Tracey Crouch Portrait

Tracey Crouch

Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Jul 2017 - 1st Nov 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th May 2015 - 3rd Jul 2017
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
22nd Nov 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
31st Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
29th Oct 2012 - 30th Mar 2015


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Fire Safety Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 321 Conservative Aye votes vs 32 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
Speeches
Thursday 29th April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Representing a constituency in a county that has a large number of commuters to London, the …

Written Answers
Friday 26th March 2021
Coronavirus: Vaccination
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure (a) teaching …
Early Day Motions
Monday 12th April 2021
Protection of seals
That this House expresses its sadness after the tragic loss, post dog attack, of River Thames' resident Freddie the seal; …
Bills
Wednesday 17th June 2020
Sexual Offences (Sports Coaches) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to amend the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to make sports coach a position of trust for the purposes …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th May 2020
1. Employment and earnings
From 1 February 2019 until 31 March 2020, Senior Adviser to the Playbook, a creative communications agency for sport, consumer, …
EDM signed
Friday 26th March 2021
Glue traps
That this House calls for an urgent review into the use of glue traps as a means of pest control …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 18th March 2020
Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Tracey Crouch has voted in 254 divisions, and 11 times against the majority of their Party.

26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 352 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 360
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 354 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 227 Noes - 354
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 344 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 353 Noes - 277
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 353 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 353 Noes - 270
4 Nov 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 272
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Tracey Crouch voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
View All Tracey Crouch 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(6 debate interactions)
Alex Chalk (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
(5 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(10 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(7 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Tracey Crouch's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Tracey Crouch

12th April 2021
Tracey Crouch signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 12th April 2021

Protection of seals

Tabled by: Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
That this House expresses its sadness after the tragic loss, post dog attack, of River Thames' resident Freddie the seal; believes that seals in rivers deserve the same protections as those for deer in Richmond Park; notes that the seal population in the River Thames is as many as 4000 …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Apr 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Green Party: 1
9th February 2021
Tracey Crouch signed this EDM on Friday 26th March 2021

Glue traps

Tabled by: Mark Tami (Labour - Alyn and Deeside)
That this House calls for an urgent review into the use of glue traps as a means of pest control due to the inhumane suffering they cause animals; is deeply concerned by the cruel way in which they leave animals to face slow, painful deaths and strongly asserts that animals …
26 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Apr 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
Labour: 10
Conservative: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Tracey Crouch's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Tracey Crouch, 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.


Tracey Crouch has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Tracey Crouch has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Tracey Crouch


A Bill to amend the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to make sports coach a position of trust for the purposes of child sex offences; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 17th June 2020
(Read Debate)

92 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
1 Other Department Questions
19th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the potential effect on public health of reopening churches.

The House of Bishops meets regularly to review its own guidance to clergy in light of Government and public health advice.

On 5th May the House of Bishops issued new guidance, which can be seen at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings

While church buildings remain closed for public worship in line with Government advice, the Bishops agreed in principle to a phased approach to lifting restrictions, in time and in parallel with the Government's approach, with three broad stages. The first, effective immediately, allows clergy limited access to church buildings for activities such as streaming of services or private prayer, so long as the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are taken; the decision being made by individual clergy after discussion with their diocesan bishop. The second and third will see access for some rites and ceremonies, and for worship services with limited congregations meeting, when Government restrictions are eased to allow it.

Senior staff of the National Church Institutions have joined two of the Government’s ‘unlocking’ work streams, within the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to make a decision on the timescale for the resumption of grassroots rugby during the period of covid-19 restrictions.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

However, as the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions will end on Wednesday 2 December. This will allow both rugby union and rugby league to resume in accordance with their return to play guidance. Higher risk activity such as scrums have been removed from both codes of the game to ensure the risk of transmission is reduced.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits to children's mental health of allowing UK scouting to recommence as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Government recognises the unprecedented impact which Covid-19 has had on young people, particularly on their mental health.

We recognise the impact Uniformed Youth groups like the Scouts have on the wellbeing of young people, helping them to develop life skills and be a part of their communities.

Youth centres and Uniformed Youth groups are able to re-open from 4th July, and DCMS has supported the National Youth Agency to produce guidance for youth organisations on operating safely during Covid-19.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 54086 on Chatham Dockyard: Coronavirus, if it will issue the Trust with a letter of comfort that guarantees its limited reserves position to assist cash flow management and credit status along similar lines to that issued to the Historic Royal Palaces.

DCMS is in close contact with the senior team at Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust about the challenging situation the Trust is facing. We are in active conversations to explore what support might be available.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department has provided to Chatham Historic Dockyard during the covid-19 outbreak.

During the COVID-19 outbreak DCMS has maintained a consistent line of communication with Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. Officials have worked closely with the Trust to understand the challenges they are facing and ensure they are aware of the support available to them at this time.

DCMS supports Chatham Historic Dockyard through an ongoing funding arrangement that enables vital conservation and maintenance work.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with (a) English Heritage, (b) Historic England, (c) Historic Royal Palaces and (d) the Churches Conservation Trust on (i) support for and (ii) the preservation of built heritage during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government fully recognises the significant impact that COVID-19 is having on the heritage sector. From the very beginning of this crisis, I have been hosting weekly meetings with the sector to better understand how it is affecting organisations and where we can provide support. English Heritage, Historic England, Historic Royal Palaces and the Churches Conservation Trust are either represented directly at these meetings or are members of other organisations that are.

They continue to provide a valuable opportunity for me to listen to concerns of the sector and for the attendees to flag any emerging issues including those related to the preservation and support of our built heritage.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance is issued to early years providers on the collection of fees for children who are self-isolating due to a positive Covid-19 test in their family.

The department thanks those who work in the early years sector and those who have dedicated their time, effort, and skills to providing high-quality early years education and childcare during these challenging circumstances. The Competition and Markets Authority issued an open letter on 28 July 2020 to the early years sector, following complaints from parents about allegedly unfair charging practices early during the COVID-19 outbreak. The letter supports the government’s position that providers must be balanced and fair in their dealings with parents, and that they must avoid unfair charging practices. This letter is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904194/Open_letter_to_Nursery_and_Early_Years__settings.pdf.

The department is not aware of any significant rise in consumer complaints since the open letter was published. Since then, the circumstances providers are operating in have changed, but the principles set out in this letter are still relevant. While contracts are a private arrangement between consumers and providers, the provisions of the letter are still broadly applicable. If parents or their children test positive for COVID-19, or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the principle that parents should not be charged for a service that cannot be provided without breaching government legal requirements would apply.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Primary PE and Sport Premium; and if he will make a statement.

The primary PE and sport premium survey, published in July 2019, assessed the impact of the doubling of the PE and sport premium to £320 million from September 2017.

The findings indicated that a large majority of schools identified that, following the doubling of the premium, there had been increases in:

  • the profile of PE and sport in supporting whole school improvement;
  • the confidence, knowledge or of all staff in teaching PE, or both;
  • the level of competitive sport being offered; and
  • the range of PE and sport being offered.

The detailed findings can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/primary-pe-and-sport-premium-survey.

Local Active Partnerships also conduct an annual review of a large sample of schools’ uses of their PE and sport premium, including impact, and report the results of this review to the Department.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to extend the Primary PE and Sport Premium beyond 2020-21; and if he will make a statement.

The Government will confirm arrangements for the PE and Sport Premium in the 2020-21 academic year as soon as possible. The position for the 2021-22 academic year and beyond will be considered at the forthcoming Spending Review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that recreational sea anglers are consulted on the implementation of Highly Protected Marine Areas.

The Benyon Review was commissioned to investigate whether and how Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) could be introduced in English waters.

The Government is considering the Review’s recommendations and has started to engage with stakeholders including recreational fishers. Since publication of the Review, Minister Pow has met the Angling Trust (14 July) and Defra officials have met recreational sea anglers (29 July) and the Angling Trust (13 August) to discuss the recommendations of the Review. Further meetings with these groups are planned for early September.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government’s biodiversity net gain plan is fully implemented.

The Government is fully committed to the implementation of biodiversity net gain. We have brought forward clauses in the Environment Bill to make the achievement of a 10% gain mandatory for housing and other types of development.

Throughout the two-year transition period, we will continue to work with industry bodies to make sure that appropriate training, expertise and guidance are made available.

The Government recognises the pressure that many local planning authorities are under. The net additional cost of new burdens placed on local authorities through biodiversity net gain will be assessed and funded.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the outcomes of biodiversity net gain are (a) monitored and (b) enforced.

The Government’s response to the net gain consultation, which was published last year, acknowledged the importance of effective monitoring and enforcement in securing meaningful gains for nature and communities.

The Environment Bill includes provisions for a public register of habitat improvement sites. This will provide an accessible public record of habitat enhancements undertaken outside the development site. This register will, as a minimum, detail the location of compensation sites, how many units and of what habitat types are created, and the planning reference of the development to which the units relate.

For delivery of habitats within development sites, planning application data is routinely published by local authorities and will provide key information about how new developments will achieve biodiversity net gain.

The Government does not propose to introduce new enforcement mechanisms for net gain; existing enforcement mechanisms in the planning system will be used. The exception to this is where habitats are secured by conservation covenants. In these cases responsibility for monitoring and enforcement would sit with the organisation that holds the covenant.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Biodiversity Net Gain, what steps he is taking to ensure that the mitigation hierarchy is fully adhered in advance of decision-making on that net gain.

The Government has been clear in its consultation on net gain, the subsequent Government response to that consultation, and in the Environment Bill’s policy paper that biodiversity net gain should not undermine the importance of the mitigation hierarchy. We have also been clear that biodiversity net gain tools and guidance will instead reinforce and support adherence to the mitigation hierarchy which is already well established in planning policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Biodiversity Net Gain system will not undermine protections in relation to (a) ancient woodland and (b) other irreplaceable habitats.

A proposal to deliver biodiversity net gain does not affect the weight that should be given to other planning considerations, matters of planning policy, or legal obligations including those relating to protection of irreplaceable habitats.

Our irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland, ancient trees and veteran trees are afforded the strongest protection and we committed in our 25 Year Environment Plan to increase protection of our existing trees and forests. As part of this, we have already strengthened the protection of ancient woodlands through the National Planning Policy Framework and the accompanying Planning Policy Guidance.

Through this strengthening, any development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats should be refused unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable compensation strategy exists.

In circumstances in which development results in the loss of irreplaceable habitat, these losses cannot be directly replaced. The requirement for a measurable 10% net gain will therefore not apply to irreplaceable habitat. Bespoke compensation agreements should continue to be made. The Government will continue to engage with stakeholders as secondary legislation is developed for irreplaceable habitats.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what safeguards he plans to put in place to ensure that the exemption of development orders, brownfield sites and the power to exempt any other developments from biodiversity net gain does not lead to a significant reduction in the number of developments required to deliver biodiversity gain.

As stated in the Government response to the net gain consultation, the Government will not introduce broad exemptions from delivering biodiversity net gain, beyond those exemptions already proposed for permitted development and householder applications such as extensions. The Government will instead introduce narrow exemptions for the most constrained types of development.

Permitted development rights play a vital role in freeing up local planning authorities to deal with planning applications that matter to local communities and have a wider social, economic and environmental impact. Whilst the biodiversity net gain provisions are not applicable to development undertaken through rights granted under the General Permitted Development Order, they are applicable to development permitted by local development orders and neighbourhood development orders.

The extent to which any exemption reduces the positive outcomes of this policy for wildlife and communities will remain an important consideration during the development of secondary legislation. Any further details on suggested exemptions will be subject to further engagement and consultation with stakeholders before implementation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of exempting developments granted planning permission through development orders on the effectiveness of the Government’s policy that new developments should enhance biodiversity and create new green spaces for local communities to enjoy.

As stated in the Government response to the net gain consultation, the Government will not introduce broad exemptions from delivering biodiversity net gain, beyond those exemptions already proposed for permitted development and householder applications such as extensions. The Government will instead introduce narrow exemptions for the most constrained types of development.

Permitted development rights play a vital role in freeing up local planning authorities to deal with planning applications that matter to local communities and have a wider social, economic and environmental impact. Whilst the biodiversity net gain provisions are not applicable to development undertaken through rights granted under the General Permitted Development Order, they are applicable to development permitted by local development orders and neighbourhood development orders.

The extent to which any exemption reduces the positive outcomes of this policy for wildlife and communities will remain an important consideration during the development of secondary legislation. Any further details on suggested exemptions will be subject to further engagement and consultation with stakeholders before implementation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the covid-19 pandemic, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of World Animal Protection's proposal to ban the global trade in wild animals and wild animal products that are involved in non-essential global commercial trade.

We are clear that poorly managed and illegal wildlife trade (IWT) poses threats to animal health and welfare, diminishes our biodiversity, undermines governance, and can result in serious public health issues. However, well managed, sustainable trade can contribute to biodiversity conservation and livelihoods, and can help meet the nutritional needs of local and rural communities in developing nations.


The UK Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling both unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and pressing for significantly higher standards in live animal markets around the world. We are actively considering the many complex issues around the global trade in wildlife, including its relationship to Covid-19 and will support swift policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will take steps to (a) help tackle the causes of the covid-19 pandemic, (b) advocate for a global inter country trade ban of wildlife and wildlife products at the G20 meeting in November 2020 and (c) ban the import and export of wild animals and wild animal products coming into the UK.

We are clear that poorly managed and illegal wildlife trade (IWT) poses threats to animal health and welfare, diminishes our biodiversity, undermines governance, and can result in serious public health issues. However, well managed, sustainable trade can contribute to biodiversity conservation and livelihoods, and can help meet the nutritional needs of local and rural communities in developing nations.


The UK Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling both unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and pressing for significantly higher standards in live animal markets around the world. We are actively considering the many complex issues around the global trade in wildlife, including its relationship to Covid-19 and will support swift policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Department on the survey of wholesalers affected by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The UK food sector has adapted quickly to unprecedented challenges during the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure people have the food and products they need. With counterparts across Whitehall, and through ongoing engagement with industry, we are closely monitoring the potential impacts of Covid-19 on the food and drink wholesale sector. This includes regular meetings with food and drink wholesalers and their representative bodies.

To help industry, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by Covid-19. The measures available to food and drink wholesale businesses depend on their size, and includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughing of staff; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan; the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan; the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility; a Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees; Value Added Tax (VAT) deferral to the end of June; the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme; Eviction protection for commercial tenants; a £10,000 cash grant for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief; and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

We remain committed to working in partnership with industry to respond to these challenges as they evolve and to assess whether current support mechanisms continue to be sufficient and effective.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of district councils in Kent that have their own animal welfare inspectors.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, local authorities in England are required to appoint one or more suitably qualified inspectors to inspect premises requiring licensing under the regulations, including those relating to dog breeding, pet selling, hiring out horses, animal exhibits and animal boarding. Local authorities appoint such inspectors using powers under section 51 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Local authority animal welfare inspectors also carry out inspections in relation to welfare in transport, on-farm welfare and, particularly in Kent, helping to tackle illegal imports of dogs. It is for local authorities, such as those within Kent, to determine how to prioritise their resources as well as the number of animal inspectors they appoint under the Animal Welfare Act. We do not hold data centrally on the number of inspectors appointed under the Act.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of animals killed by air gun in England since 2015.

The Department does not hold information on the number of animals killed by this method.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to require all local authorities in England to have their own animal welfare inspector.

Under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018, local authorities in England are required to appoint one or more suitably qualified inspectors to inspect premises requiring licensing under the regulations, including those relating to dog breeding, pet selling, hiring out horses, animal exhibits and animal boarding. Local authorities appoint such inspectors using powers under section 51 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Local authority animal welfare inspectors also carry out inspections in relation to welfare in transport, on-farm welfare and, particularly in Kent, helping to tackle illegal imports of dogs. It is for local authorities, such as those within Kent, to determine how to prioritise their resources as well as the number of animal inspectors they appoint under the Animal Welfare Act. We do not hold data centrally on the number of inspectors appointed under the Act.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of hedgehogs in (a) Kent, (b) the South East and (c) the UK.

Defra has not made an estimate of hedgehog numbers in the Kent and the South East regions specifically. However, the latest Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals, commissioned by Natural England, estimated that there are around 520,000 in Great Britain.

Defra continues to commend work, including research, by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, such as their Conservation Strategy for Hedgehogs. Under our 25 Year Environment Plan, we are committed to creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat to provide benefits for species such as the hedgehog. Agri-environment schemes such as Countryside Stewardship provide funding to restore, extend and link important habitats and boost food resources for our native species.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the animal welfare guidelines for tour operators published by ABTA in December 2019.

British Travel Agents (ABTA) for tour operators. I particularly welcome the guide on elephant experiences which sets out clearly what practices are acceptable and what are unacceptable. Whilst Defra has not assessed their effectiveness specifically, I am encouraged that the British travel industry recognise the importance of protecting animal welfare and of providing advice to travel providers for their suppliers and destination tourist boards.

Tourists are becoming more aware of the impact tourism can have on both the environment and on animal welfare and can expect to question whether a particular animal-related experience is both animal welfare friendly and sustainable.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will hold discussions with representatives of the British tourism industry on the advertisement of attractions involving Asian elephants.

Defra officials continue to be in regular contact with representatives from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) on the issue of the welfare of elephants in tourist attractions overseas. I was pleased that ABTA recently updated its members’ animal welfare guidelines to include specific advice about this issue.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has held with representatives of tour operators on the advertising of holiday attractions involving Asian elephants.

Defra officials continue to be in regular contact with representatives from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) on the issue of the welfare of elephants in tourist attractions overseas. I was pleased that ABTA recently updated its members’ animal welfare guidelines to include specific advice about this issue.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the criteria is for live animal exports for slaughter to be classified as long distance.

We have a manifesto commitment to end excessively long journeys for live animals going for slaughter and fattening once we leave the EU. We will shortly consult on how we deliver on that commitment and look forward to inviting views on the criteria that will be used to define an excessively long journey.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her Australian counterpart on the support to help rebuild devastated wildlife populations in Australia.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, as Minister of State for the Commonwealth, have been in contact with their Australian counterparts to offer the UK’s condolences and assistance following the recent devastating wildfires. The UK High Commission and Consulates General are also liaising closely with Australian authorities at federal and state level to offer support. As a close friend and partner in international efforts to protect biodiversity, the UK Government stands ready to support the Australian Government in its response to the effects on wildlife populations, should such assistance be needed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that the situation of religious minorities is considered as part of decisions on the allocation of UK Official Development Assistance.

The UK Government works to ensure that Official Development Assistance is allocated to those who are most vulnerable and most in need of this assistance irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. This includes minority religious communities, who are assessed by our partners when determining those most in need of protection and assistance.

Vulnerable religious minority groups will experience crises such as COVID-19 outbreaks differently. Crises are likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, guidance was circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response and the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups should be taken into account when developing practical programmes of assistance.

On 8 June, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about the specific challenges minority faith communities were facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the level of demand for aid from countries that receive UK aid where people are persecuted due to their faith.

The UK Government works to ensure that UK aid is allocated to those who are most vulnerable and most in need of this assistance. This includes persecuted religious communities, who are assessed when determining those most in need of protection and assistance. DFID’s use of country context analysis has increased the extent to which religious dynamics and religious groups are factored into all of our country programmes. DFID undertakes interdisciplinary analysis of a country’s politics, society, state and economy to identify the most significant problems that hinder development and the main entry points and opportunities to create change. There is a strong emphasis on how politics, security, and demographics interact with economic growth and human development. This includes the role of religion and the persecution of religious minorities.

On 8 June, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for Human Rights, hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about the challenges minority faith communities were facing, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her the Government is taking to help ensure that recipients of UK aid from (a) Christian and (b) other religious minorities not are not discriminated against because of their faith.

The UK Government works to ensure that recipients of UK Aid, including Christian and other minority religious communities, are not discriminated against because of their faith. The UK is committed to delivering its humanitarian aid according to internationally recognised humanitarian principles. These principles ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered to those who are most vulnerable and most in need of this assistance irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. This includes minority religious communities, who are assessed by our partners when determining those most in need of protection and assistance.

Vulnerable minority groups will experience COVID-19 outbreaks differently. COVID-19 is likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, guidance was circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response and the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups should be taken into account when developing practical programmes to tackle COVID-19.

On 8 June, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about whether minority faith communities were facing specific challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of electric vehicle charging points in (a) Chatham and Aylesford constituency, (b) Medway and (c) Kent.

The figures requested are in the attached table. Figures are accurate as of 1st January 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure continuity of care for patients with liver cancer during the covid-19 outbreak.

Service is committed to ensuring continuity of care for cancer patients, including patients with liver cancer.

To ensure essential and urgent treatment for all cancers have continued throughout the response to the pandemic, COVID-19 protected surgical hubs have been established for cancer surgery across the country.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the total annual cost to the public purse of treating (a) liver disease, (b) alcohol-related liver disease and (c) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The information is not held in the format requested as it is not possible to disaggregate expenditure to show solely liver disease.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the geographical variation in (a) the provision and (b) delivery of liver care services in England; and what plans his Department has to (a) reduce that variation and (b) improve liver disease survival rates.

It is not possible to disaggregate the number of people with liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer who have died as a result of COVID-19 infection, nor the number of COVID-19 deaths of patients with liver failure as a proportion of all COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom. This is due to the way data is collected


The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of preventing avoidable liver disease through targeted policies to address alcohol consumption and obesity. As the NHS recovers from the impact of the pandemic, specialised commissioning teams will be refocusing their efforts on achieving the ambitions set out in the Long Term Plan and working with local systems and clinical networks to improve outcomes for people with preventable and complex conditions, including liver disease.

NHS England is developing liver networks in England, supported by the Hepatobiliary Clinical Reference Group, to enable quicker access to specialised liver services, as well as providing clinical advice on disease prevention and referral practice. To address geographical variation, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from Public Health England, are helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams. Areas at highest need will be supported by targeted national investment. To improve survival rates and support earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease, NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a commissioning for quality and innovation scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that comprehensive care pathways for liver patients are implemented by each Integrated Care System in England.

It is not possible to disaggregate the number of people with liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer who have died as a result of COVID-19 infection, nor the number of COVID-19 deaths of patients with liver failure as a proportion of all COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom. This is due to the way data is collected


The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of preventing avoidable liver disease through targeted policies to address alcohol consumption and obesity. As the NHS recovers from the impact of the pandemic, specialised commissioning teams will be refocusing their efforts on achieving the ambitions set out in the Long Term Plan and working with local systems and clinical networks to improve outcomes for people with preventable and complex conditions, including liver disease.

NHS England is developing liver networks in England, supported by the Hepatobiliary Clinical Reference Group, to enable quicker access to specialised liver services, as well as providing clinical advice on disease prevention and referral practice. To address geographical variation, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from Public Health England, are helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams. Areas at highest need will be supported by targeted national investment. To improve survival rates and support earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease, NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a commissioning for quality and innovation scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to include liver services in NHS covid-19 recovery plans.

It is not possible to disaggregate the number of people with liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer who have died as a result of COVID-19 infection, nor the number of COVID-19 deaths of patients with liver failure as a proportion of all COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom. This is due to the way data is collected


The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of preventing avoidable liver disease through targeted policies to address alcohol consumption and obesity. As the NHS recovers from the impact of the pandemic, specialised commissioning teams will be refocusing their efforts on achieving the ambitions set out in the Long Term Plan and working with local systems and clinical networks to improve outcomes for people with preventable and complex conditions, including liver disease.

NHS England is developing liver networks in England, supported by the Hepatobiliary Clinical Reference Group, to enable quicker access to specialised liver services, as well as providing clinical advice on disease prevention and referral practice. To address geographical variation, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from Public Health England, are helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams. Areas at highest need will be supported by targeted national investment. To improve survival rates and support earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease, NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a commissioning for quality and innovation scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of people with (a) liver cirrhosis, (b) liver failure and (c) liver cancer who have died as a result of a covid-19 infection.

It is not possible to disaggregate the number of people with liver cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer who have died as a result of COVID-19 infection, nor the number of COVID-19 deaths of patients with liver failure as a proportion of all COVID-19 deaths in the United Kingdom. This is due to the way data is collected


The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the importance of preventing avoidable liver disease through targeted policies to address alcohol consumption and obesity. As the NHS recovers from the impact of the pandemic, specialised commissioning teams will be refocusing their efforts on achieving the ambitions set out in the Long Term Plan and working with local systems and clinical networks to improve outcomes for people with preventable and complex conditions, including liver disease.

NHS England is developing liver networks in England, supported by the Hepatobiliary Clinical Reference Group, to enable quicker access to specialised liver services, as well as providing clinical advice on disease prevention and referral practice. To address geographical variation, NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from Public Health England, are helping acute hospitals with the highest rates of alcohol harm to establish or improve specialist alcohol care teams. Areas at highest need will be supported by targeted national investment. To improve survival rates and support earlier detection of alcohol-related liver disease, NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a commissioning for quality and innovation scheme to incentivise increased cirrhosis and fibrosis tests for alcohol dependent patients in acute and mental health services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure effective implementation of liver disease and cirrhosis assessments in routine NHS health checks in England.

In line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s recommendations, NHS Health Check guidance advises that individuals whose alcohol consumption puts them at higher risk should be referred for a cirrhosis assessment.

The NHS Health Check includes an assessment of an individual’s alcohol consumption using AUDIT-C. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, support is given to access behavioural and clinical interventions as well as follow on tests for those individuals whose alcohol consumption is identified as high risk.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many pharmacies in (a) Chatham and Aylesford constituency and (b) Kent and Medway CCG area have been commissioned to administer vaccinations for covid-19.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and community pharmacy representative bodies will be working together to establish how community pharmacies’ role could be expanded further in the vaccination programme. This includes pharmacies in the Chatham and Aylesford constituency and the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group area.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure (a) teaching staff and (b) those working in special educational needs settings and (c) all others who work in education settings are vaccinated as a matter of priority.

For phase two of the vaccination programme, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s interim advice set out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, not occupation. Age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NICE guidance on early breast cancer will be amended to recommend shorter courses of breast radiotherapy be offered after the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on the diagnosis and management of early and locally advanced breast cancer (reference NG101) in July 2018


NICE’s processes allow it to carry out an exceptional review of a guideline when significant new data becomes available. NICE is aware of the FAST trial and will be tracking the Fast-Forward clinical trial, a randomised clinical trial testing a one-week course of curative whole breast radiotherapy against a standard three-week schedule in terms of local cancer control and late adverse effects in women with early breast cancer. NICE will be looking at the evidence and considering its impact on the guideline.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to conduct a national secondary breast cancer audit.

The Department, along with stakeholders, is currently reviewing the proposal of a secondary breast cancer audit.

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership commissions, develops and manages the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme, on behalf of NHS England and the devolved administrations. The programme currently consists of over 30 national clinical audits, six clinical outcome review programmes and the National Joint Registry.

The existing audit of breast cancer in older women does include some sections on women with metastatic breast cancer. The latest audit is available at the following link:

https://www.hqip.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/REF212_NABCOP-2020-Annual-Report-V1_high-res_20200702.pdf

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of upright MRI scanners in encouraging more women to undergo breast cancer scans.

The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC) has not reviewed the evidence to offer upright MRI scanners as a primary screen test in the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHS BSP).

A change to the primary screen test would be considered as a major programme modification. Such a proposal can be submitted to the UK NSC for further consideration.

The NHS BSP offers screening to women using MRI who are high risk or very high risk as assessed by specialist genetics or oncology as being more at risk of developing breast cancer than women in general population. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-breast-screening-high-risk-women

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to accelerate access to medicinal cannabis on the NHS for severely epileptic children.

The latest guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) demonstrates a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions for unlicensed cannabis-based products on the National Health Service.

We are working hard with the health system, industry and researchers to improve the knowledge base. This includes the design of clinical trials for children and young people with severe treatment resistant epilepsy.

NICE recommend two medicines – Sativex (treatment of spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis patients) and Epidyolex (treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy). These are licensed cannabis-based products which can be prescribed by specialist doctors, in cases where it is clinically appropriate and funded on the NHS.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a social care minimum wage.

The Government does not set the levels of pay for care workers; however, we are committed to raising the profile of the social care sector. Putting social care on a sustainable footing, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a society. There are complex questions to address, which is why we have invited cross-party talks. These will take place at the earliest opportunity in light of the current circumstances. The Government will then bring forward a plan for social care for the longer term.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the additional funding required to support people with (a) long-term mental health conditions, (b) addictions and (c) adult safeguarding requirements as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to transform mental health care, funding is expected to grow faster than total National Health Service spending every year, with investment at least £2.3 billion higher each year by 2023/24.

For people with long-term mental health conditions, we have provided an additional £5 million of funding for mental health charities to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing. In addition, the Government has announced a further £4.2 million to mental health charities as part of the Government’s United Kingdom-wide £750 million package of support for the voluntary sector.

The Government has also made a total of £3.2 billion available to local authorities to help them respond to COVID-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including for addiction support, adult social care and safeguarding.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of allocating additional investment to adult social care to support his proposals to revitalise the economy.

We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care. On 15 May we published details of an additional £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. The Government will continue to monitor pressures in the National Health Service and local government and will keep future funding under review.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled, ADASS Budget Survey 2020, what assessment has he made of the implications for his policy of the conclusion that the adult social care providers and councils may face up to £6.6 billion in extra costs by the end of September 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the social care sector. We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

On 15 May we published details of an additional £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is running a monitoring exercise to gather ongoing financial management information on pressures councils are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including on adult social care. Rounds 1 and 2 of the survey collected data in April and May and results have been published at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-covid-19-financial-impact-monitoring-information

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to roll out antibody testing to all key workers; and if he will make a statement.

On 21 May the Government announced plans for a national roll-out of antibody testing in the National Health Service and social care sector. Since the end of May, lab-based antibody tests have been available to all NHS staff that want one. For care staff, antibody testing will be rolled out in a phased way across regions in England. Any expansion to the antibody testing program will be announced at the appropriate time.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to enable people who are housebound due to (a) a physical and (b) a mental health condition to access smear tests.

General practitioner practices are required to ensure that their premises are suitable for the delivery of essential services and that they are sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of its patients, including those with disabilities. This involves making any necessary reasonable adjustments; making alternative arrangements, such as referral to a specialist screening provider; or undertaking the procedures in another setting that is more suitable given any limitations to a patient’s mobility. Where a patient requires specialist equipment, clinical staff will ensure that patients have access to its use in a safe environment.

NHS England is continuously investing in initiatives to help ensure equality of access to screening and, through the Section 7A public health functions agreement, aims to improve public health outcomes and reduce inequalities.

Professor Sir Mike Richards’ review of Adult Screening programmes was published on 16 October 2019 and recognised that people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities or mental health conditions tend to have lower uptake of screening programmes than the general population. Professor Richards’ report included recommendations on improving access to services for and sharing good practice on physical and learning disabilities. The Department is considering the report with NHS England and Public Health England and will publish an implementation plan in the spring.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to meet the NHS's 18-week maximum waiting time for planned hip and knee joint replacement surgery.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out our plans for transformation and improvement across the National Health Service. In the shorter term, the NHS Accountability Framework for 2019-20 outlines how NHS England and NHS Improvement will continue ongoing service development, including for hip and knee surgery, so that performance is maintained and improved, including with the commencement of the redesign of outpatient services. The 2019-20 framework is available via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/803114/accountability-framework-to-nhse-and-nhsi-2019-to-2020.pdf

Further to this, at the Government’s request, NHS England and NHS Improvement are also working with clinical leaders across the system to review our performance standards and will update on this in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of medicinal cannabis prescriptions prescribed on the NHS in 2019.

NHS England and NHS Improvement is using extant systems to monitor use of the unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use in England. In England, these systems monitor the number of items dispensed and associated costs in primary care and the volume of products used and associated cost in secondary care. NHS England and NHS Improvement Controlled Drug Accountable Officers are also collecting local intelligence in both the National Health Service and independent sector.

The NHS Business Services Authority is only able to provide information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines that have been prescribed and submitted to it. The NHS Business Services Authority does not hold information on prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines which have been issued but not fulfilled.

The following table shows the number of items for Nabilone, Sativex and Epidyolex (licensed cannabis-based medicines) and unlicensed cannabis-based medicines that were prescribed on an National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement between January and October 2019 (October 2019 is the most recent dispensing data held by the NHS Business Services Authority).

Month

Licensed Cannabis-based medicines

Unlicensed cannabis-based medicines

Nabilone

Sativex

Epidyolex1

January 2019

44

167

2

February 2019

36

159

1

March 2019

51

171

2

April 2019

49

156

2

May 2019

59

176

2

June 2019

47

187

2

July 2019

54

158

2

August 2019

46

174

1

September 2019

58

179

0

1

October 2019

46

173

0

1

Total

490

1,700

0

16

Grand Total

2,206

Note:

1 Epidyolex was unlicensed prior to September 2019; no NHS prescriptions for Epidyolex have been submitted at the time this data was produced. In addition to the above, approximately 185 patients have accessed Epidyolex though the manufacturer’s (GW Pharma) early access programmes, ahead of a licensing decision by the European Medicines Agency.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to implement NICE guidelines on the diagnosis of eating disorders.

Clinical commissioning groups and providers of healthcare are expected to have regard to national guidance, including National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, and are responsible for developing their own local approaches to its implementation, taking into account local priorities and needs.

NICE’s guideline on eating disorders: recognition and treatment makes it clear that a person’s body mass index is just one of the factors that should be taken into account to determine whether to offer treatment for an eating disorder, but that it should not be used on its own.

This is reiterated in guidance issued to commissioners and providers of adult eating disorder services in August 2019 with the aim of improving both timely access to, and the quality of evidence-based treatment in eating disorder services for adults and older adults. This is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/aed-guidance.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) nurses, (b) GPs, (c) midwives and (d) mental health specialists are working in (i) Medway and (ii) West Kent.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in primary care or in GP surgeries, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of nurses and health visitors, midwives and mental health staff as at September 2019, the latest available data at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Medway CCG and NHS West Kent CCG, full time equivalent (FTE).

Nurses and health visitors

Midwives

Mental health staff

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

811

0

1,625

Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

1,084

0

68

Medway NHS Foundation Trust

1,020

159

21

NHS Medway CCG

5

0

0

NHS West Kent CCG

4

0

0

Note:

CCGs are National Health Service bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area. They are made up of a governing body directly employed by the CCG and local general practitioner (GP) practice members within the area of the CCG.

The following table shows the number of doctors, nurses and other direct patient care staff employed in general practice as at September 2019 within the areas NHS Medway CCG and NHS West Kent CCG. These are in addition to those nurses employed directly by the CCG in the previous table. The figures presented include GP registrars and GP locums, FTE.

All general practitioners

All nurses in general practice

All direct patient care staff in general practice

NHS Medway CCG

115

69

69

NHS West Kent CCG

250

111

118

Note:

Figures shown here do not include general practice staff working in prisons, army bases, educational establishments, specialist care centres including drug rehabilitation centres, walk-in centres and other alternative settings. figures contain estimates, for practices that did not provide fully valid general medical practice GP, nurse or direct patient care staff records.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to revaluate funding for Myeloma (a) care and (b) research under the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England has committed funding of over £1.3 billion over the next five years to deliver the commitments on cancer in the NHS Long Term Plan. These commitments include:

- Speeding up the path from innovation to business-as-usual, spreading proven new techniques and technologies and reducing variation; and

- By 2021, where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support.

In September 2019 we announced funding of £200 million for new equipment to drive earlier diagnosis of cancer and improve survival. More than 300 diagnostic machines will be funded across the country, replacing outdated MRI machines, CT scans and breast screening equipment with cutting edge technology. The new machines will be “AI-enabled” to keep pace with future advances in technology

Research is crucial in the fight against cancer. That is why the Department invests £1billion per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2017/18 NIHR cancer research expenditure was £136 million, which constitutes the largest investment in a disease area.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Indian counterpart on the treatment of endangered Asian elephants in that country.

The Government takes reports of animal cruelty throughout the world seriously and is committed to raising standards of animal welfare at home and abroad. We welcome Prime Minister Modi's passion for preserving and protecting India's diverse wildlife. The Government continues to engage on the issue, including at the India-hosted COP13 of the Convention of Migratory Species in Gujarat from 16-20 February where ten new species were afforded increased protection, including Asian Elephants. Modi spoke to the conference about India's successes, including initiatives to protect Asian elephants.

The former Prime Minister raised elephant welfare with the Government of India in 2015, when Prime Minister Modi confirmed India had laws in place to protect elephants.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of British tourists that travelled to holiday destinations with attractions involving Asian elephants in each year since 2015.

We do not hold information centrally on British tourists visiting attractions abroad involving Asian elephants.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will delay the start of repayments under the Bounce Bank Loan scheme.

Under the Bounce Back Loan scheme, no repayments are due from the borrower for the first 12 months of the loan, giving businesses the breathing space they need during this difficult time. In addition, the Government covers the first 12 months of interest payments charged to the business by the lender.

In order to give businesses further support and flexibility in making their repayments, the Chancellor has announced “Pay as You Grow” (PAYG) options. PAYG will give businesses the option to repay their Bounce Back loan over ten years. This will reduce their average monthly repayments on the loan by almost half. Businesses will also have the option to move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times), or to pause their repayments entirely for up to six months (an option they can use once and only after having made six payments).

Together, the 12-month payment holiday and interest-free period for borrowers, along with the PAYG options, provide a generous support package giving businesses the time to get back on their feet.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the potential contribution that continuing Social Investment Tax Relief beyond April 2021 could make to promoting local economic growth in the most disadvantaged communities.

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is intended to address a specific access to finance market failure for social enterprises by incentivising individuals to invest in these ventures.

The scheme is intended to support a broad range of social enterprises, with a variety of social missions and community benefits. SITR is not designed directly to encourage employment or to support particular geographical areas: qualifying social enterprises are free to use SITR wherever they are in the country in whatever way they determine is best for their growth and development.

The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the scheme to date. A Summary of Responses will be published in due course alongside a decision on the policy’s future.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it remains his policy to make a decision on the future of Social Investment Tax Relief in Autumn 2020.

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is intended to address a specific access to finance market failure for social enterprises by incentivising individuals to invest in these ventures.

The scheme is intended to support a broad range of social enterprises, with a variety of social missions and community benefits. SITR is not designed directly to encourage employment or to support particular geographical areas: qualifying social enterprises are free to use SITR wherever they are in the country in whatever way they determine is best for their growth and development.

The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the scheme to date. A Summary of Responses will be published in due course alongside a decision on the policy’s future.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effectiveness of Social Investment Tax Relief in creating employment in the most deprived areas.

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is intended to address a specific access to finance market failure for social enterprises by incentivising individuals to invest in these ventures.

The scheme is intended to support a broad range of social enterprises, with a variety of social missions and community benefits. SITR is not designed directly to encourage employment or to support particular geographical areas: qualifying social enterprises are free to use SITR wherever they are in the country in whatever way they determine is best for their growth and development.

The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the scheme to date. A Summary of Responses will be published in due course alongside a decision on the policy’s future.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to extend social investment tax relief by two years while work to review that relief is ongoing, to allow time for alternative structures to be implemented.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer that I gave on 3 September to UIN 82342 and 82341.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department has received on extending Social Investment Tax relief for two years to April 2023.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer that I gave on 3 September to UIN 82342 and 82341.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to encourage take up of the social investment tax relief scheme to rebuild communities after the covid-19 outbreak.

SITR is designed to support a broad range of social enterprises, which may have a variety of social missions and community benefits. The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the SITR scheme to date, including as to why it has been used less than anticipated and what impact it has had on access to finance for social enterprises. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has helped to accelerate the release of previously committed dormant bank account money. This initiative has enabled Big Society Capital to establish and capitalise a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the use of the social investment tax relief scheme to support the Government's strategy to tackle loneliness.

SITR is designed to support a broad range of social enterprises, which may have a variety of social missions and community benefits. The Government committed to a full review of SITR within two years of its expansion, and published a Call for Evidence last year on the use of the SITR scheme to date, including as to why it has been used less than anticipated and what impact it has had on access to finance for social enterprises. A Summary of Responses to the Call for Evidence will be published in due course.

The Government is committed to helping social enterprises and charities through the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has helped to accelerate the release of previously committed dormant bank account money. This initiative has enabled Big Society Capital to establish and capitalise a Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, which aims to improve access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for social enterprises.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the insurance industry on the validity of travel insurance for holidays cancelled as a result of the new quarantine regulations due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

Travel insurance typically applies only for losses that cannot be recovered from elsewhere, that is, after any refunds from airlines, travel, or accommodation providers. Although insurance against travel disruption due to pandemics is typically included in travel insurance policies, customers should first contact travel providers or accommodation providers for reimbursement. In the next instance, credit card providers would provide a refund under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if the payment was made by credit card and cost was over £100 per unit.

If there is no still recoverable cost from these sources, a travel insurance claim may be applicable where the policy covers UK travel. Some policies will only cover foreign travel, but more comprehensive policies will also cover UK travel.

Travel insurance policies differ so, if in doubt, customers should speak to their insurer or check the terms and conditions of their policy.

We have discussed with insurers the importance of insurance cover for Covid-19 in restoring consumers with the confidence to travel again. Firms assure us that they will look to extend cover again where and when they can. They are monitoring announcements by Government and reviewing their position as the situation evolves. We will continue to monitor this situation closely.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to make food and drink wholesalers who supply to care homes, hospitals and schools eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities (LAs) can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in other supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. LAs may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas or to businesses outside of these priority groups, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend eligibility for business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as wholesalers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to extend business rates relief during the covid-19 outbreak to the wholesale food and drink industry that supplies care homes, schools and hospitals.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as wholesalers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the modified affordability assessment on the number of mortgage prisoners unable to access new mortgage products.

The Government remains committed to supporting these borrowers, which is why the Government and the FCA have taken action to remove the regulatory barriers that previously prevented switching.

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-letter-from-john-glen-to-stephen-jones-on-mortgage-prisoners.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with UK Finance on its members using the modified affordability assessment for mortgage prisoners.

The Government remains committed to supporting these borrowers, which is why the Government and the FCA have taken action to remove the regulatory barriers that previously prevented switching.

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-letter-from-john-glen-to-stephen-jones-on-mortgage-prisoners.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the timeframe is for the commencement of the review into alcohol duties.

Further announcements about the review into alcohol duties will be made in due course.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers are in temporary housing and hotel accommodation in (a) Medway Council and (b) Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council local authority areas.

The number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

The figures include those in temporary and hotel accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to protect Border Force officials from contracting covid-19 when dealing with illegal migrants crossing the English Channel to enter the UK.

We take the welfare of the domestic population, our staff and the welfare of the detainees in our care very seriously and we are taking the following further measures in respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Border Force and Immigration Enforcement Officers have been provided with facemasks, disposable gloves, eye protection and aprons. Additionally, other items to support frontline staff including hand sanitiser, wipes for equipment/vehicles and clinical waste sacks have been procured and distributed.

Staff use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when encountering symptomatic migrants, in line with PHE guidance. Specific guidance has been issued to staff about the processes for dealing with symptomatic clandestine arrivals during interviewing, fingerprinting and transport.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with representatives from (a) Kent County Council and (b) Kent Police on the potential merits of providing additional Government support to help deal with illegal migrants crossing the English Channel to enter the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

In line with existing processes, we are in regular contact with Kent Police and the Local Resilience Forum regarding migrant crossings in the Channel. These discussions have continued during the covid-19 response and have been factored into operational planning.

Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are continuing to keep the UK’s border secure and have robust contingency plans in place to respond the covid-19 pandemic driven by the latest scientific and medical advice. In line with that advice to date, no changes have been required at the UK border.

Working with the Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Border Force Maritime have worked with commercial operators and Port Security Officers to ensure that sightings of potentially suspicious small vessels are reported immediately.

Additionally, Border Force have worked with HM Coastguard to increase safety broadcasts to all vessels in the Channel, encouraging them to look out for and report small vessels. Border Force Maritime continues to encourage the public and industry to report suspicious activity and reduce the threat from organised crime and terrorism. Regional General Maritime teams have been bolstered to further improve their capability to receive and process migrants.

The Kent Multi-Agency Hub brings together officers from the police, National Crime Agency, Border Force, HMRC and Immigration Enforcement to share, develop and analyse intelligence between agencies.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her French counterpart on conditions in migrant camps in northern France.

The UK and France maintain a strong relationship on managing the response to those attempting to access the UK illegally, including in respect of migrant camps and identifying supporting the most vulnerable. The Home Secretary was due to meet the French Interior Minister in March; however this trip has been postponed due to current Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Those who are moved on from camps in Northern France are taken to reception centres where their asylum claims can be lodged, and any other needs assessed. Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in France, over 600 migrants have been moved to accommodation centres to aid with social distancing measures. Within these centres, individuals are provided with medical and administrative support.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many migrants have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March 2020; and what the countries of origin were for those migrants.

The data showing the number of migrants intercepted crossing the English Channel to enter the UK for the months of January, February and March is shown in the table below, including the claimed nationalities for those migrants:

(a) January 2020 – 94; (b) February 2020 – 182 and (c) March 2020 – 187.

By nationality:

Jan

Feb

March

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

53

109

104

Iraq

16

40

63

Syria Arab Republic

16

18

13

Afghanistan

5

3

5

Kuwait Bidoun

1

Yemen

5

1

Pakistan

4

1

Mali

2

Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

1

Senegal

1

Egypt

1

Guinea

1

Grand Total

94

182

187

The total number of migrants for the April period cannot yet be released as the figures have not passed through a data quality check and cannot be assured. The figures will be published at a later date, once they have been

verified.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has for the deportation of illegal migrants who have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is the policy of this Government to return those not in need of protection.

The majority of countries who are signatories to the Dublin Regulations which governs the return of those seeking asylum in the UK to a third country have announced temporary suspension of transfers to and from all EU Member States due to the Corona virus.

Returns to third-countries can still take place where there is a suitable route of return.

We are ready to resume Dublin returns as soon as travel restrictions are lifted

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether illegal migrants who have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK are being tested for covid-19; and how many illegal migrants have been so tested since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The processes to manage clandestine arrivals are kept under regular review. In line with Public Health Guidance we are not currently providing routine testing for clandestine arrivals to the UK. In line with established processes, those arriving across the Channel are immediately assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19 are provided with suitable accommodation in which to self-isolate. There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in the immigration detention estate.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of illegal migrants who have crossed the English Channel to enter the UK since 1 April 2020.

The data showing the number of migrants intercepted crossing the English Channel to enter the UK for the months of January, February and March is shown in the table below, including the claimed nationalities for those migrants:

(a) January 2020 – 94; (b) February 2020 – 182 and (c) March 2020 – 187.

By nationality:

Jan

Feb

March

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

53

109

104

Iraq

16

40

63

Syria Arab Republic

16

18

13

Afghanistan

5

3

5

Kuwait Bidoun

1

Yemen

5

1

Pakistan

4

1

Mali

2

Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

1

Senegal

1

Egypt

1

Guinea

1

Grand Total

94

182

187

The total number of migrants for the April period cannot yet be released as the figures have not passed through a data quality check and cannot be assured. The figures will be published at a later date, once they have been

verified.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of police forces that have used the Vagrancy Act 1824 in England since 2015.

The information requested is not centrally available as the Home Office only collects data on police activity in relation to notifiable offences, that is, those indictable or triable-either-way cases that may be heard at a Crown Court. Offences under the Vagrancy Act are not notifiable.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of times the Vagrancy Act 1824 has been used by Kent Police since 2015.

The information requested is not centrally available as the Home Office only collects data on police activity in relation to notifiable offences, that is, those indictable or triable-either-way cases that may be heard at a Crown Court. Offences under the Vagrancy Act are not notifiable.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to strengthen the protection for ancient woodland from inappropriate development as part of his Planning White Paper.

In Planning for the Future we make clear that, under the reforms proposed, local authorities would use the plan-making process to ensure the continued protection and enhancement of areas important for biodiversity, including ancient woodland. After carefully considering all the consultation responses, the Government will publish its conclusions and intentions, setting out any decisions and how they would be implemented.

We have already strengthened the protections for irreplaceable habitat, including ancient woodland and ancient and veteran trees, in the National Planning Policy Framework. Any development that could affect such habitat should be ‘wholly exceptional’.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to issue guidance to people celebrate Eid Al-Adha during the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that British Muslims will be thinking about how they can safely celebrate Eid Al-Adha with their friends, family and community during this period. We have produced guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july.

Guidance is also available on how individuals can protect themselves while meeting people from outside of their household, which includes guidance on indoor and outdoor gatherings. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july.

We will continue to engage with faith leaders to help communities stay safe whilst marking this important time of the year.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of proposed planning reforms with measures contained in the Environment Bill.

The planning system has a vital role to play in enabling the delivery of housing and to support sustainable economic growth and renewal, and we want to see better planning for nature, in a way that’s more efficient as well as effective. In March, the government signalled its intention to modernise our planning system, ensuring it supports the delivery of homes that local people need and creates more beautiful and greener communities.

Since then, we have developed a number of planning regulation easements to support businesses to operate through Covid-19, such as enabling restaurants, cafes and pubs to offer a takeaway and delivery service and removing specific publicity requirements for planning applications. We have recently introduced a Bill to parliament with further measures to help businesses to resume and to support economic recovery, and will continue to work across government to investigate options for broader regulatory reform to support sustainable economic growth and renewal, and to protect and conserve our environment.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of exempting developments granted planning permission through development orders on the effectiveness of the Government’s policy that new developments should enhance biodiversity and create new green spaces.

The Government’s response to biodiversity gain consultation published in https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/biodiversity-net-gain-updating-planning-requirements made it clear that the new biodiversity gain regime – currently being legislated for in the Environment Bill - would not apply to permitted development rights which are granted under the General Permitted Development Order. The provisions do apply to development permitted by local development orders and neighbourhood development orders.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance he issues to local planning authorities on the consideration of controversial planning applications during purdah.

To date, Government has issued no guidance to local planning authorities about consideration of planning applications during the pre-election period.

Within my Department, caution is exercised during both general and local election periods, with no substantive decisions issued. During these periods, where I receive a request to intervene in a case, or a case is referred to me by an authority, I am able to delay a grant of planning permission while I consider whether or not to call-in an application, by means of a holding direction issued under section 31 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

Local authorities should exercise good judgement about whether it is appropriate to determine cases of local or national significance or controversy during a pre-election period of sensitivity. I intend to work with the Local Government Association to ensure they provide suitable guidance to councils to this effect.

Robert Jenrick
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government