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Written Question
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Public Consultation
19 Jul 2021

Questioner: Ruth Cadbury (LAB - Brentford and Isleworth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to improve the engagement rate with consultations run by his Department.

Answered by Eddie Hughes

The Department is committed to seeking and listening to people's views. Consultations are an important part of how we do this. Thousands of people have responded to our consultations in the past year, including more than 44,000 responses to the Planning for the Future consultation.

Like other Departments that have invested in making it easier for citizens to play a part in policy-making, such as the Ministry of Justice, from January 2021 we began using the Citizen Space platform for consultation activities. Citizen Space makes public participation easier and simpler for respondents. We are also publishing our responses online and Citizen Space will make this even easier. People expect excellent digital services from government. Using Citizen Space is helping us to ensure this is true of participating in consultations.


Written Question
Climate Change
14 Jul 2021

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno (LDEM - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the UK is prepared for sustained periods of unusually high temperatures.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

Adapting to current and predicted changes to our climate is vital across the economy, including preparing for extremes. There are a range of activities we are taking across government to manage and prepare for the impacts of high temperatures, including in the health and built environment sectors. These include adapting our health systems to protect people against the impacts of overheating, such as ensuring all clinical areas in NHS Trusts have appropriate thermal monitoring.

The Heatwave Plan for England aims to protect public health from heat-related harms and is supported by the Heat-Health Alert Early Warning System. This is run by Public Health England (PHE) in collaboration with the Met Office. These form part of the Heatwave and Summer preparedness programme, led by PHE, which became operational on 1 June 2021. Heat-Health Alerts are cascaded through the health and care system, including National Health Service providers and commissioners, social care and local government.

The Extreme Heat National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) was also launched on 1 June 2021 to warn the public and emergency responders whenever a severe or prolonged hot weather episode is forecast.

Overheating in buildings has been highlighted as a key risk for the health and productivity of people in the United Kingdom. Through the Future Buildings Standard consultation, the Government, led by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has proposed a new overheating mitigation requirement to reduce the risk of overheating in new residential buildings. The Future Buildings Standard consultation was launched on 19 January 2021 and closed on 13 April 2021. We plan to regulate later this year.

Defra, its agencies and partners are also preparing for the impacts of climate change on the natural environment, including from high temperatures. For example, Natural England and the RSPB’s updated Adaptation Manual (2020) addresses issues associated with high temperatures for freshwater species and habitats, and the role of riparian trees in keeping rivers cool.


Written Question
Telecommunications: Infrastructure
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the legal fees paid by local authorities that are in dispute with telecommunication companies regarding site rental income relating to the Electronic Communication Code.

Answered by Luke Hall

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.


Written Question
Telecommunications: Local Government
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of revenues to local authorities for the provision of site rental for telecommunications infrastructure for each of the next five years.

Answered by Luke Hall

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.


Written Question
Telecommunications: Local Government
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will list the annual revenues to local authorities in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland for the provision of sites for telecommunications infrastructure, for each of the last five years.

Answered by Luke Hall

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.


Written Question
Telecommunications: Local Government
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what meetings (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with other Government departments on the effect of reduced rental income to local authorities from site provisions for telecommunications infrastructure.

Answered by Luke Hall

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.


Written Question
Telecommunications: Local Government
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Steve Reed (LAB - Croydon North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Electronic Communication Code on local authority revenues.

Answered by Luke Hall

The Electronic Communications Code (ECC) is the legal framework underpinning rights to install and maintain digital communications infrastructure on public and private land. The Code was substantially reformed in 2017 and a key aim of those reforms was to make it cheaper and easier for digital infrastructure to be deployed, maintained and upgraded. Government recognised that this would mean site providers receiving lower payments for allowing their land or buildings to be used for these purposes than had previously been the case. However, these changes were only introduced following an extensive period of consultation and research, and were considered necessary to reduce operator costs and encourage the industry investment required for the UK to get the digital communications infrastructure it needs. The initial impact assessment for the ECC has been published at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524895/ECC_Impact_Assessment.pdf.

The majority of Code agreements are negotiated by mutual consent between operators and site providers. Where acceptable terms cannot be agreed operators may apply to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of any disputed matter, including the financial terms. In these cases, the Tribunal will have regard to the statutory valuation regime contained within the Code in determining the amount that should be paid. The Government has recently consulted on whether further changes to the Code are needed and is currently considering the responses to that consultation.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government collects and publishes annual data returns from local authorities in England. These figures can be found in the individual local authority data at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing. We do not collect data on the ECC or revenue from site rentals for telecommunications infrastructure in these returns. The financial position of councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved administration


Ministers and officials from MHCLG have regular discussions with counterparts in other government departments on matters relating to local government.


Written Question
Housing: Construction
8 Mar 2021

Questioner: Mike Amesbury (LAB - Weaver Vale)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish further details of the tax on the UK residential property development sector, announced on 10 February 2021.

Answered by Jesse Norman

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government made an oral statement to the House of Commons on building safety on 10 February 2021.

That statement announced plans to introduce a new tax for the UK residential property development sector in 2022, to ensure the largest developers make a fair contribution to cladding remediation costs.

The details of the policy design will be made public as soon as possible, and the Government will begin the consultation process in due course, to facilitate introduction for 2022.


Written Question
Pre-school Education: Coronavirus
19 Jan 2021

Questioner: Barry Sheerman (LAB - Huddersfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support the Government will provide to (a) early years and (b) other childcare settings that have to close for safety reasons during the covid-19 outbreak; and what data his Department has collected on whether parents are withdrawing children from early years settings due to safety concerns.

Answered by Vicky Ford

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have provided unprecedented support to the early years sector and other childcare settings by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements, making grants and loans available, ensuring early years providers can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for their non-government funded income and ensuring that childminders can access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). We continue to ensure that providers can access the support available.

On 17 December 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that both the CJRS and SEISS will be extended to April 2021. We have also updated the CJRS guidance for early years so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff (who were on payroll on or before 30 October) and who are not required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Where early years providers are struggling financially, they may be eligible to access support for the Additional Restrictions Grant (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant) if not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-open-businesses).

We have worked in consultation with the early years sector in developing advice to support settings. Advice from Public Health England remains that the risk of transmission and infection is low if early years settings follow the system of controls, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments.

The department is working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure rapid asymptomatic testing for all early years staff, to support the announcement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 4 January 2021 for early years settings to remain fully open during the current lockdown.

We regularly commission parent polls, conducted via Ipsos MORI, to assess parental intentions with regard to the use of early years childcare, the latest published parent poll stats from wave 5 in September 2020 are published here: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/childcare-and-home-learning-families-0-4-year-olds-during-covid-19-0. Our most recent poll was conducted during the second lockdown in November and early December 2020. A further parent poll is due to be conducted in coming weeks. We will publish the results of these in due course.

We also stay in regular contact with the early years sector and regularly and closely monitor attendance within settings. We will keep under constant review whether further action is needed.


Written Question
Housing: Construction
24 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Berkeley (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, (1) what steps they are taking, and (2) what discussions have taken place between Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport, to ensure that the Planning for the Future White paper aligns with the Transport Decarbonisation Plan; and what consideration they have given to ensuring that plans for new residential developments minimise car dependence.

Answered by Lord Greenhalgh

The Government believes in the importance of decarbonisation. That is why the National Planning Policy Framework already promotes sustainable transport and makes clear that priority should be given to pedestrian and cycle movements and to facilitating access to high quality public transport. Alongside this, the Planning for the Future White Paper also made clear that our planning reforms will seek to reduce our reliance on carbon-intensive modes of transport and it acknowledges the need for the wider reform to be set within our drive towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Following extensive engagement the consultation closed on 29 October. We are considering the consultation responses received and will publish a response in due course.


Written Question
Economic Situation: Coronavirus
2 Jun 2020

Questioner: Baroness Drake (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further initiatives they will put in place to build and maintain a consensus with Parliament, devolved administrations and local governments on how the national interests can best be met as the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted and they seek to rebuild the economy.

Answered by Lord True

Protecting the health and safety of the public is, and must always be, our top priority. The UK Government is working with the Devolved Administrations and local government to keep the whole of the UK safe. For example, back to work guidance documents have been developed in consultation with approximately 250 businesses, unions, industry leaders as well as the Devolved Administrations.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is working with local resilience forums to coordinate the response of local public?services, and?provide?support to the most vulnerable in our communities. The department has published guidance here for local councils during the coronavirus outbreak:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-government

It is vital that Parliament can continue to scrutinise the Government and legislate to support the coronavirus response.


Written Question
Parking
10 Mar 2020

Questioner: Elliot Colburn (CON - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to update Government guidance to local authorities on local parking strategies; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Simon Clarke

The Government does not have current plans to update guidance on on-street parking.

The Government did support a private members bill to improve the situation for motorists in relation to private parking companies. The Parking (Code of Practice) Act received Royal Assent in 2019. This Act will lead to the creation of an independent code of practice for private parking companies and a “one-stop-shop” for parking appeals.

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government laid an advisory Code of Practice for private parking companies in the House of Commons Library. On 3 November 2019, the government announced that the British Standards Institution (BSI) will write the Code in consultation with consumer and industry groups. The Government has committed to developing the final code this year, and will carry out a full public consultation, to give the parking industry, the public and other interested parties the opportunity to have a say.


Written Question
Veterans: Housing and Mental Health Services
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Tracey Crouch (CON - Chatham and Aylesford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps he has taken to support veterans through (a) housing and (b) mental health services.

Answered by Johnny Mercer

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) works closely with both the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that veterans feel supported on these issues. However, the MOD does not have primary responsibility for housing veterans or treating their mental health.

The MOD strongly believes that no-one should be homeless, least of all someone who has served their country. As part of the Strategy for our Veterans and its consultation, the Government has made clear its commitment to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness and ensuring that all veterans have a secure place to live: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ strategy-for-our-veterans. There is, however, no substantive evidence to suggest that veterans are over-represented in the homeless population.

The MOD works with other service providers to ensure there is a coordinated and structured approach to homelessness amongst the small minority of veterans who are without homes. Our aim is both to prevent new Service leavers becoming homeless and to provide an effective safety net for existing homeless veterans. Former Service personnel with urgent housing needs are always given high priority for social housing.

Service personnel can also be provided with a certificate of cessation six months before they leave the Armed Forces. The certificate contains the date Service personnel stop being entitled to Service accommodation and can be considered by local authorities as evidence of impending homelessness, arising from cessation of entitlement to Service accommodation. If Service personnel think they will become homeless they can show the certificate to their Local Authority, which will then conduct an assessment of individual housing needs.

For those veterans who may be experiencing mental health difficulties, in addition to their mainstream mental health services NHS England has commissioned two bespoke services. The first is the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) which supports serving personnel who need additional support as they are leaving the Armed Forces and veterans who have mental health issues. The TILS is also the entry point to the Complex Treatment Service (CTS), the second service commissioned by NHS England. The CTS is able to provide a range of more intensive care and treatment for veterans with military-related complex mental health difficulties, many of whom will have experienced trauma.

Finally, the new Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA) in the Cabinet Office has been created to ensure the full power of Government is harnessed to help veterans. The OVA will use the convening power of the Cabinet Office within Whitehall to ensure better coordination of support. This will include helping veterans access services, such as training, housing, healthcare and mental health services. The OVA will also be a champion for veterans. On 16 October 2019 the Cabinet Office announced the appointment of retired Colonel David Richmond CBE, a former Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and subsequently became the Recovery Director at Help for Heroes, to lead the OVA. One of the first tasks of the OVA will be to consider responses to the Strategy for our Veterans public consultation and announce a detailed work programme and implementation plan to take the Strategy forward across the various Government Departments with an interest in veterans’ issues.


Written Question
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Public Consultation
8 Oct 2019

Questioner: Clive Betts (LAB - Sheffield South East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which of his Department's consultations have not been (a) completed and (b) analysed and responded to; and on what date those consultations (a) commenced, (b) closed and (c) are expected to report.

Answered by Jake Berry

As set out on Gov.uk, MHCLG currently has 33 live consultations. Of these, 25 consultations have closed and the Department intends to respond in due course. 8 consultations are open. They are:

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: call for evidence

A new deal for renting: resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants

The Future Homes Standard: Changes to Part L and Part F of the Buildings Regulations for new dwellings

Review of local authority financial reporting and external audit: call for views

Local Government Finance Settlement 2020 to 2021: technical consultation

Rogue landlord database reform

Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats

Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage


Written Question
Public Lavatories: Disability
25 Jul 2019

Questioner: Jim Cunningham

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of changing places toilets with hoist and a bench throughout the UK.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage

In December 2018, we announced £2 million funding for National Health Service trusts in England to install Changing Places facilities in hospitals and significantly improve provision. From 31 May 2019, NHS trusts can bid for this funding, on a matched basis.

We are supportive of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation which ran from 12 May 2019 to 22 July 2019 and sought views on how to increase provision of Changing Places toilets in specific new, large buildings commonly used by the public, as well as those undergoing building works. They propose to introduce a mandatory requirement for Changing Places in Building Regulations for some specific new, large buildings.