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Written Question
Hydrogen: Wales
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on a strategy to boost exports of Welsh hydrogen technology.

Answer (David T C Davies)

The global annual hydrogen market is estimated to potentially be worth over $1 trillion by 2050, and the global hydrogen project pipeline is estimated at $90bn today. The UK Government’s focus is to seize the opportunity to export UK skills, capability and technology into the growing global hydrogen market.

The UK Government is already investing in hydrogen technologies and is an active partner in a range of international initiatives.

The UK Government continues to explore the export opportunities associated with developing a low carbon hydrogen economy and to attract inward investment.

I have regular discussions with the Secretary of State for International Trade on increasing Welsh exports.


Written Question
Hydrogen: Wales
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether the Government plans to set a target for hydrogen production in Wales.

Answer (David T C Davies)

The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution confirms the UK Government’s ambition, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

I and my officials continue to work closely with colleagues across government to raise awareness of the interest in Wales in the role of low-carbon hydrogen in the transition to net-zero.


Written Question
Motor Vehicles: Hydrogen
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the role hydrogen passenger vehicles can play in supporting the growth of the Welsh hydrogen economy.

Answer (David T C Davies)

The UK Government is committed to exploring all options for low carbon hydrogen across freight, buses, trains, maritime, and aviation to ensure that the UK can lead the world in its deployment and use across the economy.

The Department for Transport is working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on a new overarching hydrogen strategy setting out how to deliver all the benefits of a hydrogen economy for the UK, including for transport.

Whilst we expect hydrogen to play a key role in decarbonising transport, it is likely to be most effective in the areas ‘that batteries cannot reach’, where energy density requirements or duty cycles and refuelling times make it the most suitable low carbon energy source.

At this point, progressing the hydrogen economy as a whole in the UK means rapidly expanding our expertise, innovation and infrastructure deployments to create a critical mass and overcome barriers to production and use.

I and my officials continue to work closely with colleagues across government to raise awareness of the interest in Wales in the role of low-carbon hydrogen in the transition to net-zero, including in the transport sector.


Written Question
Hydrogen: Wales
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps he is taking to grow the hydrogen economy in Wales.

Answer (David T C Davies)

The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution confirms the UK Government’s ambition, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. As we progress towards this ambition, we would hope to see around 1GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2025.

This will be supported by the £240m Net Zero Hydrogen Fund confirmed out to 2025, intended to support both CCUS enabled (blue) hydrogen and electrolytic (green) hydrogen production.

In the first half of this year, the government will publish a Hydrogen Strategy which will set out an action plan for decarbonisation and expansion of hydrogen in the 2020s across the UK.

There are already promising signs of interest and innovation around hydrogen production and utilisation in Wales, which the UK Government is backing.

For example, the Riversimple Clean Mobility Fleet was awarded £1.2m from the UK Government’s Hydrogen Transport Programme to develop fuel cell electric vehicles.

The Milford Haven Energy Kingdom has received a £1m grant from UK Research and Innovation to develop diverse, local seed markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables along the Milford Haven Waterway.

The South Wales Industrial Cluster has received funding from the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge to explore options to transition the region’s industries to net-zero, including by considering the role of low-carbon hydrogen.

I and my officials continue to work closely with colleagues across government to raise awareness of the interest in Wales in the role of low-carbon hydrogen in the transition to net-zero.


Written Question
Hydrogen: Wales
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether the Government plans to set a target for the deployment of hydrogen refueling infrastructure in Wales.

Answer (David T C Davies)

Whilst it is true that battery electric vehicles dominate the current zero emission vehicle market, we recognise the potential of hydrogen as another solution for zero emission transport, particularly for heavier road vehicles.

The fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and hydrogen refuelling market is in its infancy and government has taken steps to support its growth in the UK.

For example, the Hydrogen for Transport Programme, launched in 2017, set out the next steps to develop the UK hydrogen vehicle market, providing up to £23m of new grant funding to support the growth of refuelling infrastructure alongside the deployment of new vehicles. The programme awarded £1.2m to the Riversimple Clean Mobility Fleet initiative, led by the Welsh company, Riversimple, alongside Monmouthshire County Council.

The Department for Transport’s forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan will discuss the potential role for hydrogen in decarbonising the transport sector, including road transport.


Written Question
Sewage: Pollution Control
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the (a) scope and (b) terms of reference are of the taskforce on reducing the frequency and volumes of sewage discharges from storm overflows.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Storm Overflows Taskforce comprises representatives of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, CCW, Water UK and a water company. In addition, Blueprint for Water have been asked to nominate a representative to the group. I will ensure that the Rt Honourable Member receives a copy of the terms of reference. The Taskforce meets regularly and is developing proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows. The group is exploring further short-term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows. The first phase of the taskforce to develop short term actions runs until November 2020. The second phase, to develop proposals and mechanisms to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows, will report in spring 2021. No timescale for how long the Taskforce will operate has been set as yet.


Written Question
Sewage: Pollution Control
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how long he plans the taskforce on reducing the frequency and volumes of sewage discharges from storm overflows to be operational for.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Storm Overflows Taskforce comprises representatives of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, CCW, Water UK and a water company. In addition, Blueprint for Water have been asked to nominate a representative to the group. I will ensure that the Rt Honourable Member receives a copy of the terms of reference. The Taskforce meets regularly and is developing proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows. The group is exploring further short-term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows. The first phase of the taskforce to develop short term actions runs until November 2020. The second phase, to develop proposals and mechanisms to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows, will report in spring 2021. No timescale for how long the Taskforce will operate has been set as yet.


Written Question
Sewage: Pollution Control
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the terms of reference of the taskforce reviewing sewage pollution from storm overflows.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Storm Overflows Taskforce comprises representatives of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, CCW, Water UK and a water company. In addition, Blueprint for Water have been asked to nominate a representative to the group. I will ensure that the Rt Honourable Member receives a copy of the terms of reference. The Taskforce meets regularly and is developing proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows. The group is exploring further short-term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows. The first phase of the taskforce to develop short term actions runs until November 2020. The second phase, to develop proposals and mechanisms to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows, will report in spring 2021. No timescale for how long the Taskforce will operate has been set as yet.


Written Question
Sewage: Pollution Control
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the membership of the taskforce reviewing sewage pollution from storm overflows.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Storm Overflows Taskforce comprises representatives of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, CCW, Water UK and a water company. In addition, Blueprint for Water have been asked to nominate a representative to the group. I will ensure that the Rt Honourable Member receives a copy of the terms of reference. The Taskforce meets regularly and is developing proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows. The group is exploring further short-term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows. The first phase of the taskforce to develop short term actions runs until November 2020. The second phase, to develop proposals and mechanisms to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows, will report in spring 2021. No timescale for how long the Taskforce will operate has been set as yet.


Written Question
Sewage: Pollution Control
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timescale is for the taskforce on reducing the frequency and volumes of sewage discharges from storm overflows to report.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Storm Overflows Taskforce comprises representatives of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, CCW, Water UK and a water company. In addition, Blueprint for Water have been asked to nominate a representative to the group. I will ensure that the Rt Honourable Member receives a copy of the terms of reference. The Taskforce meets regularly and is developing proposals to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows. The group is exploring further short-term actions water companies can take to accelerate progress on storm overflows. The first phase of the taskforce to develop short term actions runs until November 2020. The second phase, to develop proposals and mechanisms to reduce the frequency and volumes of spills from storm overflows, will report in spring 2021. No timescale for how long the Taskforce will operate has been set as yet.


Written Question
Aviation: Noise
11 Mar 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provisions are included in the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill 2019-20 to protect national parks and AONBs from aircraft noise.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to direct an airport, air navigation service provider or another body to take forward an airspace change that is considered necessary for the delivery of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Airspace Modernisation Strategy.

Any Airspace Change Proposals that are taken forward as a result will be covered by the department’s existing Air Navigation Guidance which is reflected in the CAA’s airspace change process. The guidance for this process states that, where practicable, it is desirable that airspace routes below 7,000 feet should seek to avoid flying over Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks.


Written Question
Aviation: Noise
11 Mar 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) scrutiny and (b) appeal mechanisms there are for the assessment of the effect of aircraft noise on (i) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and (ii) and National Parks.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The government expects airports to monitor the effect of aircraft noise on their surroundings, and to seek to address any specific concerns arising from it. There are no specific scrutiny arrangements or appeal mechanisms related to the assessment of aircraft noise on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Parks.

The airspace issues surrounding AONB and National Parks were considered in the department’s airspace and noise project. The outcome of this work was reflected in the Air Navigation Guidance 2017, which the department issued to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in October 2017.

The guidance requires the CAA to have regard to the statutory purposes of AONB and National Parks when considering proposals for airspace changes. When airspace changes are being considered, it is important that local circumstances, including community views on specific areas that should be avoided, are taken into account where possible. However, given the finite amount of airspace available, it will not always be possible to avoid overflying AONB and National Parks.


Written Question
Aviation: Noise
10 Mar 2020

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what statutory protections Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty receive against aircraft noise.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The airspace issues surrounding National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) were considered in the department’s airspace and noise project. The outcome of this work was reflected in the Air Navigation Guidance 2017, which the department issued to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in October 2017.

The guidance requires the CAA to have regard to the statutory purposes of National Parks and AONB when considering proposals for airspace changes. When airspace changes are being considered, it is important that local circumstances, including community views on specific areas that should be avoided, are taken into account where possible. However, given the finite amount of airspace available, it will not always be possible to avoid overflying National Parks or AONB.


Written Question
Teachers: Pay
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of increasing teacher starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022-23 on the recruitment and retention of teachers; how much new teachers in inner and outer London will receive in addition to that starting salary; and whether existing teachers will receive salary increases to ensure that their salary is above the new starting salary.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

We introduced the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy in January 2019. This highlighted evidence demonstrating the need to take significant action on starting salaries and early career pay over the medium term to address recruitment and retention challenges. By raising starting salaries for new teachers to £30,000, we are increasing the competitiveness of the early career pay framework, and ensuring the teaching profession is positioned at the top of the graduate labour market.

Our proposals include pay rises for all teachers, and new starters after 2022 will not ‘overtake’ existing teachers. London weighting will continue, providing a salary uplift for teachers within the London areas. These proposals will be put forward in our evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body. We have asked them in the remit letter to consider how best to design the overall pay structure, alongside the move to a significantly higher starting salary, to best support recruitment and retention to the profession. This evidence will be published in due course.


Written Question
Schools: Finance
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the projected budget is for schools in the (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21, (c) 2021-22 and (d) 2022-23 academic years.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The attached table shows the total value of the core schools budget each year.


Written Question
Schools: Finance
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the schools budget in cash terms in each year (a) since 1997 and (b) until 2022-23 .

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The table below shows the value of the core schools budget each year since 2015-16:

Year

Core schools budget (in billions of pounds)

2015-16

39.6

2016-17

40.1

2017-18

40.9

2018-19

42.4

2019-20

43.5

2020-21

47.6

2021-22

49.8

2022-23

52.2

The figures for 2020-21 to 2022-23 include the £1.5 billion per year that the Department will provide to fund additional pension costs for teachers.

Changes to the school funding system mean that the Department does not have comparable figures for years before 2015-16.



Written Question
Pupils: Per Capita Costs
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether per pupil funding will be the highest ever in real terms in 2022-23.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The increases in school funding announced at the 2019 Spending Round will mean the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies have gone on record as saying that this settlement will restore real terms per pupil funding to previous levels.

This settlement also means that next year alone school funding will increase by 5%. This means that, under the national funding formula, every school in the country will attract at least a real terms increase in per pupil funding.


Written Question
Children: Social Services
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children were (a) looked-after and (b) assessed as being in need by local authority children's services rated (i) inadequate, (ii) requires improvement, (iii) good and (iv) outstanding in each year since 1997.

Answer (Michelle Donelan)

This is a matter for Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to my right hon. Friend and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Written Question
Children: Social Services
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the initial Ofsted ratings were for local authority children’s services; and what the most recent Ofsted rating was for each of those authorities.

Answer (Michelle Donelan)

The attached table includes inspection dates and Ofsted ratings for local authority children’s services under the previous Single Inspection Framework and the current Inspections of Local Authority Children’s Service framework. In recent years, we have seen an improvement in the performance of local authority children’s social care services, with 48% of local authorities now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compared to 36% at the end of 2017.


Written Question
Children: Social Services
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) looked after children and (b) children in need there are by (i) local authority and (ii) parliamentary constituency in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answer (Michelle Donelan)

The latest figures on children looked after by local authority were published in the local authority tables (Table LAA1) of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018. The 2018/19 statistics on children looked after will be released on 5 December 2019.

The latest figures on children in need by local authority were published on 31 October 2019, in the statistical release ‘Characteristics of children in need: 2018 to 2019’, which is available at : https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2018-to-2019. Table B1 shows the number of children in need at 31 March by local authority (column S).

The department does not collect information on looked after children or children in need by Parliamentary constituency.


Written Question
Children: Social Services
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of ending independent inspections of local authority children's services on the effectiveness of the safeguarding of young people by those services.

Answer (Michelle Donelan)

A uniquely independent and balanced assessment of all local authority children’s social care departments is provided by Ofsted and, as such, the inspectorate is an important driver of standards and accountability in the system. Where Ofsted inspectors use their powers to take a focussed look at the lived experience of children in a given area, and find a local authority is failing (‘inadequate’) to protect children or promote their welfare, the government is then able to take quick and decisive action to intervene and make services safe as quickly and decisively as possible. In recent years, we have seen an improvement in the performance of local authority children’s social care services, with 48% of local authorities now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compared to 36% at the end of 2017.


Written Question
Children: Day Care
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual cost to the public purse would be of the provision of 30 hours free childcare a week to (a) 0 to 1 year-olds (b) 1 to 2 year-olds (c) 2 to 3 year-olds, (d) 3 and 4 year-olds; and what assessment he has made of the capacity of nurseries to extend childcare provision to each of those age groups.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.


Written Question
Education: Standards
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children were in (a) early years settings, (b) primary schools, (c) secondary schools and (d) further education rated (i) inadequate, (ii) requires improvement, (iii) good and (iv) outstanding by Ofsted in each year since 1997.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The information detailed below on early years settings, primary and secondary schools, and further education is available.

The latest Ofsted data for early years settings cover the period from 2011-2014 and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-march-2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/official-statistics-early-years-and-childcare-registered-providers-inspections-and-outcomes.

The Department for Education only collects data on the number of children benefiting from free funded early education and holds no data on all children in early years settings.

The latest Ofsted data on Primary and Secondary school inspection data (which covers the period from 2010-2019) can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/maintained-schools-and-academies-inspections-and-outcomes-official-statistics.

Ofsted changed their methodology in 2018 and the latest statistics are based on the new methodology. Information on the changes made can be found here :

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/changes-to-ofsteds-statistical-reporting-of-inspection-outcomes-for-state-funded-schools-an-analysis-of-the-changes.

The latest Ofsted data on the further education inspection ratings (covering the period from 2013 to 2019) can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/further-education-and-skills-inspection-outcomes.

Due to differences between the data sets of each area, and the time scales covered, data since 1997 for each area requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.


Written Question
Private Education: Children in Care
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) looked after children and (b) children in need are on the roll of independent schools.

Answer (Michelle Donelan)

3,372 looked after children were on the roll of independent schools in January 2019, according to the most recent School Level Annual School Census figures. Through our Board School Partnerships initiative, we are encouraging local authorities to be more proactive in this field.

The department does not collect information in the school census on the number of children in need in independent schools.


Written Question
Children: Day Care
5 Nov 2019

Questioner: Philip Dunne

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of extending the current system of 15 hours of free childcare for all three and four year olds to include an additional 15 hours for three and four year olds whose parents are in work.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Since September 2017, 3- and 4-year old children of working parents have been able to access an additional 15 hours free childcare, on top of the universal 15 hours entitlement. Details of this expenditure can be found in the Dedicated Schools Grant Allocations tables, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2019-to-2020.