Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

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Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 24 March 2017
Made by: Lord Henley (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

State Pension age: Independent Reports

My honourable Friend The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions (Richard Harrington MP) has made the following Written Statement.

In order to keep the future State Pension sustainable and fair for future generations, the Government introduced a regular and structured method for considering future changes in the State Pension age as part of the Pension Act 2014, section 27.

In line with this method, in November 2016 the Government commissioned the Government Actuary to examine two scenarios for specified proportions (32.0% and 33.3%) that reflect the core principle announced in the Autumn Statement 2013 that people should spend ‘up to one third’ of their adult life drawing a State Pension.

The Government also commissioned an Independent Review of State Pension age to look into wider appropriate factors around reviewing the State Pension age, led by John Cridland CBE.

Today I will lay both these reports before Parliament, and would like to take this opportunity to record my thanks to the Government Actuary and John Cridland and their respective teams for their contributions.

The Government will now consider both of these reports very carefully and will present its first Review of the State Pension age to Parliament in May 2017. The Review will be forward looking and will not recommend State Pension age changes to be made before 2028. Any proposed changes would be brought for Parliamentary consideration and would require primary legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS552
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 24 March 2017
Made by: Richard Harrington (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions)
Commons

State Pension age: Independent Reports

In order to keep the future State Pension sustainable and fair for future generations, the Government introduced a regular and structured method for considering future changes in the State Pension age as part of the Pension Act 2014, section 27.

In line with this method, in November 2016 the Government commissioned the Government Actuary to examine two scenarios for specified proportions (32.0% and 33.3%) that reflect the core principle announced in the Autumn Statement 2013 that people should spend ‘up to one third’ of their adult life drawing a State Pension.

The Government also commissioned an Independent Review of State Pension age to look into wider appropriate factors around reviewing the State Pension age, led by John Cridland CBE.

Today I will lay both these reports before Parliament, and would like to take this opportunity to record my thanks to the Government Actuary and John Cridland and their respective teams for their contributions.

The Government will now consider both of these reports very carefully and will present its first Review of the State Pension age to Parliament in May 2017. The Review will be forward looking and will not recommend State Pension age changes to be made before 2028. Any proposed changes would be brought for Parliamentary consideration and would require primary legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS554
WS
Home Office
Made on: 22 March 2017
Made by: Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme – Arrangements

Currently those arriving through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) are granted Humanitarian Protection and five years’ limited leave to remain. This entitles individuals to broadly the same benefits as British Citizens. When the Syrian VPRS was launched in March 2014, it was decided that it was the most appropriate form of leave to grant for a number of reasons, including the processes in place at the time and the need to upscale quickly to respond to the urgent humanitarian situation.

At the beginning of the scheme, granting Humanitarian Protection allowed us to quickly assist and resettle the most vulnerable. As we have previously said, we have kept the policy under active review. We have listened to those who have raised concerns about the consequences, for those we resettle to the UK, of granting Humanitarian Protection rather than Refugee Leave. We have also taken the time to work through the policy and practical implementation issues in detail.

The decision to grant Humanitarian Protection was the right one at that time. However, while Humanitarian Protection recognises the need an individual has for international protection, it does not carry the same entitlements as refugee status, in particular, access to particular benefits, swifter access to student support for Higher Education and the same travel documents as those granted refugee status. Furthermore, we recognise that this policy is at odds with what happens to those Syrians who claim asylum in the UK and who are granted refugee status.

We think it is right to change the policy and now is the right time to make this change. Therefore, with effect from 1 July 2017, we will be granting those admitted under the VPRS and the VCRS refugee status and five years’ limited leave. Those who have been resettled under these programmes before this date will be given the opportunity to make a request to change their status from Humanitarian Protection to refugee status. We will publish more information on how individuals can do this in due course.

We can be proud of the contribution the UK is making to support refugees and we believe that this policy change better reflects the situation of those being resettled to the UK and the additional entitlements attached to refugee status will help these vulnerable people make the best start to their life in the UK.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS553
WS
Home Office
Made on: 22 March 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme – Arrangements

My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Amber Rudd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Currently those arriving through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS) are granted Humanitarian Protection and five years’ limited leave to remain. This entitles individuals to broadly the same benefits as British Citizens. When the Syrian VPRS was launched in March 2014, it was decided that it was the most appropriate form of leave to grant for a number of reasons, including the processes in place at the time and the need to upscale quickly to respond to the urgent humanitarian situation.

At the beginning of the scheme, granting Humanitarian Protection allowed us to quickly assist and resettle the most vulnerable. As we have previously said, we have kept the policy under active review. We have listened to those who have raised concerns about the consequences, for those we resettle to the UK, of granting Humanitarian Protection rather than Refugee Leave. We have also taken the time to work through the policy and practical implementation issues in detail.

The decision to grant Humanitarian Protection was the right one at that time. However, while Humanitarian Protection recognises the need an individual has for international protection, it does not carry the same entitlements as refugee status, in particular, access to particular benefits, swifter access to student support for Higher Education and the same travel documents as those granted refugee status. Furthermore, we recognise that this policy is at odds with what happens to those Syrians who claim asylum in the UK and who are granted refugee status.

We think it is right to change the policy and now is the right time to make this change. Therefore, with effect from 1 July 2017, we will be granting those admitted under the VPRS and the VCRS refugee status and five years’ limited leave. Those who have been resettled under these programmes before this date will be given the opportunity to make a request to change their status from Humanitarian Protection to refugee status. We will publish more information on how individuals can do this in due course.

We can be proud of the contribution the UK is making to support refugees and we believe that this policy change better reflects the situation of those being resettled to the UK and the additional entitlements attached to refugee status will help these vulnerable people make the best start to their life in the UK.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS551
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 22 March 2017
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson, Ministry of Justice)
Lords

Prison Update

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Elizabeth Truss) has made the following Written Statement.

'Social reform is at the heart of this government’s programme. In November 2016 I set out plans for the most far-reaching reform of our prisons in a generation in my White Paper on Prison Safety and Reform. Last month I introduced the Prison and Courts Bill, which will transform the lives of offenders and put victims at the heart of the justice system, helping to create a safer and better society.

As well as putting in place robust measures to improve safety and performance, and a dedicated staff recruitment and development programme, I am investing £1.3 billion in a modern, fit-for purpose prison estate.

Today I can confirm that I will launch planning applications for a further four potential sites for prisons to be built in England and Wales: one new site in Yorkshire adjacent to HMP Full Sutton, one at Port Talbot, South Wales, and two further sites involving redevelopment of the existing prisons at HMP & YOI Rochester, and HMP & YOI Hindley. Final decisions on the new prisons will be subject to planning approvals, as well as value for money and affordability.

In addition, I can inform the House that construction has now begun on a new houseblock at HMP Stocken.

Following the commitments I made in the White Paper, I can also confirm that outline planning applications have been made to redevelop the sites at the former HMP Wellingborough and HMP & YOI Glen Parva.

In creating a modern prison estate, old and inefficient prisons will be closed and replaced by the new accommodation. A programme of valuation work will now begin to help inform further decisions about the estate. Announcements on prison closures will be made later in the year.

This progress underlines this Government’s commitment to reform the prison estate. If planning permission for the new sites is granted, together these measures would create thousands of modern, fit for purpose prison places, enabling us to close many of the old and overcrowded places standing in the way of real reform.'

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS550
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 22 March 2017
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Prison Update

Social reform is at the heart of this government’s programme. In November 2016 I set out plans for the most far-reaching reform of our prisons in a generation in my White Paper on Prison Safety and Reform. Last month I introduced the Prison and Courts Bill, which will transform the lives of offenders and put victims at the heart of the justice system, helping to create a safer and better society.

As well as putting in place robust measures to improve safety and performance, and a dedicated staff recruitment and development programme, I am investing £1.3 billion in a modern, fit-for purpose prison estate.

Today I can confirm that I will launch planning applications for a further four potential sites for prisons to be built in England and Wales: one new site in Yorkshire adjacent to HMP Full Sutton, one at Port Talbot, South Wales, and two further sites involving redevelopment of the existing prisons at HMP & YOI Rochester, and HMP & YOI Hindley. Final decisions on the new prisons will be subject to planning approvals, as well as value for money and affordability.

In addition, I can inform the House that construction has now begun on a new houseblock at HMP Stocken.

Following the commitments I made in the White Paper, I can also confirm that outline planning applications have been made to redevelop the sites at the former HMP Wellingborough and HMP & YOI Glen Parva.

In creating a modern prison estate, old and inefficient prisons will be closed and replaced by the new accommodation. A programme of valuation work will now begin to help inform further decisions about the estate. Announcements on prison closures will be made later in the year.

This progress underlines this Government’s commitment to reform the prison estate. If planning permission for the new sites is granted, together these measures would create thousands of modern, fit for purpose prison places, enabling us to close many of the old and overcrowded places standing in the way of real reform.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS552
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to the UK

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

Today the government announced there will be changes to aviation security measures for selected inbound flights to the United Kingdom. The House will be aware that the United States Government made a similar announcement earlier today regarding flights to the United States and we have been in close contact with them to fully understand their position.

In conjunction with our international partners and the aviation industry, the UK government keeps aviation security under constant review. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and at all times the safety and security of the public is our primary concern. We will not hesitate to put in place measures we believe are necessary, effective and proportionate.

Under the new arrangements, phones, laptops and tablets larger than; Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm will not be allowed in the cabin on selected flights to the UK from the countries affected. Most smart phones fall within these limits and will continue to be allowed on board. However, devices larger than these dimensions may not be carried in the cabin. This is in addition to other existing security arrangements. This will apply to inbound flights to the UK from the following locations: Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

Passengers are therefore advised to check online with their airline for further details.

We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact. Our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. These new measures apply to flights into the UK and we are not currently advising against flying to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel plans should contact their airline for further information. More information can be found on the Department for Transport website and the travelling public should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice pages on GOV.UK.

I know the House will recognise that we face a constantly evolving threat from terrorism and must respond accordingly to ensure the protection of the public against those who would do us harm. The update we are making to our security measures is an important part of that process.

We remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS549
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to the UK

Today the government announced there will be changes to aviation security measures for selected inbound flights to the United Kingdom. The House will be aware that the United States Government made a similar announcement earlier today regarding flights to the United States and we have been in close contact with them to fully understand their position.

In conjunction with our international partners and the aviation industry, the UK government keeps aviation security under constant review. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and at all times the safety and security of the public is our primary concern. We will not hesitate to put in place measures we believe are necessary, effective and proportionate.

Under the new arrangements, phones, laptops and tablets larger than; Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm will not be allowed in the cabin on selected flights to the UK from the countries affected. Most smart phones fall within these limits and will continue to be allowed on board. However, devices larger than these dimensions may not be carried in the cabin. This is in addition to other existing security arrangements. This will apply to inbound flights to the UK from the following locations: Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

Passengers are therefore advised to check online with their airline for further details.

We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact. Our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. These new measures apply to flights into the UK and we are not currently advising against flying to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel plans should contact their airline for further information. More information can be found on the Department for Transport website and the travelling public should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice pages on GOV.UK.

I know the House will recognise that we face a constantly evolving threat from terrorism and must respond accordingly to ensure the protection of the public against those who would do us harm. The update we are making to our security measures is an important part of that process.

We remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS551
WS
Department of Health
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

The Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (David Mowat) has made the following statement:

I have laid before Parliament the Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18, in accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This outlines our objectives for NHS England and sets direction for the NHS as a whole. It also confirms NHS England’s budget for the coming year, including a 1.4% real terms increase.

NHS England is responsible for arranging the provision of health services in England. Building on the current multi-year mandate, which came into effect on 1 April 2016 and set long term objectives and goals to 2020, the renewed mandate focuses on the same seven high-level objectives:

  • to improve local and national health outcomes, and reduce health inequalities, through better commissioning;
  • to help create the safest, highest quality health and care service;
  • to balance the NHS budget and improve efficiency and productivity;
  • to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives;
  • to improve and maintain performance against core standards;
  • to improve out-of-hospital care; and
  • to support research, innovation and growth.

The mandate sets out the key annual deliverables in each area to achieve the 2020 goals.

The Government continues to support the NHS’s own Five Year Forward View blueprint for transforming services to respond to the challenges of the future. The Government has committed to a £10 billion increase, over and above inflation, in NHS funding by 2020-21. In parallel, it is vital that the NHS delivers the productivity and efficiency gains set out in the Five Year Forward View to live within its means and that NHS England ensures financial balance in the NHS, alongside NHS Improvement.

Core to the mandate is delivery of the NHS’s A&E turnaround plan to return the majority of Trusts to the 95% standard by the end of the financial year. This will require close working with Local Authorities to reduce delayed discharges from hospital, following the Government’s injection of additional funding for social care in the Spring Budget 2017; rolling out new models for urgent and emergency care to ensure patients receive care in the safest and most appropriate setting; and streamlining governance and oversight of A&E across NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Government is investing more in mental health than ever before to support delivery of the ambitious goal, set out in the mandate, of 1 million more people with mental health conditions to access services by 2020. This includes embedding the first ever access and waiting times standards for talking therapies, eating disorders and early intervention in psychosis; and developing and implementing a five year improvement plan for crisis and acute care.

The Five Year Forward View set an ambitious vision for transforming out of hospital care for patients, including improving access to general practice; greater integration of primary, community and social care to provide personalised care for patients; rolling out new models of care across the population; and achieving early diagnosis, service and improved outcomes for cancer patients.

In the coming weeks, NHS England will set out its plan for delivering the Five Year Forward View, which will summarise progress to date and set out a plan for future delivery, including the next stage of development for Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints and progress towards establishing Accountable Care Organisations. 2017-18 should be the year in which we see concrete progress on these local Sustainability and Transformation Plans, with NHS England supporting local leaders to drive improvement in outcomes. As part of this effort, the Government has already made £325m of capital funding available for the best STPs over the next three years. In the autumn a further round of local proposals will be considered.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2016-17 to take account of changes to NHS England’s budget, including for primary care transformation funding and the move to market rents by NHS Property Services.

Copies of the 2017-18 mandate and revised 2016-17 mandate are attached.

NHS Mandate 2017-18 (PDF Document, 492.14 KB)
NHS Mandate 2016-17 (Revised) (PDF Document, 502.74 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS547
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

ROTHERHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Communites and Local Govenment (Sajid Javid) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In February 2015, the Government appointed five Commissioners to exercise all executive functions and some non-executive functions at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. It followed critical reports by Baroness Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey, which found significant failings at the Council contributing to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

On 9 February 2017, I announced my intention, after careful consideration of the recommendation of the Commissioner team, to return six service areas to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – adult social care and the Council’s partnership with the NHS, external partnerships, economic growth, town centre, grounds maintenance and audit. On the same day, representations were invited from the Authority regarding this intention. I have now considered the representations, including from the Leader and the Chief Executive, and I am satisfied that the Council is now able to exercise functions relating to these service areas in compliance with the best value duty, and that the people of Rotherham can have confidence that this will be the case.

The Leader and the Chief Executive also made representations for the return of the power to appoint Council representatives to external bodies. The return of this power was also recommended by the Lead Commissioner in his letter of 10 February. I am also satisfied that the Council is able to exercise this function in accordance with the best value duty.

Therefore, today I am exercising my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to return seven functions to the Council. The Education Secretary and I have issued further Directions amending the Directions issued on 13 December 2016 to do so. Handing back these powers increases democratic control and is a significant milestone for the Council, which has demonstrated steady progress in its improvement journey.

With effect from 21 March, Councillors will be responsible for decision making in these seven areas. The Commissioners will continue to provide oversight on these areas as well as the set of functions returned last year and ensure that they are exercised in accordance with the statutory best value duty. Commissioners also continue to retain powers in additional service areas including children’s services (including all services relating to child sexual exploitation) as well as the appointment of statutory officers.

Sir Derek Myers, the lead Commissioner, will also be stepping down at the end of this month having overseen the return of three quarters of services areas to the Council over a two year period. I am grateful for the leadership he has shown in taking a failing authority in hand, and steering it through a rapid and wide-ranging improvement journey. As there is now a reduced role for Commissioners, I will not be appointing any additional Commissioners. Commissioner Ney will become Rotherham’s Lead Commissioner with effect from 1 April 2017.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS548
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Commons

ROTHERHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

In February 2015, the Government appointed five Commissioners to exercise all executive functions and some non-executive functions at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. It followed critical reports by Baroness Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey, which found significant failings at the Council contributing to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

On 9 February 2017, I announced my intention, after careful consideration of the recommendation of the Commissioner team, to return six service areas to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – adult social care and the Council’s partnership with the NHS, external partnerships, economic growth, town centre, grounds maintenance and audit. On the same day, representations were invited from the Authority regarding this intention. I have now considered the representations, including from the Leader and the Chief Executive, and I am satisfied that the Council is now able to exercise functions relating to these service areas in compliance with the best value duty, and that the people of Rotherham can have confidence that this will be the case.

The Leader and the Chief Executive also made representations for the return of the power to appoint Council representatives to external bodies. The return of this power was also recommended by the Lead Commissioner in his letter of 10 February. I am also satisfied that the Council is able to exercise this function in accordance with the best value duty.

Therefore, today I am exercising my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to return seven functions to the Council. The Education Secretary and I have issued further Directions amending the Directions issued on 13 December 2016 to do so. Handing back these powers increases democratic control and is a significant milestone for the Council, which has demonstrated steady progress in its improvement journey.

With effect from 21 March, Councillors will be responsible for decision making in these seven areas. The Commissioners will continue to provide oversight on these areas as well as the set of functions returned last year and ensure that they are exercised in accordance with the statutory best value duty. Commissioners also continue to retain powers in additional service areas including children’s services (including all services relating to child sexual exploitation) as well as the appointment of statutory officers.

Sir Derek Myers, the lead Commissioner, will also be stepping down at the end of this month having overseen the return of three quarters of services areas to the Council over a two year period. I am grateful for the leadership he has shown in taking a failing authority in hand, and steering it through a rapid and wide-ranging improvement journey. As there is now a reduced role for Commissioners, I will not be appointing any additional Commissioners. Commissioner Ney will become Rotherham’s Lead Commissioner with effect from 1 April 2017.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS549
WS
Department of Health
Made on: 21 March 2017
Made by: David Mowat (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

The Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18

I have laid before Parliament the Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18, in accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This outlines our objectives for NHS England and sets direction for the NHS as a whole. It also confirms NHS England’s budget for the coming year, including a 1.4% real terms increase.

NHS England is responsible for arranging the provision of health services in England. Building on the current multi-year mandate, which came into effect on 1 April 2016 and set long term objectives and goals to 2020, the renewed mandate focuses on the same seven high-level objectives:

  • to improve local and national health outcomes, and reduce health inequalities, through better commissioning;
  • to help create the safest, highest quality health and care service;
  • to balance the NHS budget and improve efficiency and productivity;
  • to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives;
  • to improve and maintain performance against core standards;
  • to improve out-of-hospital care; and
  • to support research, innovation and growth.

The mandate sets out the key annual deliverables in each area to achieve the 2020 goals.

The Government continues to support the NHS’s own Five Year Forward View blueprint for transforming services to respond to the challenges of the future. The Government has committed to a £10 billion increase, over and above inflation, in NHS funding by 2020-21. In parallel, it is vital that the NHS delivers the productivity and efficiency gains set out in the Five Year Forward View to live within its means and that NHS England ensures financial balance in the NHS, alongside NHS Improvement.

Core to the mandate is delivery of the NHS’s A&E turnaround plan to return the majority of Trusts to the 95% standard by the end of the financial year. This will require close working with Local Authorities to reduce delayed discharges from hospital, following the Government’s injection of additional funding for social care in the Spring Budget 2017; rolling out new models for urgent and emergency care to ensure patients receive care in the safest and most appropriate setting; and streamlining governance and oversight of A&E across NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Government is investing more in mental health than ever before to support delivery of the ambitious goal, set out in the mandate, of 1 million more people with mental health conditions to access services by 2020. This includes embedding the first ever access and waiting times standards for talking therapies, eating disorders and early intervention in psychosis; and developing and implementing a five year improvement plan for crisis and acute care.

The Five Year Forward View set an ambitious vision for transforming out of hospital care for patients, including improving access to general practice; greater integration of primary, community and social care to provide personalised care for patients; rolling out new models of care across the population; and achieving early diagnosis, service and improved outcomes for cancer patients.

In the coming weeks, NHS England will set out its plan for delivering the Five Year Forward View, which will summarise progress to date and set out a plan for future delivery, including the next stage of development for Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints and progress towards establishing Accountable Care Organisations. 2017-18 should be the year in which we see concrete progress on these local Sustainability and Transformation Plans, with NHS England supporting local leaders to drive improvement in outcomes. As part of this effort, the Government has already made £325m of capital funding available for the best STPs over the next three years. In the autumn a further round of local proposals will be considered.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2016-17 to take account of changes to NHS England’s budget, including for primary care transformation funding and the move to market rents by NHS Property Services.

Copies of the 2017-18 mandate and revised 2016-17 mandate are attached.

NHS Mandate 2017-18 (PDF Document, 492.14 KB)
NHS Mandate 2016-17 (Revised) (PDF Document, 502.74 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS550
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

ECOFIN: 21 March 2017

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 21 March 2017. EU Finance Ministers will discuss the following items:

Early morning session

The Eurogroup President will brief Ministers on the outcomes of the 20 March meeting of the Eurogroup. Ministers will discuss the current economic situation. The European Commission will present its review of national provisions adopted in compliance with the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (the Fiscal Compact) conducted in accordance with Article 8 of the Fiscal Compact, followed by an exchange of views by Ministers.

Reduced VAT rate for electronically supplied publications (e-Publications)

Ministers will discuss political issues in relation to the proposal for a Council Directive regarding rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals. The Proposal would give Member States the ability to apply a reduced or zero VAT rate to e-publications and physical publications.

General Reverse Charge Mechanism

Ministers will discuss the political issues in relation to the General Reverse Charge Mechanism (GRCM). This is a proposal for an amendment to Council Directive 2006/112/ on the common system of value added tax to allow the temporary application of a GRCM to supplies of goods and services above a certain threshold, with the aim of combatting VAT fraud.

Current financial service legislative proposals

The Council Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Semester 2017:

a) 2017 Country Reports and In-Depth Reviews

b) Implementation of Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs)

Following a presentation by the Commission, Ministers will discuss the Country Reports published by the Commission on 22 February, including the assessment of CSR implementation and, where relevant, the framework of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on 17-18 March 2017 in Baden-Baden

The Presidency and the Commission will inform Ministers on the outcomes of the G20 meeting.

Any other business

a) European Defence Fund

The Commission will inform Ministers about the Commission’s European Defence Action Plan, focusing in particular on the launch of a European Defence Fund. This item was delayed from February ECOFIN.

b) Status of implementation of financial services legislation

The Commission will inform Ministers on the status of implementation of financial services legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS548
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe (The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury)
Lords

ECOFIN: 21 March 2017

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 21 March 2017. EU Finance Ministers will discuss the following items:

Early morning session

The Eurogroup President will brief Ministers on the outcomes of the 20 March meeting of the Eurogroup. Ministers will discuss the current economic situation. The European Commission will present its review of national provisions adopted in compliance with the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (the Fiscal Compact) conducted in accordance with Article 8 of the Fiscal Compact, followed by an exchange of views by Ministers.

Reduced VAT rate for electronically supplied publications (e-Publications)

Ministers will discuss political issues in relation to the proposal for a Council Directive regarding rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals. The Proposal would give Member States the ability to apply a reduced or zero VAT rate to e-publications and physical publications.

General Reverse Charge Mechanism

Ministers will discuss the political issues in relation to the General Reverse Charge Mechanism (GRCM). This is a proposal for an amendment to Council Directive 2006/112/ on the common system of value added tax to allow the temporary application of a GRCM to supplies of goods and services above a certain threshold, with the aim of combatting VAT fraud.

Current financial service legislative proposals

The Council Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Semester 2017:

a) 2017 Country Reports and In-Depth Reviews

b) Implementation of Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs)

Following a presentation by the Commission, Ministers will discuss the Country Reports published by the Commission on 22 February, including the assessment of CSR implementation and, where relevant, the framework of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on 17-18 March 2017 in Baden-Baden

The Presidency and the Commission will inform Ministers on the outcomes of the G20 meeting.

Any other business

a) European Defence Fund

The Commission will inform Ministers about the Commission’s European Defence Action Plan, focusing in particular on the launch of a European Defence Fund. This item was delayed from February ECOFIN.

b) Status of implementation of financial services legislation

The Commission will inform Ministers on the status of implementation of financial services legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS546
WS
Wales Office
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales )
Lords

UK Regional Investment

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement today:

In March 2016, the Government committed to begin discussions on a City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region. I can today inform the House that the Government has reached agreement with the Welsh Government and the four local authorities on a Heads of Terms City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region which will create in excess of 9,000 jobs and bring almost £1.3bn of investment to the region.

The Heads of Terms agreement paves the way for major infrastructure investment in the region, which seeks to support and further build on the area’s strengths including health, energy and manufacturing. The deal will help boost economic growth in the region by attracting new investors, giving local business the support they need to grow and increasing the available skills base.

The Deal will deliver almost £1.3bn of investment to the region. Central to this is £115.6m from the UK Government and £125.4m from the Welsh Government. Alongside local public sector funding this is projected to attract £637 million from the private sector. This funding package will be provided over a 15 year period, subject to the submission of detailed business cases.

The UK Government’s contribution to the fund will support investment in digital infrastructure and next generation technology, allowing the area to compete with some of the world’s best cities. It will also support a partnership with Tata Steel to establish an innovation and knowledge centre for steel which will focus on zero carbon steel making and the future sustainability of the industry.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Lord Henley (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Pension Schemes Bill

My honourable Friend The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions (Richard Harrington MP) has made the following Written Statement.

Today I will deposit in the House Libraries a memorandum on the application of Standing Order no 83L of the House of Commons Relating to Public Business to the Pension Schemes Bill, as amended. This memorandum sets out that there has been no material amendment at Commons Committee, i.e. the outcomes of the analysis remain precisely the same as on introduction.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS544
WS
Wales Office
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Alun Cairns (Secretary of State for Wales)
Commons

UK Regional Investment

In March 2016, the Government committed to begin discussions on a City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region. I can today inform the House that the Government has reached agreement with the Welsh Government and the four local authorities on a Heads of Terms City Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region which will create in excess of 9,000 jobs and bring almost £1.3bn of investment to the region.

The Heads of Terms agreement paves the way for major infrastructure investment in the region, which seeks to support and further build on the area’s strengths including health, energy and manufacturing. The deal will help boost economic growth in the region by attracting new investors, giving local business the support they need to grow and increasing the available skills base.

The Deal will deliver almost £1.3bn of investment to the region. Central to this is £115.6m from the UK Government and £125.4m from the Welsh Government. Alongside local public sector funding this is projected to attract £637 million from the private sector. This funding package will be provided over a 15 year period, subject to the submission of detailed business cases.

The UK Government’s contribution to the fund will support investment in digital infrastructure and next generation technology, allowing the area to compete with some of the world’s best cities. It will also support a partnership with Tata Steel to establish an innovation and knowledge centre for steel which will focus on zero carbon steel making and the future sustainability of the industry.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 20 March 2017
Made by: Richard Harrington (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions)
Commons

Pension Schemes Bill

Today I will deposit in the House Libraries a memorandum on the application of Standing Order no 83L of the House of Commons Relating to Public Business to the Pension Schemes Bill, as amended. This memorandum sets out that there has been no material amendment at Commons Committee, i.e. the outcomes of the analysis remain precisely the same as on introduction.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS546
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 March 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 17 December 2014, my predecessor, the then-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, issued specific, targeted Directions to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets using his powers under Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999.

At that time a team of Commissioners was appointed to exercise specific functions of the Authority. Although initially progress was slow, more recently I have been pleased to return selected functions back to the Council. I am now considering the overall progress of the Council in anticipation of these Directions ending on 31 March of this year.

In line with the Council’s own expectations, I am considering withdrawing the three Commissioners from the Borough and, in support of the recent progress made by the Council, maintaining an oversight role through a new general Direction. The new Direction allows for continued oversight of electoral administration. The Government has invited expressions of interest from local authorities on piloting the use of ID in polling stations in the 2018 local elections. As part of wider steps to strengthen electoral integrity in the Borough, I would welcome Tower Hamlets’ participation.

I have received assurances from the Mayor of Tower Hamlets both in his fourth six-monthly report of 20 February, and in person on 27 February, that he is confident the Council is now in a position to drive forward and deliver their own improvement agenda.

This view is endorsed by the Commissioners in their report of 21 February which I have carefully considered and discussed with them on 27 February.

I am minded therefore to exercise my powers under Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to revoke the Direction of 14 December 2014, end the role of Commissioners in the Council and hand back executive functions to the Executive Mayor with the proviso that the Council delivers all outstanding actions in their Best Value Action Plan and the setting up of a Best Value Improvement Board as outlined in the Mayor’s letter of 1 March.

I am minded also to direct the Council to provide quarterly reports against their Best Value Action plans for a further 18 months; and at the end of this period to carry out an independent review of delivery. As with all councils, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets must abide by the Best Value Duty.

This is a significant step forward for Tower Hamlets Council – they have made considerable progress over the past few months. I am pleased that the guidance of the Commissioner Team has played such a material role in putting Tower Hamlets on the right road to allow them take on their rightful functions.

I am inviting the Council to make representations on these proposals, which will be considered as part of my final decision.

I am placing a copy of the documents associated with these announcements in the Library of the House and on my Department’s website.



This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS543
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 March 2017
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Commons

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets

On 17 December 2014, my predecessor, the then-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, issued specific, targeted Directions to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets using his powers under Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999.

At that time a team of Commissioners was appointed to exercise specific functions of the Authority. Although initially progress was slow, more recently I have been pleased to return selected functions back to the Council. I am now considering the overall progress of the Council in anticipation of these Directions ending on 31 March of this year.

In line with the Council’s own expectations, I am considering withdrawing the three Commissioners from the Borough and, in support of the recent progress made by the Council, maintaining an oversight role through a new general Direction. The new Direction allows for continued oversight of electoral administration. The Government has invited expressions of interest from local authorities on piloting the use of ID in polling stations in the 2018 local elections. As part of wider steps to strengthen electoral integrity in the Borough, I would welcome Tower Hamlets’ participation.

I have received assurances from the Mayor of Tower Hamlets both in his fourth six-monthly report of 20 February, and in person on 27 February, that he is confident the Council is now in a position to drive forward and deliver their own improvement agenda.

This view is endorsed by the Commissioners in their report of 21 February which I have carefully considered and discussed with them on 27 February.

I am minded therefore to exercise my powers under Section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to revoke the Direction of 14 December 2014, end the role of Commissioners in the Council and hand back executive functions to the Executive Mayor with the proviso that the Council delivers all outstanding actions in their Best Value Action Plan and the setting up of a Best Value Improvement Board as outlined in the Mayor’s letter of 1 March.

I am minded also to direct the Council to provide quarterly reports against their Best Value Action plans for a further 18 months; and at the end of this period to carry out an independent review of delivery. As with all councils, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets must abide by the Best Value Duty.

This is a significant step forward for Tower Hamlets Council – they have made considerable progress over the past few months. I am pleased that the guidance of the Commissioner Team has played such a material role in putting Tower Hamlets on the right road to allow them take on their rightful functions.

I am inviting the Council to make representations on these proposals, which will be considered as part of my final decision.

I am placing a copy of the documents associated with these announcements in the Library of the House and on my Department’s website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS545
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