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Lords questions government on returning pupils to schools and reducing new members on 23 June

22 June 2020

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Questions in the House of Lords on Tuesday 23 June were on illegal fly-tipping, government progress since the most recent London Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, reducing the number of introductions of new members and the safe return of students to schools.

Questions on Tuesday 23 June:

  • Lord Trefgarne asked the government what steps it is taking to reduce the amount of illegal fly-tipping, particularly in rural areas.

    Topics discussed include: closures of local authority waste centres; seeking recovery of clearance costs from flytippers; the disparity between fines and costs for clearance; increasing numbers of recycling centres; encouraging centres to accept garden waste to prevent flytipping; reducing costs for disposal of waste; support for local authority and police forces to combat flytipping; and reviewing sentencing guidelines and penalties.


  • Lord Collins of Highbury asked the government about its progress on implementing the action points since the most recent London Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

    Topics discussed include: delivering commitments on human rights and support for LGBT people across the commonwealth; the location of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting; the role of the Commonwealth Secretary General; the Birmingham Commonwealth Games; support for commonwealth activities beyond the Heads of Government Meeting; reform of the commonwealth secretariat; the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative; gay rights throughout the commonwealth; citizenship for Hong Kong residents across the commonwealth; and supporting direct flights to Rwanda.


  • Lord Balfe asked the government what consideration has been given to reducing the number of introductions of new Peers.

    Topics discussed include: giving members the opportunity to vote on the number of new members introduced to the House; abolishing hereditary by-elections; reducing the existing number of members; setting appointment targets for the remainder of this parliament; misuse of the appointment system; and the proposals for reform set out in the Burns report.


  • Lord Randall of Uxbridge asked the government about its consultations with education and health professionals about plans to facilitate the safe return of students to schools as soon as possible.

    Topics discussed include: provisions available for year 11 and 13 classes leaving next year; decision-making processes to close schools in the event of a localised outbreak; government steps to ensure all children return to school in September; the different methods implemented by Wales and England for students returning to school; developing a better policy for online teaching in case of a second wave of Covid-19; government discussions with the education unions to prepare for a second spike;  the long-term harm of children not returning to school; whether there will be sufficient space for all pupils to return to school in light of social distancing measures; and secondary schools taking note of students who do not return in September.

Further information

Image: House of Lords / Roger Harris