Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

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WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Machinery of Government Change

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

I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a Machinery of Government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK's exit from the European Union, the Government is organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the Future Framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local Government Finance

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

Today, my department has published the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” as well as an “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019/20”.

The technical consultation reiterates this Government’s intention for the 2019-20 Settlement to confirm the final year of the 2016-17 multi-year settlement accepted by 97% of authorities, and to implement council tax referendum principles as announced at the final 2018-19 Settlement last year.

Looking to the longer term, the 2019 Spending Review will confirm funding from 2020-21. The Government is working towards significant reform in the local government finance system in 2020-21, including an updated, more robust and transparent distribution methodology to set baseline funding levels, and resetting business rates baselines.

This Government is committed to rewarding councils for supporting local firms and local jobs. The business rate retention system ensures that local authorities directly benefit from the proceeds of economic growth – with more funding to support local frontline services. All councils, including those which are currently less prosperous, have the opportunity to gain from this system.

The current 50% business rates retention scheme and piloting programme is yielding strong results. Local authorities estimate that in 2018-19 they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth. Our continued reforms to this system will continue to give local authorities even greater control of their finances, but, to ensure a successful implementation, this Government is committed to testing aspects of the proposed new system.

This 2019-20 prospectus invites all local authorities (except for those with on-going pilots in devolution deal areas and London) to apply to pilot 75% business rates retention in 2019-20. From 2020-21 we are aiming to roll in additional grants, with a target of reaching 75% retention based on the current 2019-20 values of these grants. These pilots will help us test the retention system at this level. Given the limited time before 2020-21, when we aim to roll out increased business rates retention to all local authorities, there are fewer issues we can usefully test in pilots. It is therefore likely that this pilot programme will be smaller than in 2018-19.

Separately, the Government can confirm that local authorities in areas with a previously agreed devolution deal will continue to pilot 100% business rates retention in 2019-20. Separate conversations will happen with London authorities to decide arrangements following their 100% pilot this year.

Finally, I have noted the strength of feeling in local government around the issue of ‘Negative RSG’ and this technical consultation sets out the Government’s preferred approach to resolving the issue in 2019-20.

This preferred approach recognises the commitment made by the Government during the implementation of the business rate retention scheme in 2013-14, that tariff and top-ups would be fixed until the system was reset.

This commitment was made so that local authorities would benefit directly from supporting local business growth and the Government's preferred approach does not reverse this commitment. In practice this will mean that the Government meets the cost of Negative RSG through forgone business rates.

I am placing a copy of the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” and the “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019/20” in the House library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS928
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Teachers Update

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education (Damian Hinds) has made the following written ministerial statement.

We want to ensure that we can recruit and retain brilliant teachers. To ensure that teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession, we are delivering a fully funded pay rise for classroom teachers and those in leadership positions.

The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) has recommended a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework for the pay award due to be implemented from September 2018. I have decided to accept in full the STRB’s recommendation for a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of the main pay range, building on last year’s 2% uplift to the main pay range. This will both raise starting salaries significantly and increase the competitiveness of the early career pay framework. We are also announcing a substantial uplift to pay ranges for leaders and higher-paid teachers: the minima and maxima of the upper pay range will be uplifted by 2% and on the leadership pay range by 1.5%.

As a result, classroom teachers will see the biggest benefit with starting salaries increasing between £803 and £1,004, and those at the top of the main pay range will be eligible for increases between £1,184 and £1,366. Schools will continue to determine how their staff are paid and thanks to the flexible performance-based pay system we have introduced schools are still able to choose to give teachers or leaders a higher pay rise where this is appropriate to their particular local context and budget.

We will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20 from the existing Department for Education budget. This will cover, in full, the difference between this award and the cost of the 1% award that schools would have anticipated under the previous public sector pay cap. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the core funding that they receive through the national funding formula. We will publish further details on the distribution of this grant when the pay award is confirmed.

The Government is committed to world class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – that we are today able to announce this fair and deserved pay rise for teachers, their biggest increase since 2010/2011.

We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent Pay Review Bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018/19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants whilst ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

A full list of the recommendations and my proposed approach for all pay and allowance ranges is attached as an annex.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees of the STRB to invite them to contribute to a consultation on the Government’s response to these recommendations and on a revised School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and Pay Order. The consultation will last for six weeks.

My detailed response contains further information on these matters.

STRB recommendations & Government Response (PDF Document, 441.05 KB)
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Government Finance

Today, my department has published the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” as well as an “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019/20”.

The technical consultation reiterates this Government’s intention for the 2019-20 Settlement to confirm the final year of the 2016-17 multi-year settlement accepted by 97% of authorities, and to implement council tax referendum principles as announced at the final 2018-19 Settlement last year.

Looking to the longer term, the 2019 Spending Review will confirm funding from 2020-21. The Government is working towards significant reform in the local government finance system in 2020-21, including an updated, more robust and transparent distribution methodology to set baseline funding levels, and resetting business rates baselines.

This Government is committed to rewarding councils for supporting local firms and local jobs. The business rate retention system ensures that local authorities directly benefit from the proceeds of economic growth – with more funding to support local frontline services. All councils, including those which are currently less prosperous, have the opportunity to gain from this system.

The current 50% business rates retention scheme and piloting programme is yielding strong results. Local authorities estimate that in 2018-19 they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth. Our continued reforms to this system will continue to give local authorities even greater control of their finances, but, to ensure a successful implementation, this Government is committed to testing aspects of the proposed new system.

This 2019-20 prospectus invites all local authorities (except for those with on-going pilots in devolution deal areas and London) to apply to pilot 75% business rates retention in 2019-20. From 2020-21 we are aiming to roll in additional grants, with a target of reaching 75% retention based on the current 2019-20 values of these grants. These pilots will help us test the retention system at this level. Given the limited time before 2020-21, when we aim to roll out increased business rates retention to all local authorities, there are fewer issues we can usefully test in pilots. It is therefore likely that this pilot programme will be smaller than in 2018-19.

Separately, the Government can confirm that local authorities in areas with a previously agreed devolution deal will continue to pilot 100% business rates retention in 2019-20. Separate conversations will happen with London authorities to decide arrangements following their 100% pilot this year.

Finally, I have noted the strength of feeling in local government around the issue of ‘Negative RSG’ and this technical consultation sets out the Government’s preferred approach to resolving the issue in 2019-20.

This preferred approach recognises the commitment made by the Government during the implementation of the business rate retention scheme in 2013-14, that tariff and top-ups would be fixed until the system was reset.

This commitment was made so that local authorities would benefit directly from supporting local business growth and the Government's preferred approach does not reverse this commitment. In practice this will mean that the Government meets the cost of Negative RSG through forgone business rates.

I am placing a copy of the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” and the “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019/20” in the House library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS900
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Growth

Today the Government is announcing a package of reforms to help all places throughout the UK to prepare for the opportunities leaving the European Union will bring. The Business Secretary and I are publishing a policy paper on strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This publication sets out how we will work with LEPs on their role and responsibilities, leadership and organisational capacity, accountability and performance. A copy of the Local Enterprise Partnership policy paper can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strengthened-local-enterprise-partnerships

We have also confirmed that Government will be working with all mayoral combined authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop Local Industrial Strategies. We will take a phased approach, and the next wave of places we will work closely with are the North East, Tees Valley, West of England, Leicester & Leicestershire, Cheshire & Warrington and Heart of the South West. Government will aim to agree Local Industrial Strategies across England by early 2020. We will be publishing a further statement on Local Industrial Strategies to guide locally-led work. This will be published over the summer. We will also discuss with devolved administrations and other stakeholders how Local Industrial Strategies could work in the devolved administrations.

Alongside these announcements, I can today set out our progress on designing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Our manifesto committed to establishing a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations, once we have left the European Union and EU Structural Funds. This progress statement provides an update on our proposals to develop a UK Shared Prosperity Fund:

  • The objective of the UKSPF. The UKSPF will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. The UKSPF will achieve this objective by strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity.
  • A simplified, integrated fund. EU Structural Funds have been difficult to access, and EU regulations have stopped places co-ordinating investments across the foundations of productivity. Simplified administration for the fund will ensure that investments are targeted effectively to align with the challenges faced by places across the country and supported by strong evidence about what works at the local level.
  • UKSPF in the devolved nations. The UKSPF will operate across the UK. The Government will of course respect the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will engage the devolved administrations to ensure the fund works for places across the UK.
  • A national framework in England that works for local priorities. Local areas in England are being asked to prepare Local Industrial Strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and challenges to increasing local productivity. This prioritisation will help local areas decide on their approach to maximising the long-term impact of the UKSPF once details of its operation and priorities are announced following the Spending Review.
  • Consulting the public. We intend to consult on the UKSPF this year, as we committed to do in our Industrial Strategy.

Furthermore, in 2016 the Government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipt of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The Government has today announced an extension to this guarantee, which will underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU Budget period to 2020 in the event of no-deal. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS898
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local Growth

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

Today the Government is announcing a package of reforms to help all places throughout the UK to prepare for the opportunities leaving the European Union will bring. The Business Secretary and I are publishing a policy paper on strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This publication sets out how we will work with LEPs on their role and responsibilities, leadership and organisational capacity, accountability and performance. A copy of the Local Enterprise Partnership policy paper can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strengthened-local-enterprise-partnerships

We have also confirmed that Government will be working with all mayoral combined authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to develop Local Industrial Strategies. We will take a phased approach, and the next wave of places we will work closely with are the North East, Tees Valley, West of England, Leicester & Leicestershire, Cheshire & Warrington and Heart of the South West. Government will aim to agree Local Industrial Strategies across England by early 2020. We will be publishing a further statement on Local Industrial Strategies to guide locally-led work. This will be published over the summer. We will also discuss with devolved administrations and other stakeholders how Local Industrial Strategies could work in the devolved administrations.

Alongside these announcements, I can today set out our progress on designing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Our manifesto committed to establishing a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations, once we have left the European Union and EU Structural Funds. This progress statement provides an update on our proposals to develop a UK Shared Prosperity Fund:

  • The objective of the UKSPF. The UKSPF will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. The UKSPF will achieve this objective by strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity.
  • A simplified, integrated fund. EU Structural Funds have been difficult to access, and EU regulations have stopped places co-ordinating investments across the foundations of productivity. Simplified administration for the fund will ensure that investments are targeted effectively to align with the challenges faced by places across the country and supported by strong evidence about what works at the local level.
  • UKSPF in the devolved nations. The UKSPF will operate across the UK. The Government will of course respect the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will engage the devolved administrations to ensure the fund works for places across the UK.
  • A national framework in England that works for local priorities. Local areas in England are being asked to prepare Local Industrial Strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and challenges to increasing local productivity. This prioritisation will help local areas decide on their approach to maximising the long-term impact of the UKSPF once details of its operation and priorities are announced following the Spending Review.
  • Consulting the public. We intend to consult on the UKSPF this year, as we committed to do in our Industrial Strategy.

Furthermore, in 2016 the Government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipt of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The Government has today announced an extension to this guarantee, which will underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU Budget period to 2020 in the event of no-deal. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS927
WS
Treasury
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

HM Government's guarantee

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In 2016, the government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipts of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The guarantee is designed to apply in the event that the EU does not meet its financial obligations after EU Exit and provide assurance to current UK participants in EU programmes or those considering bids for EU funds prior to exit.

The government is continuing to work towards a deal with the EU and under the terms of the implementation period the UK will continue to participate in the programmes financed by the current EU Budget until their closure. As a consequence, the Treasury is extending the government’s guarantee of EU funding to underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU Budget period to 2020. The Treasury is also guaranteeing funding in event of a no deal for UK organisations which bid directly to the European Commission so that they can continue competing for, and securing, funding until the end of 2020. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020. In addition to this guarantee, the government will establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. A departmental Minute providing full details of the liabilities associated with this announcement has been laid in the House of Commons.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS926
WS
Treasury
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

HM Government's guarantee

In 2016, the government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipts of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The guarantee is designed to apply in the event that the EU does not meet its financial obligations after EU Exit and provide assurance to current UK participants in EU programmes or those considering bids for EU funds prior to exit.

The government is continuing to work towards a deal with the EU and under the terms of the implementation period the UK will continue to participate in the programmes financed by the current EU Budget until their closure. As a consequence, the Treasury is extending the government’s guarantee of EU funding to underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU Budget period to 2020. The Treasury is also guaranteeing funding in event of a no deal for UK organisations which bid directly to the European Commission so that they can continue competing for, and securing, funding until the end of 2020. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020. In addition to this guarantee, the government will establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. A departmental Minute providing full details of the liabilities associated with this announcement has been laid in the House of Commons.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS897
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Housing Policy

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

Fixing our broken housing market is one of the Government’s top domestic priorities. The number of new homes built increased to 217,350 – a 15% increase on the previous year – but we know there is much more to do. As one step towards this the Government is publishing today the new National Planning Policy Framework, the Government response to the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework and associated supplementary material. Consultation on the draft Framework ran from 5 March to 10 May and the Government is grateful to all who responded – and in light of comments received the Government has made important changes to this Framework.

The new Framework is fundamental to strengthening communities and to delivering the homes communities need. It sets out a comprehensive approach to ensuring the right homes are built in the right places of the right quality, at the same time as protecting our precious natural environment.

Critically, progress must not be at the expense of quality or design. Houses must be right for communities. So the planning reforms in the new Framework should result in homes that are locally led, well-designed, and of a consistent and high quality standard. Visual tools and design guides and codes promoted by the new Framework will help create distinctive places. The Framework makes clear that developments should be visually attractive and add to the overall quality of the area. To reinforce the message on design, it also states that planning permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area.

Equally, building more homes should not be at the expense of the natural environment – there is a balance to be struck between enabling development whilst also protecting the natural environment. Therefore the new Framework also increases protections to ensure we leave our environment in a better condition than we inherited it. Specifically, it increases protection for irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland, and ancient and veteran trees so that any development that impacts these habitats would have to be ‘wholly exceptional’. It also gives greater clarity to the strong protections for the Green Belt. It makes clear areas should examine fully all other reasonable options before Green Belt boundaries can be changed. It also makes clear that authorities should plan for improvements to the environmental quality and accessibility of remaining Green Belt land. The Framework goes further to clarify the importance of local wildlife sites in plan-making and enhancing the existing environment.

The Framework also provides local areas with more flexibility to make the most effective use of the land they have. This includes providing communities with a clear understanding of their local housing need through a new standard methodology. It supports first time buyers and people in the private rented sector by introducing a new exception site policy and provides greater certainty for local authorities in the decision making and planning appeals processes. It introduces new protections for churches, community pubs and music venues that play such a vital role in communities and can support the local economy. And to ensure communities get the homes they have been promised, the Framework provides greater clarity on the contributions that developers are expected to make, because they have a key role in delivery. A new Housing Delivery Test will also measure delivery of homes, with consequences for under-delivery.

These are just some of the 85 reforms from the housing White Paper and the Budget, implemented in the new National Planning Policy Framework. Together with other reforms and support the Government now looks to developers, working with local planning authorities, communities and their representatives, and central government to meet the challenges of fixing our broken housing market.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS925
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Housing Policy

Fixing our broken housing market is one of the Government’s top domestic priorities. The number of new homes built increased to 217,350 – a 15% increase on the previous year – but we know there is much more to do. As one step towards this the Government is publishing today the new National Planning Policy Framework, the Government response to the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework and associated supplementary material. Consultation on the draft Framework ran from 5 March to 10 May and the Government is grateful to all who responded – and in light of comments received the Government has made important changes to this Framework.

The new Framework is fundamental to strengthening communities and to delivering the homes communities need. It sets out a comprehensive approach to ensuring the right homes are built in the right places of the right quality, at the same time as protecting our precious natural environment.

Critically, progress must not be at the expense of quality or design. Houses must be right for communities. So the planning reforms in the new Framework should result in homes that are locally led, well-designed, and of a consistent and high quality standard. Visual tools and design guides and codes promoted by the new Framework will help create distinctive places. The Framework makes clear that developments should be visually attractive and add to the overall quality of the area. To reinforce the message on design, it also states that planning permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area.

Equally, building more homes should not be at the expense of the natural environment – there is a balance to be struck between enabling development whilst also protecting the natural environment. Therefore the new Framework also increases protections to ensure we leave our environment in a better condition than we inherited it. Specifically, it increases protection for irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland, and ancient and veteran trees so that any development that impacts these habitats would have to be ‘wholly exceptional’. It also gives greater clarity to the strong protections for the Green Belt. It makes clear areas should examine fully all other reasonable options before Green Belt boundaries can be changed. It also makes clear that authorities should plan for improvements to the environmental quality and accessibility of remaining Green Belt land. The Framework goes further to clarify the importance of local wildlife sites in plan-making and enhancing the existing environment.

The Framework also provides local areas with more flexibility to make the most effective use of the land they have. This includes providing communities with a clear understanding of their local housing need through a new standard methodology. It supports first time buyers and people in the private rented sector by introducing a new exception site policy and provides greater certainty for local authorities in the decision making and planning appeals processes. It introduces new protections for churches, community pubs and music venues that play such a vital role in communities and can support the local economy. And to ensure communities get the homes they have been promised, the Framework provides greater clarity on the contributions that developers are expected to make, because they have a key role in delivery. A new Housing Delivery Test will also measure delivery of homes, with consequences for under-delivery.

These are just some of the 85 reforms from the housing White Paper and the Budget, implemented in the new National Planning Policy Framework. Together with other reforms and support the Government now looks to developers, working with local planning authorities, communities and their representatives, and central government to meet the challenges of fixing our broken housing market.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS896
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Full-Time Social Action Review

My Honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch MP, has made the following statement today in the House of Commons:

In March 2017 DCMS commissioned Steve Holliday, to chair an independent review of Full-Time Social Action. Steve Holliday and the panel worked with a wide range of stakeholders including young people to consider what the voluntary sector, industry and government can do to support full-time volunteering. In January 2018, they published their report. I am very grateful to Steve Holliday and the panel for their work.

Today I am pleased to announce the publication of the government response to Full-Time Social Action Review. The full report and the government response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-full-time-social-action-review

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Department of Health and Social care update

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has made the following written statement:

I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 46th Report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm9670). I am grateful to the Chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

I am today announcing pay rises for Doctors and Dentists working across the NHS.

This is a pay rise that recognises the value and dedication of hardworking Doctors and Dentists, targeting pay as recommended by the DDRB, and taking into account affordability and the prioritising of patient care.

Supporting the NHS workforce to deliver excellent care is a top priority. Following this one year pay rise, we want to open up a wider conversation on pay and improvements. This is the start of a process whereby we will seek to agree multi-year deals in return for contract reforms for consultant and GPs. We want to make the NHS the best employer in the world.

In June this year nurses were awarded a multi-year award as part of a pay and contract reform deal and it is only right that pay rises are targeted at the lowest paid workers.

Including the announcement of today’s pay award, from October 2018, a consultant that started in 2013 will have seen a 16.5% increase in their basic pay, rising to a salary of £87,665 from £75,249. Today’s pay award is worth:

  • Between £1,150 and £1,550 for consultants
  • Between £1,140 and £2,120 for Specialty Doctors
  • Between £1,600 and £2,630 for Associate Specialists
  • Between £532 and £924 for Junior Doctors
  • Around £1,052 for a salaried GP with a median taxable income of £52,600

GPs face a significant challenge in numbers and we need to recruit large numbers over a short period, meaning any pay rise needs to be balanced against our aim for a growing number of practitioners. The 2018/19 pay award is worth £2,000 per year to a GP contractor with a median taxable income of £100,000.

The Government’s response to the DDRB’s recommendations takes account of:

  • affordability in 2018/19 in the context of a Spending Review that budgeted for 1 per cent average basic pay awards
  • the importance of prioritising patient care, and the long term funding settlement which increases NHS funding by an average 3.4 per cent per year from 2019/20, and which will see the NHS receive £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023
  • the three year contract reform agreement on the Agenda for Change pay contract for one million non-medical staff, which delivered significant reforms as part of 3% pay investment per year, including progression pay reforms that end automatic annual increments; and
  • the case for contract reform for some of the DDRB’s remit groups, in particular for consultants and GPs.

The Government’s response is as follows,

Consultants

I am committing to negotiations on a multi-year agreement incorporating contract reform for consultants to begin from 2019/20.

From 1 October 2018:

  • a 1.5% increase to basic pay
  • the value of both national and local clinical excellence awards (CEAs) to be frozen
  • 0.5% of pay bill to be targeted on the new system of performance pay to increase the amount available for performance pay awards from 2019/20. Employers will be able to choose to use the 0.25% of funding available in 2018/19 as transitional funding to manage the costs of running the required CEA round this year or to invest it additionally should they choose to do so.

Doctors and Dentists in Training

As agreed in the May 2016 ACAS agreement, we will discuss changes to the pay structure as part of the 2018 review of the contract, re-investing any existing funding freed up as transition costs reduce.

From 1 October 2018

  • A 2% increase in basic pay and the value of the flexible pay premia.
  • Introduction of a flexible pay premium for doctors on training programmes in histopathology of the same value as that currently provided for doctors on training programmes in Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry.

Specialty Doctors (new grade 2008) and Associate Specialists (closed grade)

I take note of the DDRB comments about the particular issues of morale in relation to this group that led to their pay recommendation and their observation on the need for a review of the salary structure for these grades as part of a wider review of their role, their career structure and the developmental support available to them. It is intended that this will follow the agreement of reformed arrangements for consultants.

From 1 October 2018

  • Increase basic pay by 3%

General Dental Practitioners

From 1 April 2018 (backdated)

  • Increase expenses by 3%

From 1 October 2018

  • Increase dental income and staff costs by 2%

General Medical Practitioners

I intend to ask NHS England to take a multi-year approach to the GP contract negotiations with investment in primary care linked to improvements in primary care services.

From 1 April 2018 (backdated)

  • Add an further 1% to the value of the GP remuneration and practice staff expenses through the GP contract, supplementing the 1% already paid from April 2018 and making a 2% uplift in all. This will enable practices to increase the pay of practice staff.

From 1 October 2018

  • The recommended minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs will be uplifted by 2%
  • the GP trainer grant and GP appraiser fees will be increased by 3% and we will apply the same approach to clinical educators’ pay; GP and Dental educators.

From 1 April 2019

  • the potential for up to an additional 1%, on top of the 2% already paid to be added to the baseline, to be paid from 2019/20 conditional on contract reform, through a multi-year agreement from 2019/20. This would be in addition to the funding envelope for the contract negotiation for 2019/20 onwards. This would be reflected in respect of GP remuneration, practice staff expenses and the recommended minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS916
WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Machinery of Government Change

I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a Machinery of Government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK's exit from the European Union, the Government is organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the Future Framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 13 July 2018

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Philip Hammond) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 13 July 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 12 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

VAT: Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism and E-Publications

The Council held an exchange of views on proposals to allow Member States to temporarily apply a VAT Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism, and proposals to allow Member States to apply non-standard rates of VAT to e-publications.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency Work Programme

The Austrian Presidency presented its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2018. This was followed by an exchange of views.

June European Council Follow-up

The Council held an exchange of views on the follow-up to the European Council of 28-29 June 2018.

G20 Meeting

The Council approved the EU Terms of reference for the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Buenos Aires on 21-22 July.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS923
WS
Treasury
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 13 July 2018

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 13 July 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 12 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

VAT: Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism and E-Publications

The Council held an exchange of views on proposals to allow Member States to temporarily apply a VAT Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism, and proposals to allow Member States to apply non-standard rates of VAT to e-publications.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency Work Programme

The Austrian Presidency presented its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2018. This was followed by an exchange of views.

June European Council Follow-up

The Council held an exchange of views on the follow-up to the European Council of 28-29 June 2018.

G20 Meeting

The Council approved the EU Terms of reference for the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Buenos Aires on 21-22 July.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS893
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

A Better Defence Estate - Update

My right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Tobias Ellwood) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published its estate optimisation strategy 'A Better Defence Estate' outlining how MOD will deliver an estate that is optimised to support Defence capabilities, outputs and communities both now and in the future. This update provides progress against the strategy.

Delivering the strategy remains a priority for the MOD, and the commitment to invest £4 billion to create a smaller, more modern and capability-focused estate between now and 2040 remains. A major Defence-level initiative, the 'Defence Estate Optimisation' Programme, has been mobilised to deliver this strategy, combining military and infrastructure expertise to transform the places where our armed forces live, work and train. The Programme has already delivered nine disposals: Hullavington Airfield, Chalgrove Airfield, Somerset Barracks, MOD facilities at Swansea Airport, Moat House, Rylston Road ARC (London), Newtownards Airfield, Copthorne Barracks and Lodge Hill. The MOD continues to develop integrated plans for sites intended for disposal and re-development for those sites that will see an increase in military units. Good progress has been made with a significant amount of work on the myriad of studies required to enable a programme of this size and complexity. The first half of 2018 saw the major tranche of capacity studies and reviews of re-provision site constraints being completed. Feasibility and assessment studies have been completed for over forty sites in which the MOD will be investing.

The MOD can also confirm the intention to cease RAF use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse (North Yorkshire) in 2020. RAF Linton-on Ouse is the base of the Tucano training aircraft, as the RAF plans to retire this aircraft, the site will no longer be needed. Instead, we will be able to concentrate basic and advanced fast jet training at RAF Valley from 2019.

The MOD will close RAF Scampton (Lincolnshire) in 2022, relocating the RAF Aerobatics Team (RAFAT) and others to locations more fit for purpose. The disposal of the site would offer better value for money and, crucially, better military capability by relocating the units based there.

Given the scale of the strategy and the fact that it will be delivered over 25 years, plans continue to be refined to best support operational capability and Parliament will continue to be updated regularly on our plans.

The Department continues to engage with relevant stakeholders, including Devolved Administrations and Local Planning Authorities, to ensure sites released under the strategy are redeveloped in a way that benefits both Defence and surrounding communities. The MOD remains committed to making the right decisions to provide effective support to Defence capabilities and best value for money for the taxpayer.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson (Lord Keen QC))
Lords

HMCTS Update

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (David Gauke) has made the following Written Statement.

I am today announcing the outcome of five separate consultations published on 18 January 2018 relating to the future of eight courts within HM Courts & Tribunals estate [HCWS412].


More than 700 responses to these consultations were received and each was considered carefully against the overarching principles governing estates reform as set out in the 2015 consultation document, Proposals on the provision of court and tribunal estate in England and Wales. These principles are arranged in three themes: ensuring access to justice; delivering value for money; and enabling efficiency in the longer term.


As a result, I have decided that the following courts should close,


• Banbury Magistrates’ and County Court and Maidenhead Magistrates’ Court,
• Chorley Magistrates’ Court and Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court,
• Northallerton Magistrates’ Court, and
• Wandsworth County Court, and Blackfriars Crown Court.


I have concluded that the proposal to close Cambridge Magistrates’ Court should be withdrawn. This proposal received the largest number of responses to the consultation and the decision to consult was a finely balanced one, not least because this is a court in a strategic centre serving a large surrounding area. There is excess court capacity in the area but, following new information regarding the likely proceeds of disposal and consideration of the cost of re-provision, I have concluded the value-for-money case for closure has not been made. HMCTS will continue to explore further ways to manage under-utilisation of existing buildings in the region and across the country as part of its wider estates strategy.


In January, we also published for consultation, Fit for the Future: Transforming the Court and Tribunal Estate, setting out our proposed approach to the future management of the HMCTS estate in the context of the wider modernisation programme. We have received many detailed responses to these proposals and these are still under consideration.


A response to this consultation will be published in due course. But, given the local interest in the eight courts and the need for certainty for those who use them, I felt it would not be right to delay our response to these proposals until we were ready to respond to the strategy consultation.


All savings and money raised through disposals as a result of these closures will be in invested to support the HMCTS reform programme backed by both the Government and the senior judiciary. This programme will help to provide a more accessible and efficient justice for all those who use it.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS920
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Mr Tobias Ellwood (Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence)
Commons

A Better Defence Estate - Update

In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published its estate optimisation strategy 'A Better Defence Estate' outlining how MOD will deliver an estate that is optimised to support Defence capabilities, outputs and communities both now and in the future. This update provides progress against the strategy.

Delivering the strategy remains a priority for the MOD, and the commitment to invest £4 billion to create a smaller, more modern and capability-focused estate between now and 2040 remains. A major Defence-level initiative, the 'Defence Estate Optimisation' Programme, has been mobilised to deliver this strategy, combining military and infrastructure expertise to transform the places where our armed forces live, work and train. The Programme has already delivered nine disposals: Hullavington Airfield, Chalgrove Airfield, Somerset Barracks, MOD facilities at Swansea Airport, Moat House, Rylston Road ARC (London), Newtownards Airfield, Copthorne Barracks and Lodge Hill. The MOD continues to develop integrated plans for sites intended for disposal and re-development for those sites that will see an increase in military units. Good progress has been made with a significant amount of work on the myriad of studies required to enable a programme of this size and complexity. The first half of 2018 saw the major tranche of capacity studies and reviews of re-provision site constraints being completed. Feasibility and assessment studies have been completed for over forty sites in which the MOD will be investing.

The MOD can also confirm the intention to cease RAF use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse (North Yorkshire) in 2020. RAF Linton-on Ouse is the base of the Tucano training aircraft, as the RAF plans to retire this aircraft, the site will no longer be needed. Instead, we will be able to concentrate basic and advanced fast jet training at RAF Valley from 2019.

The MOD will close RAF Scampton (Lincolnshire) in 2022, relocating the RAF Aerobatics Team (RAFAT) and others to locations more fit for purpose. The disposal of the site would offer better value for money and, crucially, better military capability by relocating the units based there.

Given the scale of the strategy and the fact that it will be delivered over 25 years, plans continue to be refined to best support operational capability and Parliament will continue to be updated regularly on our plans.

The Department continues to engage with relevant stakeholders, including Devolved Administrations and Local Planning Authorities, to ensure sites released under the strategy are redeveloped in a way that benefits both Defence and surrounding communities. The MOD remains committed to making the right decisions to provide effective support to Defence capabilities and best value for money for the taxpayer.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society)
Commons

Full-Time Social Action Review

In March 2017 DCMS commissioned Steve Holliday, to chair an independent review of Full-Time Social Action. Steve Holliday and the panel worked with a wide range of stakeholders including young people to consider what the voluntary sector, industry and government can do to support full-time volunteering. In January 2018, they published their report. I am very grateful to Steve Holliday and the panel for their work.

Today I am pleased to announce the publication of the government response to Full-Time Social Action Review. The full report and the government response can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-full-time-social-action-review

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 24 July 2018
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (David Gauke))
Commons

HMCTS Update

I am today announcing the outcome of five separate consultations published on 18 January 2018 relating to the future of eight courts within HM Courts & Tribunals estate [HCWS412].


More than 700 responses to these consultations were received and each was considered carefully against the overarching principles governing estates reform as set out in the 2015 consultation document, Proposals on the provision of court and tribunal estate in England and Wales. These principles are arranged in three themes: ensuring access to justice; delivering value for money; and enabling efficiency in the longer term.


As a result, I have decided that the following courts should close,


• Banbury Magistrates’ and County Court and Maidenhead Magistrates’ Court,
• Chorley Magistrates’ Court and Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court,
• Northallerton Magistrates’ Court, and
• Wandsworth County Court, and Blackfriars Crown Court.


I have concluded that the proposal to close Cambridge Magistrates’ Court should be withdrawn. This proposal received the largest number of responses to the consultation and the decision to consult was a finely balanced one, not least because this is a court in a strategic centre serving a large surrounding area. There is excess court capacity in the area but, following new information regarding the likely proceeds of disposal and consideration of the cost of re-provision, I have concluded the value-for-money case for closure has not been made. HMCTS will continue to explore further ways to manage under-utilisation of existing buildings in the region and across the country as part of its wider estates strategy.


In January, we also published for consultation, Fit for the Future: Transforming the Court and Tribunal Estate, setting out our proposed approach to the future management of the HMCTS estate in the context of the wider modernisation programme. We have received many detailed responses to these proposals and these are still under consideration.


A response to this consultation will be published in due course. But, given the local interest in the eight courts and the need for certainty for those who use them, I felt it would not be right to delay our response to these proposals until we were ready to respond to the strategy consultation.


All savings and money raised through disposals as a result of these closures will be in invested to support the HMCTS reform programme backed by both the Government and the senior judiciary. This programme will help to provide a more accessible and efficient justice for all those who use it.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS891
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