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
Home Office
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Victoria Atkins (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability)
Commons

Modern Slavery

Today the Government has published its response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and launched a public consultation on the transparency in supply chains requirements. A copy of the Government response and the consultation will be placed in the House Libraries and both documents will also be published on Gov.UK.

The landmark Modern Slavery Act 2015 established the UK as a global leader in the fight against modern slavery. The Act provided law enforcement with new tools and powers to apprehend perpetrators, new duties on businesses to publish transparency in supply chains statements, enhanced protections for victims and created the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner role.

The Act has underpinned the significant progress the UK has made over the last five years to tackle modern slavery. More victims than ever before are being identified and receiving support. More police investigations are taking place to apprehend perpetrators and bring them to justice. Thousands of businesses are taking seriously their responsibilities to publish statements on the steps they are taking to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains.

However, the Government is not complacent and we are determined to ensure our legislation keeps pace with the evolving threat from modern slavery. That is why in July 2018, the Home Secretary commissioned Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Rt Hon Maria Miller MP and the noble Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE to conduct an independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act.

The final Review was laid in Parliament in May 2019. The Review made 80 recommendations aimed at improving our response on four discrete themes: the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, transparency in supply chains, legal application and Independent Child Trafficking Advocates.

The Review made a compelling case that now is the time to strengthen elements of our legislation and its implementation. The Government has accepted many of the Review’s recommendations now. Some recommendations require further consultation to determine the best way to deliver them. To support this, we are now launching a consultation on proposed measures to strengthen the transparency in supply chains legislation. The consultation seeks views from all interested parties on proposals to extend the reporting requirements to public sector organisations, measures to increase transparency and reporting quality and civil penalties. The consultation opens today and will run for ten weeks. On certain recommendations relating to Independent Child Trafficking Advocates, the Government has committed to publish a further update to Parliament.

I am grateful to the reviewers and all of those who contributed to the Review for their comprehensive work on this report. Tackling modern slavery remains a priority for the Government and our response to the Review will form a significant part of our future priorities. To implement our response, the Government will continue to work in partnership with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, Devolved Administrations, the private sector, NGOs, civil society and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1665
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Housing update

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

I have today received the interim report from the independent Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. I have placed a copy in the library and made it available on www.gov.uk. I would like to thank the Commissioners for their work to date and look forward to receiving their final report later this year.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1703
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Housing update

I have today received the interim report from the independent Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. I have placed a copy in the library and made it available on www.gov.uk. I would like to thank the Commissioners for their work to date and look forward to receiving their final report later this year.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1664
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

Government response to Promoting professionalism; reforming regulation consultation

My Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health (Stephen Hammond) has made the following written statement:

Today I am publishing the Government response to the consultation Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation.

Promoting professionalism; reforming regulation set out proposals to make professional regulation faster, simpler and more responsive to the needs of patients, professionals, the public and employers.

We will take forward legislative changes to the regulators' fitness to practise processes and operating framework. We believe that this will realise the greatest benefits for regulatory bodies, registrants and the public.

These changes will deliver:

  • Modern and efficient fitness to practise processes;
  • Better supported professionals; and
  • More responsive and accountable regulation.

We will also make the legislative changes recommended by the Williams review into Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare, including removing the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions made by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

These changes are a real step forward in delivering on our manifesto commitment to reform and rationalise the current outdated system of professional regulation of healthcare professions.

In developing our response, we have reflected on and responded to the findings of a number of recent reports, including the NHS Long Term Plan and the Interim People Plan.

The consultation received over 900 responses from individuals, organisations, healthcare professionals and members of the public. I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to the consultation. Their views will be instrumental in shaping the future of professional regulation in the UK.

The UK and Devolved Governments will now work together to develop and then consult on draft legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1701
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Post EU Energy Council

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Chris Skidmore) has today made the following statement:

The EU Energy Council took place on 25 June 2019 in Luxembourg. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union, Katrina Williams.

Council Conclusions on the Future of the Energy Systems in the Energy Union

The Presidency put the Council Conclusions to Member States for adoption. The aim of the Conclusions was to identify priorities for the next decade of the energy transition, following on from the recently adopted Clean Energy For All Europeans Package and the Commission’s Long-Term Strategy for decarbonising the European economy.

Member States exchanged views, with comments largely focusing on language which reflected their varying positions on the role of nuclear, gas and carbon capture usage and storage in the future energy system. Many Member States also recommended that the text reflected greater ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, and some expressed disappointment that the EU had not agreed a 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target at the 20 June European Council. Other Member States highlighted the importance of a just transition, and the need to integrate concerns about security of supply.

The UK intervention reinforced the importance of ensuring the transition to a safe and sustainable low carbon energy system to meet emissions reductions targets, highlighting the UK’s revised target of 2050 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The UK joined other Member States in highlighting the need for a technology neutral approach to maximise Member States’ abilities to deliver these targets. The UK also stressed the negative signal that not agreeing conclusions would send.

Following small amendments to the conclusions, Member States adopted the text.

EU External Energy Relations

The Commission provided information regarding the EU’s external energy relations, setting out context of the EU’s current relationships with Africa, the US, China and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Member States generally highlighted the importance of ensuring that the EU’s relationships with these groups were in line with shared objectives of ensuring European energy security and facilitating the transition towards a decarbonised energy system.

The UK’s intervention highlighted the importance of de-risking investment in Africa, noting the potential role which international climate finance may play in unlocking greater flows of private finance toward clean growth. The EU-US relationship was noted to be important for increasing access to liquid natural gas, which would help to increase regional energy security, diversity of supply and competition. Regarding China, the UK highlighted the importance of focusing on practical cooperation and applying international standards, with a view to encouraging China to shift domestic and regional investment to low carbon alternatives to coal.

Any Other Business Items

The Commission gave an overview following on from its recent assessment of the draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), which Member States had been required to submit under the Governance Regulation. It noted some of the collective challenges which Member States faced to achieve their existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

The Finnish Delegation updated Member States on the work programme for their incoming Presidency. They highlighted that their Presidency would be used to further enhance the EU’s Energy Union and its objectives, and would promote dialogue amongst Member States about their draft NECPs.

Ministers had an informal discussion over lunch on the role of the Euro in the field of energy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1702
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Chris Skidmore (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)
Commons

Post EU Energy Council

The EU Energy Council took place on 25 June 2019 in Luxembourg. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union, Katrina Williams.

Council Conclusions on the Future of the Energy Systems in the Energy Union

The Presidency put the Council Conclusions to Member States for adoption. The aim of the Conclusions was to identify priorities for the next decade of the energy transition, following on from the recently adopted Clean Energy For All Europeans Package and the Commission’s Long-Term Strategy for decarbonising the European economy.

Member States exchanged views, with comments largely focusing on language which reflected their varying positions on the role of nuclear, gas and carbon capture usage and storage in the future energy system. Many Member States also recommended that the text reflected greater ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, and some expressed disappointment that the EU had not agreed a 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target at the 20 June European Council. Other Member States highlighted the importance of a just transition, and the need to integrate concerns about security of supply.

The UK intervention reinforced the importance of ensuring the transition to a safe and sustainable low carbon energy system to meet emissions reductions targets, highlighting the UK’s revised target of 2050 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The UK joined other Member States in highlighting the need for a technology neutral approach to maximise Member States’ abilities to deliver these targets. The UK also stressed the negative signal that not agreeing conclusions would send.

Following small amendments to the conclusions, Member States adopted the text.

EU External Energy Relations

The Commission provided information regarding the EU’s external energy relations, setting out context of the EU’s current relationships with Africa, the US, China and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Member States generally highlighted the importance of ensuring that the EU’s relationships with these groups were in line with shared objectives of ensuring European energy security and facilitating the transition towards a decarbonised energy system.

The UK’s intervention highlighted the importance of de-risking investment in Africa, noting the potential role which international climate finance may play in unlocking greater flows of private finance toward clean growth. The EU-US relationship was noted to be important for increasing access to liquid natural gas, which would help to increase regional energy security, diversity of supply and competition. Regarding China, the UK highlighted the importance of focusing on practical cooperation and applying international standards, with a view to encouraging China to shift domestic and regional investment to low carbon alternatives to coal.

Any Other Business Items

The Commission gave an overview following on from its recent assessment of the draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), which Member States had been required to submit under the Governance Regulation. It noted some of the collective challenges which Member States faced to achieve their existing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

The Finnish Delegation updated Member States on the work programme for their incoming Presidency. They highlighted that their Presidency would be used to further enhance the EU’s Energy Union and its objectives, and would promote dialogue amongst Member States about their draft NECPs.

Ministers had an informal discussion over lunch on the role of the Euro in the field of energy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1662
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 09 July 2019
Made by: Stephen Hammond (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

Government response to Promoting professionalism; reforming regulation consultation

Today I am publishing the Government response to the consultation Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation.

Promoting professionalism; reforming regulation set out proposals to make professional regulation faster, simpler and more responsive to the needs of patients, professionals, the public and employers.

We will take forward legislative changes to the regulators' fitness to practise processes and operating framework. We believe that this will realise the greatest benefits for regulatory bodies, registrants and the public.

These changes will deliver:

  • Modern and efficient fitness to practise processes;
  • Better supported professionals; and
  • More responsive and accountable regulation.

We will also make the legislative changes recommended by the Williams review into Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare, including removing the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions made by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

These changes are a real step forward in delivering on our manifesto commitment to reform and rationalise the current outdated system of professional regulation of healthcare professions.

In developing our response, we have reflected on and responded to the findings of a number of recent reports, including the NHS Long Term Plan and the Interim People Plan.

The consultation received over 900 responses from individuals, organisations, healthcare professionals and members of the public. I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to the consultation. Their views will be instrumental in shaping the future of professional regulation in the UK.

The UK and Devolved Governments will now work together to develop and then consult on draft legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1663
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Higher Technical Education Reform

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills (Anne Milton) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to launch the consultation on Higher Technical Education (levels 4-5) in England. Qualifications at this level sit between level 3 qualifications, such as A levels and the new T levels, and level 6 qualifications, such as bachelor’s degrees.

Our vision is for Higher Technical Education to be a prestigious choice that delivers the skills employers need, encourages more students to continue studying after A levels or T levels and attracts workers of all ages looking to upskill and retrain.

The proposals in this consultation are the next step in our programme to reform technical education. They build on the introduction of T Levels and our investment in Apprenticeships as part of our modern Industrial Strategy to improve productivity and help people progress in their work and lives.

The government’s review of Higher Technical Education has found that there is growing employer demand for the skills provided by Higher Technical Education. But it also found that uptake of higher technical qualifications is low by international standards, has fallen over time, and is low by comparison to other levels of education.

Some higher technical qualifications and courses are well-recognised and valued by employers and students. But overall there is low awareness and varying quality, with the range of terminology, qualifications and provider types creating a complex landscape that is hard for employers and students to navigate.

The starting point for our reforms is to raise the prestige of Higher Technical Education and strengthen its value to employers by putting their needs and quality first. Improving quality now – to demonstrate the value of higher technical qualifications – will lead to increased uptake of Higher Technical Education in the future.

To do this we are proposing a new system to make it clearer which higher technical qualifications provide the skills that employers want. This will be delivered through the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education signalling which qualifications deliver the knowledge, skills, and behaviours set out in employer-led national standards. This will help qualifications at this level command the confidence of students and employers alike.

Alongside this we propose working with the Office for Students to demonstrate the quality of providers, so there is more high-quality provision delivered across higher and further education, including through our flagship employer-led National Colleges and Institutes of Technology.

Finally, we want to make Higher Technical Education a positive and more popular choice by raising awareness and understanding of the new suite of Institute-approved qualifications in colleges and universities, and among potential students and employers.

These reforms will take time to deliver. We want to work with everyone who wants to improve Higher Technical Education. I strongly encourage everyone with an interest to contribute to the debate, so we can build the world class technical education system our students deserve and our country needs.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1694
WS
Treasury
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 09 July 2019

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) will be held in Brussels on 09 July 2019. The UK will be represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council will discuss the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 08 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU. Ministers will then discuss potential new sources of revenue for the upcoming multiannual financial framework: the EU's long-term budget.

Own Resources

The Finnish Presidency will then give an update to the Council on the potential new sources of revenue for the upcoming multiannual financial framework, following a discussion during the early morning session.

Presidency Work Programme

The Finnish Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2019, followed by an exchange of views.

Appointment of the President of the European Central Bank

The Council will be invited to adopt a Council Recommendation on the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the next President of the European Central Bank.

European Semester

The Council will be invited to adopt the 2019 Country-Specific Recommendations as part of the European Semester process.

Any Other Business

The Dutch Finance Minister will brief ministers on the topic of aviation taxation and carbon pricing.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1700
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Inclusive Transport Strategy - One Year On

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport (Nusrat Ghani) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

This month marks the one-year anniversary since the publication of the Inclusive Transport Strategy. As Transport Accessibility Minister I am very proud of all that has been achieved in the last twelve months and this Government remains fully committed to delivering against the commitments set out in the Strategy.

Whilst a relatively short period of time has passed since the publication of the Strategy, we have already reached some significant milestones and continue to make steady progress in delivering the Strategy’s commitments. Achievements include:

  • A commitment to extend the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 2024;

  • An invitation to motorway service stations to apply for a share of £2 million funding for fully accessible Changing Places facilities, supporting disabled people to travel easily and comfortably on the road network;

  • The introduction of the first ever impartial and independent Rail Ombudsman, making sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short;

  • The extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to include people with non-visible disabilities (mental, cognitive, learning, psychological, and neurological); and

  • The publication of the ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy: Monitoring and Evaluation framework’.

Nonetheless, I acknowledge that there is still more to do to ensure that all disabled people have the same access to transport as everyone else and can travel confidently, easily and without extra cost. The Government will continue to work with transport operators, charities and disabled people’s organisations to ensure we achieve our overall goal, which remains to create a transport system which offers equal access for disabled passengers by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.

I have today written to the Chairs of the APPG for Disability, the Transport Select Committee, the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Health and Social Care Select Committee, including further detail on the progress of the past year. Copies of this letter have been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1699
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

Call for Evidence for Flooding and Coastal Erosion policy

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment (Thérèse Coffey) has today made the following statement:

About 1 in 6 people in England live in properties which are at risk of flooding. In addition to the potential for loss of life and damage to property, flooding can affect health and well-being, disrupt essential services, cause loss of business and damage to cultural heritage and the environment. Fewer people are at risk from coastal erosion but the impacts can be dramatic, including complete loss of land and property.

The government is already taking action on a range of fronts to tackle flooding and erosion, with three particular focuses.

We are investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes.

We published the Surface Water Management Action Plan, which included a commitment to review effectiveness and compliance with local requirements. It will also consider how responsibility for surface water and drainage assets is determined locally, including dispute resolution. I have appointed David Jenkins, Chair of the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, to undertake this independent review. He will provide an interim report by December. David will draw on his past experience as CEO of an LLFA, solicitor and member of an Ombudsman Office.

After recent reviews, we established a National Flood Response Centre for dealing with major floods and deployed additional resources to improve capacity and capability on flood forecasting and response. After experiencing the devastation of a flood, we want to ensure people can return to their homes as quickly as possible and suffer less damage in their properties. To support this, we want to incentivise people to make their properties more resilient to flooding. That is why I will shortly be announcing three areas where we will carry out pathfinder projects, supported by government funding, to lead local innovation and increase uptake of resilience measures.

The government established the Flood Re insurance scheme so that households in high flood risk areas could obtain affordable insurance. Flood Re reported recently that the number of household policies backed by the scheme rose to more than 164,000 by 31st March 2019. Today Flood Re have published their first review of the scheme which makes a number of recommendations to government about how the scheme could be made more efficient and effective. I welcome their report and I will be considering the recommendations carefully.

Climate change and population growth mean that the risks from flooding and coastal erosion are increasing. That is why government is looking to update the flood and coastal erosion policy framework to ensure that we can continue to manage these risks effectively into the future.

By the end of 2019, the government will set out its policies to better prepare the country for flooding and coastal erosion in a government policy statement on flooding and coastal erosion, a national infrastructure strategy and in the decisions made in a spending review. Informed by this government policy, the Environment Agency will update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management.

The government policy statement will take into account information from many sources including: the UK climate projections 2018[1] and Climate Change Risk Assessment[2]; the first National Infrastructure Assessment[3]; and responses to recent consultations such as those on: the Environment Agency’s draft National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England[4]; “Improving our management of water in the environment”[5] ; local authority funding for flood and coast as part of the review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources[6]; and the Infrastructure Finance Review consultation[7].

The call for evidence which I have published today focuses on some specific issues on which the government would like additional evidence. They are:

  • What we understand by the term “resilience” – asking how the term resilience is currently used, and whether the different aspects of resilience could usefully be brought together into one overall concept.

  • Describing outcomes, driving action and monitoring progress – seeking examples of cases where metrics have been used effectively to achieve an overarching outcome, and information on the advantages and disadvantages of using composite metrics to describe, drive and monitor flood and coast outcomes.

  • Adapting to coastal change – seeking information about what coast protection authorities have done to join up decisions about manging the coastline with wider plans and decisions for the area, and examples of whether councils have used, or tried to use powers to fund specific coastal erosion works or to create Coastal Change Management Areas.

  • Corporation tax relief for business contributions – asking how businesses have used the provision for businesses to receive corporation tax relief on their contributions to government funded flood and coast projects.

  • Local funding initiatives for flood risk management – seeking examples of local initiatives funded from sources other than the public sector and what could be done to help these types of initiatives succeed.

  • Developer contributions – asking about the barriers and enablers to the use of developer contributions to ensure developments are safe for their lifetime, and what arrangements are in place for maintaining flood assets in new developments.

  • Managing financial risks from flooding – asking about how organisations manage the financial risks associated with flooding, in the context of climate change.

I will arrange for copies of the Call for Evidence to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

[1] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/collaboration/ukcp

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-change-risk-assessment-2017

[3] https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/national-infrastructure-assessment-2018/

[4] https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fcrm/national-strategy-public/

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-our-management-of-water-in-the-environment

[6] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-local-authorities-relative-needs-and-resources

[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/infrastructure-finance-review

WS
Treasury
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 09 July 2019

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 09 July 2019. The UK will be represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council will discuss the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 08 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU. Ministers will then discuss potential new sources of revenue for the upcoming multiannual financial framework: the EU's long-term budget.

Own Resources

The Finnish Presidency will then give an update to the Council on the potential new sources of revenue for the upcoming multiannual financial framework, following a discussion during the early morning session.

Presidency Work Programme

The Finnish Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2019, followed by an exchange of views.

Appointment of the President of the European Central Bank

The Council will be invited to adopt a Council Recommendation on the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the next President of the European Central Bank.

European Semester

The Council will be invited to adopt the 2019 Country-Specific Recommendations as part of the European Semester process.

Any Other Business

The Dutch Finance Minister will brief ministers on the topic of aviation taxation and carbon pricing.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1660
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Ms Nusrat Ghani (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Inclusive Transport Strategy - One Year On

This month marks the one-year anniversary since the publication of the Inclusive Transport Strategy. As Transport Accessibility Minister I am very proud of all that has been achieved in the last twelve months and this Government remains fully committed to delivering against the commitments set out in the Strategy.

Whilst a relatively short period of time has passed since the publication of the Strategy, we have already reached some significant milestones and continue to make steady progress in delivering the Strategy’s commitments. Achievements include:

  • A commitment to extend the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 2024;

  • An invitation to motorway service stations to apply for a share of £2 million funding for fully accessible Changing Places facilities, supporting disabled people to travel easily and comfortably on the road network;

  • The introduction of the first ever impartial and independent Rail Ombudsman, making sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short;

  • The extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to include people with non-visible disabilities (mental, cognitive, learning, psychological, and neurological); and

  • The publication of the ‘Inclusive Transport Strategy: Monitoring and Evaluation framework’.

Nonetheless, I acknowledge that there is still more to do to ensure that all disabled people have the same access to transport as everyone else and can travel confidently, easily and without extra cost. The Government will continue to work with transport operators, charities and disabled people’s organisations to ensure we achieve our overall goal, which remains to create a transport system which offers equal access for disabled passengers by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.

I have today written to the Chairs of the APPG for Disability, the Transport Select Committee, the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Health and Social Care Select Committee, including further detail on the progress of the past year. Copies of this letter have been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1659
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr Jeremy Hunt), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I have today deposited in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen.

The Review is the conclusion of a project that began in December 2018, when I asked Bishop Mounstephen to carry out this important research with the full support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The UK has always been a leading champion of human rights. In recent years, the FCO has stepped up its work on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). In response to new evidence and as a sign of the UK's commitment, the Prime Minister appointed Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon in 2018 as the UK's first Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

In that role, Lord Ahmad has championed FoRB across government, through the FCO's diplomatic network, and in his travel overseas. The UK has raised the rights of religious minorities at the highest levels, including in Nigeria, Iraq and Pakistan. Lord Ahmad has also worked with British diplomatic missions - including at the United Nations in Geneva and New York - to defend FoRB. Furthermore, he has overseen the provision of significant funding through various projects and programmes, including over £250 million to support people who were driven from their homes by Daesh's persecution.

Today, about 245 million Christians worldwide are believed to face persecution for their faith. The evidence suggests the problem is getting worse. The number of countries where Christians face religiously-motivated harassment rose from 128 in 2015 to 144 a year later, according to the Pew Research Centre.

The Review builds on the Bishop's Interim Report published in May 2019, which examined the scale and character of religious persecution. It includes further findings and recommendations about how the FCO might improve its response.

The Review draws on information from: non-governmental organisations; Church leaders; reporting from the FCO's diplomatic missions; interviews with FCO staff and analysts; FCO written sources (including reporting from the network, research papers and policy notes); interviews with retired members of the FCO and with those who have suffered directly from discrimination or persecution. I offer my particular thanks to those who bravely shared their harrowing experiences.

I welcome Bishop Mounstephen's report and its recommendations. We are working across government to agree a formal collective response.

The Review will also be available on the gov.uk website, and further information is available on the Review's website at https://christianpersecutionreview.org.uk/interim-report/.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1698
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Contingent Liability within the Extended Design Authority Case Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition Contract

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Mr Stuart Andrew) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today laying before the House a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has received approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury to recognise a contingent liability associated with the Design Authority Support for Case Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition (CTCA) contract extension.

The Departmental Minute describes the continued contingent liability that MOD will incur as a result of signing an amendment to the CTCA contract. This amendment extends the exclusion to the contractor’s liability for indirect and consequential losses until March 2021. Due to the value of the contract it is not acceptable for the industry participants to incur such a risk, the value of which cannot be quantified.

For completeness, in addition to the clause outlined above, the contract contains a limitation of liability against contractor’s personnel at Government establishments and an overall limitation of liability linked to the value of the contract (£4.8 million). After completing a robust risk assessment these have been found not to create any further contingent liabilities.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Children’s health and wellbeing in schools

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following written ministerial statement.

Today, the Department for Education has published details for its new healthy schools rating scheme. This is one of our key commitments under the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, which sets a national ambition to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030 and significantly reduce the health inequalities that persist.

The healthy schools rating scheme celebrates the positive actions that schools are delivering in terms of healthy living, healthy eating and physical activity, and it will support schools in identifying further actions that they can take in this area.

This voluntary rating scheme will be available for both primary and secondary schools. Schools will engage in a self-assessment exercise and will receive their rating based on their responses to questions around food education, compliance with the mandatory school food standards, time spent on PE in school and the promotion of active travel for pupils’ journeys to and from school.

The first schools participating in the scheme will receive their reports and certificates in July 2019. We encourage all participating schools to use this scheme to reflect on their future actions, and to share their achievements with parents, pupils and the wider school community.

The scheme is part of a wider series of government actions to support children’s health and wellbeing, which includes: delivering free school meals for over a million disadvantaged children each year; doubling the PE and Sport Premium to £320m a year; investing up to £26m to kick start sustainable school breakfast clubs; investing £9m in our holiday activities and food programme in summer 2019; and updating the school food standards to reduce the amount of sugar in school meals.

We welcome any feedback on the scheme during its first year and will use this information to inform future scheme developments. Guidance for schools on the healthy schools rating scheme is now available on Gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1695
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians

I have today deposited in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, conducted by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen.

The Review is the conclusion of a project that began in December 2018, when I asked Bishop Mounstephen to carry out this important research with the full support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The UK has always been a leading champion of human rights. In recent years, the FCO has stepped up its work on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). In response to new evidence and as a sign of the UK's commitment, the Prime Minister appointed Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon in 2018 as the UK's first Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

In that role, Lord Ahmad has championed FoRB across government, through the FCO's diplomatic network, and in his travel overseas. The UK has raised the rights of religious minorities at the highest levels, including in Nigeria, Iraq and Pakistan. Lord Ahmad has also worked with British diplomatic missions - including at the United Nations in Geneva and New York - to defend FoRB. Furthermore, he has overseen the provision of significant funding through various projects and programmes, including over £250 million to support people who were driven from their homes by Daesh's persecution.

Today, about 245 million Christians worldwide are believed to face persecution for their faith. The evidence suggests the problem is getting worse. The number of countries where Christians face religiously-motivated harassment rose from 128 in 2015 to 144 a year later, according to the Pew Research Centre.

The Review builds on the Bishop's Interim Report published in May 2019, which examined the scale and character of religious persecution. It includes further findings and recommendations about how the FCO might improve its response.

The Review draws on information from: non-governmental organisations; Church leaders; reporting from the FCO's diplomatic missions; interviews with FCO staff and analysts; FCO written sources (including reporting from the network, research papers and policy notes); interviews with retired members of the FCO and with those who have suffered directly from discrimination or persecution. I offer my particular thanks to those who bravely shared their harrowing experiences.

I welcome Bishop Mounstephen's report and its recommendations. We are working across government to agree a formal collective response.

The Review will also be available on the gov.uk website, and further information is available on the Review's website at https://christianpersecutionreview.org.uk/interim-report/.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1657
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Stuart Andrew (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement)
Commons

Contingent Liability within the Extended Design Authority Case Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition Contract

I am today laying before the House a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has received approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury to recognise a contingent liability associated with the Design Authority Support for Case Telescoped Cannon and Ammunition (CTCA) contract extension.

The Departmental Minute describes the continued contingent liability that the MOD will incur as a result of signing an amendment to the CTCA contract. This amendment extends the exclusion to the contractor’s liability for indirect and consequential losses until March 2021. Due to the value of the contract it is not acceptable for the industry participants to incur such a risk, the value of which cannot be quantified.

For completeness, in addition to the clause outlined above, the contract contains a limitation of liability against contractor’s personnel at Government establishments and an overall limitation of liability linked to the value of the contract (£4.8 million). After completing a robust risk assessment these have been found not to create any further contingent liabilities.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)
Commons

Call for Evidence for Flooding and Coastal Erosion policy

About 1 in 6 people in England live in properties which are at risk of flooding. In addition to the potential for loss of life and damage to property, flooding can affect health and well-being, disrupt essential services, cause loss of business and damage to cultural heritage and the environment. Fewer people are at risk from coastal erosion but the impacts can be dramatic, including complete loss of land and property.

The government is already taking action on a range of fronts to tackle flooding and erosion, with three particular focuses.

We are investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes.

We published the Surface Water Management Action Plan, which included a commitment to review effectiveness and compliance with local requirements. It will also consider how responsibility for surface water and drainage assets is determined locally, including dispute resolution. I have appointed David Jenkins, Chair of the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, to undertake this independent review. He will provide an interim report by December. David will draw on his past experience as CEO of an LLFA, solicitor and member of an Ombudsman Office.

After recent reviews, we established a National Flood Response Centre for dealing with major floods and deployed additional resources to improve capacity and capability on flood forecasting and response. After experiencing the devastation of a flood, we want to ensure people can return to their homes as quickly as possible and suffer less damage in their properties. To support this, we want to incentivise people to make their properties more resilient to flooding. That is why I will shortly be announcing three areas where we will carry out pathfinder projects, supported by government funding, to lead local innovation and increase uptake of resilience measures.

The government established the Flood Re insurance scheme so that households in high flood risk areas could obtain affordable insurance. Flood Re reported recently that the number of household policies backed by the scheme rose to more than 164,000 by 31st March 2019. Today Flood Re have published their first review of the scheme which makes a number of recommendations to government about how the scheme could be made more efficient and effective. I welcome their report and I will be considering the recommendations carefully.

Climate change and population growth mean that the risks from flooding and coastal erosion are increasing. That is why government is looking to update the flood and coastal erosion policy framework to ensure that we can continue to manage these risks effectively into the future.

By the end of 2019, the government will set out its policies to better prepare the country for flooding and coastal erosion in a government policy statement on flooding and coastal erosion, a national infrastructure strategy and in the decisions made in a spending review. Informed by this government policy, the Environment Agency will update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management.

The government policy statement will take into account information from many sources including: the UK climate projections 2018[1] and Climate Change Risk Assessment[2]; the first National Infrastructure Assessment[3]; and responses to recent consultations such as those on: the Environment Agency’s draft National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England[4]; “Improving our management of water in the environment”[5] ; local authority funding for flood and coast as part of the review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources[6]; and the Infrastructure Finance Review consultation[7].

The call for evidence which I have published today focuses on some specific issues on which the government would like additional evidence. They are:

  • What we understand by the term “resilience” – asking how the term resilience is currently used, and whether the different aspects of resilience could usefully be brought together into one overall concept.

  • Describing outcomes, driving action and monitoring progress – seeking examples of cases where metrics have been used effectively to achieve an overarching outcome, and information on the advantages and disadvantages of using composite metrics to describe, drive and monitor flood and coast outcomes.

  • Adapting to coastal change – seeking information about what coast protection authorities have done to join up decisions about manging the coastline with wider plans and decisions for the area, and examples of whether councils have used, or tried to use powers to fund specific coastal erosion works or to create Coastal Change Management Areas.

  • Corporation tax relief for business contributions – asking how businesses have used the provision for businesses to receive corporation tax relief on their contributions to government funded flood and coast projects.

  • Local funding initiatives for flood risk management – seeking examples of local initiatives funded from sources other than the public sector and what could be done to help these types of initiatives succeed.

  • Developer contributions – asking about the barriers and enablers to the use of developer contributions to ensure developments are safe for their lifetime, and what arrangements are in place for maintaining flood assets in new developments.

  • Managing financial risks from flooding – asking about how organisations manage the financial risks associated with flooding, in the context of climate change.

I will arrange for copies of the Call for Evidence to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

[1] https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/collaboration/ukcp

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-climate-change-risk-assessment-2017

[3] https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/national-infrastructure-assessment-2018/

[4] https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fcrm/national-strategy-public/

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-our-management-of-water-in-the-environment

[6] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-local-authorities-relative-needs-and-resources

[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/infrastructure-finance-review

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 08 July 2019
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Children’s health and wellbeing in schools

Today, the Department for Education has published details for its new healthy schools rating scheme. This is one of our key commitments under the government’s Childhood Obesity Plan, which sets a national ambition to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030 and significantly reduce the health inequalities that persist.

The healthy schools rating scheme celebrates the positive actions that schools are delivering in terms of healthy living, healthy eating and physical activity, and it will support schools in identifying further actions that they can take in this area.

This voluntary rating scheme will be available for both primary and secondary schools. Schools will engage in a self-assessment exercise and will receive their rating based on their responses to questions around food education, compliance with the mandatory school food standards, time spent on PE in school and the promotion of active travel for pupils’ journeys to and from school.

The first schools participating in the scheme will receive their reports and certificates in July 2019. We encourage all participating schools to use this scheme to reflect on their future actions, and to share their achievements with parents, pupils and the wider school community.

The scheme is part of a wider series of government actions to support children’s health and wellbeing, which includes: delivering free school meals for over a million disadvantaged children each year; doubling the PE and Sport Premium to £320m a year; investing up to £26m to kick start sustainable school breakfast clubs; investing £9m in our holiday activities and food programme in summer 2019; and updating the school food standards to reduce the amount of sugar in school meals.

We welcome any feedback on the scheme during its first year and will use this information to inform future scheme developments. Guidance for schools on the healthy schools rating scheme is now available on Gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1655
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