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: 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)
[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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Disease Control
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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 the evidential basis is for his Department’s 18 April 2020 statement that 90 per cent of rough sleepers known to local authorities at the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak have been made offers of accommodation.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

My Department asked all local authorities to provide information on their rough sleeping cohort in order to support local authorities to make offers of accommodation to as many people who required it to reduce the risk faced by some of the most vulnerable in society.

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, and have then updated us on the total number of people who have had offers of accommodation made available to them.

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 steps his Department is taking to ensure that rough sleepers (a) not known to local authorities at and (b) who have become homeless since the beginning of the crisis can access (i) emergency accommodation and (ii) adequate support.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

We recognise the challenges that local authorities will face in providing assistance to vulnerable people as they fulfil their homelessness duties during this pandemic. This is why we have announced that councils across England will receive another £1.6 billion in additional funding to enable them to respond to COVID-19 pressures across 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 £3.2 billion. This is in addition to £3.2 million targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those rough sleepers currently unable to self-isolate.

The Government has introduced a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus aimed in part at preventing any increase in homelessness. With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home. Landlords must give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession.

Additionally, we have increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents. This means that from April 2020 many people renting in the Private Rented Sector will have seen an increase in their housing support.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Temporary Accommodation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the suitability of hostels and other temporary accommodation with shared facilities in the event that a resident of that accommodation needs to (a) self-isolate because of covid-19 symptoms or (b) be shielded.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Temporary accommodation is an important way of ensuring no family is without a roof over their head while dealing with the impacts of Covid-19. Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation for the household in the first instance until suitable long-term accommodation can be offered to them. They must ensure this temporary accommodation is suitable and there is a right of appeal.

People who are living in accommodation which they share with other people, or in which they share facilities with other people should follow current PHE guidance on self-isolation and social distancing within the home.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
India: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many British citizens are waiting to be allocated a repatriation flight from India; and what steps his Department is taking to secure sufficient repatriation flights for British citizens.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Repatriations from India is one of our largest Covid-19 repatriation operations, based on the number of Britons there and the absence of commercial options. The scale of the challenge is immense. As all of India is under lockdown, we continue to engage with state authorities to enable British Nationals (BN) to reach airports.

As of 5 May, we have chartered 52 flights from 11 Indian cities including Delhi, Goa, Mumbai and others in Punjab, Gujarat and Bengal. Over 12,000 people have returned home on UK charter flights and we continue to work day and night to return more on daily flights from across India. The UK Government has arranged a fifth round of special charter flights departing from Amritsar from 5 May to 11 May.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Panama: 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 Panama during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 05 May 2020

The Government has committed up to £75 million to help thousands of British people return home from priority countries where there is greatest need. As of 30 April, we have brought back more than 21,000 people on 102 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 21 different countries and territories. We have helped 85 British nationals in Panama access commercial repatriation flights, including a group of 46 people who were attending the Tribal Gathering festival. Our Embassy in Panama City has provided domestic transportation, safe passage documentation, and secure access to multiple exceptional departure options.

We will continue working 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. British Embassy Panama City's Travel Advice and social media channels are updated frequently with information on lockdown measures and departure options, where available. Those affected can contact the Embassy directly by emailing BEPanama.CV@fco.gov.uk.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the proportion of new claimants of universal credit whose housing costs are not covered by the local housing allowance set at the 30th percentile.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 May 2020

No such assessment has been made.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have become homeless since the announcement of support for local authorities to accommodate rough sleepers temporarily.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

Local authorities collect data on the actions they take under the provisions of the Housing Act 1996 on a quarterly basis and report them to the Government. These data collections are released quarterly as homelessness statistics. The most recent homelessness statistical release was on 19 March 2020. Local authorities are still required to provide this data throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the challenges that local authorities will face in providing accommodation as they fulfil their homelessness duties during this pandemic. This is why we have announced that councils across England will receive another £1.6 billion in additional funding to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across 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 £3.2 billion.

This is in addition to £3.2 million targeted funding to ensure that we minimise the risk to those rough sleepers currently unable to self-isolate. This funding will assist local authorities with providing accommodation and support to vulnerable people who are at risk of, or who have been diagnosed with, Covid-19.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Domestic Abuse: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he has taken to ensure that victims of domestic violence are not housed in the same temporary provision of additional emergency accommodation as perpetrators of domestic violence during the covid-19 crisis.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 05 May 2020

A key priority for my Department during the current Covid-19 pandemic is to keep refuges open to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are able to access the support they need.

My officials have been liaising closely with the refuge sector from the start of the lockdown to monitor how demand is changing.

We are looking carefully at all safe and appropriate additional accommodation options for supporting victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Meters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) financial and (b) practical help he is providing to ensure that (a) people (i) self-isolating and in a (ii) vulnerable or shielded group and (b) other people who use coin-operated energy meters are able to maintain power supply during the lockdown.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 04 May 2020

The Department reached a voluntary agreement with all domestic energy suppliers to a set of principles to support energy customers impacted by COVID-19. These principles include support for prepayment meter customers, who primarily use electronic tokens, keys or cards to top up their meters. Based on individual circumstances, the support available to prepayment meter customers could include:

  • extending discretionary/ friendly credit or sending out a pre-loaded top up card;
  • enabling customers to nominate a trusted third party to be able to pick up discretionary credit sent to a shop on their behalf;
  • switching smart prepayment meters into credit mode, or extending non-disconnection periods, and;
  • taking reasonable steps to contact prepayment customers with advice on what to do in the event of self-isolation.

Many energy suppliers have provided additional support for their customers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 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 assessment his Department has made of the number of people who are voluntarily leaving their privately rented home as a result of loss of income due to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 04 May 2020

The Government routinely collects information on the movement between housing sectors through the annual English Housing Survey, the last of which was published in January 2020.

The Government has introduced a package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.. 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.

The Government also has introduced significant financial measures to help support tenants to continue to pay their living costs, including rental payments. 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.

These measures support Public Health England recommendation that people should stay in their current home unless absolutely necessary.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Leasehold: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that leaseholders are consistently able to access invoices and receipts as set out in Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 04 May 2020

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively to leaseholders, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.

Under Section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 a leaseholder has the right to request a summary of the service charge account. Obligations to comply with this legislation have not changed. In these unprecedented times we encourage leaseholders, landlords and managing agents to take a pragmatic, common-sense approach to non-urgent issues which are affected by Covid-19 related restrictions.

Leaseholders having difficulties in obtaining information from their landlord or managing agent 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. Further 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).

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care how many student nurses are being used to work on wards caring for patients with covid-19; to what extent hours worked on those wards by student nurses will count towards their required placement hours; and if those student nurses are being recompensed for hours worked beyond their placement requirements.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 01 May 2020

As of 23 April 2020, 21,287 second and third year student nurses opted to work in the National Health Service during the COVID-19 emergency. These students are starting to be deployed and Health Education England will start to report on the number from the beginning of May 2020.

The hours that students who opt to work on the wards during the emergency period will count towards the required number of placements hours, these students will receive a salary and have automatic NHS pension entitlement at the appropriate band.

Alongside receiving a salary these students will continue to receive their student maintenance loan and NHS Learning Support Fund payments.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Local Broadcasting: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will increase the Community Radio Fund for 2020-21 to provide additional support to community radio stations experiencing financial hardship as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mr John Whittingdale
Answered on: 01 May 2020

The government is strongly supportive of the community radio sector and recognises the great value that it offers to communities across the United Kingdom, in terms of providing quality local news, information and entertainment.

The government has today announced that the £400,000 Community Radio Fund administered by Ofcom will be used to provide a lifeline for radio stations hit hardest by the coronavirus. Relevant stations will be invited to bid for emergency grants through Ofcom to help meet their core costs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Temporary Accommodation: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has had discussions with the Home Secretary on ensuring that there is funding for emergency accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak for people with no recourse to public funds; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Luke Hall
Answered on: 11 May 2020

On 2 May, the Government announced an unprecedented £76 million package of support to ensure the most vulnerable in society get the support they need during the pandemic.

A change to the rules will also mean that those fleeing domestic abuse and facing homelessness as a result will be automatically considered as priority by their council for housing – ensuring more survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home.

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.

The Secretary of State regularly engages with colleagues across Whitehall, including his counterpart at the Home Office.

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.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 April 2020
Cabinet Office
Local Broadcasting: Public Health England
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of ring-fencing advertising slots bought by Public Health England for use on community radio and for non-profit local TV broadcasters.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 11 May 2020

Further to the answers given to PQs 37724 and 37725 on 27 April 2020, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government has developed a national campaign to provide information, guidance and reassurance to the public.

The campaign spans owned, earned and paid-for channels, including local radio and TV, to maximise reach and engagement. We are constantly reviewing our use of each of these channels and amending campaign activity accordingly to ensure our messaging reaches as many people as possible.

Grouped Questions: 40655
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 24 April 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bankruptcy: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to waive bankruptcy fees for people who become bankrupt as a result of the economic effects of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 04 May 2020

Government has no plans at this time to waive bankruptcy fees.

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.
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: 23 March 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Retail Trade: Protective Clothing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that protective equipment is provided for people working in food shops during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 21 April 2020

The Government is clear that we must support people in work to follow PHE guidance during the Covid-19 outbreak. We have taken an evidence-based approach to the use of PPE. For people working in supermarkets, based on current evidence, practising good hand hygiene and social distancing is key to minimising the risk of infection.

We are in regular conversations with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket CEOs, to ensure it is well prepared to deal with a range of scenarios and operations remain in line with the latest health guidance.

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: 23 March 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 guidance his Department has issued to shop owners on protective measures for front line food retail staff during the Covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Paul Scully
Answered on: 21 April 2020

Government is clear that we must support people in work to do the right thing during a Covid-19 outbreak. We are in regular conversations with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket CEOs, to ensure it is well prepared to deal with a range of scenarios and operations remain in line with the latest health guidance.

We need everyone to do their bit to stop the spread of the virus. We all have a responsibility to keep a distance from others – including while shopping.

Food shops that remain open will be expected to comply with requirements on people to keep a distance from each other. We will continue working closely with supermarkets to help them meet the demand for online deliveries. We’re also working with local authorities to deliver essential items to those who are most vulnerable.

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: 23 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Hospitals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what contractual terms his Department has agreed with providers of private hospitals being used for NHS purposes during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 21 April 2020

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to increase capacity and resource within the National Health Service, adding around 8,000 beds and 20,000 clinical staff. This will ensure that more facilities are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Under the agreement, the independent sector will be reimbursed at cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Self-employed: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to introduce benefits for self-employed people whose work is reduced because of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Corrected answer by: Mims Davies
Corrected on: 15 April 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 25 March 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The Chancellor has announced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that will help millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, whereby the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

We have temporarily relaxed the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate and those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - without the need for a face-to-face assessment.

A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 25 March 2020

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

The Chancellor has announced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that will help millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, whereby the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

We have temporarily relaxed the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate and those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - without the need for a face-to-face assessment.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Insurance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) representatives of the insurance industry on compensation for businesses affected by the outbreak of covid 19.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 30 March 2020

The Government is well prepared for this type of outbreak. The Department is frequently communicating with business representative organisations, including the Association of British Insurers, to gain current intelligence on Covid-19 and its impact on businesses.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are currently working together to take all necessary steps to understand the effect of Covid-19 and to respond.

Last week, the Government confirmed that for those businesses which do have a policy that covers pandemics, the Government’s action is sufficient and will allow businesses to make an insurance claim against their policy.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Coronavirus: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that event organisers that have been required to cancel their event due to the covid-19 outbreak will receive compensation.
A
Answered by: Nigel Huddleston
Answered on: 26 March 2020

Government recognises that multiple aspects of the events sector are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including event organisers, conference centres and event suppliers.

We are taking a number of steps to make sure that the events sector is financially supported through the coronavirus crisis. My Department regularly engages with stakeholders in the sector and across Government on this developing issue. We will continue to monitor its impact on the sector and would urge events businesses to share information with VisitBritain via their Tourism Industry Emergency Response group.

The Chancellor has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, tax relief and cash grant measures, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK. I am also writing to the Chancellor to provide clarity guidance for the events sector on business rate relief.

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 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Performing Arts: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will introduce a compensation scheme for performers, events organisers and others affected by the cancellation of performances and festivals as a result of covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 25 March 2020

Last week, the Secretary of State and Minister for Digital and Culture took calls with the creative and cultural sectors amongst others to understand the challenges that they are facing. Officials are continuing to engage with organisations daily in order to best understand how Government can support the cultural and creative sectors and regular Ministerial engagement is taking place.

Arts Council England also announced measures in support of it’s funded organisations last week. More information for those this may apply to can be found here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19#section-2

Businesses that experience increased costs and disrupted cash flow as a result of Coronavirus are being supported. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already announced a host of measures to help businesses in this period with £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK, delivered through two schemes:

  • Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them with any disruption to their cash flows through loans.

  • Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2m to £5m and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as the Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.

£20bn of direct fiscal support for businesses in England through tax relief and cash grants to help business manage cash flow. This includes:

  • Cash grants of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.

  • Cash grants of £10,000 for several hundred thousand small businesses eligible for business rate relief and rural rate relief.

  • Entirely removing all eligible properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector from business rates, so that no pub, hotel, or high street shop will pay business rates for 12 months.

  • This comes on top of compensation for businesses having to cover Statutory Sick Pay that the Chancellor announced in the Budget.

As part of the government’s emergency legislation measures, Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day one for those affected by coronavirus. Anyone on zero-hour contracts who may not be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will be able to claim Universal Credit or New Style Employment and Support Allowance, dependent on their circumstances.

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 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Arts: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the exemption from business rates to ensure that waiver covers studios, performance spaces and other venues which are part of the creative industries even if they have a rateable value of more than £51,000 if they have to be closed as a result of Covid 19.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 25 March 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced last week additional measures to support businesses and organisations that have been impacted by the pandemic. Guidance for businesses can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Last week, both the Secretary of State and Minister for Digital & Culture took calls with the cultural and creative industries sector amongst others to understand the challenges that they are facing as they respond to Government advice regarding Covid-19. Ministers have been representing DCMS sectors through COBRA committees.

Officials are continuing to engage with organisations daily in order to best understand how the Government can provide further guidance and support following the announcement of these measures, and regular Ministerial engagement is taking place.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Pharmacy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure pharmacies do not run out of medical supplies as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 24 March 2020

The country is well prepared to deal with any impacts of COVID-19 and we have stockpiles of generic drugs in the event of any supply issues.

We are working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need. Precautions are in place to reduce the likelihood of future shortages.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to provide Statutory Sick Pay to (a) teachers and (b) other staff supplied to schools by agencies in the event that schools close as a result of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 24 March 2020

The Government is asking all schools to close from Friday 20 March until further notice, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

Schools will continue to be fully funded. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay all their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, throughout these difficult times.

The Government has announced changes to statutory sick pay to support those affected by coronavirus. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Education
Schools: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools have the funds and access to supplies to ensure continuous provision of soap, gel and other hygiene materials required to respond to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 24 March 2020
Holding answer received on 23 March 2020

The Department understands the sector’s concerns about the additional cost pressures associated with COVID-19, especially following our announcement on 18 March, about schools only remaining open to make provision for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

The Department recognises that schools may face additional costs as a result of COVID-19. We are working with other Government departments and public sector buying organisations with the aim of prioritising schools. All schools will continue to receive core funding payments as normal, and we will put in place a new process to reimburse schools for exceptional costs that they face as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department will discuss how best to deliver this funding with stakeholders over the next few days. We will publish details of the scheme shortly and we trust that this will give head teachers the reassurances they need to enable them to concentrate on their vital role in supporting the nation through this crisis.

Grouped Questions: 30740
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Arts: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the provision of temporary financial assistance for organisations in the creative industries who are affected by covid-19.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 24 March 2020

Last week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced additional measures to support businesses and organisations that have been impacted by the pandemic.

This includes the Government stepping in to help pay people’s wages – a scheme which is one of the most generous of any in the world – paying grants to support as many jobs as necessary. Any employer in the country who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the cost of paying people’s wages. Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month, with this limit set well above the median income. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open for at least three months. The Government will consider extending the scheme for longer if necessary.

We are also deferring the next three months of VAT, a direct injection of £33 billion of cash to employers which means no business will pay any VAT in March, April or May; and they will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for twelve months, an extension from the initial announcement of six months. We have already introduced and announced an extension to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which is for small and medium-sized businesses. On Tuesday, the Chancellor expanded the amount that can be borrowed from £1.2 million to £5 million.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 March 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Supermarkets: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure supermarkets do not run out of food as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 23 March 2020

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to any changes in demands, and food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

The Secretary of State is in regular dialogue with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket chief executives to discuss any additional support the Government can provide. To help supermarkets respond to this unprecedented demand we have already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up quicker, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours.

We fully recognise the additional pressures on our food supply chain as a result of recent events. The UK’s major supermarkets have last weekend issued a statement to encourage everyone to shop as they normally would and pull together to support those staying at home.

We will continue to work closely with the industry over the coming days and months.

Grouped Questions: 30125 | 30170 | 30171 | 29817
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 March 2020
Treasury
Insurance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the insurance industry on compensating (a) hospitality, (b) events and (c) entertainment businesses for lost business resulting from the outbreak of covid 19.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 23 March 2020

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

In addition, the Chancellor has made clear that, for those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics, government’s medical advice of 16th March is sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers pandemic related losses. As such, any affected businesses should note the government’s full package of support.

The Chancellor has announced two packages to support the people and businesses of the UK. A three-point plan providing £12 billion of support for public services, individuals and businesses whose finances are affected by the outbreak, and a package to provide further support for businesses and individuals totalling £350bn.

Grouped Questions: 30731
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Calea: Parenteral Nutrition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what monitoring his Department undertakes on the compliance of Calea UK Ltd with improvements agreed between the company and the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority in their provision of Total Parenteral Nutrition to NHS patients.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 11 March 2020

The Department is in regular dialogue with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and they have advised it continues to work closely with the company to ensure that they make the necessary changes. The MHRA Inspectors have made on-site technical visits, carried out further inspections and its senior management has met with the company on a number of occasions to discuss the improvements which need to be implemented. The MHRA has recently advised that progress is being made and it is currently awaiting the results of a third-party audit, carried out on behalf of the company, which will independently assess the measures implemented to date. Once the MHRA has reviewed the outcome of this audit they anticipate carrying out further inspections to confirm that the company has implemented the necessary changes to bring their aseptic procedures into compliance.

In addition to Calea UK Ltd, there are four commercial operations authorised to provide Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) to the National Health Service. There are a number (approximately 40) of NHS units also authorised by the MHRA for manufacture and supply of TPNs across the NHS.

Grouped Questions: 24366
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Calea: Parenteral Nutrition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Calea UK Ltd is the sole provider of total parenteral nutrition to the NHS.
A
Answered by: Helen Whately
Answered on: 11 March 2020

The Department is in regular dialogue with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and they have advised it continues to work closely with the company to ensure that they make the necessary changes. The MHRA Inspectors have made on-site technical visits, carried out further inspections and its senior management has met with the company on a number of occasions to discuss the improvements which need to be implemented. The MHRA has recently advised that progress is being made and it is currently awaiting the results of a third-party audit, carried out on behalf of the company, which will independently assess the measures implemented to date. Once the MHRA has reviewed the outcome of this audit they anticipate carrying out further inspections to confirm that the company has implemented the necessary changes to bring their aseptic procedures into compliance.

In addition to Calea UK Ltd, there are four commercial operations authorised to provide Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) to the National Health Service. There are a number (approximately 40) of NHS units also authorised by the MHRA for manufacture and supply of TPNs across the NHS.

Grouped Questions: 24364
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Calea: Parenteral Nutrition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department used to approve Calea UK Ltd as the supplier of total parenteral nutrition to the NHS.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 10 March 2020

The criteria used to approve manufacturers is set out in the “guide to good manufacturing practices” and is monitored via inspection processes performed by the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA). If a company has met these standards, an “authorize to manufacture” is granted. If upon routine re-inspections, the manufacturing processes do not meet the acceptable standard, further actions are taken, as with the case of Calea UK Ltd.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU) is responsible for awarding framework agreements for England, in line with procurement regulations, for parenteral nutrition. All suppliers including Calea UK Ltd are required to provide available production capacity, satisfy quality, safety, finance and governance requirements and evidence that they hold a licence with the MHRA and meet its regulatory requirements.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Water: Pipelines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has in place to ensure that water utility companies (a) repair leaks in their networks and (b) take other steps to reduce water waste.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government welcomes the water industry commitment of a 50% leakage reduction by 2050. This commitment forms part of a target set by Ofwat which is bound to financial penalties or rewards based upon performance as part of the Price Review (PR) process.

In PR19 Ofwat set out a £51 billion five-year investment package for the 2020-25 period, including requirements for water companies to cut leaks by 16% and reduce mains bursts by 12%

Water companies provide data to the Environment Agency on water losses. In 2018-19 reporting period 1570.5 Ml/d was lost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Treasury
Employment: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's news story entitled, Off-payroll review launched, published on 7 January 2020, what the timeframe is for the publication of the findings of that review.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government launched a review of reform to the off-payroll working rules on 7 January 2020 to determine if there were further steps that could be taken to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reform, which will come into force in April 2020.

The review of the off-payroll working reform has now concluded and the outcome of the review was published on 27 February 2020.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Treasury
Employment: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) sole traders and (b) people working in the gig economy are not adversely affected by changes to IR35 legislation.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The IR35 rules were introduced in 2000. They only apply to individuals who are working like employees under the current employment status tests, and do not apply to the self-employed or sole traders.

The Government will introduce a legal requirement for clients to implement a status disagreement process to allow individuals to challenge their status determination directly and in real time. This right is an additional statutory layer of protection for off-payroll workers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fresh asylum applications were submitted in 2019 by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Home Office records indicate that a total of 6,273 further submissions were lodged on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.

Home Office records indicate that the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants lodging further submissions on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, and the volume of applications submitted by these nationalities, are:

Nationality

Number of applications

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

985

Pakistan

704

Iraq

680

Bangladesh

510

Afghanistan

433

Total

3,312

When people who have previously been refused asylum in the UK wish to make representations in support of a fresh asylum applications these are recorded as Further Submissions. Only where those submissions have been considered and it has been decided not to grant any leave is it considered whether the Further Submissions amount to a fresh asylum application.

The above data relates to main applicants who lodged Further Submissions between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019 which is the latest reportable period in line with immigration statistics. The data is a count of the number of Further Submissions lodged. Some people may have lodged more than one submission during the period.

Grouped Questions: 9720
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants making fresh claims to the UK were in 2019; and how many fresh asylum applications those nationalities submitted.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Home Office records indicate that a total of 6,273 further submissions were lodged on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.

Home Office records indicate that the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants lodging further submissions on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, and the volume of applications submitted by these nationalities, are:

Nationality

Number of applications

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

985

Pakistan

704

Iraq

680

Bangladesh

510

Afghanistan

433

Total

3,312

When people who have previously been refused asylum in the UK wish to make representations in support of a fresh asylum applications these are recorded as Further Submissions. Only where those submissions have been considered and it has been decided not to grant any leave is it considered whether the Further Submissions amount to a fresh asylum application.

The above data relates to main applicants who lodged Further Submissions between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019 which is the latest reportable period in line with immigration statistics. The data is a count of the number of Further Submissions lodged. Some people may have lodged more than one submission during the period.

Grouped Questions: 9719
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
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of the report entitled A Call to Action for a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Strategy, published in January 2020.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Tackling domestic abuse continues to be a key priority for this Government..

The Domestic Abuse Bill, which we intend to bring forward as soon as practicable, includes provision for new domestic abuse protection orders, placing restrictions and other requirements on perpetrators in order to better protect victims. Such requirements may include engagement with a perpetrator behavioural change programme, an alcohol or substance misuse programme or mental health treatment.

We welcome the work of the expert organisations involved in developing ‘A Call to Action for a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Strategy’. We are currently considering this as part of our ongoing work to understand what more we can do to tackle perpetrators and their harmful actions.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will include in the Planning White Paper (a) provisions to ensure that new developments are consistent with net zero carbon objectives and (b) all other recommendations made by the Royal Town Planning Institute for inclusion in that White Paper.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 05 March 2020

The White Paper will aim to make the planning system clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including home owners and small businesses. This will include addressing the resourcing and performance of local planning departments. At this stage, however, we are unable to comment on the precise contents of the White Paper.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Department for Transport
Highways England: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of pay increases for each level of staff employed in Highways England in the last ten years.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Highways England was established on 1 April 2015. The Department for Transport has not carried out an assessment of the adequacy of pay increases for each level of staff in Highways England over the period since its establishment.

Responsibility for setting pay levels within Highways England sits with the Company, overseen by its Remuneration Committee. Annual pay increases within Highways England are based on a number of factors, including affordability and guidance from the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office.

I would like to assure you that the Secretary of State is placing significant focus on pay in the Department’s arm’s length bodies.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Prerogative of Mercy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Cyprus on a pardon for the woman convicted of lying to police following allegations of rape in Ayia Napa on 17 July 2019; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 25 February 2020

Whilst I am unable to go into the details of the case I can confirm that consular staff continue to provide assistance to the family.

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.
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.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people applied for asylum from detention in 2019.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Migrants, including asylum claimants, may be detained for immigration purposes only in accordance with Home Office detention policy, as set out in Detention general guidance and adults at risk in immigration detention. The detention decision must always be made on the basis of the individual’s particular circumstances and eligibility for detention.

If at any time it is concluded that a particular detainee’s ongoing detention would not be appropriate, the individual must be released, with bail conditions appropriate to their particular circumstances.

Most people detained under immigration powers spend only short periods in detention. At any one time, 95% of those liable to be detained, are instead managed in the community.

We do not currently hold the data in the format you have requested, however published data on the number of Asylum claims made can be found at:

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2019

The great majority of asylum claims are processed in the non-detained system, with claimants living in the community. Only a small minority of claimants are detained whilst their claim is considered.

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: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her oral contribution of 9 January 2020, Official Report, column 588, whether she has received a response to her letter of 22 October 2019 to the European Commission on arrangements for refugee family reunion from 1 January 2021.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Whilst the Home Secretary wrote to the EU Commission on 22 October 2019, the Commission have not yet responded.

The Prime Minister made clear in his written statement to Parliament on 3 February that the UK is ready to discuss cooperation on asylum, including family reunion, with the EU.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained at immigration detention centres disclosed that they were victims of torture in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Individuals who disclose they are victims of torture whilst in an Immigration Removal Centre are managed under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001. Data on the number of reports made by a medical practitioner under Rule 35 is published quarterly in the Immigration Enforcement transparency data (table DT_03) online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

The Home Office does not however hold central records which make the distinction between those accepted and not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process. We cannot therefore report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were subsequently accepted as victims of torture without reviewing individual case files, which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 11654
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained in immigration detention centres were assessed for being victims of torture in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Individuals who disclose they are victims of torture whilst in an Immigration Removal Centre are managed under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001. Data on the number of reports made by a medical practitioner under Rule 35 is published quarterly in the Immigration Enforcement transparency data (table DT_03) online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

The Home Office does not however hold central records which make the distinction between those accepted and not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process. We cannot therefore report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were subsequently accepted as victims of torture without reviewing individual case files, which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 11653
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Health and Social Care, how many people detained at an immigration detention centre were assessed for a mental illness in 2019.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The information is not available in the requested format.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained at an immigration detention centre attempted suicide in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Staff at all immigration removal centres are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self-harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

The Home Office requires immigration removal centre suppliers to record management information on the number of detainees being monitored in line with self-harm and suicide prevention procedures (ACDT) and the number of incidents of self-harm that have required medical treatment. The intent of a self-harm attempt, if disclosed by an individual, is not recorded centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of EU citizens over the age of 65 living in the UK that have not applied for settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications and concluded applications by the applicant’s age to 31 December 2019, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, statistics tables, tables EUSS_02 and EUSS_04 respectively, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2019.

The published figures refer specifically to applications made to the EUSS and cannot be directly compared with Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published EUSS figures include non-EEA family members, Irish nationals, and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in ONS estimates of the resident EU population. Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
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, how many people that applied for settled status have been granted pre-settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) conclusions by outcome type can be found in the Home Office’s fifth ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’, monthly statistics tables, table 2, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019.

Applicants to the EUSS who choose to provide their National Insurance Number as part of the application process are asked to confirm whether they agree with the status that the automated checks with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs confirm they are eligible for.

In cases where the applicant does not agree the level of status offered, caseworkers work with the applicant to identify the evidence needed to be granted the status they claim to be eligible for. Nobody has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status.

With regard to the accuracy of decision making, all cases in which an applicant is being granted a status other than that claimed are subject to a secondary supervisory check.

Grouped Questions: 12353
Q
(Bristol West)
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, what assessment her Department has made of the accuracy of decision-making on granting pre-settled status to EU citizens that applied for settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) conclusions by outcome type can be found in the Home Office’s fifth ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’, monthly statistics tables, table 2, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019.

Applicants to the EUSS who choose to provide their National Insurance Number as part of the application process are asked to confirm whether they agree with the status that the automated checks with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs confirm they are eligible for.

In cases where the applicant does not agree the level of status offered, caseworkers work with the applicant to identify the evidence needed to be granted the status they claim to be eligible for. Nobody has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status.

With regard to the accuracy of decision making, all cases in which an applicant is being granted a status other than that claimed are subject to a secondary supervisory check.

Grouped Questions: 12352
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
Treasury
Cash Dispensing
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that people on low incomes have local access to a free-to-use ATM.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 10 February 2020

The Government is committed to supporting digital payments whilst safeguarding access to cash for those who need it. To support this, the Government has launched the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group – which brings together the Payment Systems Regulator, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England – to ensure a comprehensive oversight of the UK’s overall cash infrastructure.

The Government expects industry to play a crucial role in protecting access to cash. As part of its Financial Inclusion Programme, LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s largest ATM network, has introduced premiums of up to £2.75 per transaction that support ATMs in the most deprived areas of the UK and runs an initiative for local areas to request an ATM.

The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator regulates LINK, and is holding LINK to account over their commitments to maintain the broad geographic spread ATMs that are free at the point of use.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Drugs: Pop Festivals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the provision of drug safety testing at music festivals.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 February 2020

No assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the provision of drug testing at festivals.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Police: Injuries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers sustained injuries as a result of attending an incident on their own in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 February 2020

The Home Office collects and publishes statistics on the number of assaults with injury on constables in England and Wales. These are published quarterly and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-recorded-crime-open-data-tables

However, it is not possible to separately identify injuries sustained as a result of attending an incident on their own. Furthermore, data on injuries sustained for reasons other than assault are not collected.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Knives: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of resources available to Avon and Somerset police service to respond to knife crime.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 February 2020

This Government is committed to tackling knife crime and serious violence and making our streets safer.

The police funding settlement for 2020/21 sets out the biggest increase in funding for the policing system since 2010. Avon & Somerset will receive an increase of £22.6m, or 7.4%, provided they utilise their full precept flexibility., The force has been allocated 137 additional officers from the 6,000 to be recruited by the end of March 2021, meaning more police on the streets to help tackle violent crime and keep our communities safe.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Crimes of Violence: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on developing a preventative approach to (a) knife and (b) violent crime involving young people.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 06 February 2020

As announced in the Queen’s Speech we are introducing the Serious Violence Bill, which will put a duty on police, councils and health authorities to prevent and reduce serious violence. We have announced an additional £25 million of targeted investment to increase our efforts to tackle county lines, including expanding the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre.

Through the Serious Violence Fund we have provided £100million in 2019/20 to the 18 police force areas worst affected by serious violence. A further £35 million was announced for Violence Reduction Units for 2020/21 on 29 December 2019.

We have invested £220 million in early intervention and prevention initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund and £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, and have put in place a landmark review into drug misuse. The first grant round of the Youth Endowment Fund took place in 2019-20. 23 successful projects located across England and Wales will share £17.1m over 2 years.

This Government is also recruiting 20,000 more police officers over the next three years and increasing sentences for violent criminals. We have made it easier for the police to use enhanced stop and search powers and we will introduce a new court order to make it easier for the police to stop and search those who have been convicted of knife crime.

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.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Department for International Development
Angola: Droughts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions his Department has had with the Angolan Government on the recent droughts in that country.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 03 February 2020

Southern Africa is facing an urgent humanitarian crisis due to drought and other climate-related and economic factors. In southern Angola over 500,000 people are experiencing crisis-level food insecurity. The UK is pushing to put this crisis on the international agenda. On a recent visit to the country, I met with Angola’s Minister for Environment and discussed the drought and more broadly the humanitarian situation facing the wider region.

DFID is supporting the regional response through our contributions to multilaterals, notably the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The CERF has so far allocated just over £4.8 million to the response in Angola. Through Regional Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment (RVAA) programme, led by the Southern Africa Development Community, the UK is supporting assessments to inform humanitarian and resilience responses, including in Angola.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward regulations on the amount that companies can charge when their services automatically renew; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 23 January 2020

The Government is committed to tackling so-called subscriptions traps and other business practices that harm consumers.

In response to specific complaints about these practices in telecoms, insurance, and cash savings, regulators (Ofcom and the FCA) are taking action to ensure that longstanding customers are not charged more. For example, Ofcom has agreed with most major mobile and broadband providers to give discounts to customers that have been paying high “out of contract” prices in mobile and broadband.

The Government will consult on stronger enforcement powers to ensure harmful trading practices like these are tackled.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of EU citizens resident in the UK that have not applied for (a) settled (b) pre-settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 23 January 2020

The latest published information shows that more than 2.7 million (2,756,100) EU Settlement Scheme applications had been received up to 31 December 2019. The latest figures can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme monthly statistics’ available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019

The published figures refer specifically to applications made to the EU Settlement Scheme and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published figures include non-EEA family members, Irish nationals, and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU population. Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

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.

The Home Office has delivered a £4 million marketing campaign to encourage resident EEA nationals to apply and further campaign activity is planned. Alongside this campaign activity, we have also undertaken extensive engagement and outreach with stakeholder groups, including employers, local authorities and community organisations. No-one will be left behind, which is why we are working in partnership with representatives of vulnerable groups and other experts to make sure everyone knows what they need to do and has the right level of support.

Grouped Questions: 3790
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department have taken to contact EU citizens resident in the UK who have not yet applied for settled or pre-settled status, in order to regularise their residency in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 23 January 2020

The latest published information shows that more than 2.7 million (2,756,100) EU Settlement Scheme applications had been received up to 31 December 2019. The latest figures can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme monthly statistics’ available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019

The published figures refer specifically to applications made to the EU Settlement Scheme and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published figures include non-EEA family members, Irish nationals, and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU population. Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

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.

The Home Office has delivered a £4 million marketing campaign to encourage resident EEA nationals to apply and further campaign activity is planned. Alongside this campaign activity, we have also undertaken extensive engagement and outreach with stakeholder groups, including employers, local authorities and community organisations. No-one will be left behind, which is why we are working in partnership with representatives of vulnerable groups and other experts to make sure everyone knows what they need to do and has the right level of support.

Grouped Questions: 3789
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Department for International Development
Angola: Droughts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to support people affected by recent droughts in Angola.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 22 January 2020

Southern Africa is facing an urgent humanitarian crisis due to drought and other climate-related and economic factors. In southern Angola over 500,000 people are experiencing crisis-level food insecurity.

The UK is pushing to put this crisis on the international agenda. DFID is supporting the regional response through our contributions to multilaterals, notably the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The UK is the largest overall contributor to the CERF since its inception. The CERF has so far allocated approximately £4.8 million to the response in Angola.

Through Regional Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment (RVAA) programme, led by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the UK is supporting assessments to inform humanitarian and resilience responses, including in Angola.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Drugs: Rehabilitation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what level of funding his Department has made available for drug addiction treatment in (a) the UK (b) Bristol.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 January 2020

Spending on health care, including drug treatment services is a devolved matter. In England, local authorities are responsible for the commissioning and uptake of drug treatment services. They are funded to do so through the public health grant. In 2019-20, £3.1 billion has been provided for public health services, including drug treatment.

Any death related to drug use is an avoidable tragedy. Heroin-related deaths are rising across the United Kingdom, including in Bristol. This increase is linked to an ageing group of older heroin users with multiple and complex needs and in increasingly poor health. Half of opiate-related deaths occur among those who have never – or have not for several years – been in drug treatment.

Grouped Questions: 3785
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Heroin: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the trends in the level of heroin-related deaths in (a) the UK and (b) Bristol.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 January 2020

Spending on health care, including drug treatment services is a devolved matter. In England, local authorities are responsible for the commissioning and uptake of drug treatment services. They are funded to do so through the public health grant. In 2019-20, £3.1 billion has been provided for public health services, including drug treatment.

Any death related to drug use is an avoidable tragedy. Heroin-related deaths are rising across the United Kingdom, including in Bristol. This increase is linked to an ageing group of older heroin users with multiple and complex needs and in increasingly poor health. Half of opiate-related deaths occur among those who have never – or have not for several years – been in drug treatment.

Grouped Questions: 3784
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 January 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Naloxone
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the availability of naloxone for preventing death caused by heroin overdose.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 22 January 2020

No assessment has been made on the adequacy of the availability of naloxone for preventing death caused by heroin overdose.

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local needs and commissioning drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction services to meet these needs. This includes making sure they have sufficient coverage of naloxone to prevent drug-related deaths.

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.
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.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 October 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Emergencies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department uses to identify public health emergencies.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 November 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 October 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Drugs: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in drug-related deaths; and what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs on the potential role of drug policy reform in reducing the number of drug-related deaths.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 05 November 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 October 2019
Home Office
Hate Crime: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to record the number of incidents of hate crime against people with autistic spectrum disorders.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 05 November 2019

The police are already required to record hate crimes that target people with disabilities, which includes people with autistic spectrum disorders. This data is collected and published by the Home Office on a yearly basis. The most recent data shows an increase between 2016/17 and 2017/18 of 14% to 8,256 disability hate crimes. This is likely driven by improvements to police recording, but also an increase in victims feeling able to come forward.

This Government takes all forms of hate crime extremely seriously, which is why we published the Hate Crime Action Plan in 2016 and refreshed it in 2018. The refresh reaffirmed our commitment to protecting victims of hate crime, including increasing reporting, so that victims receive the support they need, and offenders are brought to justice.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 October 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Immigrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how money raised from the immigration healthcare surcharge is spent.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 05 November 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

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