Chief Executives, Directors of Public Health, the Local Government Association and Society of Local Authority Chief Executives fortnightly to discuss policy development.

On 25 May 2021, officials met the 8 Local Authorities concerned about the travel guidance. Since then we have engaged continuously with local health leads on the risks posed by new variants. We have deployed local communications to the affected areas to alert the public to advice. We worked at pace last week, recognising the risks posed by the increased case rates of the new variant in some parts of the country. As a result, we recognise that the communications were not as clear as they could have been. We will be discussing with local authority colleagues this week to make sure that everyone is clear what the expectations are and how we can improve communications going forward.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has undertaken to assess which aspects of local restrictions imposed in 2020 to prevent the spread of covid-19 proved effective.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies considered the impact of tiers in England and interventions in the devolved administrations in November 2020. A summary of this analysis is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/impact-of-interventions-tfg-the-uks-4-nations-autumn-interventions-update-26-november-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests shipped in the last 12 months have produced a recorded result.

Between 28 May 2020 to 28 April 2021 the total number of polymerase chain reaction tests which produced a recorded result was 8,726,870 test results.

The total number of lateral flow device tests which recorded a result between 22 October 2020 and 28 April 2021 in England was 63,852,593.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to assist in procuring personal protective equipment for local authorities from 1 April 2021 when the current arrangement ends.

In the recent Spending Review, it was announced that the Department would be provided with funding for 2021/2022 to cover ongoing COVID-19 related personal protective equipment (PPE) expenditure. We are currently analysing options for the future supply and distribution of PPE beyond March 2021.

We have seen a monumental change in the way that PPE has been secured and supplied across the country. We have learned a great deal from this experience and want to build on this to transition to a future model that is both resilient and proportionate.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Secretary of State for Education
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
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 for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what figures his Department holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on helping to set up new business co-operatives.

The Government recognises the value of co-operatives. It is clear they offer a different way of running a business, supporting the needs of their members and their local communities.

HMT does not hold any data regarding the amount spent by local authorities in England on helping to set up new business co-operatives. Local authorities in England have significant freedoms to choose what investments to make and how to finance them.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 86 in the technical annex of the Government's September 2021 publication, Building Back Better: Our plan for Health and Social Care, whether the Government's plan to compensate departments and other public sector employers in England at the Spending Review for the increased cost of the health and social care levy includes providing that support to local authorities in England.

The Government intends to compensate departments and other public sector employers in England at the Spending Review for the increased cost of the Health and Social Care Levy, and provide Barnett consequentials on this funding to the devolved administrations. Further details on the approach to this compensation will be set out at the conclusion of the Spending Review on 27 October 2021.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the levels of local authority support for credit unions.

The Government recognises the vital role of credit unions in the financial wellbeing of their communities, providing an ethical home for their members’ savings and affordable loans to those who may otherwise have to resort to high-cost lenders.

Local authorities have significant freedoms to choose what investments they make and how to finance them. The Government funded £617m for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, as well as further funding for the Small Business Grant Fund. Both funds closed in August 2020. The Government has also provided £2 billion of discretionary grant funding for local authorities in England through the Additional Restrictions Grant, to support businesses in the local area, which credit unions may have benefited from. Local authorities determine how much funding to provide to businesses and exactly which businesses to target.

Separately, the Government has provided significant support for credit unions. In total, £96 million of dormant asset funding has been released to Fair4All Finance, the independent body set up by Government to distribute dormant assets funding to support financial inclusion. Fair4All Finance has so far provided over £15m in financial support to the community finance sector, including credit unions, as part of their COVID-19 response. This includes £12m of equity investments in community finance providers and £3.6m in COVID-19 grants, including funding from their £5m COVID resilience fund. It also includes an expanded Affordable Credit Scale-up Programme, which aims to improve the access and availability of affordable credit, and which I expect to be of benefit to credit unions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
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
Minister for Equalities
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
Minister for Equalities
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
Minister for Equalities
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
Minister for Equalities
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether funding from the proposed 0.2 per cent reduction in the Official Development Assistance budget will be used to fund Town Deals.

As the Chancellor said at the 2020 Spending Review, sticking to the target to spend 0.7% of GNI as Official Development Assistance (ODA) is not an appropriate prioritisation of resources at a time of emergency.

The reduction in planned ODA expenditure was included in the overall spending plans that the government set out at the 2020 Spending Review, which prioritised funding to support the government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery for all nations and regions and deliver on promises to the British people. This includes the provision of £621 million in 2021-22 towards the continuation of investment from the Towns Fund to regenerate high streets, town centres and communities.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
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.

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
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
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

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)
Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
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.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of arson investigations undertaken by local authorities in England in each of the last five years.

The Home Office collects data on arson offences recorded by the police and the outcomes of resulting investigations of the offences. The data for the police forces in England is published on the Home Office website at the address below:

Police recorded crime and outcomes open data tables - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Data by local authority is not published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people from Hong Kong have (a) applied for and (b) been granted a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa.

The Home Office publishes data on visas and the British National Overseas (BN(O)) route in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The data relates to the first and second quarter of 2021, January to June, and are derived from management information. These data sets are rounded to the nearest hundred. Data for Q3 2021 will be published on 25 November 2021.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help local authorities work with local police forces to tackle antisocial behaviour.

The Government introduced a range of flexible tools and powers for local agencies, including local authorities and police forces, to tackle anti-social behaviour through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

These powers are deliberately local in nature. Local authorities, Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners can decide how they use the powers within the Act and how best to work with each other in responding to anti-social behaviour priorities.

Home Office statutory guidance, which was updated this year, supports all local agencies to take the multi-agency approach that is needed to tackle anti-social behaviour in a way that takes account of the needs of the victim and the wider community.

The Home Office and I are very proud to support Anti-social Behaviour Awareness Week which begins on 19th July.

I have also recently written to all local authorities this week to remind them of their duties around the Community Trigger process and the importance of taking a multi-agency approach to ensure that anti-social behaviour incidents are dealt with efficiently so local communities do not suffer through ASB and feel safe within their neighbourhood.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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 (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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 (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2020 to Question 10761, on Airguns: Reviews, what her timescale is for the consultation on firearms safety issues.

We aim to publish the firearms safety consultation as soon.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with 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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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 (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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 (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with 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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
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)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the (a) number and (b) value of grants given by local authorities in England to voluntary sector organisations in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold data on the quantity and value of grants provided by councils in England to voluntary sector organisations.

How grants are issued is determined at a local level, as local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the pressures in their local area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the amount spent by local authorities in England on removing dead animals from roads and paths in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold this information.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what information his Department holds on the level of debt counselling and advice provided by local authorities in England in the most recent period for which that information is available.

The Department does not hold information on the level of debt counselling and advice provided by councils in England. In this year's settlement, the Government 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. This funding is largely unringfenced in recognition that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the needs of their local area, including the provision of debt counselling and advice.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the amount of money spent by local authorities in England to tackle flyposting in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold figures on the amount of money spent by councils in England to tackle flyposting in each of the last ten years. In this year's settlement, the Government 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. This funding is largely unringfenced in recognition that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the needs of their local area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities hold meetings in a covid-19 safe manner.

The Government recognises that councils have delivered above and beyond throughout the pandemic. To support the reopening of local authority buildings and the return to face-to-face meetings, we advise use of the 'Working Safely During Coronavirus' guidance available on gov.uk which provides advice on precautions to manage risk.

Meetings where councils deem in-person attendance is not required can continue virtually. This would include non-statutory or other informal meetings.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of beach patrols undertaken by local authorities in England.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2021 to Question 29058, on Permitted Development Rights, whether work has commenced on the regulatory impact assessment referred to in that answer.

As we 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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department holds figures on the amounts spent by local authorities in England on older people’s leisure activities.

The Department does not hold figures on the amounts spent by councils in England on older people's leisure activities.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities in England have an area waste strategy.

The National Planning Policy for Waste states that waste planning authorities should prepare Local Plans which should identify sufficient opportunities to meet the identified needs of an area for the management of waste, aiming to drive waste management up the Waste Hierarchy. It should ensure that suitable sites and areas for the provision of waste management facilities are identified in appropriate locations.

MHCLG does not hold statistics on the number of waste strategies currently prepared.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of local authorities' ability to protect and conserve historic sites.

Local planning authorities have strong powers through the designation and planning systems to protect historic sites. In the recent Planning White Paper, Planning for the Future, we have committed to reviewing and updating the current planning framework for listed buildings and conservation areas, to ensure their significance is conserved while allowing, where appropriate, sympathetic changes to support their continued use and address climate change. Our detailed proposals will be announced.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of local authorities’ levels of provision of allotments in England.

No national assessment of the provision of allotments in England has been made. Local authorities are responsible for allotment provision in their area.

The Government recognises through our National Planning Policy Framework the important role that allotments can provide in enabling and supporting healthy lifestyles within our communities. Our National Model Design Code states that as part of open space design for large developments there should be the consideration of allotments and community growing projects for food production, learning and community engagement.

However, our National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local planning policies should be based on robust and up-to-date assessments of the need for open space and opportunities for new provision, which can include allotments, and their plans should then seek to accommodate this.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of asbestos checks undertaken by councils in England in each of the last five years.

The Department does not collect the data requested.

There is no requirement for local authorities to report to central government on how they manage asbestos in their own buildings but local authorities are of course expected to comply as dutyholders under the relevant legal requirements.

The Health and safety Executive publishes a range of guidance for employers about working with asbestos and how to comply with relevant legislation. This is set out under the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) 2012 with further guidance available on HSE’s website HSE: Asbestos - health and safety in the workplace.

8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of municipal golf courses that have been in operation in England in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of local authority operated car parks that have been in operation in each year since 2010.

The Department does not collect this information. Whilst the Department is responsible for off street parking policy, the operation and management of local authority car parks is ultimately a responsibility of local authorities. This responsibility includes annual reporting that covers the financial, statistical and other data (including any parking or civil parking enforcement targets) set out in Annex A of the Government's guidance for local authorities on enforcing parking restrictions.

The Government believes that, in principle, all data held and managed by local authorities should be made available to local people unless there are specific sensitivities to doing so (for example, protecting vulnerable people).

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of Countryside Rangers employed by local authorities in each of the last ten years.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his plans to create new unitary councils in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Somerset announced in July 2021, whether he has asked the Boundary Commission to undertake boundary reviews before May 2022 local elections.

Following the July announcement we now intend to seek Parliamentary approval to the structural changes orders giving effect to the unitary decisions. These orders will include provision for transitional arrangements, including for elections in May 2022 to the future unitary councils and for the electoral arrangements for those elections. As we are drawing up this provision we are engaging with councils in the three areas and will carefully consider any views they express.

Our expectation is that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will carry out a full electoral review for each new unitary council and put in place electoral arrangements to apply to the second elections to the those councils which are intended for May 2027.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Written Statement of 21 July 2021, HCWS234 on Local Government Update, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing combined authorities and mayors in (a) Somerset, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) Cumbria.

As the Prime Minister said on 15 July, we consider that strong local leadership is critical in delivering the government's levelling up agenda. We want more places, especially in city regions and major urban areas, to agree an ambitious mayoral devolution deal where there is local support, and want to widen devolution beyond the cities and provide strong local leadership for all of our places. We have been engaging with a number of councils across England over the summer who have expressed interest in a "county deal".

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Written Statement of 21 July 2021, HCWS234 on Local Government Update, how his Department defines strong local support referred to.

Proposals are assessed as to whether they command a good deal of local support as assessed in the round across the whole area of the proposal, having regard to the views of the area's residents, businesses, public service providers, including councils and town and parish councils, and the voluntary sector, as well as other stakeholders such as Local Enterprise Partnerships.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department takes geographic size into account when assessing proposals for local government reorganisation.

The proposals were assessed against the criteria set out in the invitation which the Secretary of State issued on 22 February 2021 to councils to submit unitary proposals; these criteria included a criterion about the geography of any unitary council.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Written Statement of 21 July 2021, HCWS234 on Local Government Update, what proportion of responses in Somerset supported the proposal for the creation of two unitary authorities.

This information is available in the published summary of consultation responses available here .

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many residential homes created through permitted development rights obtain their natural light from light wells or roof lights but contain no windows.

Under the permitted development rights the developer must apply to the local planning authority for prior approval as to the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of each new dwellinghouse. The legislation requires the local planning authority to refuse prior approval if adequate natural light is not provided. We do not hold information on how that light is provided as it is a local authority matter.

We introduced this change with effect from 1 August 2020 and will continue to keep all permitted development rights under review.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 July 2021, HCWS234 on Local Government Update, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of publishing a detailed summary of the three consultations referenced in that Statement.

The summary document that I published on 22 July 2021, available here , contains extensive detail on the responses to the consultation from Somerset residents and stakeholders.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support new arrivals from Hong Kong arriving with British National (Overseas) status.

In April, MHCLG announced £43.1 million of government funding to welcome Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) [BN(O)] status holders to the UK and to support them to access housing, work and educational support.

MHCLG has published an online bilingual Welcome Pack on GOV.UK and is establishing a network of 12 welcome hubs across the UK, alongside funding to enable local authorities in England to provide English language provision and destitution support, where needed.

Additionally, MHCLG has invited Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations to bid for a share of a £2.6 million fund to support programmes that will help BN(O) status holders make the best start to rebuilding their lives. The grant schemes will provide regional community support, support on a national level, educational resources for schools, and a hate crime reporting service. We expect successful VCSE organisation to begin delivery in the autumn.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, where welcome hubs have been created for new arrivals from Hong Kong arriving with British National (Overseas) status.

MHCLG has established a network of 12 Welcome Hubs across the 9 regions of England, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to coordinate preparations to welcome BN(O) status holders to the UK and help to ensure they are able to quickly integrate and contribute to their newfound communities. Details of the Welcome Hubs can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regional-vcse-grant-scheme/regional-vcse-grant-scheme-prospectus.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of working days lost to his Department as a result of staff sickness with covid-19 in each of the last 18 months.

The Department has made no estimate of the number of working days lost as a result of staff sickness related to positive cases of Covid-19.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of officials working in his Department who have tested positive for covid-19 and needed to self-isolate in each of the last 12 months.

We do not routinely disclose the Covid-19 test results of officials employed by the Department.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the impact that increasing levels of isolations as a result of close contact with people testing positive for covid-19 will have on the ability of local authorities to deliver services.

It is essential that everyone continues to follow national guidance on self isolation, it remains a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive and are told to do so, or are told to isolate as a close contact of a positive case by NHS Test and Trace. The public should continue to download and use the latest version of the NHS Covid-19 app to help reduce the spread of the virus


Local authorities in England have a statutory duty to provide a range of services to their communities. Local authorities have business continuity plans in place in order to continue to deliver these services and mitigate against any disruptions. Ministers and officials from my Department continue to have regular discussions with local partners to ensure appropriate plans are in place.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department plans to take in response to the National Audit Office report entitled Local government and net zero in England, published 16 July 2021.

The Government welcomes the NAO report and is carefully considering each recommendation


Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy, to be published prior to COP26.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether officials at his Department informed local authorities that they would be expected to used reserves to balance their budgets as a result of the emergency circumstances of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have been clear throughout the pandemic that all councils would be supported through this crisis, and they have been, with over £12 billion allocated directly to councils.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the findings of a report by the University of Liverpool and published in The Lancet Public Health entitled Local government funding and life expectancy in England: a longitudinal ecological study.

In the last year, our focus has been making sure councils continue to get the support they need during the pandemic, driving forward recovery and renewal plans and maintaining critical services. Once the pandemic is through, we will take stock of the demands faced by councils and the resources available to meet them and will decide on the timetable for future funding reform. Final decisions will be taken in the context of this year's Spending Review.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has had recent discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on levels of reserves held by local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

My Department continuously engages Her Majesty’s Treasury on local authority reserve levels as part of our routine work on local government finances.

Individual local authorities determine the level of reserves that they hold and are accountable to their electorate for the decisions they make.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department holds data on the amount of land (a) owned by and (b) optioned by developers or intermediaries in the land market which is yet to be (i) allocated in a local plan and (ii) receive planning permission.

This data is not held by the Department.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an estimate of the number and proportion of homes identified in (a) adopted local plan housing land allocation in England and (b) in that allocation that do not yet have full planning permission.

Our Planning for the Future white paper sets out how we will reform the planning system to make it more efficient, effective and equitable.

Adopted local plans throughout England collectively make provision for an average of around 200,000 homes per year. However, with regard to the status of specific site allocations in plans, my Department does not currently hold this information. Through our reforms, we are bringing forward a digital transformation of the planning process, with clear data standards and new digital tools to make planning more transparent and accessible; as part of this work, we are actively looking at ways to capture data on key aspects of local plans, including site allocations, to address key strategic questions like this.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the number of homes given planning permission and the number of homes constructed in each of the last ten years.

Annual figures for homes given planning permission and the new homes delivered in England are published within MHCLG’s Official Statistics on planning applications and housing supply, available on Gov.uk at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-housing-communities-and-local-government/about/statistics

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 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 the reported shortfall in council budgets following the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has committing a total of over £12 billion in England to support local authorities in tackling the impacts of Covid-19. Over £6 billion of this is un-ringfenced in recognition that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major pressures in their local area.

In addition to this the Government 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. This recognised the resources councils need to meet their pressures and maintain current service levels.

We have continued to work with local government as the pandemic has progressed, including through specially tailored financial monitoring. Our latest figures show that local authorities spent a total of £6.9 billion in responding to the pandemic in 2020-21, against funding provided of over £9 billion.

As the local government finance system continues to move into a more stable position, we will assess the demands faced by councils and the resources available to meet them in the context of the upcoming Spending Review.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the proportion of local authority spending that will be spent on adult and children's social care in (a) 2025 and (b) 2030.

Decisions on local authority funding and on social care funding beyond 2021-22 will be taken at the planned Spending Review later this year.

13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department will make a decision on the renewal of the Liverpool Council Selective Licensing application submitted in February 2021.

We have received Liverpool City Council's application for a selective licensing scheme. Each application is assessed on its merits against the statutory criteria. We will update on the outcome of the application in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the average level of reserves held by local authorities in England in (a) 2010, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020.

Local authorities report to MHCLG their levels of reserves for the start and end of each financial year. The latest outturn figures include reserve levels to 31 March 2020. These can be found here:www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing .

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to help local authorities to take further steps to reduce the transmission of covid-19 in their localities.

Ministers and officials from my Department have regular discussions with counterparts in the Department for Health and Social Care on a range of matters including helping local authorities to take steps to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in their localities


The £23.75 million ‘Community Champions’ scheme has supported those groups at greater risk of Covid-19, to ensure key public health advice is understood, safer behaviours are followed and vaccine take-up promoted.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Partnerships for People and Place: guidance for local expressions of interest, published on 12 July 2021, what outputs he plans to publish as a result of those pilots.

On 12 July my department invited 34 local authorities to submit expressions of interest in order to join the Partnerships for People and Place scheme, and published guidance online to help them do so. We will announce the successful projects soon.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much funding will be available for the (a) Towns Fund, (b) Future High Streets Fund, (c) Levelling Up Fund, (d) UK Community Renewal Fund and (e) Community Ownership Fund in financial year (i) 2021-22, (ii) 2022-23 and (iii) 2023-24.

We have now offered Town Deals to all 101 places that were invited to submit proposals as part of the Towns Fund, committing over £2.4 billion. This includes the accelerated funding provided to places last year. The exact funding distributed each year is subject to agreeing spend profiles with each town.

The Future High Streets Fund aims to renew and reshape town centres and high streets in a way that drives growth, improves experience and ensures future sustainability. In total, 72 places are sharing over £830 million of capital funding from the Future High Streets Fund, between January 2021 and March 2024, to deliver transformative projects which will support their towns and high streets to reopen and recover from the effects of the pandemic.

At the Spending Review, the UK Government committed an initial £4 billion for the Levelling Up Fund for England over the next four years (up to 2024-25) and set aside at least £800 million for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Government will use the new financial assistance powers in the UKIM Act to make the Fund available to the whole of the UK, enabling all communities to receive the investment and support they need to recover from the pandemic. As such, up to £4.8 billion until 2024-25 will be available for the Fund across the UK, with at least £800 million invested in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Community Renewal Fund is a one year fund with a budget of £220 million. The UK Community Renewal 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.

The Community Ownership Fund is a £150 million fund over four years to support community groups across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to take ownership of assets which are at risk of being lost to the community.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of enforcement powers provided to local authorities to take action against premises that do not comply with covid-19 secure rules.

The Government keeps the enforcement measures of local councils under regular review to ensure that councils are equipped to ensure businesses are seeking to reduce Covid-19 transmission risk.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of people employed by local authorities in England.

The Office for National Statistics collects and publishes this information in the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey. This information is available at national, regional and local authority level, with the latest figures published for March 2021.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his timeline is for delivery of funding through 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 deadline for bid submission has now passed. Officials are currently assessing the bids received and funding decisions will be announced in due course. Successful project applicants will have until 31 March 2022 to deliver their projects.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date he plans to agree heads of terms with all 101 towns offered a Town Deal.

We hope to announce the remaining Town Deals very soon. Towns have up to three weeks following their Town Deal offer to agree Heads of Terms with the department.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to measure the impact of the projects funded through the Community Renewal Fund on the change in the relative spatial deprivation of the most deprived areas of the relevant local authority.

Each of the successful CRF projects are required to undertake an evaluation of the impact that the project has had; in addition MHCLG officials will also be evaluating the programme as a whole during 2022.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which funds he plans to remove competitive bidding from to reduce the amount of funding streams allocated to councils through competitive bidding.

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. Government has a long-standing policy to provide grant funding to local government on a non-ringfenced basis as part of the commitment to greater localism. This policy provides greater funding flexibility to local authorities and supports them to make spending decisions based on their local needs and priorities. The Local Government Finance settlement and the vast majority of local government’s Core Spending Power (£51.3 billion) are un-ringfenced, giving local authorities flexibility over their spending decisions.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to measure the impact of the projects funded through the Levelling Up Fund on the change in the relative spatial deprivation of the most deprived areas of the relevant local authority.

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 reflect this Government’s greater emphasis on high-quality evaluation, which is critical to understanding what types of interventions work well in addressing levelling up challenges, through individual projects and across varying spatial scales.

As part of business case development for the Levelling Up Fund, local authorities are asked to set out a proportionate plan for project-level monitoring and evaluation, which forms part of bid assessment. Further details on our approach to monitoring and evaluation are available in the published Levelling Up Fund prospectus on GOV.UK.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to measure the impact of the projects funded through the Towns Fund on the change in the relative spatial deprivation of the most deprived areas of the relevant local authority.

The Towns Fund Monitoring and Evaluation strategy covers three levels of evaluation; process, impact and value for money. The Towns Fund impact evaluation will examine the impact of Towns Fund activities on a number of elements of spatial deprivation: employment, land values, resident incomes, business turnover and profits, investment, well-being and perception of place. This is all summarised in the Towns Fund Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy, which the Department will publish in due course.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department (a) has issued or (b) plans to issue to local authority chief executives on ensuring adequate ventilation in council-managed buildings, whether or not with public access, to reduce the risks of transmission of covid-19 infection; to what standards local authority chief executives should (i) plan and (ii) measure such ventilation; what enforcement activity his Department plans to undertake to ensure that guidance is followed; and whether he plans to make funds available for improving standards of ventilation in those building.

Public Health England has published guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-ventilation-of-indoor-spaces-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus/ventilation-of-indoor-spaces-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance on ventilation and air conditioning here:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation/index.htm

Using this guidance, local authorities should assess the risk from Covid and implement the appropriate transmission risk controls. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to assess risks and implement the appropriate controls. HSE is the health and safety enforcing authority for local authority activities and can take proportionate enforcement action.

Council-managed buildings are advised to pay due regard to the published guidance above, alongside any sector-specific guidance

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 16126, on Permitted Development Rights, if he will publish the referenced impact assessment before the proposed new permitted development right, to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential use, comes into force on 1 August 2021.

As we 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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities to tackle noise complaints and antisocial behaviour.

The Social Housing White Paper sets out proposals to tackle anti-social behaviour by highlighting the responsibilities that police, local authorities and social landlords have in tackling anti-social behaviour. This includes information we will be publishing clarifying the role local authorities specifically have in tackling noise complaints disseminated through bodies such has the LGA.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the level of reserves held by local authorities in England.

This information can be found on the Government’s website

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department holds on the number of local authorities that provide a 24-hour noise complaints service in England.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating noise complaints which unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises, or which injure health or be likely to injure health, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Local authorities can decide what level of service they provide to deal with noise complaints, for example, whether to have officers on call at night. MHCLG does not hold information on the types of noise complaint services offered by different local authorities in England.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2021 to Question 24209 on the Towns Fund, what information he plans to publish on the work of his Department in implementing the referenced comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy.

The Department will publish a monitoring and evaluation strategy for the Towns Fund. This strategy will set out the evidenced framework and theory of change, which underpin the evaluation methodologies for the Towns Fund, a work plan, timeline and key milestones, and a bibliography.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2021 to Question 24984 on the Towns Fund and the statement in that Answer that his Department has a robust monitoring and evaluation strategy to spot issues early and work with towns to address them, what steps his Department has taken as a result of issues it has identified through that monitoring and evaluation.

Town Investment Plans were subject to a robust assessment process and offers of Town Deals reflected both the overall quality of the plans, and that of the individual projects within. Projects that did not fit with the intervention framework or that were judged to be unviable were not approved for funding.

Further detailed assurance must be carried out for each project before funding is released. Once funding is released and projects move into the delivery phase, our monitoring and evaluation activities will identify any issues, and appropriate action will be taken.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2021 to Question 24984 on the Towns Fund and the statement in that Answer his Department has a robust monitoring and evaluation strategy to spot issues early and work with towns to address them, whether his Department has cancelled plans to fund any projects through the Towns Fund as a result of issues identified through that monitoring and evaluation.

Town Investment Plans were subject to a robust assessment process and offers of Town Deals reflected both the overall quality of the plans, and that of the individual projects within. Projects that did not fit with the intervention framework or that were judged to be unviable were not approved for funding.

Further detailed assurance must be carried out for each project before funding is released. Once funding is released and projects move into the delivery phase, our monitoring and evaluation activities will identify any issues, and appropriate action will be taken.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2020, Revitalising high streets and town centres, HCWS145, if he will make an assessment of the extent to which his policies on the use of Article 4 directions set out in that Written Statement are compatible with the Government's Levelling up agenda and its policies on the devolution of powers.

By strengthening our policy on Article 4 directions we are allowing all local authorities to use Article 4 directions in a measured and targeted way. This will help to safeguard against the loss of retail premises in thriving high streets and core shopping areas.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the creation of additional metro mayoralties in England.

Levelling up all areas of the country remains at the centre of the Government’s agenda and we remain committed to devolving power to people and places across the UK. Our plans for strengthening local accountable leadership will now be included in the Levelling Up White Paper.

In March, Ministers wrote to local leaders in the North East and Hull & East Yorkshire welcoming discussions on new devolution deals for these areas. We look forward to continuing these conversations over the summer.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Written Statement of 1 July 2020, HCWS145 on Revitalising high streets and town centres, whether any consultation responses from local government support his steps to reduce the use of Article 4 directions.

We consulted on proposed revisions to the policy on Article 4 directions in the National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code: Consultation Proposals in January 2021. Following analysis of the consultation responses, we have refined the proposed Article 4 policy wording to ensure an appropriate balance between delivering a higher threshold to protect smaller geographical areas only and maintaining local flexibility in defining these areas.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to increase data sharing to local authorities from NHS Test and Trace in response to the report by the National Audit Office entitled Test and trace in England: progress update, published on 25 June 2021.

MHCLG and DHSC have been engaging with local authorities to obtain their feedback in relation to Test and Trace arrangements. Feedback in relation to data sharing has been received and is being used to identify where improvements can be made. DHSC lead engagement with local authorities on Test and Trace matters.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to bring forward proposals for wide scale local government reorganisation in the current Parliament.

The Government remains committed to devolving power to people and places across the UK. We will set out our plans for strengthening local accountable leadership in the Levelling Up White Paper. We are clear that any reform of an area’s local government is most effectively achieved through locally led proposals which are put forward by those who best know the area and which have a good deal of local support. This is the very essence of localism to which the Government remains committed

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to announce his decision on any proposed local government reorganisation in (a) North Yorkshire, (b) Somerset and (c) Cumbria.

The Secretary of State expects to announce his decisions on the unitary proposals before the summer along with a summary of consultation responses.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 19598, on Freedom of Information, what proportion of freedom of information requests received by his Department were referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling in 2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has referred requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria which is available on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many projects outlined in Town Deal bids have been identified by his Department as at risk of failing in the next six months.

My officials are in regular contact with towns and expert support is also provided by the Towns Fund Delivery Partner. This allows us to spot issues early and work with towns to address them. We have a robust monitoring and evaluation strategy in place, with regular review points and payments linked to performance. As part of this strategy, places submit regular risk updates and spend/delivery data which results in RAG ratings so that issues can be flagged and resolved early.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential risk of failure in the next six months of projects outlined in Town Deal bids.

My officials are in regular contact with towns and expert support is also provided by the Towns Fund Delivery Partner. This allows us to spot issues early and work with towns to address them. We have a robust monitoring and evaluation strategy in place, with regular review points and payments linked to performance. As part of this strategy, places submit regular risk updates and spend/delivery data which results in RAG ratings so that issues can be flagged and resolved early.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 20419 on Towns Fund, what the process will be for funds that do not deliver on the objectives as set out in the referenced framework.

We want to maximise the impact of our funding and understand the difference it is making across the country. We have established a robust and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy, with regular reporting and payments dependent on performance. The payments and assurance process is informed by the regular monitoring data submitted by places.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 20419 on Towns Fund, if he will publish the referenced framework.

We want to maximise the impact of our funding and understand the difference it is making across the country. We have established a robust and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy, with regular reporting and payments dependent on performance. The payments and assurance process is informed by the regular monitoring data submitted by places.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2021 to Question 20605 on Towns Fund, whether additional funds will be released to lead authorities before details on each Town Deal are published by his Department.

We are continuing to support all towns in the development of their Town Deal proposals. Heads of Terms set out our in-principle commitment to invest in towns. The first payments for Town Deals are made to towns as per the agreed spend profile once business cases have been approved.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which towns selected for the Towns Fund have agreed Heads of Terms with his Department.

So far, we have agreed Heads of Terms with 53 towns. We are in the process of finalising Heads of Terms agreements with the 33 towns offered Town Deals in June.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has plans to undertake a review of the operation of permitted development rights; and if he will make a statement.

The Department commissioned research into the quality standard of homes delivered under permitted development rights for change of use. This is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/902220/Research_report_quality_PDR_homes.pdf

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities that may be unable to set balanced budgets in 2021-22 without a capitalisation direction from his Department.

All local authorities set a balanced budget for 2021/22. The Department continues to engage regularly with local government, which includes our ongoing financial monitoring survey and direct contact with councils and their representatives, local Leaders and Chief Executives.

Local authorities that have needed to seek additional support from the Government have done so because of unique circumstances or residual issues, reflecting local circumstances. Where the Department has provided targeted support, these cases have been published on the Gov.uk website.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether any departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of official business conducted on those email addresses.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails .

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his departmental IT systems routinely allow officials, advisers and ministers to access private email accounts from their office desktop computers, department-issue laptop computers and mobile phone devices.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

It is government policy not to comment on specific technical security controls; however, the incidental personal use of private email accounts from departmental systems is subject to our ‘acceptable use’, in spare time.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 16856 on Permitted Development Rights, if he will publish the evidential basis for his answer that the local tax base will be maintained.

As set out in the response to Question UIN 16856, we believe that facilitating the diversification of our high streets and town centres will help their recovery as the country re-opens.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021, to Question 19598, on Freedom of Information, if he could confirm how many freedom of information requests received by his Department were referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling in 2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has referred requests to the Cabinet Office Clearing House where appropriate and in line with the published criteria which is available on gov.uk here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-and-freedom-of-information.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 16125 on the Towns Fund, if his Department will publish the Heads of Terms agreed with towns.

Once the Department has agreed Heads of Terms with all towns we intend to publish details on each Town Deal.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department plans to undertake to measure the effect of the projects chosen by his Department to receive accelerated funding from the Towns Fund.

The Department has established a robust monitoring and evaluation process for the Towns Fund. Through this framework the Department will ensure that projects funded through the Towns Fund are delivering on the funds objectives to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long-term economic and productivity growth through investment in land use, economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure, and connectivity.

Accelerated funding allocated to Town Deal places will be monitored as part of this framework.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2021, to Question 15251, on Freedom of Information, how many freedom of information requests received by his Department have been referred to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling in each of the last five years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on Gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

To find the exact number of requests referred would involve a disproportionate cost to the department.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consistently receives around 1,000 Freedom of Information each year and has sustained performance well above the Information Commissioner’s timeliness target of 90% for the last two years.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria he used to choose projects for accelerated funding from the Towns Fund.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 30 June 2020, Government brought forward funding to support capital projects that will have an immediate impact across the 101 towns, in particular addressing some of the challenges of Covid-19.

Local authorities worked with Town Deal Boards to identify suitable projects, and Section 151 officers provided confirmation that projects were strategically viable in their own right, and represented value for money.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it remains his Department's policy for towns to receive funding from the Towns Fund through the cohorts as set out on the Towns Fund website hosted by The Towns Fund Delivery Partner.

The cohort timetables set out on the Towns Fund Delivery Partner’s website were produced when towns were still in the process submitting their Town Investment Plans. All Towns submitted those plans between July 2020 and January 2021. To date, we have offered Town Deals to 86 places. Those towns are busy turning their plans into reality and we will announce the remaining 15 Town Deals in due course.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department is working to the timetable for the Towns Fund as set out on the Towns Fund website hosted by The Towns Fund Delivery Partner.

The cohort timetables set out on the Towns Fund Delivery Partner’s website were produced when towns were still in the process submitting their Town Investment Plans. All Towns submitted those plans between July 2020 and January 2021. To date, we have offered Town Deals to 86 places. Those towns are busy turning their plans into reality and we will announce the remaining 15 Town Deals in due course.

16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the impact of the extensions to Permitted Development Rights introduced by his Department on Business Rates revenues for local authorities.

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission and facilitate the diversification of our high streets and town centres and will help their recovery as the country re-opens. This will help to ensure the local tax base is maintained.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much has been spent from the Towns Fund by each qualifying town as of 15 June 2021.

All towns received accelerated funding of between £500,000 and £1 million each in September 2020 for projects that would help them deal with the immediate impact of Covid-19. So far, we have committed over £2 billion and paid out almost £90 million through accelerated funding and fast-tracked Town Deal projects.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish a list of completed projects funded through the Towns Fund as of 15 June 2021.

The Department will be publishing an annual report on the monitoring and evaluation of the Towns Fund programme for each financial year until funding ceases in 2025/2026.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the risk to completion of projects of delays in bidding for funding from the Towns Fund.

Town Deal funding runs until financial year 2025/2026. We will continue to work collaboratively with local places to ensure all towns are in the best position possible to complete their Town Deal projects ahead of 2025/2026.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when Heads of Terms will be agreed with towns for all announced Town Deals.

We have so far agreed Heads of Terms for 53 towns. The 33 places which had their Town Deal announcements on either 8 or 9 June have three weeks following the announcements to agree Heads of Terms. The remaining 15 Town Deals will be announced in due course.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2021 to Question 185898 on Permitted Development Rights, when the referenced impact assessment will be published.

As stated in the response to Question UIN 185898, we aim to publish a full Regulatory Impact Assessment on the measures as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Jewish and Muslim community groups to bring their communities together to help tackle antisemitism.

Antisemitism has absolutely no place in our society, which is why we are taking a strong lead in tackling it in all its forms. Since May, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has met with Jewish communities affected by the recent increase in hate crime and has met with Lord Mann, the Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism, who is providing independent advice on the most effective methods to tackle antisemitism.

We recognise that tackling the scourge of antisemitism requires the commitment of all communities and we are working with civil society partners to explore how best to tackle this, as well as anti-Muslim hatred. In doing so we are ensuring a range of views are taken into consideration including from both Jewish and Muslim communities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what initiatives he is undertaking to bring Jewish and Muslim community groups together to help tackle the growth in antisemitism.

This Government has an excellent track record of taking action to prevent antisemitism.

We have provided funding to a number of innovative projects to reinforce messages of tolerance for our young people and teach them about the dangers of hate.

This includes work we have funded in schools and with young people such as Solutions not Sides, which aims to tackle Antisemitism, Islamophobia and polarisation of the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK. We have also supported organisations working to tackle the root causes of all discrimination and prejudice including antisemitism, such as Anne Frank Trust and the Union of Jewish Students which both work to tackle antisemitic attitudes and incidents in universities.

We have also provided £500k over three years (2020-23) to the Holocaust Education Trust in partnership with the Union of Jewish Students for the Lessons from Auschwitz Universities Project, which will bring together almost 450 student leaders and reach 8000 students through education on the Holocaust, anti-racism work, British values and faith values.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11571, on Landlords: Licensing, if he will publish data on the average time taken by his Department to respond to requests from local authorities to make a decision under the referenced framework in each of the last five years.

This is not data we routinely publish.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has referred any Freedom of Information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling, in the last two years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on Gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made on establishing a permanent Holocaust memorial in the UK.

Proposals for constructing a striking yet sensitive Holocaust Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens were presented at a planning inquiry last year and a decision is awaited. Arrangements have been put in place within the Department to enable the Housing Minister to make a decision on the planning application in a fair, transparent and unbiased way.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to create a digital data repository, bringing together key data-sets relating to community facilities and their levels of use.

Community facilities are vital to maintaining the health of our local communities, and citizens should easily be able to identify what is available to them in their local area. Through the planning reforms, we will be looking to collect particular data that is classed as community facilities, for example open spaces such as parks and gardens. This data will be openly available to all who would like to view it on a map. Local authorities currently offer ‘live’ levels of occupancy for some of their most used facilities (e.g. swimming pools).

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to proceed with the Fair Funding Review.

The department took a decision not to proceed with implementing the Review of Relative Needs and Resources in 2021-22 in order that councils and central government alike could focus on meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the immediate public health challenges have passed, the government and the sector will work together to consider the appropriateness of the reforms previously proposed. Final decisions on the way forward for local government finance reform will be taken at the forthcoming Spending Review.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken in response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s review into Local Government Ethical Standards.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life report of their review recommends some strengthening of the local government standards and conduct system with numerous legislative changes and amendments. Of the 26 recommendations, 22 were aimed at Government and we have been considering these carefully. I will be issuing the Government response to the report in due course.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department is planning to provide additional financial support to local authorities in England after June 2021.

The Government has allocated over £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure they are able to meet the additional expenditure and income pressures in their area.

We will continue to work with local government as the pandemic progresses, including through specially tailored financial monitoring, to ensure we understand the pressures they are experiencing. We would ask that any local authority faced with unmanageable pressures or with concerns about their future financial position should approach MHCLG for discussion.  Future financial support for councils will be determined as part of the planned Spending Review later this year.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department holds data on how many and what proportion of local authorities in England have adopted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia.

The definition proposed by the APPG on British Muslims is not in line with the Equality Act 2010 and would have severe consequences for freedom of speech, which is why the Government does not accept it or hold data on its adoption.

Government does not, and will not, tolerate anti-Muslim hatred in any form and will continue to combat such discrimination and intolerance wherever it occurs.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 6305 on Landlords: Licensing, what the average time taken by his Department is to respond to requests from local authorities to (a) put in place and (b) renew a Landlord licensing scheme.

All schemes are assessed using the same framework, regardless of whether they are putting in a place a new scheme or are renewals or extensions. We have experienced some delays in processing applications due to COVID-19 pressures, but are working to progress applications swiftly.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 6305 on Landlords: Licensing, how many local authorities have requested approval from his Department for the extension of their landlord licensing scheme in each of the last four years; and for applications made in each of those years how many of those requests are outstanding.

All schemes are assessed using the same framework, regardless of whether they are putting in a place a new scheme or are renewals or extensions. Since 2016 the Secretary of State for Housing has received 21 applications for a selective licensing scheme.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when a Minister will be appointed to consider the Westferry Printworks development, PA/18/01877/A1 in Tower Hamlets.

The public inquiry for the redetermination of this appeal closed on 26 May. A Minister to determine the appeal will be appointed once the Department has received the Planning Inspector's Report.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the number of (a) units granted planning permission on all sites in England per local authority and (b) additional net dwellings in England per local authority in every year since 2010.

The information in part a) is not available in the format requested. The information in part b) is publicly available on Gov.uk.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Independent review of build out: final report, published in October 2018, which of the recommendations of that review his Department has implemented.

The Government published its response to the Letwin report at Spring Statement 2019, with a full statement to the House by the then Communities Secretary on 13 March 2019. Since then, we have embarked an ambitious planning reform agenda, with faster build out a key objective. The Government consulted on this agenda in the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper and we are now considering responses before setting out the proposed way forward.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many local authorities have requested approval from his Department for the extension of their landlord licensing scheme.

The Department has not received any renewal applications in 2021.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to decide whether to approve the renewal of the Croydon Council landlord licensing scheme.

We have received the application for the renewal of the Croydon Council landlord licencing scheme.

The application is currently being assessed and we will update on the outcome shortly.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 185381 on Local Government Finance, if he will confirm the actual spending power of English local government for the financial year 2021-22 based on confirmed council tax rates.

The Government uses Core Spending Power when presenting the annual Local Government Finance Settlement as a measure of the resources available to local authorities.

This year, the Government made available a 4.6 per cent cash terms increase in councils’ Core Spending Power, rising from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22. We gave local authorities flexibility to raise council tax bills without a referendum to meet spending pressures across their budgets and, in recognition that some local authorities might not wish to take up this flexibility in full in 2021-22, we also gave them the option to defer part or all of the Adult Social Care precept into 2022-23.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what role his Department will have in the preparation of the Levelling Up White Paper.

Levelling up all areas of the country remains at the centre of government’s agenda. Later this year we will publish a Levelling Up White Paper setting out how bold new policy interventions will improve livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic.

14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed new permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential on the workload of local authority planning departments.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer of 18 May to Question UIN 1079. As part of our work on planning reform, we will develop a comprehensive resources and skills strategy, to ensure that local planning authorities are properly resourced to improve the speed and quality of their decisions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Answer of 28 April 2021 to Question 186174, on Planning, if his Department will publish details of (a) which Ministers have undertaken training and (b) when that training was undertaken.

All Ministers involved in planning receive training shortly after being appointed to their roles, and before they begin taking planning casework decisions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the level of (a) section 106 payments and (b) community infrastructure levy that would have been paid to local authorities as a result of new developments in their areas, if those developments had gone through the full planning process rather than being built via permitted development rights, in each of the last five years.

We have not made such an assessment.

In the planning White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’, we proposed a new infrastructure levy which would be partially charged on permitted development rights. The new Infrastructure Levy would be extended to better capture changes of use which require planning permission, even where there is no additional floorspace, and for some permitted development rights including office to residential conversions and new demolition and rebuild permitted development rights. This approach would increase the levy base, and would allow these developments to better contribute to infrastructure delivery and making development acceptable to the community.

The consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’ closed on 29 October. We are analysing the consultation feedback thoroughly and holding meetings with industry and local authority representatives to understand the implications of our proposals. We will respond formally as soon as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed new permitted development right to enable the change of use from the new Class E to residential on the effectiveness of the Future High Streets Fund and Heritage High Streets Fund.

The permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class (E) to residential will support our ailing town centres and highstreets to become thriving, vibrant hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time. The right provides for local consideration of the implications of a change of use of the ground floor on the sustainability and character of conservation areas.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposed new permitted development right to enable change of use from the new Class E to residential and the focus of the White Paper Planning for the Future on design and placemaking in the planning system.

The permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class (E) to residential will support our ailing town centres and highstreets to become thriving, vibrant hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time. The right provides for local consideration of the implications of a change of use of the ground floor on the sustainability and character of conservation areas.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of an exclusion for conservation areas from the proposed permitted development right to enable change of use from the new Class E to residential.

The permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class (E) to residential will support our ailing town centres and highstreets to become thriving, vibrant hubs where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time. The right provides for local consideration of the implications of a change of use of the ground floor on the sustainability and character of conservation areas.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to conduct further consultations with (a) regional mayors and (b) local authority leaders on the design of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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.

Over 500 stakeholders attended these events across a variety of sectors, including businesses, public bodies (such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mayoral Combined Authorities, local governments), higher education institutions, voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups.

Our engagement events have taken place across the UK including in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Government officials will continue to work closely with interested parties as we develop the fund.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities will be able to apply to use funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to provide business support that meets the needs of co-operatives and social enterprises.

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.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms. The Government will develop a UK-wide framework for investment in places receiving funding and prioritising:

  • investment in people and skills tailored to local needs, such as work-based training, supplementing and tailoring national programmes (e.g. the Adult Education Budget); and other local support (e.g. for early years).
  • investment in communities & place including cultural and sporting facilities, civic, green and rural infrastructure, community-owned assets, neighbourhood and housing improvements, town centre and transport improvements and digital connectivity.
  • investment for local business including to support innovation, green and tech adoption, tailored to local needs.

The Government will publish the UK-wide investment framework later this year and confirm the funding profile at the next Spending Review.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward proposals on further devolution.

We remain committed to devolving power to people and places across the country. Our plans for strengthening local leadership will be included in the Levelling Up White Paper which will be published in the Autumn.

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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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


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





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.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 181283, on Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Ministerial Policy Advisers, whether meetings undertaken virtually by special advisers employed by his Department are subject to the same rules on declaration as those meetings undertaken in person.

Meetings are declared on the basis set out on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dclg-special-advisers-data#2020

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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 .

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 ​​

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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