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Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Coronavirus
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 49601, when he plans to publish data on the number of additional households claiming local Council Tax Support as a result of covid-19 and the subsequent economic downturn.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Department publishes quarterly official statistics recording the number of local council tax support claimants, at the following address: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910192/LCTS_claimants_2020-21_Q1.xlsx . The next release covering the second quarter of 2020/21 is planned for 25 November.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Coronavirus
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will commission independent research into the additional costs to local authority council tax support schemes of covid-19 and the subsequent economic downturn.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Department publishes annual revenue budget and outturn data on local authority revenue expenditure and financing. These include council tax revenue foregone under local council tax support schemes. Outturn data for 2020-21 are scheduled for publication by Autumn 2021. These will capture costs to local authorities of providing local council tax support during the pandemic and will be available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing#2020-to-2021 .


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Coronavirus
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 49601 on Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Coronavirus, how many local authorities have responded to his Department’s financial monitoring survey on numbers of claimants; and how many local authorities have yet to respond.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Department collects monthly monitoring returns on the financial impact of Covid-19 on local authorities, including data on the number of local council tax support claimants. In the most recent round, returns were received from 310 out of 314 billing authorities surveyed.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Coronavirus
8 Jun 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of additional households that may claim council tax support in 2020-21 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Simon Clarke)

My Department is working with local authorities to collate data on the impacts of Covid-19 through a financial monitoring survey. The survey includes questions on changes in the number of households claiming council tax support in 2020-21 and about support provided through the £500 million Council Tax Hardship Fund which was announced at the Budget.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes: Greater London
2 Jun 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February 2020 to Question 12851, on Council Tax Reduction Schemes, how much income was forgone as a result of providing council tax support for working age and pensioner households in each London borough in 2019-20.

Answer (Simon Clarke)

Council tax expected to be forgone in 2019-20 as a result of providing council tax support for working age and pensioner households was published as part of the Council Taxbase 2019 statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/council-taxbase-2019-in-england.

The amount of council tax expected to be forgone is included in the CT Support section of the local authority level dropdown.


Written Question
Council Tax Benefits
2 Jun 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February 2020 to Question 12853, on Council Tax Benefits, if he will provide details of the steps his Department has taken to tackle the findings in the Institute of Fiscal Studies research, published in January 2019, on the effect of the abolition of council tax benefit on low-income households.

Answer (Simon Clarke)

The Government considers views from a wide range of organisations, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and takes account of them as part of its ongoing management of council tax policy. Local authorities are responsible for the design of schemes that provide council tax support to low-income households in their area.


Written Question
Local Council Tax Support Schemes Independent Review
2 Jun 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February 2020 to Question 12854, on Local Council Tax Support Schemes Independent Review, if he will provide details of the external organisations his Department has engaged with in the implementing the recommendations in Eric Ollerenshaw’s Independent Review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes.

Answer (Simon Clarke)

The Department regularly meets with a wide range of stakeholders – including representatives from local authorities, the Local Government Association, debt advice bodies, and other Government Departments – to discuss council tax policy, including local council tax support


Details of Ministers' and Permanent Secretary meetings with external organisations can be found at the following links on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dclg-ministerial-data


https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/business-expenses-and-hospitality-for-dclg-senior-officials

The Department does not maintain a record of all meetings which take place between officials and external organisations.


Written Question
Car Washes: Pollution Control
19 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to paragraph two of the Government Response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2017-19, Hand car washes, HC 981, where the Environment Agency's updated guidance on pollution prevention is located on gov.uk.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The guidance was updated in May 2019 and can be found on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pollution-prevention-for-businesses.

The Environment Agency has restructured this guide to improve the experience of users and eliminate duplication.


Written Question
Car Washes: Pollution Control
19 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to paragraph three of the Government Response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2017-19, Hand car washes, HC 981, if she will publish the (a) dated correspondence from the Environment Agency to major supermarkets and (b) replies received.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

A copy of the dated correspondence from the Environment Agency to major supermarkets will be placed in the Library of the House. Replies were not requested and have not been recorded centrally.


Written Question
Car Washes: Pollution Control
19 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to paragraph two of the Government Response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s Tenth Report of Session 2017-19, Hand car washes, HC 981, if she will publish the correspondence from the Environment Agency to local planning authorities in England that directs those authorities to that agency's updated pollution prevention guidance.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Environment Agency (EA) has been liaising with the Local Government Association (LGA) in regards to a draft guidance document and has input to a section covering environment and drainage. This considers the discharge of effluent from hand car washes. To ensure that local councils are made aware of such considerations for this form of car washing, the EA considered that the publication of the guidance would be made by the LGA as opposed to writing to individual councils.

The EA joined a workshop held by the Responsible Car Wash Scheme on 26 November 2019 in London, where the guidance was discussed. The EA is awaiting confirmation from the LGA that the guidance has been published and issued to local authorities.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes
14 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Government response to recommendation 9 of Eric Ollerenshaw’s 2016 Independent review of local Council Tax support schemes, whether his Department has issued guidance to local authorities on the collection of data on the effect of their schemes on claimants.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government collects data from local authorities on the amount of council tax income forgone as a result of providing local council tax support to working age and pensioner claimants. We do not consider that requiring local authorities to provide more detailed information would be proportionate. Local authorities are best placed to decide what level of council tax support is appropriate in particular circumstances.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes
14 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, with reference to the Government's response to recommendation 10 of Eric Ollerenshaw’s 2016 Independent Review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes, if he will commission independent in-depth research into the effect of the introduction of local council tax support on low-income households affected by other reductions to social security benefits.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government does not propose to pursue such research at this time, particularly as similar work has been carried out by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and others. However, we will continue to consider whether additional work might be helpful in further developing the Government’s understanding of local council tax support.


Written Question
Council Tax Benefits
14 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings in the Institute of Fiscal Studies research, published in January 2019, on the effect of the abolition of council tax benefit.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government has noted the findings of the Institute of Fiscal Studies’ research and closely monitors council tax collection rates, which were 97.0 per cent in 2018-19, as well as overall council tax levels and increases.


Written Question
Local Council Tax Support Schemes Independent Review
14 Feb 2020

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what external organisations his Department has engaged with in implementing its response to Eric Ollerenshaw's Independent Review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government engages with a wide range of organisations to understand the impact of council tax - including local council tax support schemes - on taxpayers.


Written Question
Care Homes: Dagenham and Rainham
27 Mar 2018

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to improve the quality of residential care in Dagenham and Rainham.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Although 81% of adult social care providers and 73% of care home beds are rated as good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, it is completely unacceptable that standards in some settings fall below those rightly expected by care users and their families.

The Department is working with the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to achieve high quality adult social care for service users, families, carers and everyone working in the sector, through six actions.

The Care Act 2014 placed a duty on local authorities in England to promote a diverse, sustainable, high quality market of care and support providers for people in their local area to meet their needs. The Department has supported local authorities with their market related duties through a sector-led approach and has brought together guidance and support in an on-line hub available on GOV.UK.

This summer we will publish plans to reform our social care system to make it sustainable for the future. The consultation will set out options to put the social care system on a more secure footing and address issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice, including for those in the Dagenham and Rainham area.


Written Question
Allergies
15 Mar 2018

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many trainees qualified in allergy in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017 and how many will qualify in 2018.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The number of doctors who obtained their certificate of completion of training in the allergy specialty and paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases in 2016 and 2017 is shown in the table below:

Medicine Group specialty/subspecialty

Completed
in 2016

Completed
in 2017

Allergy

2

0

Paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases

4

2

Source: Health Education England

The number of trainees that will qualify in 2018 will be known at the end of the academic year.

Primary care also has a vital role in the management of allergies. The Royal College of General Practitioners offers a range of resources to educate general practitioners about the various presentations of allergic disease, how to assess an atopic patient and when to investigate in primary care or refer to secondary care.


Written Question
Allergies
14 Mar 2018

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons there is not a lead official for allergy in his Department.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Since 1 April 2013, NHS England has been responsible for securing high quality outcomes for people with long term conditions, including allergies. Departmental staff support ministers on a wide range of issues, including those concerning allergies, and work closely with NHS England to secure the necessary expertise when needed.


Written Question
Allergies
8 Sep 2017

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department provides to clinical commissioning groups on the allergy quality standard.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department provides no specific advice to clinical commissioning groups about either the Drug Allergy Quality Standard, published in July 2015, or the Food Allergy Quality Standard, published in March 2016.

Quality Standards, published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are important in setting out to patients, the public, commissioners and providers what a high quality service should look like in a particular area of care. Quality standards are based on NICE guidance and other NICE-accredited sources and NHS England promotes their use in local service delivery.

National Health Service organisations must have regard to NICE Quality Standards in planning and delivering services as part of a general duty to secure continuous improvement in quality. However, the quality standards do not provide a comprehensive service specification and are not mandatory.


Written Question
Eels
5 Sep 2017

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the fishing industry's compliance with the Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (George Eustice)

Compliance with the Eel (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 is assessed against the provision of: catch data for eels less than 12cm long; recorded consignments of live eels from aquaculture businesses; and 60% of live eels (12 cm or less) placed onto the market. The Environment Agency 2016/17 assessment of industry compliance received 390 catch returns from 452 authorised fishers and is pursuing the remainder. All other data was provided.


Written Question
Allergies
21 Jul 2017

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the level of knowledge which doctors are expected to have on allergies; and whether that level of knowledge is tested both at undergraduate and postgraduate level examinations.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

The Department does not set curricula for the education and training of the health and social care workforce and therefore does not hold the information requested.

The standards around the education of healthcare professions are set by the appropriate regulatory body. In the case of doctors this is the General Medical Council (GMC), while the Nursing and Midwifery Council sets the standards for the education of nurses and midwives, including health visitors.

The GMC sets the educational standards for all United Kingdom doctors through undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. It ensures that this reflects the needs of patients, medical students and doctors in training, and the healthcare systems across the UK.


Written Question
Allergies
21 Jul 2017

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that health visitors, midwives, community doctors and nurses are allergy-aware.

Answer (Philip Dunne)

The Department does not set curricula for the education and training of the health and social care workforce and therefore does not hold the information requested.

The standards around the education of healthcare professions are set by the appropriate regulatory body. In the case of doctors this is the General Medical Council (GMC), while the Nursing and Midwifery Council sets the standards for the education of nurses and midwives, including health visitors.

The GMC sets the educational standards for all United Kingdom doctors through undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. It ensures that this reflects the needs of patients, medical students and doctors in training, and the healthcare systems across the UK.


Written Question
Allergies
20 Jul 2017

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which Minister of his Department leads on policy relating to allergies.

Answer (Steve Brine)

As the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care, I am responsible for policy relating to long term conditions, including allergies.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes
25 May 2016

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report Three years on: an independent review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes by Eric Ollerenshaw OBE, published in March 2016, whether his Department plans to take steps to better understand the effect of Local Council Tax Support Schemes on individuals and councils.

Answer (Marcus Jones)

Eric Ollerenshaw's independent report recognises the successful implementation of Local Council Tax Schemes by local government and makes a number of recommendations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, whilst remaining a local discount. The Department for Communities and Local Government will consider these recommendations carefully.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes
25 May 2016

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report Three years on: an independent review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes by Eric Ollerenshaw OBE, published in March 2016, if he will commission in-depth academic research on the effect of Local Council Tax Support Schemes within the wider context of other welfare and socio-economic changes.

Answer (Marcus Jones)

Eric Ollerenshaw's independent report recognises the successful implementation of Local Council Tax Schemes by local government and makes a number of recommendations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, whilst remaining a local discount. The Department for Communities and Local Government will consider these recommendations carefully.


Written Question
Council Tax Reduction Schemes
25 May 2016

Questioner: Jon Cruddas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report Three years on: an independent review of Local Council Tax Support Schemes by Eric Ollerenshaw OBE, published in March 2016, whether he plans to implement the recommendation to identify how much funding for Council Tax Support is provided to local authorities through the Revenue Support Grant.

Answer (Marcus Jones)

Eric Ollerenshaw's independent report recognises the successful implementation of Local Council Tax Schemes by local government and makes a number of recommendations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, whilst remaining a local discount. The Department for Communities and Local Government will consider these recommendations carefully.