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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WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 01 February 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I am publishing the updated list of Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces (ITFs). The updated list includes several key changes:

• Housing Taskforce: the ITF will now be chaired by the Prime Minister.
• Industrial Strategy Taskforce; a new ITF has been established to oversee the delivery of the Industrial Strategy
• Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce: a new ITF has been established to coordinate action to reduce homelessness and halve rough sleeping over the course of the Parliament.

Copies of the associated documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and published on GOV.UK

WS
Home Office
Made on: 01 February 2018
Made by: Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Faith Practices

The Government has today published the independent review into the application of Sharia law in England and Wales. The review has been laid before the House (Cm 9560). Copies of the report will be available from the Vote Office and it is also available on the Home Office website.

The review was commissioned by the then Home Secretary in May 2016 and was chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, an internationally renowned expert in Islamic and inter-religious studies. Professor Siddiqui was supported by a review panel of experts that included experienced family law barrister Sam Momtaz QC, retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley, and specialist family law solicitor Anne Marie Hutchinson OBE QC. The panel was advised by two religious and theological experts, Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim.

Sharia law has no jurisdiction in England and Wales and the decisions of Sharia councils are not legally binding. The review focused on whether and to what extent the application of Sharia law by Sharia councils may be incompatible with the law in England and Wales. This included ways in which Sharia law may be being misused or exploited in a way that may discriminate against certain groups, undermine shared values and cause social harms.

To gather evidence the review team issued a public call for evidence and ran a number of oral evidence sessions. During the course of the review, the review chair and panel heard evidence from stakeholders including users of Sharia councils, women’s rights groups, academics, lawyers and Sharia councils. I am grateful to Professor Siddiqui for the thoroughness of her review and for the review team’s comprehensive report.

The review found that most of the work of Sharia councils concerns Islamic divorces, and that the applicants are mostly women. While there are a number of reasons women desire an Islamic divorce, a significant driver is because some Muslim couples do not have a civil marriage as well as an Islamic ceremony. The review also found evidence of a range of practices across Sharia councils, both positive and negative. The review concludes with a series of recommendations to Government.

The review made three recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1 (legislative change): amendments to marriage law to (a) ensure that civil marriages are conducted before or at the same time as the Islamic marriage ceremony and (b) establish the right to a civil divorce.
  • Recommendation 2 (building understanding): proposes developing programmes to (i) raise Muslim couples’ awareness that Islamic marriages do not afford them the protections under the law that come with a civil marriage because their partnership is not recognised as a legal marriage; and (ii) encourages Muslim couples that have or are having an Islamic marriage to register for a civil marriage as well.
  • Recommendation 3 (regulation of Sharia councils): proposes regulating Sharia councils through the creation of a State established body that would create a Code of Practice for Sharia councils to accept and implement.

The Government will carefully consider the review’s findings. The review team’s failure to reach a unanimous agreement on recommendation three (regulation of Sharia councils) demonstrates the complexity of the issues. The Government considers that the proposal to create a State-facilitated or endorsed regulation scheme for Sharia councils would confer upon them legitimacy as alternative forms of dispute resolution. The Government does not consider there to be a role for the State to act in this way. Britain has a long tradition of freedom of worship and religious tolerance and regulation could add legitimacy to the perception of the existence of a parallel legal system even though the outcomes of Sharia Councils have no standing in civil law, as the independent review has made clear. Many people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices and benefit from their guidance. The Government has no intention of changing this position and for this reason cannot accept recommendation three.

The review found some evidence of Sharia councils forcing women to make concessions to gain a divorce, of inadequate safeguarding policies, and a failure to signpost applicants to legal remedies. This is not acceptable. Where Sharia councils exist, they must abide by the law. Legislation is in place to protect the rights of women and prevent discriminatory practice. The Government will work with the appropriate regulatory authorities to ensure that this legislation and the protections it establishes are being enforced fully and effectively.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS432
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 01 February 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces

Today I am publishing the updated list of Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces (ITFs). The updated list includes several key changes:

• Housing Taskforce: the ITF will now be chaired by the Prime Minister.
• Industrial Strategy Taskforce; a new ITF has been established to oversee the delivery of the Industrial Strategy
• Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce: a new ITF has been established to coordinate action to reduce homelessness and halve rough sleeping over the course of the Parliament.

Copies of the associated documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and published on GOV.UK

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 01 February 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Housing Infrastructure Fund

Today (1 February 2018) the Government announces that we will invest £866 million to help unlock up to 200,000 new homes through 133 Marginal Viability Fund projects, within the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The Government has set out a plan that puts us on track to increase housing supply to 300,000 homes a year and this first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is part of a comprehensive programme to fix the broken housing market.

This investment will fund key local infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work where it is needed for new housing to be built. Without this financial support, these projects would struggle to go ahead or take years for work to begin, delaying the homes these communities need.

The Marginal Viability Fund was available to all single and lower tier local authorities in England to bid into.

We received 430 bids from local authorities, worth almost £14 billion in total. This shows how much local authorities are willing to step up to fix the broken housing market, and we are committed to supporting this ambition. Bids went through a rigorous assessment process and were assessed on the basis of their strategic approach, value for money and the ability of the projects to be delivered. We are putting infrastructure at the heart of housing delivery – committed to bringing communities, local authorities and the private sector together to solve this problem.

The second component of the Housing Infrastructure Fund - the Forward Fund - is available to the uppermost tier of local authorities in England to bid into, and aims to pump prime a small number of strategic and high-impact infrastructure projects. Expressions of interest for ‘Forward Funding’ are being assessed and the best proposals will be shortlisted to go through to co-development shortly. Local authorities will submit their final business cases and successful bids announced from Autumn 2018 onwards.

The full list of successful Marginal Viability Fund projects, and the indicative amount we are awarding (subject to final financial clarifications) can be found on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-infrastructure-fund

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS433
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Defence Equipment Plan

My hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Mr Guto Bebb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to place in the Library of the House this year’s financial summary of the Defence Equipment Plan. This is the sixth consecutive annual publication of the equipment plan summary, and demonstrates the Ministry of Defence’s investment and the need to continue progress in driving improvements, reform and efficiency, with a plan to spend £180 billion on equipment and support over the decade out to 2026-27 which will provide our Armed Forces with the capability they need.

The Government remains committed to the Defence Budget increasing by 0.5% above inflation each year and the Department is focusing on where best to invest across the entire Defence programme in order to remain on top of an ever-changing and increasing threat environment. However, it was evident following the 2016 annual planning cycle that both uncertainty and risk had increased in the Equipment Plan. It did not, unfortunately, prove possible to address these issues satisfactorily in the 2017 Annual Budget Cycle (ABC17), as a result of which, the Equipment Plan emerging from ABC17 contains a high level of financial risk and an imbalance between cost and budget.

These risks have informed the Department’s work on the National Security Capability Review and associated work in the 2018 Annual Budget Cycle. The Department recently launched the Modernising Defence Programme. We aim to use this work to deliver better military capability and value for money in a sustainable and affordable way, and to ensure that defence capabilities complement other national security capabilities in the most effective way.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Police Funding

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

My rt hon Friend, the Home Secretary, has today laid before the House, the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2018/19 (HC 745) for the approval of the House. The report sets out the Home Secretary’s determination for 2018/19 of the aggregate amount of grant that she proposes to pay under section 46(2) of the Police Act 1996.

Before announcing the Government’s proposals, I visited or spoke with every police force in England and Wales to better understand the demands they face and how these can best be managed. I saw for myself the exceptional attitude and hard work of police officers and staff around the country. I have also carefully considered the responses to the consultation on the provisional Police Grant Report.

The Government is committed to protecting the public and providing the resources necessary for the police to do their critical work. We have listened to the police and recognised the demands they face. That is why I can confirm that the allocations that have been laid before the House today are the same as those proposed in my Statement of 19 December 2017. These proposals increase total investment in the police system by up to £450m year on year in 2018/19.

In 2018/19, we will provide each Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) with the same amount of core Government grant funding as in 2017/18. Protecting police grant means PCCs retain the full benefit from any additional local Council Tax income.

Alongside this, we are providing flexibility to PCCs in England to increase their Band D precept by up to £12 in 2018/19 without the need to call a local referendum, equivalent to up to £1 per month for a typical Band D household. These changes give PCCs the flexibility to increase their funding by up to around £270m next year. Each PCC who uses this flexibility will be able to increase their direct resource funding by at least an estimated 1.6%, maintaining their funding in real terms. Most PCCs are intending to use the new precept flexibility.

We will also increase investment in national policing priorities such as police technology and Special Grant by around £130m compared to 2017/18. This reflects our commitment to support the police to deliver a modern digitally enabled workforce, and to manage major events such as the Commonwealth Summit and terrorist attacks. We will maintain the size of the Police Transformation Fund at £175 million in order to help drive police reform.

Counter-terrorism police will receive a £50m (7%) increase in like for like funding when compared to 2017/18. This will enable the counter-terrorism budget to increase to at least £757m, including £29m for an uplift in armed policing from the Police Transformation Fund. This is a significant additional investment in the vital work of counter-terrorism police officers across the country. PCCs will be notified of force allocations separately. These will not be made public for security reasons.

In addition to the police funding settlement, the Government is taking decisive action to tackle the increasingly sophisticated cyber threat we face through the National Cyber Security Strategy, which is supported by a £1.9billion programme of transformational investment from 2016 to 2021. The Law Enforcement response to tackling cyber crime is an essential element of our national strategy, with the Home Office investing £30m of National Cyber Security Programme funding in 2017/18 to support and develop the law enforcement response at the national, regional and local level. We will continue to invest in law enforcement capability throughout the lifetime of the programme.

As I set out in my statement of 19 December, the increase in funding to PCCs in 2018/19 must be matched by a serious commitment from PCCs and chief constables to reform by improving productivity and efficiency to deliver a better, more transparent service to the public. Since that statement, I have written to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council seeking their proposals to deliver further efficiencies. Following these proposals, we will agree appropriate milestones for delivery in 2018. If the police deliver clear and substantial progress against the agreed milestones on productivity and efficiency in 2018, then the Government intends to maintain the protection of a broadly flat police grant in 2019/20 and repeat the same flexibility of the precept, i.e. allowing PCCs to increase their Band D precept by a further up to £12 in 2019/20. This approach gives policing the opportunity to make major improvements in efficiency, and use those gains to improve services to the public.

Since December, the Home Office has continued to work with the police to identify potential procurement savings. We have identified a further £20m of potential procurement savings starting in 2018/19, taking the total to over £120m.

In December I highlighted the opportunity for policing to save up to 1 hour per officer shift through mobile digital working, potentially releasing the equivalent of 11,000 police officers who can be deployed to meet changing demands. Since December I have established a small team who will work with the police through 2018 to audit the level of opportunity from mobile working, identify which approaches work best, highlight best practice, and help forces and the Home Office take the right decisions to maximise the gains from the use of mobile digital working.

We are also today publishing comparable national information on the financial reserves held by PCCs to assist the public in holding PCCs to account. As at March 2017 PCCs held usable resource reserves of over £1.6bn. This compares to £1.4bn in 2011. Current reserves held represent 15% of annual police funding to PCCs. There are wide variations between forces with Gwent for example holding 42% and Northumbria holding close to 7%. This is public money and the public are entitled to more information around police plans for reserves and how those plans will support more effective policing. So I am also today writing to PCCs setting out new guidance requiring them to publish their reserves strategies in plain English, with a clear justification for each reserve held.

I have set out in a separate document (attached) the tables illustrating how we propose to allocate the police funding settlement between the different funding streams and between Police & Crime Commissioners for 2018/19. These documents are intended to be read together.

Police funding settlement tables (PDF Document, 74.34 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS439
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Protocol to the Double Taxation Convention between the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan

My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mel Stride) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A Protocol to the Double Taxation Convention with Uzbekistan was signed on 24 January 2018. The text of the Protocol is available on HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the Gov.uk website and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS438
WS
Attorney General
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Advocate General for Scotland)
Lords

Serious Fraud Office (Contingencies Fund Advance)

I would like to inform the House that a cash advance from the Contingencies Fund has been sought for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

In line with the current arrangement for SFO funding agreed with HM Treasury, the SFO will be submitting a Reserve claim as part of the Supplementary Estimate process for 2017-18.

The advance is required to meet a current cash requirement on existing services pending Parliamentary approval of the 2017-18 Supplementary Estimate. The Supplementary Estimate will seek an increase in both the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit and the net cash requirement in order to cover the cost of significant investigations.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £9,500,000 will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Serious Fraud Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £9,500,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The advance will be repaid upon Royal Assent of the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs )
Lords

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Global Estate Update

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Alistair Burt), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I announce today the planned move of the Bangkok Embassy in Thailand. The new embassy building will be based in the AIA Sathorn Tower and will provide a modern, dedicated base from which diplomats can work to promote UK interests in Thailand.

We anticipate moving into the new offices in 2019, until which point we will lease back our existing embassy site to keep disruption to a minimum. Our embassy will continue to provide essential consular services to British holidaymakers and business people, and to work with the Thai authorities on preventing child exploitation, organised crime, money laundering and human trafficking.

Our new and improved embassy will allow us to take this activity to the next level, including by strengthening our trade links, enhancing our strong collaboration on science and innovation, and maintaining our focus on supporting human rights defenders and promoting freedom of expression. The new embassy will demonstrate our long-term commitment to our relationship with Thailand – a key partner for the UK’s security and prosperity interests and leading member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The completion of the sale of the current Bangkok Embassy compound in Thailand is the biggest land deal in Thai history and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) biggest ever sale, raising at least £420 million.

This deal is the result of considerable work by the FCO. The funds released will allow us to begin work on 30 to 40 major long-planned Estates projects, and enable us to continue to update and modernise our global estate so that it meets our aspiration to provide a world-class platform for diplomacy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS435
WS
Home Office
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Police Funding

My rt hon Friend, the Home Secretary, has today laid before the House, the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2018/19 (HC 745) for the approval of the House. The report sets out the Home Secretary’s determination for 2018/19 of the aggregate amount of grant that she proposes to pay under section 46(2) of the Police Act 1996.

Before announcing the Government’s proposals, I visited or spoke with every police force in England and Wales to better understand the demands they face and how these can best be managed. I saw for myself the exceptional attitude and hard work of police officers and staff around the country. I have also carefully considered the responses to the consultation on the provisional Police Grant Report.

The Government is committed to protecting the public and providing the resources necessary for the police to do their critical work. We have listened to the police and recognised the demands they face. That is why I can confirm that the allocations that have been laid before the House today are the same as those proposed in my Statement of 19 December 2017. These proposals increase total investment in the police system by up to £450m year on year in 2018/19.

In 2018/19, we will provide each Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) with the same amount of core Government grant funding as in 2017/18. Protecting police grant means PCCs retain the full benefit from any additional local Council Tax income.

Alongside this, we are providing flexibility to PCCs in England to increase their Band D precept by up to £12 in 2018/19 without the need to call a local referendum, equivalent to up to £1 per month for a typical Band D household. These changes give PCCs the flexibility to increase their funding by up to around £270m next year. Each PCC who uses this flexibility will be able to increase their direct resource funding by at least an estimated 1.6%, maintaining their funding in real terms. Most PCCs are intending to use the new precept flexibility.

We will also increase investment in national policing priorities such as police technology and Special Grant by around £130m compared to 2017/18. This reflects our commitment to support the police to deliver a modern digitally enabled workforce, and to manage major events such as the Commonwealth Summit and terrorist attacks. We will maintain the size of the Police Transformation Fund at £175 million in order to help drive police reform.

Counter-terrorism police will receive a £50m (7%) increase in like for like funding when compared to 2017/18. This will enable the counter-terrorism budget to increase to at least £757m, including £29m for an uplift in armed policing from the Police Transformation Fund. This is a significant additional investment in the vital work of counter-terrorism police officers across the country. PCCs will be notified of force allocations separately. These will not be made public for security reasons.

In addition to the police funding settlement, the Government is taking decisive action to tackle the increasingly sophisticated cyber threat we face through the National Cyber Security Strategy, which is supported by a £1.9billion programme of transformational investment from 2016 to 2021. The Law Enforcement response to tackling cyber crime is an essential element of our national strategy, with the Home Office investing £30m of National Cyber Security Programme funding in 2017/18 to support and develop the law enforcement response at the national, regional and local level. We will continue to invest in law enforcement capability throughout the lifetime of the programme.

As I set out in my statement of 19 December, the increase in funding to PCCs in 2018/19 must be matched by a serious commitment from PCCs and chief constables to reform by improving productivity and efficiency to deliver a better, more transparent service to the public. Since that statement, I have written to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council seeking their proposals to deliver further efficiencies. Following these proposals, we will agree appropriate milestones for delivery in 2018. If the police deliver clear and substantial progress against the agreed milestones on productivity and efficiency in 2018, then the Government intends to maintain the protection of a broadly flat police grant in 2019/20 and repeat the same flexibility of the precept, i.e. allowing PCCs to increase their Band D precept by a further up to £12 in 2019/20. This approach gives policing the opportunity to make major improvements in efficiency, and use those gains to improve services to the public.

Since December, the Home Office has continued to work with the police to identify potential procurement savings. We have identified a further £20m of potential procurement savings starting in 2018/19, taking the total to over £120m.

In December I highlighted the opportunity for policing to save up to 1 hour per officer shift through mobile digital working, potentially releasing the equivalent of 11,000 police officers who can be deployed to meet changing demands. Since December I have established a small team who will work with the police through 2018 to audit the level of opportunity from mobile working, identify which approaches work best, highlight best practice, and help forces and the Home Office take the right decisions to maximise the gains from the use of mobile digital working.

We are also today publishing comparable national information on the financial reserves held by PCCs to assist the public in holding PCCs to account. As at March 2017 PCCs held usable resource reserves of over £1.6bn. This compares to £1.4bn in 2011. Current reserves held represent 15% of annual police funding to PCCs. There are wide variations between forces with Gwent for example holding 42% and Northumbria holding close to 7%. This is public money and the public are entitled to more information around police plans for reserves and how those plans will support more effective policing. So I am also today writing to PCCs setting out new guidance requiring them to publish their reserves strategies in plain English, with a clear justification for each reserve held.

I have set out in a separate document (attached) the tables illustrating how we propose to allocate the police funding settlement between the different funding streams and between Police & Crime Commissioners for 2018/19. These documents are intended to be read together.

Police funding settlement tables (PDF Document, 74.34 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS429
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Protocol to the Double Taxation Convention between the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan

A Protocol to the Double Taxation Convention with Uzbekistan was signed on 24 January 2018. The text of the Protocol is available on HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the Gov.uk website and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS428
WS
Attorney General
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Robert Buckland (Solicitor General)
Commons

Serious Fraud Office (Contingencies Fund Advance)

I would like to inform the House that a cash advance from the Contingencies Fund has been sought for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

In line with the current arrangement for SFO funding agreed with HM Treasury, the SFO will be submitting a Reserve claim as part of the Supplementary Estimate process for 2017-18.

The advance is required to meet a current cash requirement on existing services pending Parliamentary approval of the 2017-18 Supplementary Estimate. The Supplementary Estimate will seek an increase in both the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit and the net cash requirement in order to cover the cost of significant investigations.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £9,500,000 will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Serious Fraud Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £9,500,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The advance will be repaid upon Royal Assent of the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Guto Bebb (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Defence Equipment Plan

I am pleased to place in the Library of the House this year’s financial summary of the Defence Equipment Plan. This is the sixth consecutive annual publication of the equipment plan summary, and demonstrates the Ministry of Defence’s investment and the need to continue progress in driving improvements, reform and efficiency, with a plan to spend £180 billion on equipment and support over the decade out to 2026-27 which will provide our Armed Forces with the capability they need.

The Government remains committed to the Defence Budget increasing by 0.5% above inflation each year and the Department is focusing on where best to invest across the entire Defence programme in order to remain on top of an ever-changing and increasing threat environment. However, it was evident following the 2016 annual planning cycle that both uncertainty and risk had increased in the Equipment Plan. It did not, unfortunately, prove possible to address these issues satisfactorily in the 2017 Annual Budget Cycle (ABC17) as a result of which, the Equipment Plan emerging from ABC17 contains a high level of financial risk and an imbalance between cost and budget.

These risks have informed the Department’s work on the National Security Capability Review and associated work in the 2018 Annual Budget Cycle. The Department recently launched the Modernising Defence Programme. We aim to use this work to deliver better military capability and value for money in a sustainable and affordable way, and to ensure that defence capabilities complement other national security capabilities in the most effective way.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 31 January 2018
Made by: Alistair Burt (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs )
Commons

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Global Estate Update

I announce today the planned move of the Bangkok Embassy in Thailand. The new embassy building will be based in the AIA Sathorn Tower and will provide a modern, dedicated base from which diplomats can work to promote UK interests in Thailand.

We anticipate moving into the new offices in 2019, until which point we will lease back our existing embassy site to keep disruption to a minimum. Our embassy will continue to provide essential consular services to British holidaymakers and business people, and to work with the Thai authorities on preventing child exploitation, organised crime, money laundering and human trafficking.

Our new and improved embassy will allow us to take this activity to the next level, including by strengthening our trade links, enhancing our strong collaboration on science and innovation, and maintaining our focus on supporting human rights defenders and promoting freedom of expression. The new embassy will demonstrate our long-term commitment to our relationship with Thailand – a key partner for the UK’s security and prosperity interests and leading member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The completion of the sale of the current Bangkok Embassy compound in Thailand is the biggest land deal in Thai history and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) biggest ever sale, raising at least £420 million.

This deal is the result of considerable work by the FCO. The funds released will allow us to begin work on 30 to 40 major long-planned Estates projects, and enable us to continue to update and modernise our global estate so that it meets our aspiration to provide a world-class platform for diplomacy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS426
WS
Home Office
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Opt-In Decision: Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Immigration (Caroline Nokes) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Until the UK leaves the EU it remains a full member, and the Government will continue to consider the application of the UK’s right to opt in to, or opt out of, forthcoming EU legislation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security and protecting our civil liberties.

The Government has decided to opt-in to a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.

This Agreement will replace the EU-Canada PNR Agreement which expired in 2009. The UK opted-in to negotiations for a new Agreement which opened in 2010. When an envisaged Agreement was presented to the European Parliament for approval in July 2014, the Parliament referred it to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on its compliance with the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In July 2017, the Court found that the envisaged Agreement could not be concluded in its current form and the Council has now decided to reopen negotiations.

The UK, in common with the other EU Member States and with an increasing number of third countries, places considerable value on the processing and analysis of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

PNR data is used by many countries to detect individuals involved in serious crime and terrorism-related activity as well as enabling the protection of vulnerable victims of trafficking.

The Government believes that PNR agreements between the EU and third countries play a vital role in assuring the protection of personal data within PNR data and providing legal certainty for air carriers required to disclose personal data to third countries’ authorities. It is for this reason the government has decided to opt in to the negotiation of an EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and use of PNR data to prevent and combat terrorism and other serious transnational crime.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS434
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport )
Lords

Second annual report to Parliament on Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation and the publication of the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

My Honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP, has made the following statement today in the house of commons.

I am today publishing the second annual report on the Government’s sport strategy Sporting Future: a New Strategy for an Active Nation, together with the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

Second annual report to parliament on Sporting Future

Sporting Future set out a new government vision to redefine what success looks like in sport by concentrating on five key outcomes - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. It was a bold new strategy for an active nation. It marked the biggest shift in Government policy on sport for more than a decade.

We have continued to build on the significant progress achieved in the first year of the strategy and have continued to embed, and invest in sport and physical activity on the basis of, the five outcomes. On mental wellbeing, for example, we are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to explore how elite and professional sport can improve its offer of mental health support. We are also building on Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care report to ensure that sport takes its responsibilities to all participants seriously, whether that be elite athletes or those at the grassroots.

Investment in sport and physical activity continues to be focused on the five key outcomes. Funding has been opened up to organisations which can demonstrate how they will consistently deliver some or all of those shared goals, with a strong emphasis on tackling inactivity and engaging underrepresented groups.

We want to make sure absolutely everyone can benefit from the power of sport and I am grateful to all those across government and the sport and physical activity sector who are working to make the ambition of Sporting Future a reality. The annual report is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sporting-future-second-annual-report

Report on the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

Today I am also publishing the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

We want to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of efforts to to stop those who would wish to damage the integrity of sport through doping. This Tailored Review examines UKAD’s efficiency, effectiveness, governance and planning for the future.

The recommendations it makes will ensure that we are in the best place possible to continue efforts to stop drugs cheats and to continue to support athletes to compete on a level playing field.

We must continue to do all we can to support these efforts and I am grateful to all who were involved in, and contributed to, the review. The Tailored Review is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-review-of-uk-anti-doping

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Lords

Dartford Thurrock River Crossing Charging Scheme

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Jesse Norman), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The Dartford – Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme account for 2016-17 is published today under Section 3 (1) (d) of the Trunk Road Charging Schemes (Bridges and Tunnels) (Keeping of Accounts) (England) Regulations 2003. A copy of the accounts will be placed in the House Library.

Accounts (PDF Document, 419.9 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS431
WS
Home Office
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Caroline Nokes (The Minister of State for Immigration)
Commons

Opt-In Decision: Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

Until the UK leaves the EU it remains a full member, and the Government will continue to consider the application of the UK’s right to opt in to, or opt out of, forthcoming EU legislation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security and protecting our civil liberties.

The Government has decided to opt-in to a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.

This Agreement will replace the EU-Canada PNR Agreement which expired in 2009. The UK opted-in to negotiations for a new Agreement which opened in 2010. When an envisaged Agreement was presented to the European Parliament for approval in July 2014, the Parliament referred it to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on its compliance with the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In July 2017, the Court found that the envisaged Agreement could not be concluded in its current form and the Council has now decided to reopen negotiations.

The UK, in common with the other EU Member States and with an increasing number of third countries, places considerable value on the processing and analysis of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

PNR data is used by many countries to detect individuals involved in serious crime and terrorism-related activity as well as enabling the protection of vulnerable victims of trafficking.

The Government believes that PNR agreements between the EU and third countries play a vital role in assuring the protection of personal data within PNR data and providing legal certainty for air carriers required to disclose personal data to third countries’ authorities. It is for this reason the government has decided to opt in to the negotiation of an EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and use of PNR data to prevent and combat terrorism and other serious transnational crime.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS425
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Stephen Barclay (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

Government Response to the Naylor Review of NHS property and estates

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) has made the following statement:

I am today announcing the publication of the Government Response to the Naylor Review.

In March 2017, Sir Robert Naylor published his independent review, NHS Property and Estates: Why the estate matters for patients. It highlighted not just the scale of the challenge we face in ensuring that the NHS has both the buildings and equipment that it needs, but also the scale of the opportunity open to us. It set out how, by taking a more strategic approach, the NHS can generate money to reinvest in new or updated premises and in better patient care. Unused land can be released for much-needed housing, driving regeneration and creating jobs. Using healthcare buildings more efficiently can reduce running costs and deliver more integrated care.

The Government welcomes the review and its recommendations, which we will implement in conjunction with national partners and the NHS.

Sir Robert set out the progress needed on three key themes to transform the NHS estate, and we are taking action in response. The themes highlighted by the Review are leadership and capability, national planning and funding, and incentivising action locally. We are taking action on each of these themes.

First, we have created a new NHS property board, of which I am the Chair. This brings together all the key national players and will act as a single point of leadership for the system on estate matters. We are improving capability at a local level by creating a new national strategic estates planning and advisory service, to help the NHS move from planning to delivery. This team has evolved over the last year as we have brought together all the local strategic estates advisers into a single team to provide expert advice to the NHS.

Second, we are taking steps to improve national planning and funding. Sir Robert gave a clear estimate of the level of funding required to enable the transformation of the estate to meet the vision of the Five Year Forward View. It recommended this could be found through government capital, private finance and proceeds from the disposal of surplus NHS land.

The Chancellor, in his Autumn Budget, announced an additional £10 billion package of capital investment over the course of this Parliament. The Government has committed over £3.9 billion of capital for the NHS. This will support the NHS to increase the proceeds from the sale of surplus land to £3.3 billion. We expect it to be supplemented by private investment, where this provides good value for money. It is likely some of this will come from the types of schemes that already fund primary care facilities. With this £10 billion package of capital investment, we will develop a pipeline of transformational STP projects over the next five years so that the NHS can deliver on the vision of the Five Year Forward View.

The first group of schemes to benefit from this new combined STP funding have already been announced and patients will see the benefits from this investment across a wide range of care settings.

Finally, we are taking action to incentivise local NHS organisations to take a more strategic approach to estates planning and management. I can reassure NHS organisations that they will be able to retain receipts from land sales, so these can be reinvested in the NHS estate, to renew and replace outdated facilities and to address backlog maintenance, in line with local priorities and STP strategies. Where surplus land is developed for housing, NHS staff will be given the right of first refusal on any affordable homes built. We have an ambition that this will allow up to 3,000 NHS workers and their families living in areas where accessing affordable housing can be challenging to own their home.

The Government has delivered its share of the funding needed; the NHS must also play its part. It cannot be right for NHS properties to remain unused and empty when their disposal could generate funds for reinvestment and thus improve facilities and services for patients. As Sir Robert recommended, in order to access capital funding STPs will need to develop robust estates plans with stretching disposal strategies and that reduce running costs and address backlog maintenance. The local NHS needs to act quickly to develop these plans and will be supported by advisors from the local strategic estates planning team.

I would like to again express my gratitude to Sir Robert, his advisory board and Review Team for their time, expertise and commitment.

I attach a copy of the Government’s response

Response to the Naylor Review (PDF Document, 522.53 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS422
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society )
Commons

Second annual report to Parliament on Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation and the publication of the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

I am today publishing the second annual report on the Government’s sport strategy Sporting Future: a New Strategy for an Active Nation, together with the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

Second annual report to parliament on Sporting Future

Sporting Future set out a new government vision to redefine what success looks like in sport by concentrating on five key outcomes - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. It was a bold new strategy for an active nation. It marked the biggest shift in Government policy on sport for more than a decade.

We have continued to build on the significant progress achieved in the first year of the strategy and have continued to embed, and invest in sport and physical activity on the basis of, the five outcomes. On mental wellbeing, for example, we are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to explore how elite and professional sport can improve its offer of mental health support. We are also building on Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care report to ensure that sport takes its responsibilities to all participants seriously, whether that be elite athletes or those at the grassroots.

Investment in sport and physical activity continues to be focused on the five key outcomes. Funding has been opened up to organisations which can demonstrate how they will consistently deliver some or all of those shared goals, with a strong emphasis on tackling inactivity and engaging underrepresented groups.

We want to make sure absolutely everyone can benefit from the power of sport and I am grateful to all those across government and the sport and physical activity sector who are working to make the ambition of Sporting Future a reality. The annual report is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sporting-future-second-annual-report

Report on the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

Today I am also publishing the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

We want to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of efforts to to stop those who would wish to damage the integrity of sport through doping. This Tailored Review examines UKAD’s efficiency, effectiveness, governance and planning for the future.

The recommendations it makes will ensure that we are in the best place possible to continue efforts to stop drugs cheats and to continue to support athletes to compete on a level playing field.

We must continue to do all we can to support these efforts and I am grateful to all who were involved in, and contributed to, the review. The Tailored Review is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-review-of-uk-anti-doping

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