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: 14 September 2017
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Terms of Reference

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

On 15 August 2017, I announced the formal setting up of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, to be chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, and its terms of reference. This followed Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s letter to me of 10 August, which advised me of the outcome of the public consultation on the scope of the terms of reference, and his recommendations. I was happy to accept Sir Martin’s recommendations without amendment.

The Inquiry’s full terms of reference are:
(i) to examine the circumstances surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, including
(a) the immediate cause or causes of the fire and the means by which it spread to the whole of the building;
(b) the design and construction of the building and the decisions relating to its modification, refurbishment and management;
(c) the scope and adequacy of building regulations, fire regulations and other legislation, guidance and industry practice relating to the design, construction, equipping and management of high-rise residential buildings;
(d) whether such regulations, legislation, guidance and industry practice were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower and the fire safety measures adopted in relation to it;
(e) the arrangements made by the local authority or other responsible bodies for receiving and acting upon information either obtained from local residents or available from other sources (including information derived from fires in other buildings) relating to the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower, and the action taken in response to such information;
(f) the fire prevention and fire safety measures in place at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017;
(g) the response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire; and
(h) the response of central and local government in the days immediately following the fire;
and
(ii) to report its findings to the Prime Minister as soon as possible and to make recommendations.

Sir Martin has said that he is considering appointing assessors to assist him in his task. He considers it likely that he shall wish to appoint a diverse group of people whose experience extends to the occupation and management of social housing and the administration of local government more generally, as well as to matters of a more technical scientific nature. He also states that at a later stage, he may also wish to appoint others to assist on particular aspects of the investigation. He will make his decisions public in due course. I have not appointed any other members to the Inquiry Panel at this stage. However, the Inquiries Act 2005 allows for appointments to be made, with the consent of Sir Martin, during the course of the Inquiry. This enables the composition of the Inquiry Panel to be kept under review.

My exchange of correspondence with Sir Martin is in the Library of the House.

Sir Martin is holding a preliminary hearing later today where he will set out further detail on how he intends on conducting the Inquiry.

In addition to the work of the Inquiry, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has already announced an Independent Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt. This will urgently assess the effectiveness of current building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement issues, with a focus on multi occupancy high rise residential buildings. The Review will co-operate fully with the Inquiry. Sir Martin has set out his reasons for not looking into the broader social housing issues but, as he said in his letter, they should not be ignored and I am determined that these important questions are not left unanswered. As a first step, I have asked my Hon. Friend the Housing Minister (Alok Sharma) to personally meet and hear from as many social tenants as possible, as well as other residents of social housing estates, both in the immediate area around Grenfell Tower and across the country. The Housing Minister has already met a number of representative groups and will continue meet tenants during October and November.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Energy Policy

My right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (Greg Clark), has made the following written ministerial statement:

As part of preparations for EU Exit, the UK is establishing a domestic nuclear safeguards regime to ensure that the UK continues to maintain its position as a responsible nuclear state and that withdrawal from Euratom will not result in the weakening of our future safeguards standards and oversight in the UK.

This Government believes that it is vitally important that the new domestic nuclear safeguards regime, to be run by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, is as comprehensive and robust as that currently provided by Euratom. The government has therefore decided that it will be establishing a domestic regime which will deliver to existing Euratom standards and exceeds the standard that the international community would require from the UK as a member of the IAEA. International oversight will be a key part of the future regime. The UK is seeking to conclude new agreements with the IAEA that follow the same principles as our current ones. This will ensure that the IAEA retains its right to inspect all civil nuclear facilities, and continue to receive all current safeguards reporting, ensuring that international verification of our safeguards activity continues to be robust.

Discussions with the European Union are on-going. We will be exploring a number of options for smooth transition from the current Euratom regime to a domestic one. The unique and important nature of the civil nuclear sector means that there is strong mutual interest in ensuring that the UK and Euratom Community continue to work closely together in the future. The UK’s ambition is to maintain a close and effective relationship with the Euratom Community and the rest of the world that harnesses the UK’s and the Euratom Community’s expertise and maximises shared interests. By maintaining our current safeguards and standards we are providing the best possible basis for continued close cooperation with Euratom in the future.

Whatever the outcome of those discussions, the Government is committed to a future regime that provides at least the existing levels of assurance. The legislation to provide for this was announced in the Queen’s speech and will be brought forward in due course. This policy statement provides important context both for parliamentary consideration of that Bill, and for the forthcoming talks with the European Union, which take place in the last week of September.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS137
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Tax Information Exchange Arrangement between the United Kingdom and Bermuda and a Double Taxation Agreement between the United Kingdom and Kyrgyzstan

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

An Exchange of Letters was signed with Bermuda in London on 19 June 2017 and in Hamilton on 27 June 2017. The text replaces the original Exchange of Letters signed in London on 4 December 2007.

A first-time Double Taxation Agreement with Kyrgyzstan was signed on 13 June 2017. The texts of the Exchange of Letters and the Double Taxation Agreement have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on the HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the gov.uk website. The texts will be scheduled to draft Orders in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS134
WS
Wales Office
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales)
Lords

Electoral Commission Report on the National Assembly for Wales Elections 2016: Government Response

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

The Government is today publishing its response to the Electoral Commission’s report on the administration of the 2016 elections to the National Assembly for Wales.

We are grateful to the Commission for preparing its report and for its ongoing work to support the administration of elections. We note that, following the implementation of the Wales Act 2017, powers over Assembly elections will be devolved to the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Ministers. It will therefore be the responsibility of the Welsh Government to implement the Commission’s recommendations in respect of the next scheduled Assembly elections in 2021. The Government will consider the Commission’s wider recommendations in respect of polls that remain non-devolved.

Copies of the Government’s response will be placed in the library of both Houses.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Government Whip)
Lords

Trade Matters

My Rt hon Friend The Secretary of State for Department for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Dr Liam Fox) has made the following statement

EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) – Provisional Application

The Government wishes to inform the House that on 21 September 2017, the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada will be provisionally applied. The date of provisional application was confirmed by the European Commission to EU Member States in the last meeting of the Trade Policy Committee.

The UK has always been a strong supporter of CETA and remains a constructive partner in support of EU free trade agreements.

Canada is one of the world’s most developed economies and a significant trading partner for the UK. The provisional application of CETA will benefit consumers and provide opportunities for British businesses with 98% of all Canadian tariff lines being eliminated.

This will create major opportunities for UK businesses across the whole economy and the Government is now working with our Canadian partners to ensure that UK businesses take full advantage of the provisional application of this agreement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS132
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Hong Kong (Sino/British Joint Declaration)

My right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

The latest six-monthly report on the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong was published today, and is attached. It covers the period from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

The report has been placed in the Library of the House. A copy is also available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office).

I commend the report to the House.

Hong Kong Six Month Report (PDF Document, 333.75 KB)
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )
Commons

Energy Policy

As part of preparations for EU Exit, the UK is establishing a domestic nuclear safeguards regime to ensure that the UK continues to maintain its position as a responsible nuclear state and that withdrawal from Euratom will not result in the weakening of our future safeguards standards and oversight in the UK.

This Government believes that it is vitally important that the new domestic nuclear safeguards regime, to be run by the Office for Nuclear Regulation, is as comprehensive and robust as that currently provided by Euratom. The government has therefore decided that it will be establishing a domestic regime which will deliver to existing Euratom standards and exceeds the standard that the international community would require from the UK as a member of the IAEA. International oversight will be a key part of the future regime. The UK is seeking to conclude new agreements with the IAEA that follow the same principles as our current ones. This will ensure that the IAEA retains its right to inspect all civil nuclear facilities, and continue to receive all current safeguards reporting, ensuring that international verification of our safeguards activity continues to be robust.

Discussions with the European Union are on-going. We will be exploring a number of options for smooth transition from the current Euratom regime to a domestic one. The unique and important nature of the civil nuclear sector means that there is strong mutual interest in ensuring that the UK and Euratom Community continue to work closely together in the future. The UK’s ambition is to maintain a close and effective relationship with the Euratom Community and the rest of the world that harnesses the UK’s and the Euratom Community’s expertise and maximises shared interests. By maintaining our current safeguards and standards we are providing the best possible basis for continued close cooperation with Euratom in the future.

Whatever the outcome of those discussions, the Government is committed to a future regime that provides at least the existing levels of assurance. The legislation to provide for this was announced in the Queen’s speech and will be brought forward in due course. This policy statement provides important context both for parliamentary consideration of that Bill, and for the forthcoming talks with the European Union, which take place in the last week of September.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS136
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice )
Commons

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office Annual Report 2016–2017

With the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice, I will today publish the eleventh annual report of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), formerly known as the Office for Judicial Complaints.

The JCIO supports the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor in our joint statutory responsibility for judicial discipline.

The judiciary comprises approximately 26,000 individuals serving across a range of jurisdictions. Over the past year, the JCIO received 2,126 complaints against judicial office holders and 526 written enquiries. Only 42 investigations resulted in disciplinary action. The JCIO met all of its key performance indicators for processing complaints.

I have placed copies of the report into the libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. Copies are also available online at: http://judicialcomplaints.judiciary.gov.uk/publications.htm.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS138
WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Terms of Reference

On 15 August 2017, I announced the formal setting up of a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, to be chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, and its terms of reference. This followed Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s letter to me of 10 August, which advised me of the outcome of the public consultation on the scope of the terms of reference, and his recommendations. I was happy to accept Sir Martin’s recommendations without amendment.

The Inquiry’s full terms of reference are:

(i) to examine the circumstances surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, including

(a) the immediate cause or causes of the fire and the means by which it spread to the whole of the building;

(b) the design and construction of the building and the decisions relating to its modification, refurbishment and management;

(c) the scope and adequacy of building regulations, fire regulations and other legislation, guidance and industry practice relating to the design, construction, equipping and management of high-rise residential buildings;

(d) whether such regulations, legislation, guidance and industry practice were complied with in the case of Grenfell Tower and the fire safety measures adopted in relation to it;

(e) the arrangements made by the local authority or other responsible bodies for receiving and acting upon information either obtained from local residents or available from other sources (including information derived from fires in other buildings) relating to the risk of fire at Grenfell Tower, and the action taken in response to such information;

(f) the fire prevention and fire safety measures in place at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017;

(g) the response of the London Fire Brigade to the fire; and

(h) the response of central and local government in the days immediately following the fire;

and

(ii) to report its findings to the Prime Minister as soon as possible and to make recommendations.

Sir Martin has said that he is considering appointing assessors to assist him in his task. He considers it likely that he shall wish to appoint a diverse group of people whose experience extends to the occupation and management of social housing and the administration of local government more generally, as well as to matters of a more technical scientific nature. He also states that at a later stage, he may also wish to appoint others to assist on particular aspects of the investigation. He will make his decisions public in due course. I have not appointed any other members to the Inquiry Panel at this stage. However, the Inquiries Act 2005 allows for appointments to be made, with the consent of Sir Martin, during the course of the Inquiry. This enables the composition of the Inquiry Panel to be kept under review.

My exchange of correspondence with Sir Martin is in the Library of the House.

Sir Martin is holding a preliminary hearing later today where he will set out further detail on how he intends on conducting the Inquiry.

In addition to the work of the Inquiry, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has already announced an Independent Review into Building Regulations and Fire Safety, led by Dame Judith Hackitt. This will urgently assess the effectiveness of current building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement issues, with a focus on multi occupancy high rise residential buildings. The Review will co-operate fully with the Inquiry. Sir Martin has set out his reasons for not looking into the broader social housing issues but, as he said in his letter, they should not be ignored and I am determined that these important questions are not left unanswered. As a first step, I have asked my Hon. Friend the Housing Minister (Alok Sharma) to personally meet and hear from as many social tenants as possible, as well as other residents of social housing estates, both in the immediate area around Grenfell Tower and across the country. The Housing Minister has already met a number of representative groups and will continue meet tenants during October and November.

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury )
Commons

Tax Information Exchange Arrangement between the United Kingdom and Bermuda and a Double Taxation Agreement between the United Kingdom and Kyrgyzstan

An Exchange of Letters was signed with Bermuda in London on 19 June 2017 and in Hamilton on 27 June 2017. The text replaces the original Exchange of Letters signed in London on 4 December 2007.

A first-time Double Taxation Agreement with Kyrgyzstan was signed on 13 June 2017. The texts of the Exchange of Letters and the Double Taxation Agreement have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on the HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the gov.uk website. The texts will be scheduled to draft Orders in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS135
WS
Wales Office
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Alun Cairns (Secretary of State for Wales )
Commons

Electoral Commission Report on the National Assembly for Wales Elections 2016: Government Response

The Government is today publishing its response to the Electoral Commission’s report on the administration of the 2016 elections to the National Assembly for Wales.

We are grateful to the Commission for preparing its report and for its ongoing work to support the administration of elections. We note that, following the implementation of the Wales Act 2017, powers over Assembly elections will be devolved to the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Ministers. It will therefore be the responsibility of the Welsh Government to implement the Commission’s recommendations in respect of the next scheduled Assembly elections in 2021. The Government will consider the Commission’s wider recommendations in respect of polls that remain non-devolved.

Copies of the Government’s response will be placed in the library of both Houses.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

Trade Matters

EU-Canada Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) – Provisional Application

The Government wishes to inform the House that on 21 September 2017, the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada will be provisionally applied. The date of provisional application was confirmed by the European Commission to EU Member States in the last meeting of the Trade Policy Committee.

The UK has always been a strong supporter of CETA and remains a constructive partner in support of EU free trade agreements.

Canada is one of the world’s most developed economies and a significant trading partner for the UK. The provisional application of CETA will benefit consumers and provide opportunities for British businesses with 98% of all Canadian tariff lines being eliminated.

This will create major opportunities for UK businesses across the whole economy and the Government is now working with our Canadian partners to ensure that UK businesses take full advantage of the provisional application of this agreement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS133
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 14 September 2017
Made by: Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Hong Kong (Sino/British Joint Declaration)

The latest six-monthly report on the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong was published today, and is attached. It covers the period from 1 January to 30 June 2017.

The report has been placed in the Library of the House. A copy is also available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office).

I commend the report to the House.

Hong Kong Six Month Report (PDF Document, 333.75 KB)
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 13 September 2017
Made by: Chris Skidmore (Minister for the Constitution)
Commons

Cabinet Office Consolidated Fund Standing Service

The UK General Election took place on 8 June 2017, resulting in an increase in non-voted programme Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit of £140,850,000.

This ​forecast covers England, Scotland and Wales and comprises:

£98,310,000

to cover fees and expenses incurred by Returning Officers in running the poll

£42,540,000

to cover primarily the delivery of elections addresses at public expense by the Universal Service Provider (Royal Mail) in accordance with legislation

The additional non-voted resources of ​£140,850,000 will be shown in Cabinet Office’s Supplementary Estimate 2017-18.

DEL written statement £

Change

New Total

Voted

Non-Voted

Voted

Non-Voted

Resource DEL

-

140,850,000

353,520,000

148,227,000

Of which:

Administration budget

-

-

160,939,000

-

Depreciation

-

-

35,000,000

-

Capital DEL

-

-

97,010,000

-

Having drawn down £140,850,000, the Cabinet Office will transfer £14,359,330 at Supplementary Estimate 2017-18 to the Scotland Office to cover forecast election expenses in Scotland.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 September 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Annual Report of the Biometrics Commissioner

I am pleased to announce that my rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today publishing the third annual report of the Biometrics Commissioner, together with the government’s response.

The Biometrics Commissioner, Paul Wiles, is appointed under Section 20 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. His responsibilities are:

  • to decide applications by the police for extended retention of DNA profiles and fingerprints from persons arrested for serious offences but not charged or convicted;
  • to keep under review National Security Determinations made by Chief Officers under which DNA profiles and fingerprints may be retained for national security purposes;
  • to exercise general oversight of police use of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints.

His report is a statutory requirement of section 21 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

I am grateful to Mr Wiles for this report. No redactions to it have been made on the grounds of national security. The Government has considered it and produced a response.

Copies of the report will be available from the Vote Office. The Government’s response will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS129
WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 September 2017
Made by: Mr Ben Wallace (The Minister of State for Security)
Commons

Annual Report of the Biometrics Commissioner

My hon Friend the Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am pleased to announce that my rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today publishing the third annual report of the Biometrics Commissioner, together with the government’s response.

The Biometrics Commissioner, Paul Wiles, is appointed under Section 20 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. His responsibilities are:

  • to decide applications by the police for extended retention of DNA profiles and fingerprints from persons arrested for serious offences but not charged or convicted;
  • to keep under review National Security Determinations made by Chief Officers under which DNA profiles and fingerprints may be retained for national security purposes;
  • to exercise general oversight of police use of DNA samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints.

His report is a statutory requirement of section 21 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

I am grateful to Mr Wiles for this report. No redactions to it have been made on the grounds of national security. The Government has considered it and produced a response.

Copies of the report will be available from the Vote Office. The Government’s response will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS131
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 12 September 2017
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Commons

ROTHERHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has made steady and significant progress in its improvement journey since February 2015 when the Secretary of State for Education and I appointed a team of Commissioners to undertake all executive and some non-executive functions in the Council. This progress has led to the majority of functions being returned to the Council over the last 18 months.

On 18 July 2017, I announced my intention, after careful consideration of the recommendation from the Commissioner team, to return a further five service areas to the Council – performance management, waste collection, human resources, asset management and community safety. On the same day, representations were invited from the Authority regarding this intention. I have considered the representations, including from the Chief Executive. I am satisfied that the Council is now able to exercise functions relating to these service areas in compliance with the best value duty as set out in the Local Government Act 1999, and that the people of Rotherham can have confidence that this will be the case.

Today, I exercised my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to return five functions to the Council so that Councillors became responsible for decision making in these areas. To do so, the Education Secretary and I also issued further Directions updating the previous Directions issued on 21 March 2017. Handing back these powers increases democratic control and is a significant milestone for the Council on its improvement journey.

With effect from 12 September, the Commissioners provide oversight on these five service areas as well as the set of functions returned last year and ensure that they are exercised in accordance with the statutory best value duty. Commissioners also continue to retain powers in children’s services (including all services relating to child sexual exploitation), the appointment and dismissal of statutory officers and payment of special allowances.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS130
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 12 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

ROTHERHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

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

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has made steady and significant progress in its improvement journey since February 2015 when the Secretary of State for Education and I appointed a team of Commissioners to undertake all executive and some non-executive functions in the Council. This progress has led to the majority of functions being returned to the Council over the last 18 months.

On 18 July 2017, I announced my intention, after careful consideration of the recommendation from the Commissioner team, to return a further five service areas to the Council – performance management, waste collection, human resources, asset management and community safety. On the same day, representations were invited from the Authority regarding this intention. I have considered the representations, including from the Chief Executive. I am satisfied that the Council is now able to exercise functions relating to these service areas in compliance with the best value duty as set out in the Local Government Act 1999, and that the people of Rotherham can have confidence that this will be the case.

Today, I exercised my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999 to return five functions to the Council so that Councillors became responsible for decision making in these areas. To do so, the Education Secretary and I also issued further Directions updating the previous Directions issued on 21 March 2017. Handing back these powers increases democratic control and is a significant milestone for the Council on its improvement journey.

With effect from 12 September, the Commissioners provide oversight on these five service areas as well as the set of functions returned last year and ensure that they are exercised in accordance with the statutory best value duty. Commissioners also continue to retain powers in children’s services (including all services relating to child sexual exploitation), the appointment and dismissal of statutory officers and payment of special allowances.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS128
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 12 September 2017
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention and Protocols

My Honourable Friend the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism (John Glen) has made the following Written Statement: The United Kingdom has formally ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and acceded to its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999.

Our instruments of ratification and accession were formally deposited with UNESCO this morning. Subject to confirmation by UNESCO, the Convention and Protocols will come into force for the United Kingdom on 12th December 2017.

The Convention and Protocols are intended to protect cultural property from damage, destruction, looting and unlawful removal during armed conflict. The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 makes the necessary provision in our domestic law to ensure that we can meet our obligations under the Convention and Protocols.

We intend to bring the provisions of the Act into force on the same date that the Convention and Protocols come into force.

Before the Convention, Protocols and Act come into force, we plan to announce and publish a number of implementation measures.

We will announce and publish a list of categories of cultural property in the United Kingdom which we believe meets the definition of cultural property set out in Article 1 of the Convention and is therefore protected by the Convention and Protocols. This will be a UK-wide list, agreed with the devolved administrations. It will not be a definitive or exhaustive list, but it will act as a guide to the cultural property in the United Kingdom which we consider to be protected by the Convention and Protocols.

We will also make an announcement about safeguarding measures for cultural property in England which is protected by the Convention and Protocols. The devolved administrations are responsible for safeguarding cultural property in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Convention and Act regulate the use of the cultural emblem (also known as the “blue shield”) that signifies cultural property protected by the Convention and Protocols and certain personnel engaged in the protection of cultural property. In accordance with the Act, we will publish some permissions to use the cultural emblem in England, which will come into effect on the day on which the Convention, Protocols and Act come into force. There will be a general permission for education and training purposes and permissions for specific organisations which need to make use of the emblem.

We will make an announcement about our approach to granting permissions to display the cultural emblem in connection with immovable cultural property in England which is protected by the Convention and Protocols.

Under the Act, the devolved administrations are responsible for granting permissions to use and display the cultural emblem in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We will also publish guidance on the new offence of dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property, which is created by section 17 of the Act, to help people comply with the Act.The United Kingdom has formally ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and acceded to its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999.

Our instruments of ratification and accession were formally deposited with UNESCO this morning. Subject to confirmation by UNESCO, the Convention and Protocols will come into force for the United Kingdom on 12th December 2017.

The Convention and Protocols are intended to protect cultural property from damage, destruction, looting and unlawful removal during armed conflict. The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017 makes the necessary provision in our domestic law to ensure that we can meet our obligations under the Convention and Protocols.

We intend to bring the provisions of the Act into force on the same date that the Convention and Protocols come into force.

Before the Convention, Protocols and Act come into force, we plan to announce and publish a number of implementation measures.

We will announce and publish a list of categories of cultural property in the United Kingdom which we believe meets the definition of cultural property set out in Article 1 of the Convention and is therefore protected by the Convention and Protocols. This will be a UK-wide list, agreed with the devolved administrations. It will not be a definitive or exhaustive list, but it will act as a guide to the cultural property in the United Kingdom which we consider to be protected by the Convention and Protocols.

We will also make an announcement about safeguarding measures for cultural property in England which is protected by the Convention and Protocols. The devolved administrations are responsible for safeguarding cultural property in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Convention and Act regulate the use of the cultural emblem (also known as the “blue shield”) that signifies cultural property protected by the Convention and Protocols and certain personnel engaged in the protection of cultural property. In accordance with the Act, we will publish some permissions to use the cultural emblem in England, which will come into effect on the day on which the Convention, Protocols and Act come into force. There will be a general permission for education and training purposes and permissions for specific organisations which need to make use of the emblem.

We will make an announcement about our approach to granting permissions to display the cultural emblem in connection with immovable cultural property in England which is protected by the Convention and Protocols.

Under the Act, the devolved administrations are responsible for granting permissions to use and display the cultural emblem in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We will also publish guidance on the new offence of dealing in unlawfully exported cultural property, which is created by section 17 of the Act, to help people comply with the Act.

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 12 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Public services

My Right Honourable Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Our public sector workers are among the most extraordinarily talented and hardworking people in our society. They, like everyone else, deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are fairly rewarded.

We take a balanced approach to public spending, dealing with our debts to keep our economy strong, while also making sure we invest in our public services.

The Government will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers is fair to them and ensures that we can deliver world class public services, while also being affordable within the public finances and fair to taxpayers as a whole.

The last Spending Review budgeted for one per cent average basic pay awards, in addition to progression pay for specific workforces, and there will still be a need for pay discipline over the coming years, to ensure the affordability of the public services and the sustainability of public sector employment.

However, the Government recognises that in some parts of the public sector, particularly in areas of skill shortage, more flexibility may be required to deliver world class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

The detail of 2018/19 pay remits for specific Pay Review Bodies will be discussed and agreed as part of the Budget process and set out in due course.

Police and prison officer pay awards

The following sets out the Government’s response to the recommendations in the third annual report of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) and the sixteenth report of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) which were published today.

My Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary (Amber Rudd) has decided to award officers in the PRRB remit group a pay award worth a total of two per cent to each officer in 2017/18, consisting of a one per cent consolidated pay increase in addition to a one-off one per cent non-consolidated payment to officers in that remit group. This award will be funded within existing budgets.

The police pay award will be implemented with effect from 1 September 2017 as follows:

  • A one per cent increase to base pay for all ranks.

  • An additional one-off non-consolidated payment to officers at federated and superintending ranks.

  • A one per cent increase to the London Weighting payment.

  • A one per cent increase to the Dog Handlers’ Allowance.

The Home Secretary’s full decision on all recommendations will be published alongside the PRRB report, on their website. These awards will be funded within existing budgets.

In addition, the Supplement to the 2017 Report of the Senior Salaries Review Body making recommendations on the pay of chief police officers has also been published today. The Home Secretary has accepted these recommendations.

My Right Honourable Friend the Justice Secretary (David Lidington) has accepted the PSPRB recommendations, giving all prison staff a pay increase. This pay award will help recruit and retain staff with the right experience and expertise to keep our prisons safe and secure. This is in line with the recommendation of the PSPRB. This award will be funded within existing budgets.

The prison officer pay award is as follows and will be implemented in October’s pay and backdated to 1 April 2017:

  • All Prison officers and operational support grades in bands 2-5 will receive a consolidated increase of at least £400, including those on their pay band maximum.

  • All uniformed staff on ‘Fair & Sustainable’ terms in Bands 2-5 below the maximum will also progress by one pay point.

  • Managers in bands 7-11 on ‘Fair & Sustainable’ terms will receive pay progression above 1% depending on their performance rating and place in their pay band.

  • Managers on closed grades will get at least 1%, and those below their pay scale maximum will get more.

I thank all three Chairs and members of the independent Pay Review Bodies for their hard work in producing these recommendations.

Copies of the reports are available in the Vote Office and will be published online.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS127
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