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Written Question
Sustainable Development
Tuesday 13th June 2023

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Minister of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress his Department has made on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

Following numerous overlapping crises, achieving the SDGs and alleviating poverty is more pressing than ever. The UK is committed to achieving the SDGs and the alleviation of poverty, as affirmed in the International Development Strategy and the Integrated Review Refresh.

Written Question
Asylum: Beaconside
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will reconsider the Government's proposal to relocate approximately 500 single male asylum seekers to Beaconside in Stafford.

Answered by Kevin Foster

Due to the unprecedented demand to accommodate asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute, we have had to use temporary accommodation such as hotels and other large-scale sites to manage demands on the asylum estate. We are committed to working with local authorities to move to a fairer distribution of asylum seekers and bring an end to the use of hotels as contingency accommodation.

The Home Office has therefore announced all local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales will be expected to participate in a new system of full dispersal to allow us to move away from hotels to less expensive and more suitable accommodation. We have also announced funding of approximately £3,500 per bedspace procured in this financial year to recognise the pressures of accommodating asylum seekers on Local Authority areas.

The Beaconside has been identified as a potential new site for Initial Accommodation as the current site in the West Midlands is due to close shortly. Our accommodation provider, Serco, are proceeding with the consultation on planning and once this is concluded we will convene a Multi-Agency Forum to discuss operations on site. The Multi-Agency forum will be made up of Home Office officials, along with the accommodation provider and representatives from Stafford County Council, the police service, NHS, and Public Health along with others from the voluntary sector. These meetings are an opportunity for all members to discuss any ongoing issues and to share best practice.

Ministers have also met with the Hon Member for Stafford who has expressed her concerns about and opposition to the proposal.

Written Question
Sub-Saharan Africa: Radicalism
Monday 10th January 2022

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Ministry of Defence:

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to tackle violent extremist organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Answered by James Heappey

The hon. Lady will have noted a similar question raised in the Topicals and in a recent PQ. The UK is committed in east, west and southern Africa, against not just the rise of violent extremism, which concerns us enormously, but also increasingly how our competitors and adversaries are using countries to develop their influence. We see that as a bad thing in the long term, and we are seeking to counter it.

Written Question
Females: New Businesses
Wednesday 26th May 2021

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)


What steps she is taking to support female entrepreneurs.

Answered by Kemi Badenoch - President of the Board of Trade

Our Start Up Loans Company has a great track record, supporting female entrepreneurs with over 33,000 loans worth over £270.5 million since the scheme launched in 2012, to the end of April 2021. This represents 40% of the total amount lent. Over £4.5 million of these loans have been made since the start of April 2021. The scheme provides intensive support to new entrepreneurs, including low-cost government-backed loans and free mentoring.

In March, we announced an award of £50,000 each to the UK's top female innovators, as well as bespoke mentoring, to scale up and bring to market their innovations, and to help the UK recover from COVID-19 and tackle global challenges.

The Government has taken active measures, publishing the Investing in Women Code and working with industry through the actions agreed by the Rose Review. In response to the Rose Review recommendations, we set an ambition to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030, equivalent to nearly 600,000 additional female entrepreneurs.

The government-backed British Business Bank is part of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, which asks financial services firms to commit to industry actions to prepare their female talent for leadership positions.

Written Question
Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Wednesday 9th September 2020

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) and the Sub-Committee on the Work of the ICAI will be retained following the merger of his Department and the Department for International Development; and if he will make it his policy to (a) publish all ICAI reports that have already been commissioned and (b) allow the ICAI Sub-Committee to scrutinise those reports.

Answered by James Duddridge

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will continue to scrutinise aid spending. The publication of all ICAI reports will continue, including those commissioned prior to the merger.

The Foreign Secretary is committed to thorough parliamentary scrutiny of UK aid. With the formation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the House of Commons may wish to reconfigure the select committee structure. The Government's view is that select committees should generally mirror government departments. We will reflect carefully on the recommendations of the International Development Committee and the Liaison Committee before bringing forward motions to change the existing committee structures for the House to agree later in the year.

Written Question
High Speed 2 Railway Line: Compensation
Tuesday 7th July 2020

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve the processes used by High Speed Two Ltd in relation to (a) land and (b) property claims.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

One of the Government’s key objectives for the HS2 programme is to deliver a step- change in HS2 Ltd’s performance and to drive improvements in transparency and accountability. Central to that ambition is to place people - the communities, individuals and businesses who are being impacted by the new railway - at the heart of everything the Government does.

It is inevitable that a project the size and scale of HS2 will be disruptive to people who face losing their homes, relocating their businesses or having their community disrupted during construction and the future operation of the railway.

The Government has already introduced a range of property compensation schemes that seek to strike a sensible balance between supporting those affected and protecting the public purse. Nevertheless, the Government is determined to ensure those people and businesses are supported, fairly compensated, and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

I therefore commissioned a review in May of the HS2 land and property acquisition programme. This review is examining HS2 Ltd’s land and property acquisition processes and, where the evidence demonstrates it, associated wider-government policies. It is looking at what can be done to streamline claims and payments to remove unnecessary delay and frustration for people who are giving up land for the scheme.

Work on the review has involved close joint-working between the Department and HS2 Ltd, and engagement with numerous stakeholders, including all line of route MPs. The Government expects the review to conclude shortly. A copy of the final report and proposals for change will be placed in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.