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:

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 21-40 out of 532
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

My Rt Hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Karen Bradley) has made the following Statement:

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council will take place in Brussels on 20 and 21 November 2017. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU will represent the interests of the UK at the Youth, Culture and Sport sessions of this Council.

Youth
The Council will seek to gain a General Approach among EU Member States on the proposals laying down the framework for the European Solidarity Corps. The UK is proposing to vote in favour, subject to scrutiny. Also tabled is the adoption of draft Council conclusions on Smart Youth Work, which the UK supports. This will be followed by a policy debate as proposed by the Presidency. The Commission will also provide information on a new narrative for Europe.

Culture/Audiovisual
The Council will begin by presenting, for adoption, draft Council conclusions on promoting access to culture via digital means, which will have a focus on audience development. The UK intends to support the adoption of these conclusions. This will be followed by a policy debate on the role of culture in building cohesive societies in Europe, as proposed by the Presidency.

On Audiovisual, the Presidency is expected to provide an update on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). This update will act as the first reading since the General Approach was achieved at the last EYCS Council in May 2017. The discussion is expected to focus on the progress, thus far, of Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament.

In addition to these files, the German delegation will provide information pertaining to the file on the Regulation of the Import Cultural Goods. This file is at an early discussion stage, however it is anticipated that it will be implemented by January 2019, DCMS and HMRC are engaging with the Member States in developing this policy.

Additional agenda items include for information items on international cultural relations, offences relating to cultural property, defense of cultural heritage, re-establishing Europe through culture and the mobility of artists.

Sport
There will be two non-legislative activities tabled regarding sport. Firstly, the adoption of the draft Council conclusions on the role of coaches in society. Secondly, adoption of the Council resolution on the EU structured dialogue on sport. The UK intends to support the adoption of both sets of conclusions. These will be followed by a policy debate on the main challenges facing sport in the 21st century and cooperation between the EU, governments and sport movement, as proposed by the Presidency in accordance with the Council Rules of Procedure

Information will be provided from the EU Member States representatives in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA Foundation Board). This will act as a follow up to WADA meetings in Seoul on 15-16 November 2017. The Greek delegation will also provide information to the Council on supporting the Olympic Truce during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Other
The Council will be receiving information from the Bulgarian delegation, as the incoming presidency in the first half of 2018, to set out their work programme for the next six months.



WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council November 2017

I will be attending the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 20 November 2017 to represent the UK’s interests. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council, 14-15 December 2017

There will be a discussion on the agenda for the December European Council. This includes: defence, focusing on the launch of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) and a review of EU-NATO cooperation; social, education and culture, which includes a follow up to the November Gothenburg Social Summit; migration, involving a leaders’ debate on both the internal and external dimensions of migration as part of Donald Tusk’s Leader’s Agenda; and external relations.

European Council follow-up

The Presidency will give an update on the implementation of the October European Council Conclusions on migration, digital Europe, security and defence, and external relations.

Legislative Programming - Commission's Work Programme for 2018 (CWP 2018)

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will present the CWP 2018, which sets out the legislation and other initiatives that the Commission intends to present to the Council of Ministers and European Parliament over the coming year.

Interinstitutional Agreements (IIA) Implementation

The Presidency will lay out what progress has been made on the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (IIA), signed by the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament in April 2016. The IIA set out the commitments of these institutions regarding better regulation, interinstitutional relations and the legislative process.

European Semester 2018

The Presidency will introduce the timetable for the European Semester 2018, which will provide a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS248
WS
Home Office
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consultation on revised Codes of Practice

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Security (Ben Wallace) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today publishing three revised codes of practice for consultation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

The consultation is in relation to the following codes:

1. The Covert Surveillance and Property Interference Code of Practice.

2. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice

These codes provide guidance on the authorisation of directed surveillance, intrusive surveillance and covert human intelligence sources under Part 2 of RIPA, as well as property interference under the Police Act 1997 and Intelligence Services Act 1994. These powers are available to law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as a number of other public authorities specified under RIPA, for use where necessary and proportionate for purposes such as the prevention or detection of crime, and the protection of national security. The codes reinforce the safeguards provided by the Acts, for the careful and lawful deployment, management and oversight of the powers.

3. The Investigation of Protected Information Code of Practice

This code sets out guidance on the use of powers under Part 3 of RIPA governing the investigation of protected electronic information, usually in pursuance of a criminal investigation.

The three codes are being updated to reflect changes in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 which will impact on the use of the powers covered by the codes. In particular the codes reflect the creation of the new Investigatory Powers Commissioner, who has replaced the three existing oversight bodies, the requirement for public authorities to report errors to the Commissioner, and the new arrangements for authorisation of equipment interference which will apply in future to some techniques currently authorised under property interference provisions, and be relevant for use of the power under Part 3 of RIPA. At the same time the guidance in the codes under Part 2 of RIPA are being updated to reflect best practice in authorisation and management of the powers, to strengthen the safeguards relating to handling of confidential or legally privileged material, and to clarify the application of the RIPA framework to online investigation and research.

The consultation will last for six weeks. Copies of the consultation document and draft codes will be placed in the House Library. Online versions will be available on the www.gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS257
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local Plans

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

On 7 February we published our Housing White Paper in which we made clear that the housing market in this country is broken, and the cause is very simple: for too long, we haven’t built enough homes. We have identified three systemic problems: not enough local authorities planning for the homes they need; house building that is simply too slow; and a construction industry that is too reliant on a small number of big players.

Up-to-date plans, including local plans, are essential because they provide clarity to communities and developers about where homes should be built and where not, so that development is planned rather than the result of speculative applications. At present too few places have an up-to-date plan.

On 21 July 2015 we made a Written Ministerial Statement to the House on this same subject. At that point 82 per cent of authorities had published a Local Plan under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 regime. Today that figure stands at 92 per cent.

In the 13 years that have passed since the 2004 Act received Royal Assent, over 70 local planning authorities have yet to adopt a plan and of those 27 authorities still have failed to reach the publication stage. I am particularly concerned about the 15 local planning authorities that have recently either failed the duty to cooperate or failed to meet the deadlines set out in their Local Development Schemes, the public timetable that all local planning authorities are required to put in place.

I am therefore writing today to the local planning authorities of:

Basildon, Brentwood, Bolsover, Calderdale, Castle Point, Eastleigh, Liverpool, Mansfield, North East Derbyshire, Northumberland, Runnymede, St Albans, Thanet, Wirral and York.

These letters will start the formal process of intervention we set out in the Housing White Paper. We set out that we will prioritise intervention where:

  • the least progress in plan-making has been made
  • policies in plans had not been kept up to date
  • there was higher housing pressure; and
  • intervention would have the greatest impact in accelerating Local Plan production

We also made clear that decisions on intervention will also be informed by the wider planning context in each area (specifically, the extent to which authorities are working cooperatively to put strategic plans in place, and the potential impact that not having a plan has on neighbourhood planning activity).

I am writing today to give the local authorities the opportunity to put forward any exceptional circumstances, by 31 January 2018, which, in their view, justify their failure to produce a Local Plan under the 2004 Act regime. I will take responses received into account before any final decisions on intervention are taken.

The remaining authorities who are not making progress on their plan-making and fail to publish a plan for consultation, submit a plan to examination or to keep policies in plans up to date are on notice that consistent failure to make sufficient progress will no longer be tolerated. My Department will begin formally considering the case for intervention as deadlines are missed.

We will also bring forward the important provisions we legislated for earlier in the year through the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017. I will shortly lay the Regulations under section 12 to prescribe that local planning authorities must review their plans every five years.

We will also shortly be commencing Section 8 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 which will place a requirement on all local planning authorities to have plans in place for their area which set out their strategic policies. Those strategic priorities are set out at paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

As we set out in July 2015 we recognise that production of Local Plans is resource intensive. On 19 October 2017 we laid the regulations which, subject to approval of both Houses, will bring forward our White Paper commitment to increase planning fees by 20%. This delivers on our commitment to increase resources for local planning authorities where they commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department. All local planning authorities in England have given this commitment. We will shortly announce details of the £25m of funding to help local authorities plan for new homes and infrastructure in their area that we announced in the White Paper.

We have, and we will continue to, support local planning authorities in plan-making, through the Planning Advisory Service, with support from officials of my Department and the Planning Inspectorate.

Where local planning authorities continue to fail to produce a plan to provide certainty to their community on where future development will be brought forward, we will use our intervention powers to ensure plans are put in place.

WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Machinery of Government Change: Gender Recognition Act

My Rt Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made the following statement to the House of Commons:

This written statement confirms that responsibility for the Gender Recognition Act 2004 will transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Government Equalities Office. This change will be effective immediately.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Disclosure and Barring Service Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability (Victoria Atkins) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The 2016-17 Annual Report and Accounts for the Disclosure and Barring Service (HC 178) is being laid before the House today and published on www.gov.uk. Copies will be available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS256
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Notificiation to Parliament of Contingent Liability: Mercator Ocean

My hon Friend the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Joseph Johnson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today I will lay before Parliament a departmental minute describing the purchase of a shareholding in Mercator Océan and the resulting contingent liability.

Copernicus is the EU Earth Observation programme that monitors the global health of the planet. Mercator Océan is the ‘Coordinating Entity’ for the Copernicus Marine Services which provides free and open access to constantly updated information about the global ocean and the seas of the European region. Mercator-Océan is currently owned by five French public institutions with an interest/obligation to deliver research aligned to operational oceanography. It is broadening its ownership structure to be more in line with other delegated authorities.

The Secretary of State, acting through the Met Office, intends on 29 November 2017 to buy a 5% (€100k) share of Mercator Océan, alongside equivalent organisations from Norway, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The organisation is a “Societé Civile” (a not for profit organisation) under French law, meaning it has unlimited liability, and its shareholders are exposed to liability risk in proportion to their shareholding. A remote contingent liability will therefore exist as long as the Secretary of State retains a shareholding in Mercator Océan.

The organisation protects its shareholders through contractual mechanisms and through insurance. Also any residual claim would first be met from the assets of the company. Any contingent liability is considered to be extremely remote. In addition any contingent liability will cease to exist should the Met Office dispose of the shares, which it is able to do so at cost at any point within the first 3 years of ownership, and with 6 months’ notice after this point.

Regrettably, on this occasion pressing commercial requirements to procure the shares have meant that it has not been possible to provide the full 14 Sitting Days prior to taking on the contingent liabilities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS255
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Civil Society Strategy

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Tracey Crouch) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I wish to inform the House today of the government’s intention to develop a Civil Society Strategy.

Civil society plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across our country, and in helping to address some burning injustices.

This Strategy will provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities, so that we can better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face. It will reaffirm the value that government places on civil society. It will explore what more government can do to support its work.

Civil Society in England is broad. It encompasses the work of individuals, charities, youth organisations and communities. Civil Society is increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of social enterprises, mission led businesses and public service mutuals, as well as many more private businesses and investors that want to make a meaningful contribution.

I would like the Strategy to help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society.

It will be developed through dialogue and debate with people, groups, and organisations across government, businesses and wider civil society. It will build on engagements to date, including work with young people and youth organisations, as well as work to grow social impact investing, among others.

The Office for Civil Society, in the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, will lead this work, with input from the Department for Communities and Local Government and other departments. A listening exercise will be launched in the new year and findings reported later in the year.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Pensions

My honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion (Guy Opperman MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Government has now completed the examination of the cap that applies to member-borne charges in default investment funds within defined contribution (DC) pension schemes used for automatic enrolment (AE).

After seeking a range of industry and consumer views and considering the findings of the recent Pension Charges Survey, which captures data from providers covering 14.4 million scheme members, we do not feel that now is the right time to change the level or scope of the cap.

The cap is working broadly as intended, helping to drive down member-borne costs, whilst allowing flexibility to allow asset diversity or tailored services for members and employers. It appears some small schemes are less able to take advantage of the most competitive market rates, and we have launched proposals to simplify the scheme consolidation process. This will allow smaller schemes who cannot secure value for money in the long term to exit the market and secure a better deal for their members elsewhere.

There continues to be a lack of transparency on transaction costs, which is hindering trustees and Independent Governance Committees’ (IGC) attempts to monitor and evaluate whether these represent value. We believe that it is vital to get disclosure right before deciding on whether a cap on transaction costs is appropriate. Recently announced DWP legislative proposals will ensure trustees have sight of these costs and can give that information to members. The FCA is developing similar rules for providers.

The Government remains committed to ensuring AE members are protected from unreasonable and unfair charges, and recognises that there is on-going concern amongst consumers.

We will actively monitor the situation, by reviewing the information which trustees of DC schemes will be required to publish from April 2018, and which providers will publish in due course, to monitor whether the downward trend in charges is continuing.

That will also inform our next review. In 2020 we intend to examine the level and scope of the charge cap, as well as permitted charging structures, to see whether a change is needed to protect members. This will also allow us to evaluate the effects of the next stage of AE and the new master trust and transaction costs regimes.

Whilst we are not pre-judging the decision, we expect there to be a much clearer case for change in 2020.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS249
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

Water protocol in England and Wales

My Right Hon Friend the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) has today made the following statement.

In conjunction with the Secretary of State for Wales I will today lay before the House a water protocol for England and Wales, agreed between the UK government and the Welsh Government. The protocol, which the Welsh Ministers are laying in the National Assembly for Wales in parallel, is made under section 50 of the Wales Act 2017.

The protocol reaffirms the close working between the two governments on matters relating to water resources, water supply and water quality. It underlines our commitment that no action or inaction by either administration should have any serious adverse impact on either England or Wales and crucially, that the interests of water consumers on both sides of our borders are safeguarded.

Agreement of the protocol paves the way for the Secretary of State’s powers of intervention in relation to water to be repealed. These powers, in the Government of Wales Act 2006, enable the Secretary of State to intervene if they believe an Assembly Bill, or the exercise of a devolved function, risks having a serious adverse impact on water resources, water supply or water quality in England.

The protocol replaces these intervention powers with a reciprocal agreement. The intervention powers will be repealed when the new reserved powers model of Welsh devolution come into effect on 1 April 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS251
WS
Home Office
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Mr Ben Wallace (The Minister of State for Security)
Commons

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consultation on revised Codes of Practice

I am today publishing three revised codes of practice for consultation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

The consultation is in relation to the following codes:

1. The Covert Surveillance and Property Interference Code of Practice.

2. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Code of Practice

These codes provide guidance on the authorisation of directed surveillance, intrusive surveillance and covert human intelligence sources under Part 2 of RIPA, as well as property interference under the Police Act 1997 and Intelligence Services Act 1994. These powers are available to law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as a number of other public authorities specified under RIPA, for use where necessary and proportionate for purposes such as the prevention or detection of crime, and the protection of national security. The codes reinforce the safeguards provided by the Acts, for the careful and lawful deployment, management and oversight of the powers.

3. The Investigation of Protected Information Code of Practice

This code sets out guidance on the use of powers under Part 3 of RIPA governing the investigation of protected electronic information, usually in pursuance of a criminal investigation.

The three codes are being updated to reflect changes in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 which will impact on the use of the powers covered by the codes. In particular the codes reflect the creation of the new Investigatory Powers Commissioner, who has replaced the three existing oversight bodies, the requirement for public authorities to report errors to the Commissioner, and the new arrangements for authorisation of equipment interference which will apply in future to some techniques currently authorised under property interference provisions, and be relevant for use of the power under Part 3 of RIPA. At the same time the guidance in the codes under Part 2 of RIPA are being updated to reflect best practice in authorisation and management of the powers, to strengthen the safeguards relating to handling of confidential or legally privileged material, and to clarify the application of the RIPA framework to online investigation and research.

The consultation will last for six weeks. Copies of the consultation document and draft codes will be placed in the House Library. Online versions will be available on the www.gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS254
WS
Home Office
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Victoria Atkins (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability)
Commons

Disclosure and Barring Service Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17

The 2016-17 Annual Report and Accounts for the Disclosure and Barring Service (HC 178) is being laid before the House today and published on www.gov.uk. Copies will be available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS251
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Joseph Johnson (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)
Commons

Notificiation to Parliament of Contingent Liability: Mercator Ocean

Today I will lay before Parliament a departmental minute describing the purchase of a shareholding in Mercator Océan and the resulting contingent liability.

Copernicus is the EU Earth Observation programme that monitors the global health of the planet. Mercator Océan is the ‘Coordinating Entity’ for the Copernicus Marine Services which provides free and open access to constantly updated information about the global ocean and the seas of the European region. Mercator-Océan is currently owned by five French public institutions with an interest/obligation to deliver research aligned to operational oceanography. It is broadening its ownership structure to be more in line with other delegated authorities.

The Secretary of State, acting through the Met Office, intends on 29 November 2017 to buy a 5% (€100k) share of Mercator Océan, alongside equivalent organisations from Norway, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The organisation is a “Societé Civile” (a not for profit organisation) under French law, meaning it has unlimited liability, and its shareholders are exposed to liability risk in proportion to their shareholding. A remote contingent liability will therefore exist as long as the Secretary of State retains a shareholding in Mercator Océan.

The organisation protects its shareholders through contractual mechanisms and through insurance. Also any residual claim would first be met from the assets of the company. Any contingent liability is considered to be extremely remote. In addition any contingent liability will cease to exist should the Met Office dispose of the shares, which it is able to do so at cost at any point within the first 3 years of ownership, and with 6 months’ notice after this point.

Regrettably, on this occasion pressing commercial requirements to procure the shares have meant that it has not been possible to provide the full 14 Sitting Days prior to taking on the contingent liabilities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS250
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Plans

On 7 February we published our Housing White Paper in which we made clear that the housing market in this country is broken, and the cause is very simple: for too long, we haven’t built enough homes. We have identified three systemic problems: not enough local authorities planning for the homes they need; house building that is simply too slow; and a construction industry that is too reliant on a small number of big players.

Up-to-date plans, including local plans, are essential because they provide clarity to communities and developers about where homes should be built and where not, so that development is planned rather than the result of speculative applications. At present too few places have an up-to-date plan.

On 21 July 2015 we made a Written Ministerial Statement to the House on this same subject. At that point 82 per cent of authorities had published a Local Plan under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 regime. Today that figure stands at 92 per cent.

In the 13 years that have passed since the 2004 Act received Royal Assent, over 70 local planning authorities have yet to adopt a plan and of those 27 authorities still have failed to reach the publication stage. I am particularly concerned about the 15 local planning authorities that have recently either failed the duty to cooperate or failed to meet the deadlines set out in their Local Development Schemes, the public timetable that all local planning authorities are required to put in place.

I am therefore writing today to the local planning authorities of:

Basildon, Brentwood, Bolsover, Calderdale, Castle Point, Eastleigh, Liverpool, Mansfield, North East Derbyshire, Northumberland, Runnymede, St Albans, Thanet, Wirral and York.

These letters will start the formal process of intervention we set out in the Housing White Paper. We set out that we will prioritise intervention where:

  • the least progress in plan-making has been made
  • policies in plans had not been kept up to date
  • there was higher housing pressure; and
  • intervention would have the greatest impact in accelerating Local Plan production

We also made clear that decisions on intervention will also be informed by the wider planning context in each area (specifically, the extent to which authorities are working cooperatively to put strategic plans in place, and the potential impact that not having a plan has on neighbourhood planning activity).

I am writing today to give the local authorities the opportunity to put forward any exceptional circumstances, by 31 January 2018, which, in their view, justify their failure to produce a Local Plan under the 2004 Act regime. I will take responses received into account before any final decisions on intervention are taken.

The remaining authorities who are not making progress on their plan-making and fail to publish a plan for consultation, submit a plan to examination or to keep policies in plans up to date are on notice that consistent failure to make sufficient progress will no longer be tolerated. My Department will begin formally considering the case for intervention as deadlines are missed.

We will also bring forward the important provisions we legislated for earlier in the year through the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017. I will shortly lay the Regulations under section 12 to prescribe that local planning authorities must review their plans every five years.

We will also shortly be commencing Section 8 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 which will place a requirement on all local planning authorities to have plans in place for their area which set out their strategic policies. Those strategic priorities are set out at paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

As we set out in July 2015 we recognise that production of Local Plans is resource intensive. On 19 October 2017 we laid the regulations which, subject to approval of both Houses, will bring forward our White Paper commitment to increase planning fees by 20%. This delivers on our commitment to increase resources for local planning authorities where they commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department. All local planning authorities in England have given this commitment. We will shortly announce details of the £25m of funding to help local authorities plan for new homes and infrastructure in their area that we announced in the White Paper.

We have, and we will continue to, support local planning authorities in plan-making, through the Planning Advisory Service, with support from officials of my Department and the Planning Inspectorate.

Where local planning authorities continue to fail to produce a plan to provide certainty to their community on where future development will be brought forward, we will use our intervention powers to ensure plans are put in place.

WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Machinery of Government Change: Gender Recognition Act

This written statement confirms that responsibility for the Gender Recognition Act 2004 will transfer from the Ministry of Justice to the Government Equalities Office. This change will be effective immediately.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Civil Society Strategy

I wish to inform the House today of the government’s intention to develop a Civil Society Strategy.

Civil society plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across our country, and in helping to address some burning injustices.

This Strategy will provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities, so that we can better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face. It will reaffirm the value that government places on civil society. It will explore what more government can do to support its work.

Civil Society in England is broad. It encompasses the work of individuals, charities, youth organisations and communities. Civil Society is increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of social enterprises, mission led businesses and public service mutuals, as well as many more private businesses and investors that want to make a meaningful contribution.

I would like the Strategy to help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society.

It will be developed through dialogue and debate with people, groups, and organisations across government, businesses and wider civil society. It will build on engagements to date, including work with young people and youth organisations, as well as work to grow social impact investing, among others.

The Office for Civil Society, in the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, will lead this work, with input from the Department for Communities and Local Government and other departments. A listening exercise will be launched in the new year and findings reported later in the year.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs )
Commons

Water protocol in England and Wales

In conjunction with the Secretary of State for Wales I will today lay before the House a water protocol for England and Wales, agreed between the UK government and the Welsh Government. The protocol, which the Welsh Ministers are laying in the National Assembly for Wales in parallel, is made under section 50 of the Wales Act 2017.

The protocol reaffirms the close working between the two governments on matters relating to water resources, water supply and water quality. It underlines our commitment that no action or inaction by either administration should have any serious adverse impact on either England or Wales and crucially, that the interests of water consumers on both sides of our borders are safeguarded.

Agreement of the protocol paves the way for the Secretary of State’s powers of intervention in relation to water to be repealed. These powers, in the Government of Wales Act 2006, enable the Secretary of State to intervene if they believe an Assembly Bill, or the exercise of a devolved function, risks having a serious adverse impact on water resources, water supply or water quality in England.

The protocol replaces these intervention powers with a reciprocal agreement. The intervention powers will be repealed when the new reserved powers model of Welsh devolution come into effect on 1 April 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS247
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Karen Bradley (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council will take place in Brussels on 20 and 21 November 2017. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU will represent the interests of the UK at the Youth, Culture and Sport sessions of this Council.

Youth
The Council will seek to gain a General Approach among EU Member States on the proposals laying down the framework for the European Solidarity Corps. The UK is proposing to vote in favour, subject to scrutiny. Also tabled is the adoption of draft Council conclusions on Smart Youth Work, which the UK supports. This will be followed by a policy debate as proposed by the Presidency. The Commission will also provide information on a new narrative for Europe.

Culture/Audiovisual
The Council will begin by presenting, for adoption, draft Council conclusions on promoting access to culture via digital means, which will have a focus on audience development. The UK intends to support the adoption of these conclusions. This will be followed by a policy debate on the role of culture in building cohesive societies in Europe, as proposed by the Presidency.

On Audiovisual, the Presidency is expected to provide an update on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). This update will act as the first reading since the General Approach was achieved at the last EYCS Council in May 2017. The discussion is expected to focus on the progress, thus far, of Trilogue discussions between the Council and the European Parliament.

In addition to these files, the German delegation will provide information pertaining to the file on the Regulation of the Import Cultural Goods. This file is at an early discussion stage, however it is anticipated that it will be implemented by January 2019, DCMS and HMRC are engaging with the Member States in developing this policy.

Additional agenda items include for information items on international cultural relations, offences relating to cultural property, defense of cultural heritage, re-establishing Europe through culture and the mobility of artists.

Sport
There will be two non-legislative activities tabled regarding sport. Firstly, the adoption of the draft Council conclusions on the role of coaches in society. Secondly, adoption of the Council resolution on the EU structured dialogue on sport. The UK intends to support the adoption of both sets of conclusions. These will be followed by a policy debate on the main challenges facing sport in the 21st century and cooperation between the EU, governments and sport movement, as proposed by the Presidency in accordance with the Council Rules of Procedure

Information will be provided from the EU Member States representatives in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA Foundation Board). This will act as a follow up to WADA meetings in Seoul on 15-16 November 2017. The Greek delegation will also provide information to the Council on supporting the Olympic Truce during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Other
The Council will be receiving information from the Bulgarian delegation, as the incoming presidency in the first half of 2018, to set out their work programme for the next six months.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Guy Opperman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion)
Commons

Pensions

The Government has now completed the examination of the cap that applies to member-borne charges in default investment funds within defined contribution (DC) pension schemes used for automatic enrolment (AE).

After seeking a range of industry and consumer views and considering the findings of the recent Pension Charges Survey, which captures data from providers covering 14.4 million scheme members, we do not feel that now is the right time to change the level or scope of the cap.

The cap is working broadly as intended, helping to drive down member-borne costs, whilst allowing flexibility to allow asset diversity or tailored services for members and employers. It appears some small schemes are less able to take advantage of the most competitive market rates, and we have launched proposals to simplify the scheme consolidation process. This will allow smaller schemes who cannot secure value for money in the long term to exit the market and secure a better deal for their members elsewhere.

There continues to be a lack of transparency on transaction costs, which is hindering trustees and Independent Governance Committees’ (IGC) attempts to monitor and evaluate whether these represent value. We believe that it is vital to get disclosure right before deciding on whether a cap on transaction costs is appropriate. Recently announced DWP legislative proposals will ensure trustees have sight of these costs and can give that information to members. The FCA is developing similar rules for providers.

The Government remains committed to ensuring AE members are protected from unreasonable and unfair charges, and recognises that there is on-going concern amongst consumers.

We will actively monitor the situation, by reviewing the information which trustees of DC schemes will be required to publish from April 2018, and which providers will publish in due course, to monitor whether the downward trend in charges is continuing.

That will also inform our next review. In 2020 we intend to examine the level and scope of the charge cap, as well as permitted charging structures, to see whether a change is needed to protect members. This will also allow us to evaluate the effects of the next stage of AE and the new master trust and transaction costs regimes.

Whilst we are not pre-judging the decision, we expect there to be a much clearer case for change in 2020.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS248
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 16 November 2017
Made by: Mr Steve Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
Commons

General Affairs Council November 2017

My hon. Friend, the Lord Callanan, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I will be attending the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 20 November 2017 to represent the UK’s interests. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council, 14-15 December 2017

There will be a discussion on the agenda for the December European Council. This includes: defence, focusing on the launch of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) and a review of EU-NATO cooperation; social, education and culture, which includes a follow up to the November Gothenburg Social Summit; migration, involving a leaders’ debate on both the internal and external dimensions of migration as part of Donald Tusk’s Leader’s Agenda; and external relations.

European Council follow-up

The Presidency will give an update on the implementation of the October European Council Conclusions on migration, digital Europe, security and defence, and external relations.

Legislative Programming - Commission's Work Programme for 2018 (CWP 2018)

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will present the CWP 2018, which sets out the legislation and other initiatives that the Commission intends to present to the Council of Ministers and European Parliament over the coming year.

Interinstitutional Agreements (IIA) Implementation

The Presidency will lay out what progress has been made on the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making (IIA), signed by the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament in April 2016. The IIA set out the commitments of these institutions regarding better regulation, interinstitutional relations and the legislative process.

European Semester 2018

The Presidency will introduce the timetable for the European Semester 2018, which will provide a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS255
Expand all statements
Print selected
Showing 21-40 out of 532
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100