Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Music: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps is taking to enable singing in (a) choirs, (b) audiences, and (c) congregations as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 29 July 2020

We are committed to getting the performing arts sector fully back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening. We have released guidance to support the performing arts sector resume activity in line with the roadmap announced by the Secretary of State last month. In addition, the Government is supporting a number of studies that are currently underway to understand more about the risks associated with these activities. The findings from these studies will inform further changes in the guidance.

Singing, especially in groups, such as in choirs or in audiences - in religious settings or otherwise, is considered a higher risk activity because of the potential for aerosol production and the absence presently of developed scientific analysis to assess this specific risk. The evidence is being developed rapidly. Whilst further evidence is being developed, we advise that non-professional groups should not sing in at this stage and should only do activities in line with government guidance on social mixing.

Grouped Questions: 73891
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Music: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on what date he plans to enable singing in (a) choirs, (b) audiences and (c) religious congregations as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 29 July 2020

We are committed to getting the performing arts sector fully back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening. We have released guidance to support the performing arts sector resume activity in line with the roadmap announced by the Secretary of State last month. In addition, the Government is supporting a number of studies that are currently underway to understand more about the risks associated with these activities. The findings from these studies will inform further changes in the guidance.

Singing, especially in groups, such as in choirs or in audiences - in religious settings or otherwise, is considered a higher risk activity because of the potential for aerosol production and the absence presently of developed scientific analysis to assess this specific risk. The evidence is being developed rapidly. Whilst further evidence is being developed, we advise that non-professional groups should not sing in at this stage and should only do activities in line with government guidance on social mixing.

Grouped Questions: 73889
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Death Certificates: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy that ethnic information should be included on death certificates.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 24 July 2020

The recent Public Health England report ‘Beyond the Data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups’ recommended the mandatory collection of ethnicity data at death certification. How to take this forward is being considered by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) as part of the wider work she is leading to improve the quality of data on ethnic disparities and COVID-19.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Airbus UK: Redundancy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure the skills of engineers who are made redundant at Airbus are utilised as part of the economic recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 22 July 2020

We are working closely with Airbus to help the company through Covid-19 and into recovery. I appreciate this is a worrying time for workers at Airbus who may be affected; the Government will do all that we can to support affected workers through the Department for Work and Pensions and Job Centre Plus in England, and in Wales through the services offered through the ReAct programme.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Domestic Abuse: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much of the £8.5 million allocated to the 115 successful bidders to the Domestic Abuse Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund has been received by the successful organisations.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 July 2020

To date we have allocated £8.76 million of the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund to 122 successful applications.

Payments are being processed as soon as grant funding agreements are signed by the applicants and the Government. As at 15 July, 97 per cent of the allocated funds have been received by the applicants.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Domestic Abuse: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many organisations who applied to the Covid-19 Domestic Abuse Accommodation Emergency Support Fund met the criteria and achieved (a) a score 4 and (b) a score 3 but were not successful in their applications.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 July 2020

To date, to keep vital domestic abuse safe accommodation services up and running, MHCLG has allocated £8.76 million of the £10 million Domestic Abuse COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund to 122 successful charity bidders. This additional funding will re-open 299 bedspaces that were closed due to COVID-19 will create 1293 additional bedspaces.

Each application for the £10 million Domestic Abuse Accommodation Emergency Support Fund is assessed, and scored between zero and four, against each of the criteria as set out within the fund prospectus.

Applications fail the assessment if scored 0 or 1 on any of the criteria.

To ensure Government meets its responsibility to spend public money wisely, due diligence checks are also undertaken to validate applicant eligibility and to provide an essential check on the financial status of applicants. Applications which pass the assessment but fail due diligence checks do not proceed.

Of the 136 applications assessed, 3 applications were unsuccessful having passed the assessment but failing on due diligence checks.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Science: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating additional financial support to the (a) We, The Curious centre in Bristol and (b) other science education centres to mitigate the financial effects of the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 21 July 2020

We recognise that these are extremely difficult conditions for those science education centres like We, The Curious, which also operate as visitor attractions. These organisations educate and entertain visitors of all ages on what science is.

We do not have any plans to make an assessment of the merits of allocating additional support to the We, The Curious centre, or to other science education centres. Visitor attractions will benefit from the reduced rate of VAT which the Government will temporarily apply to attractions, accommodation and hospitality from 15 July 2020-12 January 2021.

In addition, the Department for Education is funding a range of science institutions to support high-quality science education. This includes funding STEM Learning to deliver high quality CPD for teachers of science through the national network of 33 Science Learning Partnerships. STEM Learning also deliver Project Enthuse, which provides DfE-funded bursaries for teachers to attend CPD classes.

The Department for Education also funds the Institute of Physics to run the Stimulating Physics Network to provide support to schools to improve progression to physics A level, particularly by girls.

The DfE has been working with its providers to agree how to modify their science education programmes in light of the current situation. This has involved ensuring all activity prioritises the safety of staff, teachers and pupils, while continuing to support schools and teachers where possible.

Businesses and workers in the science education centre sector can also access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package. This includes the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan scheme, VAT payment deferrals for firms and £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Education
Science: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will work with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to provide the (a) We the Curious centre in Bristol and (b) other science education centres with additional financial support in response to revenue lost as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 21 July 2020

The Department for Education (DfE) is funding a range of science institutions to support high-quality science education. This includes funding STEM Learning to deliver high quality continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers of science through the national network of 33 Science Learning Partnerships. STEM Learning also deliver Project Enthuse, which provides DfE-funded bursaries for teachers to attend CPD at the National STEM Learning Centre in York. In addition to this, we fund the Institute of Physics to run the Stimulating Physics Network to provide support to schools to improve progression to physics A level, particularly by girls.

The DfE has been working with its providers to agree how to modify their science education programmes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has involved ensuring all activity prioritises the safety of staff, teachers and pupils and exploring what can be delivered remotely.

The Government has provided a range of financial support to charities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information on the range of financial support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, available to charities can be can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

The DfE does not provide funding to We the Curious. Funding for charities is a matter for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Outdoor Recreation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will produce guidance to support (a) festivals and (b) other outdoor events to reopen safely as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 21 July 2020

The Events Industry Forum has published Covid-19 secure guidance on outdoor events which has been developed with input from DCMS. Event organisers should take account of government guidance on performing arts when organising outdoor events with live performances.

We will continue to work with the festivals and the outdoor events sector to develop Covid-19 secure guidance that reflects the latest government regulation and policy.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 45293 on Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus, what criteria his Department uses to determine the needs of (a) tenants and (b) landlords in relation to the lifting of the temporary ban on evictions from residential properties.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 20 July 2020

On 5 June the Government announced that the current suspension of possession proceedings would be extended by two months until 23 August 2020. This means that no action to evict a tenant will proceed before 24 August 2020.

The Government listens to a variety of stakeholders that represent landlords and tenants. As the Government takes steps in the next phase of the COVID-19 response, we will consider how measures should adapt to ensure they reflect public health guidance and the changing nature of this wider context recognising the interests of both tenants and landlords.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 40670, how many people were recorded as sleeping rough in the second quarter of 2020.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 20 July 2020
Holding answer received on 20 July 2020

MHCLG collect an annual official snapshot of rough sleeping which is verified by Homeless Link and provides information about the estimated number of people sleeping rough on a single night between 1 October and 30 November each year, along with some basic demographic details. This was last released in February 2020 and showed a total figure of 4,266 rough sleepers on any given night, 9% lower than the previous year. The next annual snapshot is due to take place in autumn 2020. Regarding the numbers of people currently rough sleeping, local authorities currently hold the most up to date information.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Local Housing Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2020 to Question 40669 on universal credit, prior to raising the local housing allowance to the 30th percentile, what assessment she made of the levels of need this would match.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 20 July 2020
Holding answer received on 20 July 2020

Raising the local housing allowance (LHA) rate to the 30th percentile ensured over 1 million households will see an increase, on average, of £600 this year.

This increase means that 30% of properties in each broad rental market area charge a rent within the LHA rate, with the exception of 15 rates in central and inner London where the national maximum caps continue to apply. The national caps have also been increased and are now based on the Outer London LHA rate plus 20%.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2020 to Question 60812, what data his Department collects from local authorities on the amount they have spent on providing accommodation for rough sleepers under the Everybody In initiative.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 20 July 2020

The first two rounds of the Covid-19 financial monitoring survey have now been published. These show that between March-May 2020, additional local authority expenditure due to Covid-19 for housing services, including homelessness services, was £63 million. We will publish a summary of the results from the third round in due course.

Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-covid-19-financial-impact-monitoring-information.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the potential effect on the number of affordable homes for rent or sale which will be built as a result of removing planning requirements for some property development applications as set out by the Prime Minister on 30 June 2020.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 20 July 2020

Our proposals to introduce new permitted development rights to create new homes will mean that more homes to buy or rent will be delivered than would otherwise be the case. We have not made any estimates of how many of these extra homes will be affordable homes.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 July 2020
Treasury
Public Houses: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional support to wet-led pubs based in town centres that will not benefit from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and who have reduced revenues as a result of people working from home during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Pregnancy: Mortality Rates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme's 2019 publication entitled Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care, on the elevated risk of maternal death for Black and Asian women.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Contact Tracing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is using NHS volunteers to help with the covid-19 track and trace programme; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 16 July 2020

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. 27,000 contact tracing staff have been recruited to support this service with staff being a mix of paid call handlers and health professionals. They are in addition to existing public health experts from Public Health England and local government.

As these roles are professional paid roles, NHS Volunteer Responders are not currently being used to support the programme.

To increase self-isolation compliance, the Test and Trace programme ensures that people who are contacted to self-isolate are aware of the support offered by NHS Volunteer Responders which includes volunteers being able to help with food shopping, medication delivery and check in and chat phone calls.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Pregnancy: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to improve maternal mortality rates for Black women.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 14 July 2020

Analysis of maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths, undertaken by MBRRACE-UK, shows that poor outcomes are much higher for mothers from Black/Black British and Asian/Asian British ethnic groups and women living in the most deprived areas of the country.

Work to reduce health inequalities around maternal mortality rates is being led by Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, Chief Midwifery Officer. This includes understanding why mortality rates are higher, considering evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and taking action to reduce mortality rates. The work is multi-disciplinary and involves a range of stakeholder groups, including users of maternity services.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Education
Children: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to ensure that there is adequate home-school provision and support for children who are unable to return to school in September 2020 because they are shielding.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 14 July 2020

We now know much more about COVID-19 and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of COVID-19.

This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education. Schools should monitor engagement with this activity.

Further information is available in our guidance on the full reopening of schools:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Health Insurance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in what circumstances her Department will use its discretion to waive the requirement for applicants with settled status applying for British citizenship to have had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in order to satisfy the requirement that they have been legally residing in the UK.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 14 July 2020

To meet the statutory requirements for naturalisation, a person of any nationality must have been in the UK lawfully during the residential qualifying period.

EEA regulations set out the requirements which individuals need to follow if they wish to reside here lawfully on the basis of free movement. In the case of students or the self-sufficient – but not those who were working here – the possession of comprehensive sickness insurance has always been a requirement.

The British Nationality Act allows us to exercise discretion over this requirement in the special circumstances of any particular case. We cannot therefore prescribe when discretion will or will not be exercised. UKVI consider cases sensitively, taking into account the nature and reasons for any period of unlawful residence alongside other information relevant to the individual.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Bristol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the performance figures are for the Bristol assessment centre against the consultation centre target that 90 per cent of all claimants are seen within 30 minutes of their consultation time, for the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 14 July 2020

For the last 12 months, the percentage of individuals seen at the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Bristol Assessment Centre within 30 minutes of their appointment time is 77.9%. This covers the period July 2019 to the 17 March 2020 when face-to-face assessments were suspended. We continue to work closely with suppliers to improve the waiting times whilst maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Protective Clothing: Manufacturing Industries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government has taken through monitoring to ensure that personal protective equipment used in the NHS and social care sector is not manufactured in conditions that breach human rights.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 13 July 2020
Holding answer received on 23 June 2020

The Government has a robust triage process which ensures that we discard orders that do not meet technical assurance standards, commercial due diligence and checks for risk and fraud.

The Government ensures that the modern slavery clause is in our personal protective equipment contracts and we undertake factory inspections to ensure compliance.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance he plans to provide to landlords of clinically vulnerable tenants, who are currently in the shielded category, on accessing rental properties to carry out routine inspections and repairs after 1 August 2020 .
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 13 July 2020

The advice for those shielding is due to be relaxed from 31 July 2020, so that from 1 August 2020, individuals in the clinically extremely vulnerable group will no longer be advised to shield. From 1 August 2020, the guidance given to the clinically extremely vulnerable group is due to be in line with advice currently given to the clinically vulnerable group.

Currently, the Government guidance is that no repair or maintenance work should be carried out in any household where an individual is being shielded, unless that work is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household.

From 1 August 2020, advice for those currently in the clinically extremely vulnerable group is due to be relaxed, allowing tradespeople to carry out routine inspections and repairs in households that were previously shielding. It is important that inspections and repairs are carried out in accordance with the latest guidance on working safely in people’s homes. Where these visits occur, landlords and tenants should work together to make prior arrangements to ensure that social distancing is maintained, and appropriate hygiene measures are followed.

Published guidance will be updated accordingly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timescale is for changing universal credit systems and processes to reflect the ruling by the Court of Appeal on 22 June 2020 on the need to take account of the day that a monthly salary is paid.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 13 July 2020

I refer the Rt.Hon Member to the answer I gave on 1 July 2020 to Question UIN 63208:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-23/63208/

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 July 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Democracy and Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when his Department next plans to publish the annual report on human rights and democracy abroad.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 10 July 2020

We intend to publish the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 2019 Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report before Parliament rises for the summer recess.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality Act 2010
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 46100, what the timescale is for her Department to quantify the additional costs that may be incurred by local authorities.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 09 July 2020

Section 36 of the Equality Act cannot commence for private companies before an assessment of local authority costs is made. This is because Section 36 applies to all types of landlords; commencement of Section 36 may require local authorities to meet additional costs regardless of the type of landlord. Departments continue to engage on quantifying additional costs.

Grouped Questions: 63378 | 69601
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality Act 2010
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 46100, whether section 36 of the Equalities Act 2010 can commence for private companies before any assessment of local authority costs is made.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 09 July 2020

Section 36 of the Equality Act cannot commence for private companies before an assessment of local authority costs is made. This is because Section 36 applies to all types of landlords; commencement of Section 36 may require local authorities to meet additional costs regardless of the type of landlord. Departments continue to engage on quantifying additional costs.

Grouped Questions: 63372 | 69601
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality Act 2010
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 46100 on Equality Act 2010, what the timeframe is for identifying the additional costs that local authorities may incur.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 09 July 2020

Section 36 of the Equality Act cannot commence for private companies before an assessment of local authority costs is made. This is because Section 36 applies to all types of landlords; commencement of Section 36 may require local authorities to meet additional costs regardless of the type of landlord. Departments continue to engage on quantifying additional costs.

Grouped Questions: 63372 | 63378
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Doctors: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to extend or amend the training of doctors as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 08 July 2020

Health Education England (HEE) is leading the Future Doctor Programme to support the ambitions of the NHS People Plan and establish a clear view of what the National Health Service, patients and the public require from future doctors. The Programme will identify requirements for reform of medical education and training and will incorporate lessons from the response to COVID-19.

Through the ongoing Annual Review of Competency Progression, HEE is reviewing junior doctor training progress and the impact of COVID-19, to ensure programmes can be amended or extended and any gaps in training addressed where necessary. HEE has also worked with the General Medical Council and Royal Medical Colleges to minimise the need for training extensions due to the impact of cancelled exams.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Epilepsy: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the continued supply of epilepsy medication in the event that the UK exits the transition period without a trade agreement with the EU.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 08 July 2020

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January and is now in a Transition Period until 31 December 2020. During this time, it remains our objective to negotiate a future relationship with the EU and in our respective published negotiating documents, we have both stated objectives to reach an agreement on trade in goods. The UK’s published approach sets out how we want to facilitate trade in medicinal products and support high levels of patient safety.

The Department has well-established procedures to deal with medicine shortages, whatever their cause, and will always work closely with the pharmaceutical industry and National Health Service to help ensure patients continue to have access to the medicines and treatments they need, including epilepsy medication, under all scenarios.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 June 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received legal advice on whether the ban on evictions due to the covid-19 outbreak applies to people who have been granted refugee status and are living in accommodation for asylum-seekers.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 08 July 2020

Asylum seekers who are granted refugee status are normally given notice that they must leave any accommodation that has been provided to them by the Home Office within 28 days, as they may now take employment and have access to mainstream benefits and housing assistance from their local authority. Whilst this process was paused on 27 March for a period of three months, we are currently reviewing plans about appropriate timing to resume issuing notices in individual cases in a carefully phased and measured way and have been having discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Local Authorities and others on the arrangements.

The timing of those decisions is not affected by the current restrictions on evicting tenants from private rental properties. Those arrangements do not apply to those in asylum support accommodation. This is confirmed in paragraph 2.2 of the Government’s guidance to landlords and tenants, which can be found at: MHCLG guidance https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888843/Updated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department for Education
Education: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing children to repeat a year in school if their parents feel they have fallen behind as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 July 2020

We do not currently anticipate that, as a general rule, children and young people will need to repeat a school year as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, it remains possible for headteachers to agree this in individual cases, if they think it is appropriate. It is important for parents to remember that all children in any year group will be in the same position and schools will be planning carefully to take this into account in their teaching and their support for pupils as they return.

We have announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most. This package of measures includes:

  • A universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time.
  • A new £350m National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils.

Once a child has been admitted to a school it is for the headteacher to decide how best to educate them.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Ministry of Justice
Family Proceedings: Mediation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of the Family Mediation Council of 6 May 2020 on the diversion of potential litigants away from the Court system to Family Alternative Dispute Resolution options.
A
Answered by: Alex Chalk
Answered on: 07 July 2020

It can be a difficult time for families and parents, with Covid-19 placing relationships under additional pressures. Mediation can play an important role in helping families resolve conflict in the best interests of their children without the need to come to court. We are committed to championing mediation as an alternative to court for suitable families and are grateful for the FMC for their proposals. We welcome the chance to work closely with the sector, to improve outcomes for families, and manage demand in court through the promotion of alternative dispute resolution.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants died after making an application.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 06 July 2020

It is hugely regrettable that a claimant passes away before a compensation award can be made or an apology sent to them.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme staff are working hard to ensure that where they are aware of claimants with critical or life shortening illnesses, that their cases are prioritised.

In the deeply unfortunate circumstances where a claimant has passed away after submitting a compensation claim, but before the claim is fully resolved, the team continues to work closely with the appointed representative, usually members of the family, to ensure the compensation payment is made as quickly as possible.

We are aware of five unfortunate cases to date where the claimant has passed away after having submitted a claim but before receiving compensation. We are working closely with the families and legal representatives to determine the right person to whom the compensation can be paid.

To help family members during this distressing time, we have provided links to Government websites that provide information on how to deal with bereavement and we have offered assistance from our claim’s assistance provider Citizens Advice which is well versed in dealing with the financial implications of bereavement.

Grouped Questions: 1236
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants died before receiving compensation.
A
Answered by: Priti Patel
Answered on: 06 July 2020

It is hugely regrettable that a claimant passes away before a compensation award can be made or an apology sent to them.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme staff are working hard to ensure that where they are aware of claimants with critical or life shortening illnesses, that their cases are prioritised.

In the deeply unfortunate circumstances where a claimant has passed away after submitting a compensation claim, but before the claim is fully resolved, the team continues to work closely with the appointed representative, usually members of the family, to ensure the compensation payment is made as quickly as possible.

We are aware of five unfortunate cases to date where the claimant has passed away after having submitted a claim but before receiving compensation. We are working closely with the families and legal representatives to determine the right person to whom the compensation can be paid.

To help family members during this distressing time, we have provided links to Government websites that provide information on how to deal with bereavement and we have offered assistance from our claim’s assistance provider Citizens Advice which is well versed in dealing with the financial implications of bereavement.

Grouped Questions: 1235
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Treasury
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: Insurance Companies
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives of the insurance industry on the payment of business interruption insurance for business operations in relation to the covid-19 restrictions.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 01 July 2020

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its response to this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

Furthermore, to resolve uncertainty for customers making business interruption claims, on 1 May the FCA outlined its intention to seek a court declaration, on an agreed and urgent basis, for a selected number of key issues. Subsequently on 1 June, the FCA announced the policy wordings that would be tested in the court action and insurers it had invited to participate directly, along with an initial list of policy wordings and insurers that will potentially be impacted by the Court’s decision on the representative sample. The FCA expects to publish a final list of all the relevant insurers and policies that may have impacted wordings shortly, and expects a court hearing to take place in late July.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

Grouped Questions: 63370
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Home Office
Stop and Search: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether police officers are required to wear personal protective equipment during stop-and-search enquires during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 01 July 2020

The Government recognises the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all of those on the frontline and has published guidance on appropriate PPE for emergency workers, including the police.

The NPCC and the College of Policing have issued operational guidance to all forces on the use of PPE tailored to their unique role to ensure officers and staff are protected sufficiently. The guidance covers how, when and what type of PPE to wear across a range of scenarios, including close contact with the public such as when using stop and search, and where social distancing is not available.

The guidance is available online here: https://www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/COVID-19/Documents/Personal-Protective-Equipment-Operational-Guidance-1.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Treasury
Insurance: Further Education
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives of the insurance industry on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on small training colleges that provide industry-specific qualifications.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 01 July 2020

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its response to this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

Furthermore, to resolve uncertainty for customers making business interruption claims, on 1 May the FCA outlined its intention to seek a court declaration, on an agreed and urgent basis, for a selected number of key issues. Subsequently on 1 June, the FCA announced the policy wordings that would be tested in the court action and insurers it had invited to participate directly, along with an initial list of policy wordings and insurers that will potentially be impacted by the Court’s decision on the representative sample. The FCA expects to publish a final list of all the relevant insurers and policies that may have impacted wordings shortly, and expects a court hearing to take place in late July.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

Grouped Questions: 63367
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 June 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Disability: Retail Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to monitor the effect on disabled people of the new covid-19 related rules on shopping.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 30 June 2020

The Government took into account people with disabilities when developing the guidance.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-19 secure for their employees, visitors and customers. We expect all businesses to approach reopening in a sensible way, taking account of the Government’s guidance and discussing with neighbouring businesses and their local authorities where applicable.

Our guidance does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Holiday Accommodation: Bristol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of short-term lets in Bristol.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 30 June 2020

We recognise that these are extremely difficult conditions for hospitality businesses across the country, including short term lets. My officials and I continue to engage with short term holiday accommodation stakeholders to monitor the impact. No specific assessment has been made on COVID-19’s effect on the number of short term lets in Bristol.

In preparation for parts of the sector reopening on 4 July, we have published reopening guidance on Gov.uk for hotels and other guest accommodation, including short term holiday lets.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Holiday Accommodation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of short-term lets in the UK.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 30 June 2020

We recognise that these are extremely difficult conditions for hospitality businesses across the UK, including those in the short term lets market. We also greatly appreciate this market’s work in housing key workers and vulnerable groups during this crisis.

My officials and I continue to engage with short term holiday accommodation stakeholders to monitor the impact. No specific assessment has been made on COVID-19’s effect on the number of short term lets in the UK.

We have worked very closely with accommodation stakeholders to prepare reopening guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation, including short term holiday lets.

As the sector reopens from 4 July onwards, we will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tourism: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the tourism industry in Bristol.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 30 June 2020

We recognise the COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted tourism across the UK, including in Bristol. DCMS and VisitEngland remain in regular contact with tourism stakeholders and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) to closely monitor the situation and to assess the economic effects in all regions.

The Chancellor has announced a host of measures to support businesses and individuals through the crisis, including those in the tourism sector. This includes the recently extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Through VisitEngland, we announced a £1.3 million scheme to provide financial support to DMOs at risk of closure due to COVID-19. The DMO Resilience Fund has supported a number of DMOs in the South West, including £22,400 support for Visit Bristol, helping them to continue their vital business support work.

From 4 July, people will be allowed to enjoy holidays in England. To help tourism businesses prepare, we have published reopening guidance on Gov.uk for the visitor economy as well as hotels and other guest accommodation.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders - including through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Visitor Economy Working Group - to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tourism: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the tourism industry in the UK.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 30 June 2020

We recognise that these are extremely difficult conditions for tourism businesses across the country. DCMS and VisitEngland remain in regular contact with tourism stakeholders and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) to assess the economic effects on the industry.

I encourage affected tourism businesses to continue to explore the Government’s economic support package, which includes the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Through VisitEngland, we announced a £1.3 million scheme to provide financial support to DMOs at risk of closure due to COVID-19.

In preparation for parts of the sector reopening on 4 July, we have published reopening guidance on Gov.uk for the businesses in the visitor economy as well as hotels and other guest accommodation. VisitEngland have also introduced an industry standard quality mark that tourism businesses can acquire if they are compliant with COVID-19 secure guidance.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders - including through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the Visitor Economy Working Group - to assess how we can most effectively support tourism’s recovery across the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 25 June 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department's policy to serve eviction notices to people who have been granted refugee status to leave their asylum accommodation before the ban on evictions ends due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what discussions she had had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on accommodation needed for people facing eviction in order to prevent them from becoming homeless.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 30 June 2020

Asylum seekers who are granted refugee status are normally given notice that they must leave any accommodation that has been provided to them by the Home Office within 28 days, as they may now take employment and have access to mainstream benefits and housing assistance from their local authority. Whilst this process was paused on 27 March for a period of three months, we are currently reviewing plans about appropriate timing to resume issuing notices in individual cases in a carefully phased and measured way and have been having discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Local Authorities and others on the arrangements.

The timing of those decisions is not affected by the current restrictions on evicting tenants from private rental properties. Those arrangements do not apply to those in asylum support accommodation. This is confirmed in paragraph 2.2 of the Government’s guidance to landlords and tenants, which can be found at: MHCLG guidance (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888843/Updated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance.pdf)

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Contact Tracing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department uses to assess the suitability of companies for involvement in the NHS test and trace service for covid-19; what contractual obligations those companies have; and how those obligations are monitored.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Home Office
Migrant Camps: Greece
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate the Government has made of the number of children in refugee camps in Greece who have an adult relative in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The UK maintains close operational links with EU Member States in order to transfer those children who are assessed to be eligible to transfer under the Dublin III Regulation.

It is the responsibility of the EU Member State where the unaccompanied child resides to identify those children who would be eligible for transfer to another Member State under the Dublin III Regulation. The Home Office does not have access to the personal details of all unaccompanied children present in other EU Member States.

The Home Office publishes annual data on the Dublin III Regulation in the Immigration Statistics. This includes data on the number of requests to transfer into and out of the UK and the number acceptances and transfers into and out of, broken down by article and Member State requesting. The latest data, covering up to 2019, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#dublin-regulation

Instructions on how to use the data can be found in the ‘Notes’ sheet.

Grouped Questions: 3788
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that any unaccompanied child refugee or asylum-seeker in another European country with an adult relative in the UK has been contacted in order to reunite them with their family member.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The UK maintains close operational links with EU Member States in order to transfer those children who are assessed to be eligible to transfer under the Dublin III Regulation.

It is the responsibility of the EU Member State where the unaccompanied child resides to identify those children who would be eligible for transfer to another Member State under the Dublin III Regulation. The Home Office does not have access to the personal details of all unaccompanied children present in other EU Member States.

The Home Office publishes annual data on the Dublin III Regulation in the Immigration Statistics. This includes data on the number of requests to transfer into and out of the UK and the number acceptances and transfers into and out of, broken down by article and Member State requesting. The latest data, covering up to 2019, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#dublin-regulation

Instructions on how to use the data can be found in the ‘Notes’ sheet.

Grouped Questions: 3787
Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 3789 on Immigration: EU Nationals, whether her Department has used the electoral roll to contact EU citizens on applying for (a) settled or (b) pre-settled status.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The Home Office has not used the electoral roll to contact EU citizens about applying for settled or pre-settled status. In order to ensure that resident EEA nationals and their family members understand how and by when to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office has put in place a comprehensive communications and engagement plan, using all available channels to reach our audiences – such as marketing, presentations, email updates, toolkits and webinars.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Au Pairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what status and rights au pairs will have in the Government's new immigration policy.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The UK’s points-based immigration system will not offer a dedicated route for au pairs, as has been the case since 2008. However, there are other immigration routes which will exist for people who may wish to take up these roles, such as the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).

We have indicated our desire to negotiate a YMS with the EU, or with individual countries within it, ensuring young people can continue to enjoy the social, cultural and educational benefits of living in the EU and the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to care homes on the (a) clinical and (b) other criteria that should be taken into account on whether a resident with symptoms of covid-19 should be taken to hospital for treatment.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 25 June 2020
Holding answer received on 02 June 2020

Guidance on supporting care home residents who may require hospital care is set out in the ‘Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home’ guidance published on 2 April 2020. This includes assessing the appropriateness of hospitalisation as per the resident’s treatment plan, following infection prevention and control guidelines for patient transport, and informing the receiving healthcare facility that the incoming patient has COVID-19 symptoms.

Our Adult Social Care Action Plan, published on 15 April 2020, confirms that where a care home resident is suffering from more severe COVID-19 symptoms, the individual may need to be admitted to hospital. Decisions should always be made in line with clinical need.

Additionally, on 1 May 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a letter: ‘COVID-19 response: Primary care and community health support care home residents.’ The letter reiterates that secondary care providers should accept referrals and admissions from care home residents where clinically appropriate.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to review our guidance in line with the latest scientific advice.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that health guidance on covid-19 for people with underlying conditions has been made available in community languages.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 25 June 2020

Public Health England provides health guidance for the public on households with possible COVID-19 infection and shielding advice for COVID-19 for people with underlying health conditions. This information has been translated into the following languages: Bengali, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Simplified Chinese - Mandarin, Traditional Chinese - Cantonese, Urdu and Welsh.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the need for free specialist housing rights advice as a result of the economic consequences of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 25 June 2020

We understand that COVID-19 will have had an impact on people and their housing. This is why we have published guidance for people to navigate through this difficult time. There are also existing routes for people to get support on housing

Leaseholders may benefit from seeking free initial advice via the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), the specialist advisory body funded by the Department to provide assistance to leaseholders. Information on leasehold matters can be provided through the website (https://www.lease-advice.org/), via a telephone appointment with one of LEASE’s advisers (020 7832 2500) or by email (info@lease-advice.org).

Social and private renters can contact Citizens Advice or Shelter for free, impartial advice about their housing rights. Individuals who are eligible for legal aid may also contact Civil Legal Advice for free and confidential advice.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Paediatrics: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the maintenance of an adequate provision of paediatric bladder and bowel services during the covid-19 outbreak for people that are (a) subject to protection plans, (b) looked after and (c) that are subject to high levels of professional concern.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 24 June 2020

Throughout the pandemic the National Health Service has encouraged children, young people and their families to continue accessing services should they need it. The NHS is working to ensure that services continue to be available for patients. This includes access the paediatric bladder and bowel services.

Using the Child Protection Information System (CPIS), NHS England and NHS Improvement can track children who have a protection plan or looked after status. However, it should be noted that CPIS does not have a specific medical diagnosis for bladder or bowel conditions.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Treasury
Top Glove: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether rubber gloves manufactured by Malaysian company Top Glove have been imported into the UK in the last six months.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 22 June 2020

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are responsible for the collection and publication of data on UK imports and exports of goods to and from the UK. HMRC release this information monthly, as a National Statistic: the Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics.

The trade data collected does not enable HMRC to determine the manufacturer of goods.

There is aggregated trade data available for the goods and the periods requested on the uktradeinfo.com website, under ‘Build your own data tables’. The site also contains a ‘Help’ function with information on how to extract trade data.

Trade data relating to the value of rubber gloves imported from Malaysia can be searched for using commodity codes 4015110000 for surgical gloves and 4015190000 for other rubber gloves. These data sets may include gloves manufactured outside but imported through Malaysia, and exclude gloves manufactured within Malaysia but imported indirectly through other countries.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of rough sleepers housed through the Everybody In initiative were still accommodated on 1 June 2020, by local authority area.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports the announcements from the Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey that 15,000 people have been accommodated by local authorities in response to COVID-19.  You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

This information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally.  We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Grouped Questions: 60808 | 60809 | 60810 | 60813
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of rough sleepers who were accommodated by the Everybody In initiative have been placed in (a) move-on accommodation and (b) permanent accommodation by 1 June 2020, by local authority.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports the announcements from the Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey that 15,000 people have been accommodated by local authorities in response to COVID-19.  You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

This information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally.  We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Grouped Questions: 60807 | 60809 | 60810 | 60813
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many and what proportion of rough sleepers accommodated by the Everybody In initiative had returned to rough sleeping by 1 June 2020.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports the announcements from the Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey that 15,000 people have been accommodated by local authorities in response to COVID-19.  You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

This information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally.  We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Grouped Questions: 60807 | 60808 | 60810 | 60813
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many units of (a) move on accommodation and (b) permanent accommodation have been identified for people accommodated under the Everybody In initiative, by local authority.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports the announcements from the Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey that 15,000 people have been accommodated by local authorities in response to COVID-19.  You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

This information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally.  We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Grouped Questions: 60807 | 60808 | 60809 | 60813
Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment the Government has made of the cost of specialist non-housing support needed by the 15,000 rough sleepers accommodated by the Everybody In initiative in order to prevent those people returning to rough sleeping.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

We have provided £3.2 billion to councils across England to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be used to provide support to vulnerable people such as rough sleepers. This is in addition to £3.2 million in targeted funding for councils to support vulnerable rough sleepers.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local need and commissioning specialist services, such as alcohol and drug services. This includes providing services for people who experience homelessness and rough sleeping and those who have been supported into emergency accommodation sites.

Most local authorities are using their existing locally commissioned drug and alcohol treatment services to provide support in accommodation sites. This support includes harm reduction, prescribing services and managing related health issues like alcohol withdrawal. They are also drawing on wider NHS services to provide mental and physical health support in accommodation sites. Local authorities hold the most up to date information regarding the costs of non-housing support for people they are currently assisting


We are continuing to work closely with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society and, as we have been clear, are committed to working to ensure that the needs of these individuals are met and that as few people as possible return to the streets.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rough Sleeping: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have become street homeless since the start of the Everybody In initiative who have not been accommodated in emergency accommodation, by local authority area.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 22 June 2020

On 3 June, the Government published the management information that supports the announcements from the Secretary of State and Dame Louise Casey that 15,000 people have been accommodated by local authorities in response to COVID-19.  You can find this information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-rough-sleeper-accommodation-survey-data-may-2020.

This information is collected from over 300 local authorities nationally.  We are continuing to work with local authorities to understand the work they are doing to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Grouped Questions: 60807 | 60808 | 60809 | 60810
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Databases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department collates disaggregated by ethnicity on the proportion of adults who live in homes which are classified as (a) owner occupied, (b) private rented and (c) social housing.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 June 2020

MHCLG collates and publishes statistics on tenure by ethnicity in the annual English Housing Survey headline report: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-housing-survey-2018-to-2019-headline-report (see Annex Table 1.3).

The Department also contributes data on tenure and ethnicity to the Race Disparity Audit which is published on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/housing

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 15 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Charities and Voluntary Organisations: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on charities and voluntary organisations working with and for disabled people.
A
Answered by: Mr John Whittingdale
Answered on: 18 June 2020

Charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises across the country undertake incredibly important work with and for disabled people. This work has become even more critical during this unprecedented crisis.

Many organisations, including those working with and for disabled people, are experiencing significant pressures due to Covid-19, through either, or both, a loss of income and increasing demand for services increases.

This is why the government has made an unprecedented £750 million package of support available, specifically for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The £200m Coronavirus Community Support Fund (CCSF) forms a central part of this package, and is being distributed to organisations through the National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF). Organisations, including those who work with and for disabled people, should visit the TNLCF website to learn more about how to submit an application (www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk).

Furthermore, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced a £6 million fund to support charities working with people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Census: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the criteria is for adding an ethnicity to the options in the national census.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 17 June 2020

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 138.16 KB)
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Home Office
Deportation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to pursue deportation proceedings during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 15 June 2020

Removals of foreign national offenders and those who have no lawful basis to stay in the UK are still taking place where routes are available, and Immigration Enforcement are following the latest guidance from Public Health England.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of testing all healthcare workers and GPs for covid-19 even if they are not displaying symptoms.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 10 June 2020

We are now testing all National Health Service workers and patients without symptoms where there is a clinical need. This is in line with NHS England guidance. Used in the correct circumstances, testing of asymptomatic individuals can have a number of benefits, including:

- Developing understanding of prevalence and incidence of infection and how both change over time;

- Exploring key vectors of transmission and effectiveness of public health interventions; and

- Supporting infection control, providing an ability to proactively identify those who are yet to develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Health and Safety Executive: Bristol
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Health and Safety Executive inspectors are operating in Bristol.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 10 June 2020

There are currently 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) Inspectors based in Bristol.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department for Transport
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of medical examinations to maintain an adequate level of certified Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The Government has temporarily waived the requirement for bus and lorry drivers to provide a medical report when renewing their licences. This change was announced on 17 April 2020 for those applying to renew licences that expire on or after 1 January 2020.

It remains a legal requirement for drivers to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency of the onset or worsening of a medical condition that may impact their driving.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the welfare of (a) animals and (b) domestic pets during the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 10 June 2020

We are working closely with a wide range of stakeholders to respond quickly and effectively to emerging issues which may impact animal welfare.

We are having regular meetings with the livestock industry to discuss the specific issues affecting each sector and to consider what interventions might be appropriate. We have provided detailed guidance on how to safely care for farm animals whilst maintaining social distancing. We are encouraging farmers to consider the financial support schemes introduced by the Government, including a specific Dairy Response Fund, which will be open to applications from 18 June and will provide up to £10,000 each to help those dairy farmers most in need of support.

The Government recognises that the zoos sector, including aquariums, faces unique circumstances and we are committed to working with the industry to understand the impacts. We have been engaging closely with the main industry association, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and with individual zoos about the best way forward, also taking expert advice from Defra's Zoos Expert Committee.

Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan schemes, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding of up to £25,000. In addition, specifically for zoos in severe financial distress, the Government introduced a £14 million Zoos Support Fund for licensed zoos in England on 4 May.

As announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June, outdoor areas of zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen from 15 June, subject to appropriate social distancing measures being in place. This includes keeping indoor exhibitions, such as reptile houses and those in aquariums, closed, and ensuring other amenities like cafes offer take-away services only. The move follows close work by the Government with the zoo industry to ensure visitor numbers can be managed and safeguards are put in place. The decision to relax restrictions on these select outdoor attractions is part of the Government’s careful approach to easing the lockdown in phases, guided by the advice of scientific and medical experts and the fact the risk of transmission is much lower outdoors.

Officials continue to meet weekly with BIAZA and with the CEOs of the largest charitable zoos and aquariums in England providing a valuable forum to monitor concerns and seek insights from key sector representatives on current issues.

We are in regular contact with animal welfare charities to discuss their concerns and to see what actions can be taken so that the welfare of animals can be maintained through these difficult times.

We have also responded to, and continue, to respond to individual enquires from pet owners and pet related businesses.

To assist animal owners in these difficult times, the Government has issued the following guidance for owners and their animals which can be found on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals. Throughout this crisis, veterinarians have been classed as key workers and practices have been permitted to remain open.

The Government has sought the expert advice of the Animal Welfare Committee on the potential impact of Covid-19 on animal welfare and the actions that might be taken to mitigate the risks. Their report, published on 4 June, will help inform our future actions in addressing the wider impact of Covid-19 on animal welfare: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awc-opinion-on-the-animal-welfare-issues-related-to-covid-19

We continue to remain in close contact with the animal welfare sector about the situation facing organisations working with animals and to understand the impacts on the sector and their needs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Home Office
British Nationality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether settled status is admissible as evidence of lawful residence in the UK for the purpose of making an application for British citizenship.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 10 June 2020

Settled status is a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain. It can therefore be used to demonstrate the date on which an applicant became free from immigration time restrictions under the Immigration Rules.

Additional evidence may be required to demonstrate an individual meets the statutory requirements for naturalisation.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Older People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people aged over 70 who had no underlying health conditions have (a) needed hospital treatment, ( b) needed ICU treatment or (c) died as a result of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 09 June 2020
Holding answer received on 02 June 2020

Information on the number of people aged over 70 with no underlying health conditions who have needed hospital or intensive care unit treatment as a result of COVID-19 is not held in the format requested.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides monthly data on deaths involving the COVID-19, by age and pre-existing health conditions. These figures include deaths where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate. For age group 70 and over, 2,445 deaths that occurred in March and April 2020 had no pre-existing health conditions. The ONS defines a pre-existing condition as any condition that either preceded the disease of interest (in this instance, COVID-19) in the sequence of events leading to death, or was a contributory factor in the death, but was not part of the causal sequence.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for Transport
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what changes he is making to the requirement for heavy goods vehicle drivers to be periodically tested for a Certificate of Professional Competence while test centres are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 09 June 2020

Most professional lorry and bus drivers must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to maintain their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification. This is evidenced by a Driver CPC card (sometimes called a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’).

Periodic training is available remotely from commercial providers, via online video platforms. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency encourages drivers to continue to undertake training wherever possible, but not as an activity that needs extra travel and only in compliance with general government advice.

The validity of DQCs with expiry dates from 1 February 2020 to 31 August 2020 have been extended by 7 months.

Drivers will not be issued with a new card to reflect the new expiry date, and must continue to carry their DQC.

Drivers who have a DQC that has an expiry date from 1 September 2020 must not drive until it is renewed.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 21 May 2020
Department for Education
Rents: Students
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to provide (a) financial and (b) other support to students who have lost income and are struggling to pay their rent during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Michelle Donelan
Answered on: 09 June 2020

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Government guidance makes clear how important it is that institutions operate a non-eviction policy, so that no student is required to leave halls if their contract is up, if their rental agreement does not cover holiday periods or if they are unable to pay their rent. This is particularly important in the case of international students, care leavers and students estranged from their families.

Students will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable higher education providers to draw on existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding worth around £23 million per month for June and July, towards student hardship funds.

Students with a part-time employment contract should speak to their employer about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19), which has been set up to help pay staff wages and keep people in employment. We have also asked that higher education providers pay particular attention to the additional financial hardships that are being faced by student staff who have been reliant on income from campus-based jobs at this time.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Disability
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, what recent assessment he has made of whether HMRC's Regional Centre in 3 Glass Wharf, Bristol meets the 2018 edition of British Standard 8300.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 June 2020

HMRC aim to deliver excellent workplaces for all of their staff. This means allowing people to access and work in their buildings confidently, independently and with dignity regardless of their age, disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

3 Glass Wharf, Bristol meets building regulations required by law. Building Standard 8300 (BS8300) brings together a further range of inclusive design guidance, with the previous 2009 edition being revised in 2018. The 2009 version sought provision well beyond those required by building regulations, with the 2018 edition going still further. Planning permission was granted and construction commenced before the 2018 revision.

Standards are considered voluntary guidance, without the force of law, and are not retrospective. However, HMRC have decided to go further than what is required by law and have additional reasonable work planned at 3 Glass Wharf, beyond the 2009 version, in relation to the 2018 edition of BS8300.

HMRC have a number of policies and processes in place that are designed to ensure the needs of colleagues requiring adjustments are met. Health Related Special Leave is one element. As a person’s health and medical conditions are sensitive, HMRC’s HR systems do not record the reason for granting special leave. The reason for an individual’s Special Leave is only recorded by their manager and is not collated as part of a data set.

Grouped Questions: 52133 | 52134
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Disability
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, how many HMRC staff have been granted Health Related Special Leave because they are awaiting reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 to be made at the HMRC Regional Centre in 3 Glass Wharf, Bristol.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 June 2020

HMRC aim to deliver excellent workplaces for all of their staff. This means allowing people to access and work in their buildings confidently, independently and with dignity regardless of their age, disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

3 Glass Wharf, Bristol meets building regulations required by law. Building Standard 8300 (BS8300) brings together a further range of inclusive design guidance, with the previous 2009 edition being revised in 2018. The 2009 version sought provision well beyond those required by building regulations, with the 2018 edition going still further. Planning permission was granted and construction commenced before the 2018 revision.

Standards are considered voluntary guidance, without the force of law, and are not retrospective. However, HMRC have decided to go further than what is required by law and have additional reasonable work planned at 3 Glass Wharf, beyond the 2009 version, in relation to the 2018 edition of BS8300.

HMRC have a number of policies and processes in place that are designed to ensure the needs of colleagues requiring adjustments are met. Health Related Special Leave is one element. As a person’s health and medical conditions are sensitive, HMRC’s HR systems do not record the reason for granting special leave. The reason for an individual’s Special Leave is only recorded by their manager and is not collated as part of a data set.

Grouped Questions: 52132 | 52134
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Revenue and Customs: Disability
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 115096 on Revenue and Customs: Disability, how many HMRC staff have been granted Health Related Special Leave (formerly Disability Adjustment Leave) because they are awaiting reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 to be made at the HMRC Regional Centre in 3 Glass Wharf, Bristol, since September 2019.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 June 2020

HMRC aim to deliver excellent workplaces for all of their staff. This means allowing people to access and work in their buildings confidently, independently and with dignity regardless of their age, disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

3 Glass Wharf, Bristol meets building regulations required by law. Building Standard 8300 (BS8300) brings together a further range of inclusive design guidance, with the previous 2009 edition being revised in 2018. The 2009 version sought provision well beyond those required by building regulations, with the 2018 edition going still further. Planning permission was granted and construction commenced before the 2018 revision.

Standards are considered voluntary guidance, without the force of law, and are not retrospective. However, HMRC have decided to go further than what is required by law and have additional reasonable work planned at 3 Glass Wharf, beyond the 2009 version, in relation to the 2018 edition of BS8300.

HMRC have a number of policies and processes in place that are designed to ensure the needs of colleagues requiring adjustments are met. Health Related Special Leave is one element. As a person’s health and medical conditions are sensitive, HMRC’s HR systems do not record the reason for granting special leave. The reason for an individual’s Special Leave is only recorded by their manager and is not collated as part of a data set.

Grouped Questions: 52132 | 52133
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 May 2020
Department for Education
Children: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Command Paper 239 entitled Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's Covid-19 recovery Strategy, if he will consider allowing community spaces such as church halls and community centres to offer space for groups for pre-school age children due to move to primary school in September.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 09 June 2020

From 1 June, places of worship and community centres are allowed to open for providers on the early years register which usually use those premises. Information about this can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Providers should ensure they are acting in line with the protective measures and safe working guidance as well as the planning guide for early years and childcare settings. They should also ensure they are managing risks related to other users of the premises.

Guidance on protective measures and safe working guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

The planning guide for early years settings can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-early-years-and-childcare-settings-from-1-june.

Grouped Questions: 52152
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Local Broadcasting and Local Press: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to support independent local (a) print, (b) online and (c) broadcast news providers during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mr John Whittingdale
Answered on: 08 June 2020

To support the vital role of local news outlets, the government has clarified that all journalists including broadcast journalists, and other ancillary staff, are ‘key workers’ for the purposes of access to childcare and educational places. The government also issued guidance to local authorities on the importance of newspaper delivery, which has been critical to the continued dissemination of public interest news.

News publishers in particular are facing existential pressures due to the steep drop in advertising revenues resulting from the impacts of Covid-19. The government has therefore sought to maximise advertising opportunities for the sector, implementing a public information campaign to ensure the distribution of authoritative, up-to-date information about Covid-19, while also alleviating publishers’ financial pressures.. The current partnership brings together over 600 titles across the UK, of which the vast majority are local papers.

For online media outlets, the government has taken steps to ensure the use of ‘keyword blocklisting’ technology is not inadvertently damaging news publishers’ online advertising revenues for Covid-19 related stories. Additionally, the Chancellor brought forward the commencement of zero-rating of VAT on e-newspapers in order to bring savings to readers and support digital publishing.

We are in regular dialogue with stakeholders about ensuring the support offered to local news outlets is as effective as it can be. Ministers are also engaged with national and local broadcasters on a regular basis to understand the impacts of Covid-19 on their day to day operations, including broadcast news provision.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Justice
Repossession Orders: Legal Opinion
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people facing possession proceedings for their home are able to access the advice of a duty solicitor if court proceedings take place online or by phone.
A
Answered by: Alex Chalk
Answered on: 04 June 2020

Access to justice is a fundamental right and the government is committed to ensuring that everyone can get the support they need to access the justice system.

Duty solicitors play a crucial role in upholding this right, through offering on the day emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings in court. This means that anyone in danger of being evicted from their home or having their property repossessed can get free legal advice and representation on the day of their court hearing, regardless of their financial circumstances. That said, repossession cases are currently stayed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Justice and the Legal Aid Agency are working at pace to ensure that this support is available for those facing eviction when repossession hearings restart, which is currently scheduled to be after 24 June. This includes support for those attending hearings which are conducted remotely due to Covid-19 and those that include physical distancing measures.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality Act 2010
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May to Question 39526 on Equality Act 2010, what criteria her Department used to decide on the timeframe for the commencement of the provisions of the Equalities Act 2010.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 03 June 2020

My Department and others involved are working to quantify the additional costs that a commencement of the remainder of Section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 may require local authorities to meet. Agreement on this figure, and whether and how best such costs can be met, will be a key factor in determining the timescale for commencement.

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 May 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Retail Trade: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria the Government is using to decide which retail businesses can open on 1 June 2020; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 02 June 2020

Since 1 June, outdoor markets and car showrooms have been able to open. The transmission of the virus is lower outdoors and in open spaces and the COVID-secure guidelines can be more easily followed.

All other non-essential retail will be able to reopen from 15 June if the scientific and medical advice allows and they are able to follow the COVID-secure guidelines. This provides shops and other retail branches enough time to put in place the necessary social distancing measures and hygiene standards.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking with the Department for Education to ensure that the required (a) equipment and (b) technology to participate in school work is provided to asylum-seeking families with children living in National Asylum Support Service supplied accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The children of asylum seekers have access to the same educational services as all other children living in the UK.

The government has committed over £100 million to support remote education. We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access. This specifically includes: children in Year 10 who are preparing for examination; children receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children; or care leavers.

In addition, where individuals in these groups do not have internet connections, we will be providing them 4G wireless routers to ensure they can learn at home.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 May 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of applying to remove the EU State Aid cap on the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme for sectors that are not affected by state aid rules.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The Government keeps its business support schemes including the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality scheme under constant review. This is why we have updated guidance to Local Authorities administering the scheme, and why, based on feedback from our stakeholders, we launched the Discretionary Grant Scheme to allow Local Authorities to support businesses which did not meet the criteria for the Small Business Grant Fund or Retail Leisure and Hospitality scheme.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 13 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Health and Safety Executive: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 13 May 2020, HCWS234 on Construction update, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of staffing at the Health and Safety Executive to (a) monitor and (b) enforce the guidance provided in that written statement.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 22 May 2020

Individual employers and those in control of construction sites have a legal responsibility of ensuring appropriate measures are in place to protect workers from Covid-19 on construction sites. Nevertheless, the Government recognises the important role that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plays as Great Britain’s health and safety regulator and has announced that additional funds are being made available to support them in their regulatory work relating to Covid-19. HSE is currently developing plans for carrying out proactive checks of workplaces including construction sites to ensure that appropriate measures are in place. In addition, HSE continues to address reported workplace concerns with employers, including those relating to Covid-19.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Treasury
Self-employment Income Support Scheme: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether self-employed people who have No Recourse To Public Funds as an immigration condition are able to apply for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 21 May 2020

The revised guidance published alongside the legal direction is clear that grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are not counted as ‘access to public funds’ and that taxpayers on all categories of visa can claim the SEISS grant. This treatment of SEISS grant payments aligns with that of payments from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Small Businesses: Government Assistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when Bristol City Council will receive guidance on the top up to local business grants scheme announced on 2 May 2020.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 21 May 2020

The Government has announced that up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants as part of the suite of Business Support grants supporting businesses and local economies across England. Guidance, intended to support Local Authorities in administering the Discretionary Grants Fund, was published 13th May.

Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

This will not replace existing guidance for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) or the Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-support-grant-funding-guidance-for-businesses

The additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this fund and may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need, subject to those businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria. Businesses seeking information should refer to their Local Authority for further information on their discretionary scheme. Businesses already in receipt of the SBGF, RHLGF or Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not eligible.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Rett UK: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating funding to Rett UK to enable it to maintain the provision of providing support to people with Rett syndrome.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 21 May 2020

On 8 April 2020 the Chancellor announced £750 million to support the charity sector in response to COVID-19. This fund comprises three elements:

- £360 million will be allocated by central government to charities in England based on evidence of service need. This will include up to £200 million support for hospices, with the rest going to organisations like St John Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people. The Department of Health and Social Care is working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and HM Treasury to work through which voluntary sector organisations are making an essential contribution to the COVID-19 response and may be eligible for funding;

- £370 million will support charities working with vulnerable people. In England, this support will be provided through the National Lottery Community Fund. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with the National Lottery Community Fund to develop eligibility, application and assessment criteria for this part of the fund, which will be launched imminently. Applicants will be assessed on the extent to which they meet the objectives of the fund, which are to reduce temporary closures of essential charities and to reduce the burden on the public services, including the National Health Service; and

- The Government will match the public donations to the BBC Big Night In fundraising event, which took place on 23 April, starting with a contribution of at least £20 million to the National Emergencies Trust appeal.

Charities can also access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and, they are able to benefit from the three-month VAT deferral scheme. Charity shop premises will benefit from the new enhanced retail rate relief at 100%.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 May 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that access to (a) WiFi, (b) smartphones and (c) other digital devices are provided for asylum seekers living in National Asylum Support Service supplied accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 21 May 2020

Asylum seekers receiving support under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 are generally provided with accommodation and a cash allowance to cover other essential living needs. The level of the cash allowance provided take into account communication needs, including the cost of buying and using a mobile phone. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis a higher proportion of asylum seekers than usual are being accommodated in full-board hostels and hotels. We are looking at practical ways of providing internet access to this group and other ways to enable them to communicate effectively. Our accommodation providers can and have provided mobile phones to those who do not have one.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that asylum seekers have adequate space and facilities to self isolate if those people have symptoms of covid-19 while living in shared Home Office-provided accommodation for asylum-seekers.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 18 May 2020

We are carefully following PHE Guidance which recommends that separate rooms should be provided for symptomatic people, or they should be moved to hotels.

Those with underlying health conditions and people over 70 years of age should also be moved to the appropriate hotel accommodation following PHE guidance, unless individuals do not wish to be moved. We are reviewing each case on an individual basis and continue to work with our providers to ensure the guidance is followed. If an asylum seeker enters the country displaying symptoms we have dedicated , sole use accommodation that allows them to self-isolate before moving into the asylum accommodation estate

Q
(Bristol West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to help local authorities cover the costs of accommodating homeless people who have no recourse to public funds during the covid-19 oubtreak.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 18 May 2020

The Government is aware of concerns about those with no recourse to public funds experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 million in targeted funding to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.2 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities to reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

The Government recognises that these are unprecedented times, and expects local authorities to support people who are sleeping rough, and also to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May 2020 to Question 40670, what estimate he has made of how many people continue to sleep rough before the end of the provision of emergency accommodation for rough sleepers during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 18 May 2020

This is a public health crisis more than anything and so requires a health response. To enable this our priority was to bring vulnerable people inside so they can self-isolate and stop the virus spreading.

In order to support local authorities to make offers of accommodation and reduce the risk to some of the most vulnerable in society, MHCLG has asked all local authorities to provide information on their rough sleeping cohort.

At the beginning of this crisis, local authorities across England provided an estimate of the total number of people sleeping rough and in accommodation with communal sleeping spaces, such as night shelters as at the beginning of this crisis and of this cohort, the total number of people offered accommodation to date. There are a range of factors that can impact on the numbers of people seen or thought to be sleeping rough on any given night and we recognise that the movement of those new to the streets will impact the numbers of people seen to be sleeping rough.

More than 5,400 rough sleepers – over 90 per cent of those on the streets at the beginning of the crisis and known to local authorities – have been offered safe accommodation ensuring some of the most vulnerable people can stay safe during the pandemic. This includes those rough sleeping or who have been living in accommodation with communal sleeping spaces such as night shelters.

This is a truly remarkable achievement, and one which is the result of the hard work of local government, agencies and charities across the country, who have helped to get people off the street and into safe accommodation, protecting the most vulnerable in society and ultimately saving lives.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 40672 on Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus, what plans he has to extend the current ban on tenant evictions; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 May 2020

Emergency legislation is now in place so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict their tenants for at least a three-month period. The courts have also suspended housing possession proceedings. As a result of these measures, no tenant in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction during this time.

The emergency legislation provides powers that allows the Government to keep this protection under review as efforts to tackle COVID-19 progress. Any decision to alter the duration of these emergency measures will be informed by the wider government approach to lockdown measures and Public Health England guidance, alongside consideration of the needs of tenants as well as landlords.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Evictions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1985, as announced in the Queen's Speech in December 2019; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 May 2020

Plans to reform tenancy law, including the proposed repeal of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, were announced in the Queen’s Speech. A Renters’ Reform Bill will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for short-term tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions and represents a generational change in the law that governs private renting.

Our recent consultation ‘A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants’ sought views from across the private and social rented sectors. We received almost 20,000 responses to the consultation, which will be carefully considered. We will respond fully to the consultation on Tenancy Reform in due course, when the urgent concerns of this emergency have passed.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to temporarily amend the right to treat rent as lawfully due for the purposes of (a) Schedule 15, Case 1, Rent Act 1977, (b) Schedule 2, Ground 1 of the Housing Act 1985 or (c) Schedule 2, Grounds 8, 10, or 11 of the Housing Act 1988 in order to prevent people renting their homes from being subject to eviction proceedings due to arrears caused by loss of income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 May 2020

Emergency legislation is now in place so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict their tenants for at least a three-month period. The courts have also suspended housing possession proceedings. As a result of these measures, no tenant in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction during this time.    

We have also been clear in guidance that there is a need for landlords to offer support and understanding to tenants – and any guarantor – who may see their income fluctuate. This could include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead, pause payments or accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.

The Government has also put in place significant financial support measures to help renters continue to pay their living costs, including rent. This includes support for businesses to pay staff salaries, strengthening the welfare safety-net with a £7 billion boost to Universal Credit, and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area.

Any decision to alter the duration of these emergency measures will be informed by the wider government approach to lockdown measures and Public Health England guidance, alongside consideration of the needs of tenants as well as landlords.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Rented Housing: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an estimate of the number of people in rented property who have fallen into arrears since 23 March 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 May 2020

The Department does not routinely collect information on rent arrears.

Emergency legislation is now in place so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict their tenants for at least a three-month period. The courts have also suspended housing possession proceedings. As a result of these measures, no tenant in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction during this time.

In addition, the Government has introduced an unprecedented financial support package to help renters continue to pay their living costs, including rent. This includes support for businesses to pay staff salaries, strengthening the welfare safety-net with a £7 billion boost to Universal Credit, and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area.

We have also been clear in guidance that there is a need for landlords to offer support and understanding to tenants – and any guarantor – who may see their income fluctuate. This could include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead, pause payments or accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Repossession Orders: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the temporary ban on eviction proceedings on the ability of local authorities to follow Closure Orders with proceedings to repossess a property.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 18 May 2020

The Practice Direction to the courts suspending all possession proceedings applies for 90 days from 27th March 2020, and to all new and existing housing possessions proceedings. The Practice Direction is in line with public health advice and provides a temporary protection from eviction as a result of possession proceedings.

The effect of this is that landlords may start possession proceedings following a closure order, after giving notice – which has been extended to 3 months for most tenancies. However, the proceedings will not then be progressed while the Practice Direction is in force.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to anti-social behaviour. These provisions remain in place and these powers and tools continue to be applicable during the current period. It is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 May 2020
Women and Equalities
Gender Recognition
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when she plans to publish the Government's response to its consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 18 May 2020

We have listened closely to all those who engaged with our consultation and we plan to publish our response this summer, subject to the Government's COVID-19 response.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department plans to provide repatriation flights for British citizens stranded in Sudan during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 07 May 2020

The Government has committed up to £75 million to help thousands of British people return home from priority countries where there is the greatest need. We have so far helped 27 British nationals return from Sudan to the UK on three separate commercial charter flights. Through our embassy in Khartoum, officials are in regular contact with those British nationals who have expressed a desire to return to the UK. Our travel advice and social media pages are also regularly updated to ensure that those wishing to return are aware of further developments. We will continue to work to bring British nationals back to the UK where commercial options do not exist, focusing on the most vulnerable. We are still working through future plans, identifying where needs are greatest, and where charter flights will have the greatest impact on vulnerable British nationals overseas.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Women and Equalities
Equality Act 2010
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when the Government plans to commence section 36 of the Equalities Act 2010.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 was commenced in part following Royal Assent to that Act. An announcement will be made in due course on commencement of the remaining parts of this Section.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Package Holidays: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 April 2020 to Questions HL2882, what steps the package travel sector has agreed to take as a result of Government engagement with that sector on its legal obligations to customers whose holiday or travel has been cancelled as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Sector representatives are aware that the law has not changed in relation to refunds. Businesses in the sector are offering consumers refund credit notes but this must be the choice of the consumer who retains the right to a cash refund.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department plans to provide to local authorities to ensure that rough sleepers currently in emergency accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak do not return to rough sleeping when that provision ends.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Over 90 per cent of those on the streets and in communal night shelters known to local authorities at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis have now been made offers of safe accommodation – ensuring some of the most vulnerable in society are protected from the pandemic.

We announced that councils across England will receive another £1.6 billion in additional funding to enable them to respond to other COVID-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, stepping up support for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people. This takes the total funding to support councils to respond to the pandemic to over £3.2 billion. This is in addition to £3.2 million in targeted funding for councils to support vulnerable rough sleepers.

On 2 May 2020 the Secretary of State announced that Dame Louise Casey will lead the Government Taskforce on the response to rough sleeping during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Taskforce will focus on next on next steps of emergency response to support vulnerable rough sleepers during the pandemic.

The taskforce will work hand-in-hand with councils across the country on plans to ensure rough sleepers can move into long-term, safe accommodation once the immediate crisis is over – ensuring as few people as possible return to life on the streets.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the Government announced a further £112 million fund for the RSI across England in 2020/21 to help 276 areas tackle rough sleeping. The funding is a 30 per cent increase on the previous year and will be used to introduce and expand a range of measures, including street-based services, first stage accommodation, housing support and housing-led solutions, as well as specialist support workers.

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