Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
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).
These initiatives were driven by Suzanne Webb, 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.
Suzanne Webb has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Suzanne Webb has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Suzanne Webb has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Suzanne Webb has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
Further to the answer given by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster during his oral statement on 28 April 2020, the Government will ensure recognition is both timely and appropriate and is reflective of the profound gratitude the nation feels towards everyone on the frontline.
The Department works in close contact with UK Business Representative Organisations (BROs) – including with leading BROs such as the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation for Small Businesses, and MAKE UK, the Manufacturers Organisation and UK Finance.
This engagement has been increased significantly across all levels of the Department, for Government to understand where support is needed most for businesses across the economy during the Coronavirus outbreak. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I hold numerous calls every week with a range of BROs to discuss feedback on government support measures; and we have initiated additional calls to announce additions and developments to the suite of COVID19 business finance, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme.
In my role as Minister for Small Businesses, I have also engaged with local Chambers of Commerce such as in Merton, for example on Wednesday 5th May I joined a webinar to engage in a Question and Answer session.
We have now launched negotiations virtually with the US. The UK government remains in regular contact with the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and we will jointly decide how to proceed with each negotiation in a way which respects public health. Our partners remaining willing to make progress on high quality free trade agreements. Increasing transatlantic trade can help our economies bounce back from the economic challenge posed by COVID-19.
The Department is providing over £2.7 billion for the maintenance of England’s local highway network, outside of London, over 2020/21 and 2021/22, and £4.1 billion for capital renewals on the strategic road network in England over the next 5 years.
On 12 May 2020, in response to Covid-19, the Department for Transport published safer travel guidance for passengers and operators. These documents are clear that all equality and discrimination laws and obligations continue to apply and that operators should ensure everyone who needs to can continue to access the transport network.
Operators should consider their messaging, and continue to support those with protected characteristics, as they normally would. The documents also remind passengers of the potentially different experience of those with disabilities, including hidden disabilities. The Department is working closely with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee to identify how to improve the experience of disabled passengers during lockdown and into the future.
The guidance advises the public to avoid public transport where possible and, if they need to use it, how to stay safe – for example by wearing a face covering if possible and washing their hands before, during and after travel. We have advised operators that they could consider additional cleaning measures and protocols to limit coronavirus transmission. These steps should help boost confidence for all passengers.
The Department and Transport Focus are in regular contact with the rail industry to monitor the effectiveness of the systems in place to refund rail season tickets. This has led to the introduction of new processes to make claiming refunds easier during this crisis.
Passengers are now able to claim refunds remotely and we have allowed passengers to backdate their season ticket refund claim to 17th March, when ‘do not travel’ advice was first introduced. The refund acceptance period for passengers has also been extended to 56 days, and a season ticket refund calculator has been added to National Rail’s website.
Train operators have allocated additional resources to process the unprecedented number of refund requests as quickly as possible. Since 17th March over 85,000 season ticket holders have claimed season ticket refunds totalling over £130 million in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Major investment is planned to improve rail services throughout the region. In the West Midlands, £700m is being invested in a fleet of 180 new carriages which will deliver 20,000 more peak hour seats into Birmingham over the next two years,
The East Midlands will benefit from our £1.5bn upgrade of the Midland Mainline, with faster peak time journeys to London from this December and a brand-new fleet of bi-mode trains entering service from 2022.
The Department has ensured high levels of payment timeliness with over 90% of new claims paid in full and on time as of October 2020; an increase from 88% in March 2020.
People receive support quickly, through the Universal Credit helpline and online. Additionally, we have provided funding to Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, to deliver tailored and practical support to people making a claim to Universal Credit and receive their first full correct payment on time. This support has been bolstered by the announcement of a further 12 months of funding this year for Help to Claim.
Over 150,000 job placements have been approved for the Kickstart scheme. Over 50,000 vacancies have been made available for young people, so far over 6,000 job placements have started.
Over 4,000 of the vacancies are in the technology sector.
Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.
To date, there have been around 41,100 referrals made to the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme. This data is derived from unpublished management information which is collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics publication standards.
The Department successfully completed the rollout of Universal Credit in December 2018 and it is available in every Jobcentre across the country including those across the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and Stourbridge constituency. It is a modern, agile, personalised system which has scrapped the ‘cliff edges’ featured across legacy benefits, where money was lost when working more than 16, 24 and 30 hours.
Universal Credit provides claimants with the support they need to better prepare for work, move into work, or to increase earnings.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has lobbied countries across the globe to ensure that British nationals who are waiting to be repatriated are not regarded as over-stayers and will not suffer any immigration penalties. We advise British nationals who are in this position to contact the relevant immigration authority in the country in which they are located. In a number of countries, including Thailand and Indonesia, we have provided British national travellers with expiring visas with letters and information notes from the Consulate to support their visa extension requests.
In February, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22.
This is an increase of up to £600 million compared to 2020/21 and cements our commitment to give the police the resources they need to keep the public safe.
I’m delighted that the Prime Minister recently announced that seven Mayoral Combined Authorities, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, are each receiving a share of the £400 million Brownfield Housing Fund. This will help unlock 26,000 homes by bringing under-utilised brownfield land back into use and contribute to the levelling-up our country.
Between 25 February and 12 March 15 HMCTS staff (including agency) reported a positive test result for COVID-19 to HMCTS.
The table below shows the days the positive results were reported to HMCTS:
HMCTS Staff positive cases (daily)
Due to the time taken for individuals to take a test, receive test results, and then communicate this to HMCTS, further cases may be added after the time of publishing.
All HMCTS buildings continue to meet or exceed all Public Health safety standards. We follow all Public Health and Government COVID-secure guidelines and have put measures in place to keep all court and tribunal users safe. When Government or Public Health guidance changes our measures are updated, an approach which is endorsed by Public Health England and Public Health Wales. HMCTS employs around 19,800 staff (payroll and non-payroll).
HMCTS staff engagement is maintained through regular internal updates on COVID-secure measures and feedback (from staff and users) is encouraged through various reporting methods.
HMCTS numbers have tracked the national averages – sometimes a little higher, sometimes a little lower. Overall, the HMCTS staff positive incident rate is broadly similar to national averages over time and recently prevalence rates amongst staff have been trending below the national average. For example, at the end of the period set out above, the rolling 7-day per 100,000 rate among HMCTS staff was at 10.0, compared with a national rate of 59.6.
HMCTS’ investigations (and those of public health authorities) have indicated that transmission on the estate is rare (i.e. that, in most cases, transmission outside of the workplace is more likely).
We are engaging with Welsh businesses and other sectors on a daily basis to learn more about the impact of the crisis on the ground and feed stakeholders’ views back into government policy making. This includes, remotely, one-to-one discussions and group webinars enabling the Secretary of State and I to explain the government’s support schemes.
This week I have been pleased to join meetings hosted by the Welsh Local Government Association and CBI Wales. Tomorrow, the Secretary of State will join the Business Secretary and Welsh Ministers in hosting a joint web-based business question and answer session.