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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UIN

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
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional resources his Department plans to provide to local authorities to support the test, track and trace programme during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional resources his Department plans to provide to local authorities in support of their role as the main enforcing authority for health and safety in industries including retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and leisure during the covid-19 outbreak.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish a list of expenditure related to the covid-19 outbreak that the Government will reimburse local authorities for.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what means local authorities were informed of the launch date of the NHS test and trace service.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to engage with local authorities on the use of their staff for the purposes of covid-19 contact tracing.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 27 May 2020
Holding answer received on 20 May 2020

Local authority staff will be a key part of contact tracing as the NHS Test and Trace service focusing on local outbreak management and this element of the service is being developed jointly between Public Health England and representatives from local government sector organisations.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local authority areas are trialling the clipper distribution system for personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authority public health officials receive data on positive covid-19 test results in their local authority area.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has made an assessment of the effectiveness of its coordination with Local Resilience Forums during the covid-19 pandemic.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 20 May 2020

The Government and each Local Resilience Forum partnership will, as with any emergency, seek to identify and learn lessons from the response.

MHCLG engages frequently with all Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) to discuss and manage the response to Covid-19. This includes having a dedicated Government Liaison Officer from MHCLG who provides a direct line of contact into central government; involvement in Strategic Coordination Groups held by each LRF; weekly calls with LRF Chairs; and individual engagement with LRFs by Ministers and senior officials.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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
Cabinet Office
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on which dates data on people who are medically extremely vulnerable to covid-19 and should therefore be shielded has been provided to local authorities; and the details of how many individuals were provided on each occasion.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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
Protective Clothing: Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many individual items of personal protective equipment have been delivered to local authorities through the Clipper distribution system to date.
Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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: 13 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Admissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the number of patients admitted to hospitals from care homes on (a) a weekly basis from 1 February 2020 to date and (b) the weekly average for admissions for the same time period for each year between 2015 and 2019.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 19 May 2020
Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

Information is not available in the format requested.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Parish Councils
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the postponement of local government elections during the covid-19 outbreak, whether his Department plans to enable parish councils to co-opt new councillors in the event that there have been no requests for an election.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 11 May 2020

The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/395) postpone parish council by-elections that would otherwise be required to be held by 5 May 2021 until 6 May 2021.

These Regulations came in to force on 7 April and are designed to allow that co-opting can be used to fill vacancies in the usual way.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria his Department used to determine that £1.6 billion was required by local authorities in emergency covid-19 funding.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 06 May 2020

This Government has now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address any pressures they are facing in response the Covid-19 pandemic, across all service areas.

Since we announced an initial £1.6 billion on 18 March we have kept funding needs under review, using monthly data collections and our conversations with councils and their representative bodies to refine our assessment.

The additional £1.6 billion announced on 18 April is based on our latest and best assessment of the distribution of additional Covid-19 pressures. The additional funding is un-ringfenced, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major Covid-19 service pressures in their local area.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 May 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Domestic Waste: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on ensuring staff safety at household waste recycling centres when those centres re-open after the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 06 May 2020

It is legal for household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) to remain open during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, we know that some local authorities are finding this challenging, which is why on 5 May Defra published some guidance to help local authorities do this.

We worked with industry, local authorities and other Government departments, including Public Health England, on developing the guidance which includes a section on workforce safety. The key principle of the guidance is that human health must be protected while maintaining safe systems of working. Social distancing must also be observed by both staff and visitors to HWRCs wherever possible. The guidance makes it clear that residents must only visit HWRCs if they cannot store safely at home the items they wish to dispose of.

Here is a link to the guidance on the GOV.UK website:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-local-authorities-on-prioritising-waste-collections/managing-household-waste-and-recycling-centres-hwrcs-in-england-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 May 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to involve local authority employed environmental health officers in Government organised contact-tracing of covid-19.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 06 May 2020

MHCLG continues to work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and local authorities to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

DHSC are in the process of recruiting 18,000 staff, and that number will be increased if needed. Local authority membership bodies are helping to design the model and authorities will be asked if they can contribute staff to this collective effort. The recruitment process is underway and staff will of course receive training and support for the role they are given.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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: 29 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with local authorities on the development of government policy for local recovery following the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 05 May 2020
Holding answer received on 04 May 2020

This Department has ensured that there has been regular and significant contact between Ministers, regional mayors and council leaders throughout this crisis to respond to the Covid-19 emergency.

This includes calls between the Communities Secretary and Ministers, and regional mayors, as well as regular teleconferences hosted by the Communities Secretary for all local government leaders and chief executives, with other Ministers present to answer questions. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is also discussing priorities and support measures with councils in each of the nine English regions, alongside a Ministerial-led Covid19 local delivery board with councillors. Further to this, a Ministerial-led Economic Recovery Working Group has been established, made up of local government leaders from across England including several Metro Mayors to help inform Government’s plans for economic recovery.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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: 29 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 39552, on Local Government Finance: Coronavirus, if his Department will publish a summary of the referenced data that councils have provided to his Department.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 04 May 2020

Councils have provided data to MHCLG on finance pressures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The data collection was not a formal return but best estimates to inform work in Government on supporting local authorities. The April collection was the first in a monthly series to provide ongoing information on financial pressures. We will seek to publish a summary in due course to share understanding of the evolving situation.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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: 24 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government Finance: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on local authorities of responding to the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 29 April 2020

The Government has announced a package of additional funding worth over £3.2 billion, alongside introducing a number of measures to support immediate cashflow concerns. This package of support responds to the range of pressures councils have told us they are facing. Additionally, the data that councils have provided to the Department in recent weeks has been crucial in building a picture of what is happening on the front-line. The Department will continue to work with the sector to develop our understanding of the pressures that local authorities are currently facing.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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: 29 April 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Local Government: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Local Resilience Forums receive advance notice of (a) how much and (b) what types of personal protective equipment will be delivered in their respective areas.
A
Answered by: Mr Simon Clarke
Answered on: 04 May 2020

MHCLG is working with DHSC to ensure that Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) receive the PPE needed in their areas and over 53 million items of PPE have been delivered to LRFs since the beginning of April. This is a large scale and complex logistical challenge supported by military planners who aim to give LRFs as much notice of how much and what types of PPE are being delivered to their respective areas as possible.

We have further refined the daily LRF PPE drops process with DHSC using our improved data analysis and continue to identify any outstanding issues to inform future PPE drops.

Q
Asked by Steve Reed
(Croydon North)
[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 Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what respite care his Department is planning to provide for (a) lone parents and (b) carers looking after children with special needs or disabilities who may not be able to care for their child if they contract covid-19.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 27 April 2020
Holding answer received on 21 April 2020

The welfare of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers is a high priority for the government, especially during this period of uncertainty. We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that appropriate arrangements and support are in place for all Department for Education sectors – from the early years and childcare, to schools and children’s social care, including for children with special educational needs. The government is providing local authorities with an additional £3.2 billion to help them cope with the impact of the pandemic, including within the SEND and children’s social care sectors. The access of parents and carers to respite care and their subsequent ability to safely meet the health and care needs of their children is key to determining whether vulnerable children and young people are safer in their home or educational setting. However, the responsibility for commissioning any at-home provision lies with the local authority responsible for maintaining Education, Health and Care plans, though it may be possible for some of the provision to be provided by the school or college. Guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

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