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Written Statements

Volume 603: debated on Thursday 17 December 2015

Written Statements

Thursday 17 December 2015

Business, Innovation and Skills

Industry Training Boards Triennial Review

The commencement of the combined triennial review of the three Industry Training Boards (Construction ITB, Engineering Construction ITB and Film ITB) was announced in Parliament on 1 July 2013. The purpose of this statement is to update the House on the completion and outcome of the review.

Although each ITB operates in a different industry, a combined review of all three bodies was undertaken owing to the similarity of responsibilities and their common objective to raise skills in the sector via a training levy.

The triennial review took place under the coalition Government but it was not possible to publish the report prior to the 2015 general election.

Following the election, on 8 July 2015 the new Government announced the introduction of a new levy on large UK employers to fund post-16 apprenticeships. The CITB and ECITB will consult employers in their respective industries before the introduction of the apprenticeship levy on whether or not they should continue to pay the sector skills levies in their current form. The review concluded that given these skills funding policy changes, it would be premature for the review to make recommendations on the future of the CITB and ECITB; the right time for this will be once the future levy arrangements for the sectors are clearer.

There is currently no statutory training levy on the film production sector; instead the Film Industry Training Board (FITB) oversees the delivery of a voluntary training levy, the “skills investment fund”, which is administered by creative skillset. The FITB also provides a valuable advisory function to creative skillset on the skills and training needs of the sector. The triennial review concluded that as the FITB does not operate a statutory training levy it is not necessary for it to be a non-departmental public body (NDPB) in relation to the levy powers and functions detailed in the Industry Training Act. It therefore recommends that unless there is a clear policy commitment and timetable from Government to implement a statutory film sector levy, the FITB need not remain as a NDPB. In this case, the valuable advisory function and the voluntary training levy could continue without NDPB status.

The review also examined the governance arrangements for the CITB, ECITB and FITB, in line with guidance on good corporate governance set out by the Cabinet Office. The review made specific recommendations that will improve the performance of the ITBs against their existing missions, and the ITBs have already started to act on these recommendations.

The full report of the triennial review can be found on the website and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


UK Steel Industry

When the steel summit met on 16 October, I agreed that three ministerial-led working groups would be set up immediately to address the “5 Asks” of UK Steel and the longer-term future of the industry. This statement reports on the progress of the working groups and other action taken by Government to support the industry and steel workers.

The three working groups are:

Procurement—chaired by Matthew Hancock (CO);

International Comparisons—chaired by Anna Soubry (BIS)

Competitiveness and Productivity—chaired by Lord O’Neill (HMT)


UK Steel asked at the summit that the Government should:

“Support local content in major construction projects: British steel must have every opportunity to be at the heart of HS2—the Government must look to unlock the significant opportunities for the steel sector and to strengthen supply chains on this and other major projects.”

Matthew Hancock’s group has met three times. It has brought together procurement leads from across Government—Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Infrastructure UK, Department Energy and Climate Change, Department for Transport and Ministry of Defence—alongside representatives of the UK steel industry and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

Areas focused on have been:

new guidelines for Departments to apply when procuring major projects involving steel, as enabled by flexibilities in the new public contracts regulations 2015, and consistent with value for money;

interrogating the national infrastructure plan and government construction pipelines to better identify the future pipeline for steel; and;

updating the current British Standards for steel.

Specific outputs to date include:

A new procurement policy note (PPN) on procuring steel in major projects was issued by Cabinet Office and the Crown Commercial Service on 30 October. This requires Government procurers to consider wider socio-economic impacts and benefits in their procurement objectives so that issues such as skills, responsible sourcing, good supply chain management, and health and safety capability can be taken into account where relevant. This will help to level the playing field so that the true value and competitive edge of UK steel is fully recognised. The PPN applies to all central Government Departments, their Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies; and directly to any major procurement projects with a significant steel component, where the overall project requirement has a capital value of £10 million or above. The PPN is at:

Further detailed guidance on how social issues should be taken into account in the procurement of steel for major projects was issued on 11 December. This covers all key stages of the procurement lifecycle, including pre-procurement, requirements and specifications, use of labels and standards—including reference to parts of BES 6001 relevant to responsible sourcing of steel—selection of suppliers, award of contracts, contract conditions and contract management. The guidance is at: supporting_PPN1615_.pdf.

Indicative quantities of steel have been mapped for key projects in the infrastructure and Government construction pipelines, including HS2, new nuclear and offshore wind, and shared with industry. Steps have also been agreed with industry on how to make better use of the pipelines as they are updated on a six monthly basis.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has agreed to revise and update the voluntary British Standard BS4449 which applies to steel reinforcement bar (rebar), in the absence of a harmonised European standard. The revision, which is now being consulted on with a view to being implemented in spring 2016, addresses concerns about the type and quantities of alloys and other “exotic” ingredients being added to some imported rebar that is used in construction. The revisions involve changes relating to: (a) Traceability, which means that chemical composition details will have to be listed, similar to an ‘ingredients’ label on food; and (b) Limits placed for the first time on the amount of boron and other alloys that can be added to rebar.

The Procurement Group will meet again in January.

International Comparisons

UK Steel asked at the summit that the Government should:

“Continue to back EU-level action on anti-dumping measures which support the UK steel sector against the rapid rise in global imports and push the European Commission to speed up its investigation process and action. Industry also suggests other member states get away with sailing closer to the wind on state aid rules”.

The Prime Minister raised Chinese over-capacity with President Xi during his state visit to the UK. I did likewise with the Chinese Commerce Minister. Both recognised the issue for the UK and globally, and stated that China is taking action to reduce overcapacity. The Emergency Council also underlined that the EU should make use of both bilateral and OECD dialogues to raise the issue with China and other producer countries and we are following up to ensure this happens.

At our request, the Luxembourg presidency convened an extraordinary Competitiveness Council on steel, which, recognising the severity of the crisis facing the industry across the EU, concluded that concrete actions should be taken in a number of areas, including: making full and timely use of EU trade policy instruments; making best use of the possibilities given under the revised state aid rules to support energy intensive industries; considering, as part of the reform of the European emissions trading system (“EU ETS”), a more focused mechanism for free allocation of allowances; and a special high level stakeholders’ conference to review the current situation and consider policy actions. We are now following up to ensure the conclusions are implemented and expect the conference to take place in the new year. My fellow Ministers and I have also been engaging with MEPs to ensure that the European Parliament amplifies the messages coming out of the extraordinary Council.

Anna Soubry’s group has met four times and has brought together representatives from all major steel producers with trade and state aid policy leads from my Department and other Whitehall leads—Foreign Office, HM Treasury. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have also been involved.

Areas focused on have been:

Identifying opportunities for joint working between industry and Government on current and forthcoming anti-dumping cases;

What more could be done to support the steel industry by speeding up anti-dumping cases and how we can work with our international counterparts to address steel dumping, in particular from China;

Assessing whether more can be done to support energy intensive industries, within existing state aid rules, compared to our European and international counterparts;

Addressing concerns about existing support given from other EU member states to steel companies that may be out with state aid rules.


Industry and Government have agreed to work together on forthcoming anti-dumping cases. This includes full evidence sharing, clarity on the timetable for each case and agreement on, if, how and when the Government should intervene. We are also working with industry on identifying ways for the Commission to accelerate and prioritise its trade defence investigations so as to get results quicker to prevent dumping.

In July, we voted in favour of EU anti-dumping measures on the import of Chinese wire rod products. We have also voted in favour of anti-dumping measures on the imports of steel tubing products and lobbied successfully for an investigation into cheap imports of reinforcing steel bar.

The UK Government have been calling, at all levels for steel cases to be given priority. I have met with Commissioner Malmström to discuss how anti-dumping investigations can be accelerated and other related measures. Discussions have also taken place with other EU Ministers.

Following continued engagement with the Commission on the speed of investigations, the Commission has responded rapidly to an industry request for registration of cold-rolled flat steel products. This means that imports of this product will be registered in a timely manner so that, if appropriate, any future anti-dumping measures agreed will apply retrospectively from the date of registration rather than when the investigation has been completed. We will continue to press the Commission to ensure that ongoing investigations and requests for action will result in similarly rapid response from the Commission.

State Aid

We have undertaken a review of how other EU member states support their energy intensive industries within existing rules. This work concluded that the UK is currently making full use of the scope to provide state aid compliant support to industry through the suite of measures in the energy intensive industry compensation package. However, we are looking to see if there may be opportunities to make greater use of the EU’s general block exemption regime in other areas, particularly energy efficiency. Further, more detailed discussions will take place with industry.

We have looked into claims of wrong-doing in other EU member states and have found no evidence to back up these claims. We have shared this conclusion with industry and the unions and asked them to provide us with any further evidence they may have. The industry has raised concerns about interventions by the Italian Government in favour of Ilva with the European Commission. The Commission is currently investigating this matter. Given the importance of ensuring a fair and level playing-field across the EU, we have asked the Commission to be extremely vigilant and respond quickly wherever suspicions of wrongdoing arise.

We have also examined state aid regimes in non-EU countries and have concluded that there is substantial subsidisation of steel sectors.

The International Comparisons group will next meet in January.

Competitiveness and Productivity

UK Steel asked at the summit that the Government should:

“Fully implement the energy intensive industry compensation package ahead of April 2016. The sector is currently still paying 70% of the policy costs that the full package aims to address.”

“Bring business rates for capital intensive firms in line with their competitors, by removing plant and machinery from business rate calculations.”

“Don’t gold plate regulations unfairly and deliver pragmatic implementation of regulatory frameworks vital the sector (e.g. Industrial Emissions directive).”

“And for the longer-term: We call on the Government to develop a long term vision and strategy for the UK steel sector, through an independent report, demonstrating the broad value the sector adds to the economy and setting out a viable roadmap for safeguarding and growing this value for the UK.”

Lord O'Neill’s group has met three times. It has covered: energy costs; business rates; regulation; and the longer-term future of the industry, taking evidence from industry, unions and Government representatives, with involvement from both the Welsh and Scottish Governments.

Specific outputs to date include:

Energy Costs: The Prime Minister announced on 28 October that compensation for energy intensive industries would be paid from the date state aid clearance comes through. Today, we have received approval from the European Commission for the UK Government to commence relief in line with our initial notification for the most electricity intensive businesses for the costs of renewables policy in their bills. We are going further and at autumn statement 2015 the Chancellor announced that energy intensive industries, including the steel industry, will be exempt from the policy costs of the renewable obligation and feed-in tariffs, to ensure that they have long-term certainty and remain competitive. Compensation will continue to be paid until the exemption is in place. This commitment will give the UK steel industry greater certainty around energy costs. Relief from energy policy costs will save industry hundreds of millions of pounds.

Business Rates: Through the working group, industry have had direct discussions with HMT to feed into the review of business rates and to give more detailed evidence on the impact on investment in plant and machinery. The review of business rates will be fiscally neutral and will report at Budget 2016.

Regulation—Industrial Emissions: The Government confirmed to the steel industry in October that it will be able to take advantage of special flexibilities to comply with new EU rules on emissions. The EU industrial emissions directive (IED) was the industry’s primary concern and could have added millions of pounds of additional costs to the industry in January 2016 at a time when it is already facing unprecedented global pressures. The UK pushed for transitional arrangements and derogations in the IED, and both will benefit the steel industry following detailed work between Government and steel companies.

Regulation—Other: The industry was invited to highlight any other regulatory concerns to the working group. None were identified, though the working group stands ready to take evidence and act should any other regulatory issues emerge.

Improvements to competitiveness: A workshop was organised to bring together representatives from the steel industry, trade unions and Government in order to brainstorm interventions that could increase competitiveness within the areas of skills, innovation, exports and inward investment. Officials are working on the most promising proposals from these workshops to identify actions that industry and Government may wish to explore.

As an immediate step on innovation, £400,000 has been provided this year to enable the centre for process innovation on Teesside to extend its partnership programme to steel and other metals companies. The programme, which started with the chemicals industry, is focused on equipping SMEs in the supply chain to innovate and grow. The extension follows a recommendation in the metals strategy and will be delivered with support from the Metals Processing Institute.

Industry future: We have been working very closely with steel stakeholders to understand the needs of the sector both now and going forward. Through the Competitiveness and Productivity Steel working group an independent external report has been commissioned to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of the UK steel industry, and consider how this could change over different time horizons. The outcomes will support the UK steel industry develop a strategic forward plan, and will help clarify how HMG could support competitiveness in the sector over the short, medium and long term.

The Competitiveness and Productivity group will next meet in the new year.

Local support

Notwithstanding the actions we can take as Government to support the industry, the UK steel sector is facing severe challenges and many companies have had to take difficult commercial decisions. There is no straightforward solution to the complex global forces facing the steel industry; the price of some steel has halved over the past year alone, there is 30% overproduction across the world, European demand has not returned to pre-crash levels and recent currency fluctuations have added further pressure.

I realise this is an incredibly difficult time for the employees affected by recent job losses, as well as their families and the local communities in which they live. The Government are committed to doing all we can to give these employees the help and training needed to quickly return to work and we have made available up to £89 million in support packages for those who have been affected.

Recently my ministerial colleagues the right hon. Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, and Nick Boles, Minister of State for Skills visited Scunthorpe and Redcar respectively to better understand the issues currently facing the communities and how our support is having a real impact. We remain in regular contact with the companies and communities affected.

In Redcar, following the sudden closure of SSI in October, we set up a taskforce, chaired by Amanda Skelton, and agreed a support package worth up to £80 million over £40 million of the support package is aimed at skills and jobs creation and includes:

£3 million which has been made available to colleges in the region to support re-training activity, as well as a further £2.65 million skills funding to plug any gaps in skills provision not available via the further education offer;

£1.7 million to ensure that the 50 apprentices who were with SSI can continue their apprenticeships with alternative employers;

a £16.5 million jobs and skills fund to help local firms employ former SSI workers or their spouses in full-time or part-time jobs for a minimum of three years;

£16 million support for firms in the SSI supply chain and wider Tees Valley impacted by the Redcar steelworks closure, to safeguard jobs, provide the stimulus to create new posts and provide expert assistance to help them expand their business

£750,000 to fund advice and grants to start up a new business.

This is in addition to statutory payments made to former employees, which have been processed rapidly by the Redundancy Payments Service to ensure individuals received the money as quickly as possible.

These initiatives have so far seen 500 affected individuals find new employment. I am also pleased to confirm that all 51 apprentices that were affected by the sudden closure of SSI are in education, training or have been placed with employers.

In order to support the Tees Valley area going forward and ensure a strong economic outlook, Lord Heseltine has been appointed to lead the Tees Valley Inward Investment Initiative. He will be working to advance specific investment projects, to conduct a wider analysis on unlocking growth in the area and to help the new combined authority make the most of its new devolved powers. He has visited the region and met with key people on organisations several times and will be reporting back in the new year.

In Scunthorpe, we have announced a package, worth up to £9 million, jointly with Tata, to support Tata steelworkers, the local economy and supply chain. We are working closely with a local taskforce, chaired by Baroness Liz Redfern, to deliver this support. This package includes:

£3 million from UK Steel Enterprise (Tata’s Regeneration arm) “to support job creation”

£3 million of match funding from the Government to provide “support for more start-up businesses and companies that are looking to expand and create jobs”.

£3 million of training of affected employees through local further education colleges.

We remain in close contact with Tata to understand their ongoing issues and how we can support them.

I am pleased to inform the House that Administrators for Caparo Group have been able to complete sales for all but one of the remaining business entities, preserving over 1,100 jobs mainly in the West Midlands.


Cabinet Office

Public Bodies Reform Programme

In May 2010, the coalition Government committed to reviewing public bodies, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of Government. The 2010 to 2015 public bodies reform programme delivered the biggest reform of the public bodies in a generation.

Its successes included:

reducing the number of public bodies by over 290, by abolishing more than 190 and merging over 165 bodies into fewer than 70;

98% of planned abolitions and mergers completed;

reducing administrative spend by a cumulative £3 billion over the life of the programme to the end of March 2015, comfortably exceeding the original estimate of £2.6 billion;

an Act of Parliament, the Public Bodies Act 2011, to facilitate the abolition, merger and reform of public bodies;

improved accountability through bringing the functions of over 75 bodies closer to democratically-elected representatives; and

increased funding from alternative sources and volunteering by moving some organisations outside the public sector under innovative delivery models.

We have delivered our promise. The landscape is now smaller, more accountable and efficient, with reduced administrative costs, ensuring better value for money to the public. This remarkable achievement is thanks in no small part to the committed public servants who have embraced the spirit of reform.

Full details of the reforms are available at:

“Public Bodies 2015”

The public bodies report was first published by the Cabinet Office in 1980 and is now a single transparent source of top-level data on all non-departmental public bodies, executive agencies and non-ministerial departments.

“Public Bodies 2015” details the broad range of public bodies sponsored by the UK government and provide further detail on the success of the 2010 to 2015 public bodies reform programme. The Cabinet Office will today publish “Public Bodies 2015” at: and I am also today placing it in the Library of the House. The online data set will be updated quarterly where applicable.

Public Bodies Reform 2015-20

I can also announce the Government’s approach to public bodies reform from 2015 to 2020. We have worked in partnership with leaders of public bodies and departments to develop a new two-tier approach to transformation.

Instead of just piecemeal reviews, of individual arm’s length bodies, we will look at how groups of quangos can be merged, share back offices or work better together. So the first tier is a set of cross-departmental, functional reviews, covering several ALBs in similar or related areas of Government. This will initially cover bodies with regulatory functions. The review, led by Amanda Spielman, Chair of OFQUAL, will be delivered through partnership with arm’s length bodies, the Cabinet Office and other Departments.

Each ALB will continue to be reviewed each Parliament. So the second tier is a programme of tailored reviews, for those not falling into a functional review, or for those which may require a more in-depth review in addition to a review of some aspects within a functional review. It develops the triennial review programme, extending the scope of reviews to include executive agencies and non-ministerial Departments. Departments will have greater flexibility to dovetail with wider policy reviews. Crucially, every ALB will be reviewed at least once in the lifetime of each Parliament.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www.


Transparency Update

Enhancing transparency and accountability continues to be at the heart of our approach to Government, ensuring that Whitehall’s elected representatives and senior officials uphold the highest standards in public life through transparency and democratic scrutiny.

In support of this aim, the Government are today publishing:

The list of Ministers’ Interests. Under the terms of the “Ministerial Code”, Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their ministerial position and their private interests, financial or otherwise. The list captures those interests relevant to Ministers’ ministerial responsibilities, and should be read alongside the two parliamentary registers. In addition, we have today published an update report by the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, Sir Alex Allan.

The list of special advisers. The list sets out the names of the special advisers in post as of December 2015, each special adviser’s pay band, and actual salary—where this is higher than the senior civil service entry-level salary—together with details of the total pay bill for 2014-15 and the estimate for 2015-16. The cost has fallen from last year, and the cost represents just 0.08% of the civil service pay bill.

Details of the salaries of officials in Departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies earning £150,000 and above. Excluding machinery of government transfers, the number of people of people earning £150,000 and above in central Government has reduced by a third since 2010.

Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations and overseas travel, ministerial and special adviser gifts and hospitality, the use of official residences and the Prime Minister’s UK visits and charity receptions for the period April to September 2015.

Details of Permanent Secretary meetings with external organisations, and senior officials travel and gifts and hospitality for the period April to September 2015.

Copies of the list of ministerial interests and the list of special advisers have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. All publications will be available on

Attachments can be viewed online at http://www.



Banking Act 2009 Reporting

The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.


Communities and Local Government

Community and Business Recovery Fund (Storm Desmond)

I would like to pay tribute to the excellent work of the emergency services, the Army, local authority staff and members and the many voluntary and community organisations and residents that have done so much to help the people who have suffered as result of Storm Desmond.

I would also like to update hon. Members on the actions that the Government are taking to help communities and businesses impacted by Storm Desmond.

I am determined to get funding to areas quickly to help residents and business owners who are “rallying round” to rebuild their communities. I can confirm that county councils in Cumbria, Lancashire, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Herefordshire have now received an initial £10.5 million payment from the community and business recovery scheme to support affected communities in those areas.

It forms the first payment from the new dedicated community and business recovery fund announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help residents and businesses back on their feet and into their properties, Official Report, 9 December 2015, column 983.

This new fund will be managed by the councils themselves, to ensure money can go quickly to people who need it most, without facing unnecessary delays caused by red tape and bureaucracy.

Communities are coming together to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Storm Desmond. I have seen for myself both the damage and destruction caused by Storm Desmond and the way in which communities are rallying round to help each other through this difficult time.

Supporting the recovery

The Government have made clear their determination to stand squarely behind those communities hit by flooding in the wake of Storm Desmond.

The Government have confirmed that we will provide over £60 million of support. The £47 million community and business recovery scheme will:

provide local authorities with over £500 for each household affected by flooding; for example, it can be used to help people with temporary accommodation costs while they work to get them back into their homes.

provide grants of up to £5,000 for householders to protect their home from future flooding; for example, install new flood barriers, replace doors and windows with water resistant alternatives, or move electricity sockets up to a safer level.

ensure flood affected businesses that have had their trading disrupted can get back on their feet, with funding equivalent to an average of £2,500 provided to local authorities for each business affected and funding specifically provided for farmers to help restore their land.

We have offered council tax and business rate relief to those affected. As part of the recovery scheme, my Department will make funding available to enable councils to offer a 100% council tax discount to anyone who is unable to occupy their home and a 100% business rates discount for firms that have been impacted by flooding. This will be made available on at least as generous terms as in 2013-14.

We have activated the Bellwin emergency scheme and have made it simpler and easier to access, responding to local concerns. The Bellwin grant will be available at 100% above threshold. We have reduced thresholds for upper-tier authorities and allowed upper-tier authorities with responsibility for fire services to claim Bellwin on a comparable basis to standalone fire authorities for fire-related costs.


Green Belt Protection

This statement confirms changes to national planning policy to make intentional unauthorised development a material consideration, and also to provide stronger protection for the green belt, as set out in the manifesto.

The Government are concerned about the harm that is caused where the development of land has been undertaken in advance of obtaining planning permission. In such cases, there is no opportunity to appropriately limit or mitigate the harm that has already taken place. Such cases can involve local planning authorities having to take expensive and time-consuming enforcement action.

For these reasons, we introduced a planning policy to make intentional unauthorised development a material consideration that would be weighed in the determination of planning applications and appeals. This policy applies to all new planning applications and appeals received since 31 August 2015.

The Government are particularly concerned about harm that is caused by intentional unauthorised development in the green belt.

For this reason the planning inspectorate will monitor all appeal decisions involving unauthorised development in the green belt to enable the Government to assess the implementation of this policy.

In addition we will consider the recovery of a proportion of relevant appeals in the green belt for the Secretary of State’s decision to enable him to illustrate how he would like his policy to apply in practice. Such appeals will be considered for recovery under the criterion set out in 2008: “There may on occasion be other cases which merit recovery because of the particular circumstances.”

After six months we will review the situation to see whether it is delivering our objective of protecting land from intentional unauthorised development.

The national planning policy framework makes clear that most development in the green belt is inappropriate and should be approved only in very special circumstances. consistent with this, this statement confirms the Government’s policy that, subject to the best interests of the child, personal circumstances and unmet need are unlikely to clearly outweigh harm to the green belt and any other harm so as to establish very special circumstances


Culture, Media and Sport

Sports Strategy

I am today publishing the Government’s new sport strategy “Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation”.

This new strategy for sport and physical activity represents a significant shift in Government policy on sport. It moves beyond merely looking at how many people take part and instead considers what people get out of participating in sport and what more can be done to tackle head on the flatlining levels of participation and high levels of inactivity in this country. It also considers the value of broader engagement in sport, whether through volunteering, watching sport, or enjoying the shared pride that comes from sporting success

Through this strategy, Government is redefining what success in sport means, with a new focus on five key outcomes: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. In future, funding decisions will also be made on the basis of the social good that sport and physical activity can deliver.

There are several demographic groups whose engagement in sport and physical activity is well below the national average. Government will focus on these under-represented groups, including women and girls, disabled people, those in lower socioeconomic groups and older people. Government will also broaden Sport England’s remit so that it becomes responsible for sport outside school from the age of five, rather than 14.

This strategy sets out how we will transform the way in which success is measured by replacing the Active People survey with a new survey called Active Lives. This will enable Government to capture how active people are overall—rather than how often they take part in any particular sport. A new set of key performance indicators will be used to test progress towards the five key outcomes.

Government is reaffirming its commitment to Olympic and Paralympic success but also extending that ambition to non-Olympic sports where we will support success through grassroots investment in those sports, and by sharing UK Sport’s knowledge and expertise.

This strategy sets out plans to introduce a new, mandatory governance code that will be rigorously enforced and will help tackle doping, match-fixing and corruption wherever they occur in sport. We will make the sport sector stronger and more resilient through changes in governance, developing the workforce, and reducing the reliance on public funding. We will also introduce a new “duty of care” for all athletes and participants, to make sure that sport is safe for and inclusive of everyone.

It is Government’s ambition that all relevant Departments work closer together to create a more physically active nation, where our children and young people have access to the best sporting opportunities available and people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the many benefits that sport and physical activity bring, at every stage in their lives.

I am grateful to all those who contributed to the sport strategy consultation which ran through the summer of 2015 and received over 3,000 responses. The responses to the consultation showed that the sector is united in our ambition to be a truly successful and thriving sporting nation. This strategy sets out our plan for achieving this.

The strategy is being deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and is available at:

Attachments can be viewed online at http://www.


Telecommunications Council

The Telecommunications Council took place in Brussels on 11 December 2015. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Shan Morgan, represented the UK.

The first item was a progress report from the presidency regarding the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility to public sector bodies’ websites (First reading—EM 16006/11). There was no substantive debate on this item.

The second item was a report from the presidency on the outcome of negotiations, specifically trilogues, regarding the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to ensure a high level of network and information security across the Union (First reading—EM6342/13). There was no substantive debate on this item.

These items were followed by a round-table debate on the review of the European electronic communications framework. EU Commissioner Oettinger introduced the debate by noting that the EU had moved away from the era of fixed-line telephones, and highlighted the range of new technologies which are reliant on internet connectivity.

Member state interventions by Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, the UK, Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania all spoke against over-regulating the new “over-the-top” services such as WhatsApp or Skype. However, Germany, France, Spain, Greece and Portugal spoke in support of the need for “equivalent” regulation for such services.

Delivering investment in telecommunications networks through competition was also a common theme, as was the importance of flexibility in EU state aid to support investment in areas where the market was not well placed to deliver.

Many member states also raised the issue of spectrum management, and although several spoke of the benefits of increased co-ordination between member states for the allocation of spectrum, none supported a greater role for the Commission.

Better regulation was also raised by several member states, who saw the review of the electronic communications framework as a good opportunity to reduce the regulatory burden on operators. The UK’s intervention was as per my pre-Council statement (HCWS384).

This was followed by two items under AOB led by the Commission. The first being information from the Commission on current internet governance issues, and the second an update on the telecommunication and ICT aspects of the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). There were no substantive interventions on either of these items.

Finally, the Dutch delegation informed the Council of their priorities for their forthcoming presidency before Council adjourned until the next meeting in May 2016.



UK Embedded Forces

During my oral statement on 20 July 2015 (Official Report, column 1233), I committed to continuing to be transparent about UK service personnel embedded in other nations’ armed forces on operations.

Today I am publishing details of UK Service personnel embedded in other nations’ armed forces who are deployed on operations together with those who work on operations in deployed coalition or single nation headquarters roles. Embeds play an important role in enhancing our national security interests around the world, strengthening our relationships with key allies and developing our own capabilities. These personnel perform a wide range of roles for their host nation including staff in headquarters planning for operations and training missions, members of a ship’s company, helicopter pilots, transport pilots, fast-jet pilots and aircrew and air traffic control.

Following this first report to the House, future updates will be published annually through my Department’s annual report and accounts. For operational and personal security reasons the information that can be routinely released is limited.

All of our armed forces, including embeds, are bound by and operate in accordance with the law of England and Wales and international law, in particular, the law of armed conflict.


Host Nation/Headquarters

Embedded HQ Staff

Embedded Exchange Officers








New Zealand




United States of America



Coalition HQs












The data comprises: “UK service personnel embedded in another nations’ armed forces, who are deployed on operations together with those who work on operations in deployed coalition or single nation headquarters roles”.

Due to the short nature of some attachments, the figures change regularly. The information is a snap-shot as at 30 November 2015.



Reformed GCSE and A-level Content

The Government are reforming GCSEs and A-levels to be rigorous and more knowledge-based and to match the qualifications used in the best education systems in the world.

Schools are now teaching some of the new reformed GCSEs and A-levels, and we have already published reformed subject content for those GCSEs and A-levels to be taught from September 2016. Content for reformed GCSE subjects can be found on the Department for Education website for AS and A-level subjects.

The new GCSEs will be more academically demanding and will be qualifications that command the confidence of students, employers, and further and higher education institutions. At A-level, our reforms aim to ensure that they prepare students for undergraduate study and the world of work.

Today I am publishing revised subject content for some of the GCSEs and AS and A-levels that will be taught in schools from September 2017:

GCSEs in astronomy, business, economics, engineering, geology and psychology; and

AS and A-levels in environmental science, design and technology, music technology and philosophy.

The astronomy GCSE requires greater depth of knowledge, for example by expanding topic areas such as the evolution of the stars. The content has also been brought up to date to reflect the latest knowledge, and the mathematical requirements are more demanding.

The business GCSE content has added breadth and depth with new requirements to understand business decision-making in more detail, including business growth and development.

The new economics GCSE content is more demanding and includes detailed requirements for specific mathematical knowledge. All students will now be required to understand more of the essential concepts of economics, and depth and breadth have been increased by adding a number of new topics.

The engineering GCSE has increased demand through a greater emphasis on systems-related content and requiring additional mathematical knowledge. A detailed section on testing and investigation has been introduced which includes content such as predicting performance through calculations, simulations and modelling.

Environmental science AS and A-level requires students to know and understand the science behind environmental issues and, in line with other reformed science A-levels, to use scientific theories, models and ideas.

The new geology GCSE content has increased demand by requiring increased mathematical knowledge, and the study of new content on planetary geology and a greater number of minerals, rock types and fossil groups. Fieldwork remains a fundamental part of the subject, with students required to spend at least two days engaged in fieldwork.

In music technology AS and A-level content, students are now required to develop an in-depth knowledge of the principles of sound and audio technology and the development of recording and production technology. Recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes are also included.

Philosophy AS and A-level content will enable students to gain a thorough grounding in key philosophical questions and concepts. Students are required to study the ideas of key philosophers.

Psychology GCSE content will require all students to study five compulsory topics (development; memory; psychological problems; social influence; and the brain and neuropsychology) and two optional topics. The study of these is underpinned by the study of key theories and all students will be required to develop a strong understanding of research methods, including quantitative analysis.

The new design and technology A-level will require all students to study the iterative design processes and technical principles that are at the core of contemporary design practice. There will be options in design engineering, product design and fashion textiles to allow students to specialise. Students will also undertake a substantial design and make task at A-level.


School Revenue Funding Settlement 2016-17

Today I am announcing details of school revenue funding for 2016-17. My announcement includes the dedicated schools grant (DSG), the education services grant (ESG) and the pupil premium.

The distribution of the DSG to local authorities will continue to be set out in three spending blocks for each authority: a schools block, a high-needs block and an early years block.

The schools block has been allocated on the basis of the schools block units of funding announced in my statement to the House on 16 July 2016. To protect schools from significant budget reductions, we will continue with a minimum funding guarantee that ensures no school sees more than a 1.5% per pupil reduction in its 2016-17 budget—excluding sixth form funding and ESG—compared to 2015-16, and before the pupil premium is added.

We have been able to provide an additional £92.5 million for the DSG high-needs block. The high needs block supports provision for pupils and students with SEN and disabilities (SEND), from their early years to age 25, and alternative provision for pupils who cannot receive their education in schools.

The DSG early years block comprises funding for the 15 hour entitlement for three and four-year-olds; participation funding for two-year-olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds; and the early years pupil premium. The rates per child for this block will be maintained at their 2015-16 level.

The ESG retained duties rate will remain at £15 per pupil. We have applied an efficiency saving to the ESG general funding rate for 2016 to 2017, and the rate will reduce from £87 per pupil to £77 per pupil. We will continue to provide a protection to limit the reduction of academies’ budgets as a result of changes to the ESG.

The pupil premium per pupil amounts for 2016-17 will be protected at the current rates, which are:


Per pupil rate

Disadvantaged pupils: Primary


Disadvantaged pupils: Secondary


Pupil Premium Plus: Looked After Children (LAC)1 and those adopted from care or who leave care under a Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangements Order (formerly known as a residence order).


Service children


1A looked after child is defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English or Welsh local authority.

Pupil premium allocations for financial year 2016 to 2017 will be published in June 2016 following the receipt of pupil number data from the spring 2016 schools and alternative provision censuses.

As announced in the Chancellor’s spending review statement we will introduce a national funding formula from 2017. We will consult on proposals in the new year.

Details of these arrangements have been published on


Energy and Climate Change

Onshore Oil and Gas: Licence Awards and Environmental Monitoring

14th Onshore Licensing Round

I am pleased to inform the House that the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA)—the UK’s oil and gas regulator—has today announced that licences for a total of 159 blocks are being formally offered to successful applicants under the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round.

A petroleum exploration and development licence (PEDL) gives the licensee exclusivity over an area of land for onshore hydrocarbon exploration, appraisal and extraction, including for shale gas and oil as well as conventional forms of oil and gas. To be clear, a PEDL does not itself give any permission for operations to begin. Before the licensee can begin any operations such as drilling, hydraulic fracturing or production, they must be granted a number of further permissions and consents. These include, for example, planning permission, environmental permits from the Environment Agency, scrutiny by the Health and Safety Executive, and OGA consents under the provisions of the PEDL.

The 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round was launched on 28 July 2014 and closed on 28 October 2014. A total of 95 applications were received from 47 companies covering 295 ordnance survey blocks. Following scrutiny of the applicants’ competency, financial viability, environmental awareness and geotechnical analysis, and following the decision not to award PEDLs in Scotland and Wales, 159 blocks were taken forward for further consideration.

In August 2015, the OGA announced its intention to offer PEDLs covering 27 blocks. In addition to this, 132 blocks were subsequently subjected to further detailed assessment in accordance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, and a public consultation on that assessment was carried out. Following the conclusion of the consultation process, the OGA is now satisfied that the approval of the 14th licensing round, and the offer and eventual award of each of the PEDLs under round, will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of any protected European site. As a result, the OGA is today offering PEDLs for a total of 159 blocks. For 75 of these blocks, the PEDL will contain a condition that prohibits all or specific activities in parts of the block.

The 159 blocks covered by today’s announcement will be incorporated into 93 onshore PEDLs. A map of the licence blocks being offered can be found at:

Gas is central to our long-term energy security. The gas used to heat our homes is among the cheapest and most secure in Europe, despite the decline in our domestic gas production from the North Sea. However, we cannot be complacent. We currently import around half of our gas needs, but by 2030 that could be as high as 75%. That is why we were encouraging investment in our shale gas exploration so we can add new sources of home-grown supply to our real diversity of imports.

This licensing round will see the great majority of the UK’s shale prospectivity licensed to be explored and tested. The 14th onshore licensing round has attracted a high quality of proposed work programmes and a mix of conventional and unconventional proposals. About 75% of the blocks being offered relate to shale oil or gas.

Once the companies being offered these licences accept these offers, they will be issued with PEDLs covering the blocks which they have been awarded, and will subsequently be able to begin planning their future strategies for exploration activities.

I have today written to all Members of the House within whose constituencies licences are being offered.

Environmental Monitoring

Following the award of funding in the autumn statement 2014, DECC has grant-funded a research consortium led by the British Geological Survey to support it to create a baseline of environmental data in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, as well as expanding the consortium’s existing base-lining activity in Fylde, Lancashire. Applications for shale gas activity have been made in each area. The Government wish to ensure that a robust and independently gathered baseline of data on environmental conditions, such as the quality of ground-water or air and the levels of seismic activity, is in place prior to the start of shale gas operations in these areas, which are dependent on consents including planning permission. If shale gas projects take place in future in these areas, future data can be checked against these “baseline” data. This would allow any significant changes to be flagged for further scrutiny.

The Government regard such independent baseline data as important to building public trust in the first exploration-phase wells developed by the UK shale gas industry, in addition to the industry’s own monitoring data, which is provided to regulators. Our aim is therefore to provide support for appropriate baseline monitoring for areas identified for the first exploration-phase wells. This work will be reviewed periodically alongside the development of the industry.


Renewal Energy Cost Control Measures

The Government are committed to cost-effective decarbonisation of our electricity supply and to protecting consumer bills by controlling costs under the levy control framework. Levy control framework projections published in July showed a significant overspend. This underlined the fact that we cannot afford to continue providing unchecked support for the renewables industry via demand-led schemes. As we transition to a low-carbon economy as cost effectively as possible, finding new sources of energy that are cheap, reliable and clean is essential.

Earlier in the year, we announced a package of proposed cost control measures that would help tackle this projected overspend on renewable support schemes. This included:

Measures to constrain support for sub-5MW solar under the renewables obligation (RO)—our monitoring of this technology scale since the closure of the RO to solar over 5MW demonstrated much higher levels of deployment than expected.

A review of the feed-in tariff (FIT), designed to put the scheme back on an affordable, sustainable footing and to ensure that we were not overcompensating projects—a requirement of our state aid approval.

We have consulted extensively on these proposals and taken on board views from a wide range of stakeholders. In considering their responses, we have sought to balance the different needs of industry, consumers and communities —and to target support where it is most needed. We consider that we have struck the right balance in the final policy decisions we are publishing today.

Today DECC is publishing a package of documents setting out measures to introduce cost control under for renewable energy support schemes. This includes:

the Government response to the consultation on the feed-in tariff review;

the Government response to the consultation on ending support for small-scale solar PV under the RO;

a consultation on a banding review for small-scale solar PV under the RO.

Government response to the feed-in tariff review

DECC launched a consultation on the future of the feed-in tariffs (FITs) scheme on 27 August 2015. This proposed a number of measures to meet two core objectives: to comply with our state aid approval requiring that the UK Government review the support offered by the FITs scheme every three years; and to control the cost of the scheme to limit the impact on consumer bills.

Today we are publishing our response to this consultation. Our measures seek to maintain a solar industry which, in the medium term, can continue to reduce its costs and move towards subsidy-free deployment, and to provide other technology sectors with tapered support over the coming years.

The Government response to the consultation sets out the following key decisions:

Updated generation tariffs, revised in response to evidence on technology costs received during the consultation.

Introduction of deployment caps to limit spend on the scheme to £100 million by the end of 2018-19.

The reintroduction of pre-accreditation for solar PV and wind generators over 50kW and all hydro and anaerobic digestion generators. We removed pre-accreditation last October to control costs under the scheme by limiting the value of the deployment surge in response to tariff reductions. Under the revised, cost-controlled scheme, pre-accreditation can play an important role for projects with longer lead-in times, such as those developed by the community energy sector.

Measures to pause acceptance of new applications to the scheme for up to four weeks in the new year. This will allow time for the implementation of cost-control measures, ensure better value for money for the bill payer by offering revised tariffs to investors, and preserve budget for the future of the scheme.

On several other areas in the consultation DECC does not intend to introduce changes now, but will build on the points made in responses to this consultation to produce more detailed future proposals. These include energy efficiency criteria, the export tariff, smart meters, grid issues and sustainability criteria for anaerobic digestion. DECC also intends to consult on revised tariffs for new anaerobic digestion and micro-CHP installations in the new year.

Renewables obligation—support for small-scale solar and banding review

When DECC confirmed the closure of the renewables obligation (RO) to solar PV projects of 5MW and above last year, we made it clear we would monitor the pipeline of smaller solar PV projects, and take action if needed to control costs.

Because the monitoring indicated deployment was growing more rapidly than previously forecast, on 22 July 2015 we published a consultation relating to sub-5kW solar PV projects proposing the early closure of the RO, the removal of grandfathering for projects not accredited on 22 July, and a banding review. We received 94 responses in total, from across the solar industry, and from local authorities, community groups, NGOs and individuals.

Having reviewed the responses carefully, we consider that the approach we set out for the RO remains the right one, so today we are announcing that we intend to implement the measures largely as consulted upon. Specifically, we will be:

Closing the renewables obligation across Great Britain to new solar PV capacity at 5MW and below from 1 April 2016.

Introducing grace period arrangements to protect those developers who have preliminary accreditation, or have already made a significant financial commitment on or before 22 July 2015—the date of which the consultation document was published—or who experience grid delay beyond their control.

Removing grandfathering from 22 July 2015 for solar projects in England and Wales, unless they have made a significant financial commitment on or before 22 July 2015.

We do intend to make two minor changes to the policy consulted upon:

A change to prevent projects that made invalid or incomplete planning applications from benefiting from the grace period or exception to the changes to grandfathering policy.

A change to confirm our intention that projects meeting the criteria for the exception to the removal of grandfathering will receive the currently applicable support rate when they commission.

Updated evidence on costs published today highlights a risk that we could be overcompensating projects under the RO if support is paid at current levels while it remains open.

So we are also publishing a consultation document proposing new bandings for solar PV at 5MW and below, and proposals for an additional banding grace period.

Decarbonising electricity generation—progress report

I am also providing a report to Parliament on progress in decarbonising electricity generation in the period 2012-14, a requirement under the Energy Act 2010. Good progress has been made, for example low-carbon electricity’s share of generation increased to a record 39% in 2014. The Government remain committed to affordable, reliable clean energy to ensure we can meet our climate change commitments.


Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air Quality

I have today issued the UK plan for improving air quality. This plan sets out a comprehensive approach that will reduce health impacts and meet our environmental and legal obligations by implementing a new programme of clean air zones. It is available at:

Under this plan, by 2020 the most polluting diesel vehicles—old polluting buses, coaches, taxis and lorries —will be discouraged from entering the centres of Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby. Newer vehicles that meet the latest emission standards, and private cars, will be unaffected.

Over recent decades, air quality has improved significantly. Between 2005 and 2013 emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen by 38% and particulate matter has reduced by more than 16%. Over the past five years the Government have committed over £2 billion to help bus operators upgrade their fleets, reduce pollution from a range of vehicles such as refuse trucks and fire engines through cutting edge technologies, and promote the development of clean alternative fuels such as powering taxis with liquid petroleum gas in Birmingham.

In order to bring the UK into legal compliance and to reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide below 40 micrograms clean air zones will be introduced in five cities. These zones will reduce the pollution in city centres and encourage the replacement of old, polluting vehicles with modern, cleaner vehicles. Similar zones in Germany and Denmark have been shown to improve air quality.

These zones will target air quality hot spots. Following scoping studies, which Government will provide funding for, councils will consult on the details on these zones.

In Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby, these zones will cover old diesel buses, coaches, taxis and lorries. Newer vehicles that meet the latest emissions standards will not need to pay and, under this plan, no private car will have to pay. The local authorities will have to set charges at levels designed to reduce pollution, not to raise revenue—beyond recovering the costs of the scheme.

Birmingham and Leeds will also discourage old polluting diesel vans and implement other measures including park and ride schemes, signage, changes in road layouts and provision of infrastructure for alternative fuels.

Many companies have already started to update their fleets to modern, cleaner vehicles. For example, by 2017 British Gas will have replaced at least 10% of their commercial fleet with electric vehicles, reducing emissions compared to their old diesel vans. The new electric vans also represent a saving over their diesel counterparts. In London the cost savings could be as high as 20%, with other locations saving between 6% and 10%.

The Environment Agency, winner of Green Fleet of the Year 2015, has committed to increase the number of ultra-low emission vehicles to more than 100 by the end of 2015.

Another example of businesses modernising their fleet is Reading Buses—38% of their fleet are “ultra-clean” drastically reducing their emissions. Drivers are also given advice on fuel efficient eco-driving techniques.

One of the main reasons our cities continue to face air quality problems is the failure of diesel vehicles to deliver expected emission reductions in real-world driving conditions. We have recently secured agreement in the EU to introduce more stringent emissions testing across the EU, ensuring that vehicles live up to their low emission credentials. Our plans fully factor in current car performance and future performance standards following this agreement.

The Mayor of London has a well-developed strategy for improving air quality by 2025, including the implementation of an ultra-low emission zone by 2020, retro-fitting of buses and licensing new taxis to be zero-emission capable from 2018. We will continue to support and monitor the delivery of the Mayor’s plans.


Bovine TB

Today I am updating the House on the implementation of our 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England.

The strategy is delivering results with more than half the country on track to be officially free of the disease by 2019.

Badger control operations in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset were all successful in meeting their targets. The UK chief veterinary officer’s advice is that the results show that industry-led badger control can deliver the level of effectiveness required to be confident of achieving disease control benefits. As part of our strategy the Government want to see badger control over a wider number of areas next year. This is in line with the UK chief veterinary officer’s advice on what is needed to realise disease control benefits at regional level.

Bovine TB is the greatest animal health threat to the UK. Dealing with the disease is costing the taxpayer £100 million each year. Last year alone over 26,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease, causing devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities across large swathes of the country.

The Government are taking strong action to deliver a long-term plan to eradicate the disease and protect the future of the UK’s dairy and beef industries. The comprehensive strategy includes strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, improving biosecurity on farm and when trading, and badger control in areas where TB is rife.

The low-risk area, covering over half of England, is on track to achieve officially TB-free status by the end of 2019. This would be the first time anywhere in England has enjoyed this status.

The approach of tackling the disease in cattle and in wildlife has worked in Australia, is working in New Zealand and Ireland and is supported by the Government and DEFRA chief scientists, the UK chief vet and other leading vets.

To further improve our cattle movement controls, the Government plan to introduce statutory post-movement testing next year for cattle entering the low-risk area. This will reduce the risk of importing TB-infected animals from higher risk areas and bring this part of England in line with Scotland. In November 2015, DEFRA, in partnership with AHDB, the NFU, BCVA and Landex, launched a campaign to step up biosecurity measures in farms and in the cattle trade and help protect herds from bovine TB.

We have also overseen the successful completion of the first year of six private badger vaccination projects funded under the badger edge vaccination scheme. The ongoing worldwide shortage of BCG vaccine and the need to prioritise available stocks for humans is impacting on supply for badger vaccination projects. Following advice from Public Health England, I have taken the decision to suspend attempts to source BCG vaccine for the badger edge vaccination scheme and other private badger vaccination deployment projects in England until the supply situation is resolved. This follows the decision of the Welsh Government to do the same.

Our long-term research to develop an oral TB vaccine for badgers and an effective TB vaccine for cattle is ongoing.

The European Commission has endorsed DEFRA’s bovine TB eradication programme for ongoing financial support in 2016.

To ensure we have a successful and resilient industry, I am determined to enable all available measures necessary to eradicate this devastating disease as quickly as possible. We will continue to deliver on our 25-year strategy for a TB-free England.


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Council Annual Report

Copies of the British Council’s annual report and accounts for the 2014-15 financial year have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report can also be found at the British Council’s website

During the period the British Council received £154.88 million grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.



Departmental Contingent Liability Notification: Dementia Discovery Fund

A minute had been laid before Parliament regarding the Department of Health’s £15 million investment into the dementia discovery fund (DDF) and specifically in relation to incurring a contingent liability. A copy of the minute is attached.

The DDF was publicly announced on 21 October and is an investment fund that currently stands at £100 million for the discovery of new approaches to dementia research and drug development.

The limited partnership deed for the DDF includes clauses relating to indemnification. The majority of indemnifications are made by the DDF itself rather than the investors and is therefore limited to £15 million. However, there is also a direct indemnification made by all the investors, including the Department of Health. The direct indemnification is triggered in certain circumstances largely relating to where the Department of Health has provided inaccurate or misleading information. Such circumstances are highly unlikely and most are within the Department’s own control. The Department was advised by external legal advisers that it is not possible to quantify any potential liabilities. The Department has taken steps to mitigate the risks of the liability being realised. A senior Department of Health civil servant has been allocated as the senior responsible owner (SRO) for the Government’s investment into the DDF. The SRO, among other things, has responsibility for final sign off for providing any information to the DDF on behalf of the Department.

If the liability is called, then provision for any payment will be sought through the normal supply procedures. The Treasury has approved the proposal.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www.


Health Council

The Health Council met in Brussels on 7 December 2015 as part of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council meetings. I represented the UK.

Member states adopted Council conclusions on the reduction of alcohol-related harm, personalised medicine for patients, supporting people living with dementia and lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak. A number of member states called on the European Commission to commit to a new EU alcohol strategy. The UK recognised the huge pressure on public services which results from alcohol misuse and welcomed the presidency’s work. The UK stressed the importance of sharing information on best practice but cautioned that any further EU action on alcohol had to focus on areas of existing competence and had to fully respect member states’ primary responsibility for the public health of their populations. On dementia, the UK underlined the importance of the issue and highlighted the considerable alignment with the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020.

The Luxembourg presidency gave a brief update on trialogue discussions regarding medical devices and in-vitro devices regulations and outlined progress made through the general approach agreed in October. The presidency outlined that further positive steps had been taken on a number of issues through trialogue discussions.

The Commission gave an update on its report on trans fats in foods published on 3 December 2015. The Commission stated work would now begin on an impact assessment that would consider the available evidence.

The Dutch delegation set out its priorities for its upcoming EU presidency, which begins on 1 January. These include anti-microbial resistance, innovative medicine, and healthy foodstuffs.


Regulation of Health and Social Care Professionals

The Government remain committed to reform of the regulation of health and—in England—social care professionals. The Government are grateful for the work of the Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in making recommendations and has been considering how best to take these forward.

Our priorities for reform in this area are better regulation, autonomy and cost-effectiveness while maintaining and improving our focus on public protection. We intend to consult on how these priorities can be taken forward, taking account of the Law Commissions’ work on simplification and consistency and building on the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care’s paper “Rethinking regulation” published in August 2015. We will present proposals that give the regulators the flexibility they need to respond to new challenges in the future without the need for further primary legislation.

We recognise the need for some immediate reform in this area. Subject to parliamentary time we plan to take forward reforms to regulators’ rule-making process and the way that the larger regulators deal with concerns about their registrants. This will improve accountability and make the system more efficient and effective.

This Government remain committed to the principle of proportionate regulation of healthcare professionals. Having considered the arrangements already in place to ensure that public health specialists from backgrounds other than dentistry or medicine are appropriately registered and qualified, the Government do not consider that extending statutory regulation to this professional group is necessary. To this end, they will not be taking forward secondary legislation in this regard.


Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England will today publish the Mazars report on Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It will be available on the NHS England website at: I want to update the House on the action that the NHS will be taking in response.

The report describes, as I set out to the House on 10 December (Official Report, Col 1141-2), a lack of leadership, focus and sufficient time spent in the trust on carefully reporting and investigating unexpected deaths of mental health and learning disability service users. The report found that there had been no effective, systematic management and oversight of the reporting of deaths and the investigations that follow.

I am determined that we learn the lessons of this report, and use it to help build a culture in which failings in care form the basis for learning for organisations and for the system as a whole.

As a first step, I am announcing a number of measures today to address both the local issues at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and the systemic issues raised in the report:

The Care Quality Commission will undertake a focused inspection of southern healthcare early in the new year, looking in particular at the Trust’s approach to the investigation of deaths. As part of this inspection, the CQC will assess the Trust’s progress in implementing the action plan required by monitor and in making the improvements required during their last inspection, published in February of this year.

Avoidable mortality—understanding, action and improvement. The report reinforces the point that we need to do more across providers to understand and tackle the problem of avoidable mortality. Bruce Keogh and Mike Durkin are therefore writing to medical directors to describe the offer of help to providers (the mortality audit tool, case-note review methodology and reiterating the Government’s commitment to delivering medical examiners) setting out how to use the audit tool to supply data to support understanding and improvement.

Learning Disability and mortality—The learning disability mortality review will support improvement by acting as a repository for anonymised reports pertaining to people with learning disabilities from a variety of sources, in particular anonymised copies of serious case reviews and Ombudsman Reports. This project will start in January 2016.

The Care Quality Commission will also be undertaking a wider review into the investigation of deaths in a sample of all types of NHS trust (acute, mental health and community trusts) in different parts of the country. As part of this review, we will assess whether opportunities for prevention of death have been missed, for example by late diagnosis of physical health problems.

I will continue to update the House on progress in each of these areas. I will place a copy of the report in the Library of both Houses once it has been published by NHS England.


Government’s Mandate to NHS England 2016-17

Today the Government have laid before Parliament the mandate to NHS England for 2016-17. This mandate has been produced following public consultation, and will take effect from 1 April 2016.

The mandate sets the Government’s objectives for NHS England, as well as its budget. In doing so, the mandate sets direction for the NHS, and helps ensure NHS England is accountable to Parliament and the public. In accordance with the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the Secretary of State must publish a mandate each year, to ensure that NHS England’s objectives and any underpinning requirements remain up to date.

This mandate confirms this Government’s commitment to increase spending on the NHS in real terms every year in this Parliament. The NHS will receive £10 billion more per year in real terms by 2020-21 than in 2014-15. This investment backs in full the NHS’s own five year forward view and will mean patients receive seven-day health services, with hospitals providing the services people need at the weekend and people able to access a GP at evenings and weekends.

This mandate was produced following engagement with the statutory consultees, NHS England and Healthwatch England, and public consultation. We are grateful to those who responded. The public response was significantly higher than in previous years with approximately 127,400 responses received, providing a rich source of feedback that has helped shape the final mandate. The Government’s full response to the consultation, including a summary of what we heard and what we have changed in the mandate, has also been published today.

The new mandate sets out the priorities this Government believe are central to delivering the changes needed to ensure that free healthcare is always there whenever people need it. This mandate therefore sets NHS England the following objectives:

to improve local and national health outcomes and reduce inequalities through better commissioning, supported by the new assessment framework for clinical commissioning groups;

to help create the safest, highest quality health and care services seven days a week, including improved early diagnosis, services and outcomes for cancer patients;

to balance the NHS budget and improve efficiency and productivity;

to lead a step change in the NHS in preventing ill health and supporting people to live healthier lives, including improvement in the quality of care and support for people with dementia and increased public awareness;

to maintain and improve performance against core standards;

to improve out-of-hospital care, including reducing the health gap between people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism and the population as a whole; and

to support research, innovation and growth.

We are also laying before Parliament today a revised mandate for 2015-16 to take account of changes to NHS England’s budget, including additional funding announced in the spring Budget statement for children and young people’s mental health, and the transfer of commissioning responsibility for 0-5 year olds to local authorities from 1 October 2015.

Copies of both documents will be available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.

Attachments can be view online at: https://www.


Home Department

Police and Crime Commissioners Public Consultation: Complaints

The Government are committed to building on the success of the police and crime commissioner (PCC) model by further strengthening their role; for example, the Government are proposing to enable PCCs to take on the governance of fire and rescue services as part of driving greater collaboration between emergency services. The Government intend to bring forward legislation to enable PCCs to take on responsibility for key parts of the police complaints system making that process more transparent and easier to navigate.

With PCCs taking on a greater role in the handling of complaints made against their police force, and with the responsibilities held by a PCC increasing, I believe the time is right to amend the system for complaints made against a PCC. I have today published a consultation paper to seek views on proposals to improve the system for handling non-serious complaints made about a PCC. The consultation paper proposes:

Clarifying, through non-statutory guidance, what constitutes a complaint, ensuring police and crime panels (PCPs), who scrutinise the work of PCCs, take forward complaints about a PCC’s conduct rather than their policy decisions.

Providing PCPs with greater investigatory powers to seek evidence pertinent to a complaint.

Clarifying, through non-statutory guidance, the parameters of “informal resolution” and setting out that, where agreement cannot be reached, it is open to PCPs to make recommendations on the expected level of behaviour of a PCC, and that they have powers to require the PCC to respond.

The consultation ends on 10 March 2016. Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Library of the House.

The proposed changes to the complaints system ensure the fundamental principle of the PCC policy, that of accountability to the electorate, is not undermined. The proposals will improve the transparency of the complaints procedure and deliver more satisfactory outcomes for complainants.


G6: London

On 9 and 10 December 2015, the UK hosted the most recent meeting of the informal G6 group of Ministers of the Interior.

I chaired the meeting which was attended by the Interior Ministers of Germany (Mr Thomas de Maiziere), Spain (Mr Jorge Fernandez Diaz), France (Mr Bernard Cazeneuve), and Italy (Mr Angelino Alfano) and the Polish Ambassador to the UK (Mr Witold Sobkow). The United States of America were represented by the Attorney General (Ms Loretta E. Lynch) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (Mr Jeh Johnson). The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship (Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos) also attended.

The meeting commenced on the evening of 9 December with a working dinner where we discussed the threat from Daesh/ISIL and how the Governments represented can collectively step up the fight against terrorism. Our discussion focused on the importance of sharing information, aviation security, and the practical steps we can take to counter extremism and radicalisation, including by working with and empowering communities. We had a very productive and informative discussion and there was collective agreement to publish a statement outlining our shared commitment to countering terrorism through a strong yet proportionate national and international response. The draft was produced overnight and agreed the following day when I introduced the statement to a group of selected journalists. The statement is available on at the following link:

On 10 December we reconvened at Lancaster House and began the day with a plenary discussion on migration and asylum. The discussion reflected on the unprecedented flows of people into Europe and the developments over the autumn, including the relocation mechanism, hotspots and the importance of identification. The discussion also touched on the broader questions of how best we ensure asylum systems are helping the right people, addressing migratory flows at source and upstream and reducing the abuse of asylum systems.

The second plenary session of the day covered data protection and the importance of striking an appropriate balance between privacy and security. There was a discussion on the recent developments in data protection, including the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of “Schrems” (C-362/14), the new EU data protection package and the role of communication service providers and how we can work effectively with them.

Over lunch, the discussion turned to modern slavery and I invited the UK’s independent anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland, to introduce the session by sharing his experiences on upstream prevention and innovative approaches in source countries. All those at the table shared their experiences of tackling modern slavery which varied in approach and success. The discussion then moved on to the question of working with business to eliminate demand in supply chains. In conclusion there was collective agreement on the importance of the sharing of best practice between countries to address this appalling issue.

The final plenary discussion of the day addressed the threat posed by illicit firearms and built on the recent discussions at the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The European Commission noted the UK’s longstanding contribution on this debate and gave a clear exposition of their approach to the firearms deactivation regulation and the amendments to the firearms directive. The discussion covered the benefits of enhanced information sharing and the importance of tracking the movement of firearms. I concluded the discussion by noting the collective agreement on the direction partners were taking to tackle the threat from illegal firearms and encouraged others to consider this issue and share their experience.

The informal chairmanship of the G6 group will now pass to Italy, who will host the next meeting.


Independent Child Trafficking Advocates Trial: Government Report

Section 48(7) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires the Government to lay before Parliament a report setting out the steps they propose to take in relation to independent child trafficking advocates, within nine months of Royal Assent of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has today laid before Parliament our report outlining the Government’s next steps. We have also published the independent evaluation of the child trafficking advocate trial conducted by the University of Bedfordshire. Our report, along with the independent evaluation, will be published on Copies of the Government report will be available in the Vote Office. A copy of the independent evaluation will be available in the Library of the House

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Barnardo’s, which provided the child trafficking advocates service during the trial, the University of Bedfordshire for undertaking the evaluation of the trial and the 23 local authorities and all the other parties involved who played such a significant role in supporting the trial. Child victims of trafficking are among the most vulnerable in our society. This report sets out our response to the evaluation of the independent child trafficking advocates trial and what steps we intend to take to ensure trafficked children get the protection they need.

I would also like to thank my parliamentarian colleagues for their ongoing advice and support in this area and I look forward to your continued support as we take this important work forward.


Overseas Domestic Workers

I am today publishing the independent review of the overseas domestic worker visa. The Government commissioned the report in March 2015 as part of their commitment to stop modern slavery in all its forms. James Ewins QC was asked to undertake an assessment of how far existing arrangements for the admission of overseas domestic workers are effective in protecting such workers from abuse and exploitation, and to make recommendations. The Government have now received the completed report, for which it thanks Mr Ewins, and is considering carefully the recommendations which it makes. The Government’s response to the report will be announced in due course.

The report can be found at and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.


Police Grant Report England and Wales 2016-17

I have today placed in the Library my proposals for the aggregate amount of grant to local policing bodies in England and Wales for 2016-17, for the approval of the House. Copies are also available in the Vote Office.

On 25 November, the Chancellor announced that police spending would be protected in real terms over the spending review period, when precept is taken into account. This is an increase of up to £900 million in cash terms by 2019-20.

The Chancellor’s statement reinforces this Government’s commitment to protect the public. That has been true over the last five years and remains the case for the coming Parliament. At the same time as protecting the overall spending envelope for the police, the Government committed to finishing the job of police reform.

Since 2010 we have seen some of the biggest changes to policing in a generation. Crime is down by over a quarter. There is significantly greater local accountability and transparency and police leaders have taken the opportunity to radically reform the way they deliver services to the public. Police officers have been taken out of back-office roles and resources focused on front-line delivery, putting officers back on the streets where the public expect them to be. Police forces are working more closely than ever before to reduce costs and duplication, and have started to work more closely with other emergency services through co-location and collaboration in areas such as fire and mental health.

But as Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary has set out, there remain further efficiencies to be made from improved and better use of IT, from greater collaboration between forces and with other public services, and from improving workforce productivity. Better, more collaborative procurement alone can save the police up to £350 million in real terms by 2019-20. We trust that police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and chief constables will do everything in their power to continue to drive those efficiencies, safeguard the quality of policing and continue to reduce crime.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will today publish proposals for the distribution of funding to English local authorities for 2016-17. A further £4.2 million of council tax freeze grant funding, previously paid to local policing bodies by DCLG, will be paid by the Home Office in 2016-17. This follows the permanent transfer of £500 million of other legacy council tax grants and £3 billion of “formula funding” from DCLG to the Home Office in previous years, reflecting our ambition to simplify police funding arrangements over this Parliament.

The Welsh Government set out their proposals for the allocation of funding in 2016-17 for local policing bodies in Wales.

The overall settlement will increase counter-terrorism police funding in real terms to £670 million and includes extra investment to continue the job of police reform. It provides transformation funding to develop and deliver specialist capabilities such as those required to tackle cybercrime and other emerging changes in crime, and enable a major uplift in firearms capability and capacity so that we can respond quickly and forcefully to a firearms attack. By protecting overall police spending, we will be able to deliver these changes and we will do so ensuring local identity and accountability is not lost in the process.

This settlement also includes within it the police share of the £1 billion investment costs of the emergency services network (ESN), demonstrating the importance the Government place on investing in ESN’s future capability and confidence in the substantial financial savings it will deliver.

For 2016-17, direct resource funding for each PCC, including precept, will be protected at flat cash levels, assuming that precept income is increased to the maximum amount available. This means that no PCC will face a reduction in cash funding next year compared to this year, and the majority will see marginal increases in their spending power.

I have set out below how we propose to allocate the police funding settlement between the different funding streams and between police force areas for 2016-17.

Table 1: The 2015 spending review settlement for the police

15-16* (£m)











Cash change


Real change


Government funding (excl CT)









o/w Home Office









o/w DCLG









o/w Welsh Government



























*Central Government funding includes Airwave which has been brought into the police settlement and council tax freeze grant amounts which were not known at the time of the 2015-16 annual police settlement.

Table 2: Police revenue funding 2016-17

Police funding



Central Government funding*


o/w CT Police Grant**


o/w Airwave


o/w Police Private Finance Initiatives


o/w Legacy Council Tax Grants


Overall core Government settlement funding




o/w Direct Entry


o/w Emergency Services Network


o/w Independent Police Complaints Commission (for the transfer of integrity functions)


o/w Innovation Fund


o/w Major Programmes (HOB and NPDP)


o/w Special Grant


Transformation Fund


Total direct government funding


Government formula funding


cash change


cash change percentage from 15-16


real change percentage

-2.3 %

National and international Capital City Grants


o/w City of London Police


o/w Metropolitan Police




Overall resource funding***


cash change


cash change percentage


real cut


* includes £14 million baseline adjustment for NCA in 2016-17. A separate baseline transfer has been applied for HMIC.

** Additional capital of £30 million will be provided for CT policing.

***Comprises formula funding, NICC grants, legacy council tax grants and precept

Detail of Police Transformation Funds (totals indicative)


Transformation Fund


o/w Firearms


o/w Digital justice (CJS)/digital investigations (DII)


Provisional force-level allocations of these grants—excluding counter-terrorism police grant—for each force area in England and Wales for 2016-17 are set out in Table 4. Further detail is set out below.

Counter-terrorism police funding

I will continue to allocate specific funding for counter-terrorism policing over the course of the spending review period to ensure that the police have the capabilities to deal with the terrorist threats that we face. The settlement will increase counter-terrorism police funding in real terms to £640 million revenue. Additional capital of £30 million will be provided.

Police and crime commissioners will receive full counter-terrorism funding allocations in the new year. For security reasons these allocations will not be available in the public domain.

Baseline adjustments

Her Majestys Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)

We will provide £9.2 million to HMIC to continue its programme of thematic inspections and more wide- ranging PEEL inspections. The PEEL assessments are strong evidence of how HMIC “shines a light” on policing outcomes and value for money. They give the public a clear, independent view of the quality of policing in their local area. The public can use this information to challenge their local force and through their police and crime commissioner, hold it to account. From 2016-17 this funding will form a permanent baseline transfer to HMIC.

In addition to ensuring that no force area will face a cash reduction in direct resource funding, I have also made funding available for a number of key priorities, set out below.


Emergency Services Network (ESN)

A total of £80 million will be reallocated for ESN which will give all officers priority access to 4G mobile broadband data on a single network, including in some areas where it is currently not available at all, allowing them to get even more benefits from mobile working than many forces are already achieving. This investment will bring productivity and operational benefits as well as substantial savings to the taxpayer of around £400 million per year, with the police accounting for around £260 million of that saving.

Major Programmes

This year we will provide £21.8 million from the police settlement to support the continuing development of Home Office biometrics, a transformation programme looking to provide a single platform for all users—police, immigration and border, counter-terrorism and Her Majesty’s Passport Office—for all three biometric platforms (fingerprint, DNA and face), and the national police database programme that will develop a new national platform whose scope is likely to include that of the current police national computer, police national database and automatic number plate recognition systems.

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

This is the third year of funding for the expansion of the IPCC to investigate all serious and sensitive allegations involving the police. At the midway point in 2015-16 the IPCC have opened more independent investigations than it delivered in the whole of 2014-15. In 2016-17 I am providing £32 million from the police settlement to allow the IPCC to expand and focus on investigating the most serious and sensitive cases.

College of Policing

£4.6 million will be given to the College of Policing to deliver direct entry schemes. These schemes aim to attract, select and train exceptional people who have the potential to become senior leaders in policing. This will widen the talent pool from which police leaders can be drawn, open up police culture to new influences and foster an environment where challenge and innovation are welcome. Next year the College of Policing will be opening a new direct entry route in to policing at the rank of inspector to further open up policing ranks and encourage people from different stages in their careers to consider policing.

Police Special Grant

This is the second year we have decided to provide funding from the police settlement for the discretionary police special grant contingency fund, which supports police force areas facing significant and exceptional events which might otherwise place them at financial risk. In 2016-17 I am providing £25 million from the police settlement for police special grant.

Police Innovation Fund

I will continue to promote innovation, collaboration and improved efficiency by allocating £55 million to the police innovation fund for 2016-17. This year, we want to reward more breakthrough ideas than ever before. We will continue to fund high-quality, large-scale, “implementation-ready” bids to bring innovation to life more quickly. But we are also looking for ideas for smaller scale, early-stage, “proof-of-concept” bids to make ideas a reality, at scale and pace.

Police Transformation Fund

New Transformation Funding

After consideration, we are allocating £38 million new transformation funding to incentivise and facilitate transformation in policing to invest in cross-force specialist capabilities, to exploit new technology and to improve how we respond to changing threats. Further details will be provided in the new year.

Firearms capability and capacity

We will provide £34 million to enable a national uplift in armed policing capability and capacity to respond more quickly and effectively to a firearms attack. This will be distributed via the counter-terrorism policing grant.

Digital justice and digital investigations

I have decided to provide £4.6 million for policing to begin the critical work of setting up a comprehensive, joined up programme of digital transformation. My priorities for digital policing reform can be divided into three component parts: public contact, digital investigation and intelligence and digital first. This reallocation will ensure these are established as funded programmes that can begin to deliver tangible results in 2016. Joining these together will not only ensure a consistent approach, but will also provide better value for money through economies of scale.

Other funding

National and International Capital City Grant

The Metropolitan Police, through the Greater London Authority, will receive national and international city (NICC) funding worth £174 million, and the City of London Police will also receive increased NICC funding worth £4.5 million. This is in recognition of the unique and additional demands of policing the capital city, and also ensures that total direct resource funding to both forces is similarly protected.

Council tax referendum principles

As announced as part of the spending review, additional flexibility will be given to the 10 PCCs in England with the lowest precept levels each year (the lower quartile), so that they can raise their precept by up to £5 per year per band D household. Other PCCs in England will face a 2.0% referendum threshold each year.

The PCCs to receive this £5 flexibility in 2016-17 are Northumbria, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Sussex, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

The Communities Secretary will announce the council tax referendum principles for local authorities in England in 2016-17 shortly. After considering any representations, he will set out the final principles in a report to the House and seek approval for these in parallel with the final local government finance report. Council tax in Wales is the responsibility of Welsh Ministers.

Legacy Council Tax Grants

In 2016-17 we will provide council tax freeze grant to PCCs in England relating to the 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 council tax freeze schemes and local council tax support (LCTS) funding previously paid to PCCs in England by DCLG. This will total £507 million in 2016-17.

The Common Council of the City of London (on behalf of the City of London Police) and the Greater London Authority (on behalf of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) will also receive council tax freeze grant relating to the 2011-12 freeze grant scheme. The Greater London Authority will also receive an amount for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 schemes. These sums will continue to be paid from outside of the police funding settlement by DCLG. There will be no new freeze grant schemes in 2016-17.

Police Capital

I still intend to allocate the majority of capital funding directly to local policing bodies. Like last year all local policing bodies will receive the same percentage change in capital grant. I will continue to maintain a capital contingency. Indicative figures are set out in Table 3, and I will consider whether further reallocations are required.

Table 3: Police Capital

2015-16 Police Capital


Police Capital Grant


Police Special Grant Capital






Table 4: Provisional revenue allocations for England and Wales 2016-17

Local Policing Body

HO core (including Rule 1)

Welsh Top-up

Welsh Government

Ex-DCLGFormula Funding

Legacy CouncilTax Grants (total from HO)



Avon and Somerset
























City of London
























Devon and Cornwall




































Greater London Authority






Greater Manchester


































































North Wales






North Yorkshire
























South Wales






South Yorkshire






























Thames Valley












West Mercia






West Midlands






West Yorkshire












Total England and Wales






Table 5: Change in total direct resource funding*

Force Area



Cash change





Avon and Somerset




















City of London




















Devon and Cornwall






























Greater London Authority





Greater Manchester























































North Wales





North Yorkshire




















South Wales





South Yorkshire

























Thames Valley










West Mercia





West Midlands





West Yorkshire















*This includes all formula grant, NICC grants and legacy council tax grants and police precept. This assumes that PCCs in England increase their precept to the maximum referendum limit in 2016-17, PCCs in Wales raise council tax by 2% and tax base growth of 0.5% across England and Wales.


Independent Police Complaints Commission

Today, I am launching a public consultation on reforming the governance structure of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The consultation proposals form part of the Government’s continuing programme of policing reforms, including changes to the police complaints and disciplinary systems.

Public confidence in the police is the basis for our long-established model of policing by consent. The IPCC plays a critical role in securing and maintaining public confidence, providing independent oversight of the police complaints system and investigating the most serious and sensitive matters involving the police. I am committed to ensuring that the IPCC has the resources and powers it needs to perform these vital functions.

In March 2013, I announced that resources would be transferred to the IPCC to enable it to expand to undertake many more independent investigations. This major change programme is progressing well and in 2014-15 the IPCC started more than twice the number of investigations it began in the previous year. The IPCC are taking on more again this year, while concluding more cases than ever before.

On 12 March 2015 I gave a statement to the House in which I set out a number of radical reforms on police integrity which included giving the IPCC new powers and strengthening its role as an independent oversight body. The Government will be legislating for these changes in the forthcoming policing Bill.

As part of this package of reforms, I also asked the IPCC to consider reforms to its governance arrangements and structure to help it, as a significantly larger organisation, to deliver more cases and to increase public confidence in the reformed police complaints system.

Following the publication of the IPCC’s proposals in August, I invited Sheila Drew Smith OBE, a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, to undertake an independent review of the IPCC’s proposals, in particular to consider their likely impact on public confidence and, as appropriate, provide recommendations for alternative reforms to governance structures.

Today I am publishing Sheila Drew Smith’s report alongside the public consultation on the Government’s proposed reforms to the IPCC’s governance. I am proposing that the existing commission model should be replaced by a single Crown appointee, supported by a unitary board, providing one single, clear line of decision-making in the organisation from top to bottom. These changes, and others set out in the consultation, are designed to deliver a more capable, more resilient IPCC, with clear lines of accountability and decision-making, and will help ensure that complaints made against the police are responded to in a way that builds trust and public confidence, and allows lessons to be learned.

I would like to record my thanks to the IPCC and to Sheila Drew Smith for their efforts in considering these important changes.

The public consultation will run until 28 January 2015. Following the publication of a response to the consultation, the Government intend to legislate as soon as practicable. Copies of the consultation document and of Sheila Drew Smith’s report will be placed in the Library of the House and also published alongside the public consultation via the Home Office pages on the website.

I hope that those with an interest in the IPCC will take the time to respond to the consultation.




I will today publish the Government response to the consultation on proposals to increase court and tribunal fees. The consultation paper was published on 22 July 2015 and the consultation closed on 15 September 2015.

The Government announced in the spending review that it will be investing £700 million in reforming the courts and tribunals during the next five years. This crucial investment will allow us to modernise and improve the service we provide to the public.

There remains a need to ensure the courts are not placing too great a burden on the taxpayer. Courts and tribunals in England and Wales cost £1.7 billion in 2014-15, but we only recovered £700 million in income. That is a net cost to the taxpayer of around £1 billion.

It is therefore right that we ask for a greater contribution from court users who can afford to pay more. We have balanced this need alongside the responses we received to our consultation and decided to:

Implement fee increases of 10% across the range of civil proceedings, including enforcement proceedings, determination of costs proceedings, and civil business in the magistrates courts.

Introduce fees for the first time in the General Regulatory Chamber and the tax chamber of the First-tier Tribunal and in the Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Chamber.

Keep the maximum fee cap in money claims at £10,000. A number of consultees were concerned about the proposal to raise the cap to £20,000. We accept that it is too soon to understand the full impact of the first round of fee increases introduced in March this year. We will therefore not implement the further increase at this stage, but keep this option under review.

Introduce a fee of £20 for an appeal against a financial penalty in the tax chamber. Some respondents felt that it was unfair to charge an issue fee of £100 for an appeal against a financial penalty of £100 or less imposed by HM Revenue and Customs, so we have decided to introduce a lower fee than initially proposed.

Introduce fees of £100 to issue proceedings in the Property Chamber and £200 for a hearing. There will be an exception for proceedings relating to rent levels and pitch fee applications, where a lower fee of £20 will apply. This will mean fees are more proportionate to the amount in dispute. We will not implement the higher fees for leasehold enfranchisement proceedings that were proposed in the consultation paper at this stage, so these proceedings will be subject to the standard fees in the chamber.

Defer any decision on whether to introduce a fee for bringing an appeal against a decision of the Information Commissioner until the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information reports next year.

HMCTS’s remissions scheme will apply to all of the new and increased fees, with the exception of those in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal where there is a separate exemptions policy to protect vulnerable users. As proposed in the consultation document, we will introduce an additional exemption for those whose humanitarian protection or refugee status is at risk of being revoked.

Fees are never popular, but they are necessary if we are to reduce the burden of the courts and tribunals on the taxpayer.

We have sought to protect the vulnerable at every stage. We have also listened very carefully to concerns raised during the consultation and modified our proposals accordingly.

This balanced package will put the courts and tribunals on a more sustainable footing as we create a modern efficient service, fit for the 21st century.

Full details of how the Government intend to take forward these proposals are set out in the consultation response document which has been published on the website.


Insolvency Litigation

My noble friend the Minister of State for Civil Justice (Lord Faulks QC) has made the following written statement.

The Government have made a priority of addressing the high costs of civil litigation in England and Wales.

To that end, part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 reforms the operation of no win no fee conditional fee agreements. Those reforms came into effect generally in April 2013 but were delayed in respect of insolvency proceedings.

After further consideration the Government have decided that the no win no fee reforms should now be applied to insolvency proceedings. The provisions will come into force for these cases in April 2016.

It has already been announced that there will be a post-implementation review of the LASPO Act part 2 reforms between April 2016 and April 2018. The review will take place towards the end of that period. The review under section 48 of the Act in relation to mesothelioma cases will also take place as part of the post-implementation review.



I will today publish the Government’s response to the Harris review into self-inflicted deaths in custody of 18 to 24-year-olds.

The Government are grateful to Lord Harris of Haringey and the Harris review panel for their report on this important review.

We must never simply accept self-harm and self-inflicted deaths as an inevitable feature of prison life. Reducing the rates of violence, self-harm and deaths in custody is a priority for the National Offender Management Service. I have already made clear that our prison system needs urgent reform. I have also asked Charlie Taylor to review the current system of youth justice. We will be setting out more detail on our plans for reform in due course.

The Government’s response to the Harris review sets out the wide range of action we are taking to reduce self-harm and self-inflicted deaths in custody, including giving greater support to those with mental health vulnerabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system and improving the management of “safer cells” in prisons. We are also increasing the number of prison staff. Over the last year we recruited 2,340 prison officers, a net increase of 540.

The Harris review, and our response, will help to address the serious problems of self-harm and self-inflicted deaths as we develop our wider reforms to make prisons places of decency, hope and rehabilitation.

The response will be laid today and copies will be available in the Vote and Printed Paper Offices. The response will also be published online at:


Ex-armed Services Personnel and the Criminal Justice System

I am today publishing an update on the progress that has been made in addressing the rehabilitation needs of ex-armed services personnel in the criminal justice system (CJS), as agreed by the Ministry of Justice in the Government response to the independent review into former service personnel in the CJS by Stephen Phillips QC MP, published in December 2014.

I reiterate my belief that we have an obligation to ensure those who serve in the armed forces are not disadvantaged as a result of their service. We are clear that all offenders, including those with a military history, should have the support they need to turn their lives around and stop offending.

The key to providing better services to ex-service personnel who find themselves in the CJS is to make sure that we identify them. I am pleased to see that the early data collected by the liaison and diversion services programme and the basic custody screening tool at prison reception, show that the number of ex-service personnel in the criminal justice system continues to remain small.

We are also working to consolidate our understanding of the needs of this group of offenders. We published two pieces of analyses last year, which found that, in general, the needs of ex-service personnel are broadly similar to those of other offenders, although specific areas of need may be more prevalent. For example, ex-service personnel had similar levels of reported general mental health problems to other prisoners, but may have greater levels of need in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. A fully rolled-out liaison and diversion service will provide a real opportunity to meet the mental health needs, as well as other vulnerabilities, of ex-service personnel, and we will continue to drive this.

I am pleased that the covenant reference group identified support to ex-service personnel in the CJS as one of the funding priorities for the £10 million armed forces covenant fund 2015-16. The Government have also awarded £1 million to Care after Combat and £1.6 million to Skillforce to support their work with ex-service personnel in prisons and police custody.

The full update can be found at: and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Prime Minister

Muslim Brotherhood Review

I have today laid before both Houses the main findings of the internal review I commissioned in the last Parliament, to improve the Government’s understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood; establish whether the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology or activities, or those of individual members or affiliates, put at risk, damaged, or risked damaging the UK’s national interests; and where appropriate inform policy.

The review involved substantial research and wide consultation, including Muslim Brotherhood representatives in the UK and overseas, and an open invitation to other interested parties to submit written contributions.

It is a complex subject: the Muslim Brotherhood comprises both a transnational network, with links in the UK, and national organisations in and outside the Islamic world. The movement is deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive.

Since the authors completed their initial research in 2014, and during the course of the Government’s examination of the findings, further allegations of violence carried out by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have surfaced, which the Government will continue to investigate, taking action as appropriate.

As the Muslim Brotherhood continues to evolve so must our understanding of it. The findings have revealed much that we did not know but work will continue to ensure we keep up to date with developments.

The Government consider the following the most important findings.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s foundational texts call for the progressive moral purification of individuals and Muslim societies and their eventual political unification in a caliphate under Sharia law. To this day the Muslim Brotherhood characterises western societies and liberal Muslims as decadent and immoral. It can be seen primarily as a political project.

Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism. It has stated its opposition to al-Qaeda (AQ) but it has never credibly denounced the use made by terrorist organisations of the work of Sayyid Qutb, one of the Brotherhood’s most prominent ideologues. Individuals closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK have supported suicide bombing and other attacks in Israel by Hamas, an organisation whose military wing has been proscribed in the UK since 2001 as a terrorist organisation, and which describes itself as the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, despite the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s public condemnation of violence in 2012-13 and afterwards, some of their supporters have been involved in violent exchanges with the security forces and other groups. Media reports and credible academic studies indicate that in the past 12 months a minority of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt have engaged alongside other Islamists in violent acts. Some senior leaders have publicly reiterated the Muslim Brotherhood’s commitment to non-violence, but others have failed to renounce the calls for retribution in some recent Muslim Brotherhood statements.

Muslim Brotherhood-associated and influenced groups in the UK have at times had a significant influence on national organisations which have claimed to represent Muslim communities—and on that basis have had a dialogue with Government—charities and some mosques. But they have also sometimes characterised the UK as fundamentally hostile to Muslim faith and identity; and expressed support for terrorist attacks conducted by Hamas.

Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and activities therefore run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The Muslim Brotherhood is not the only movement that promotes values which appear intolerant of equality and freedom of faith and belief. Nor is it the only movement or group dedicated in theory to revolutionising societies and changing existing ways of life. But I have made clear this Government’s determination to reject intolerance, and to counter not just violent Islamist extremism, but also to tackle those who create the conditions for it to flourish.

The main findings of the review support the conclusion that membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism.

We will therefore keep under review the views that are promoted and activities that are undertaken by Muslim Brotherhood associates in the UK, in Arabic as well as English. We will consider whether any action under the counter-extremism strategy or as part of our wider work may be appropriate, including action in line with the new engagement policy the Government will develop to ensure central and local government do not inadvertently provide legitimacy or a platform for extremists. We will challenge extremists’ poisonous narratives and promote positive alternatives that show vulnerable people that there are better ways to get on in life.

We will continue to:

refuse visas to members and associates of the Muslim Brotherhood who are on record as having made extremist comments, where this would be conducive to the public good and in line with our existing policy guidelines and approach to extremism in all forms;

seek to ensure charities that have links to the Muslim Brotherhood are not misused to support or finance the Muslim Brotherhood instead of their lawful charitable purpose;

strengthen liaison arrangements with international partners to ensure that allegations of illicit funding or other misuse of charities are robustly investigated and appropriate action taken;

enforce the EU asset freeze on Hamas; and

keep under review whether the views and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood meet the legal test for proscription.

We will also intensify scrutiny of the views and activities that Muslim Brotherhood members, associates and affiliates—whether based in the UK or elsewhere—promote overseas. As our counter-extremism strategy makes clear, insights from our overseas posts will help the Government better understand drivers, networks and ideologies. We will continue to consult, and share information and analysis with, Governments in the middle east and north Africa as appropriate. We will then take further decisions and actions as needed.



Transport Council

I attended the final formal Transport Council meeting under the Luxembourg presidency (the presidency) on 10 December 2015.

The Council held a policy debate on social aspects in road transport, which also covered broader market objectives. Several member states made it clear that they could not support further market liberalisation without a greater harmonisation of social conditions. However I joined others in calling for a more balanced framework to ensure that social measures do not create barriers to the freedom to provide services. During the debate two member states called for an extension of existing licensing rules to bring vehicles below 3.5 tonnes into scope, in order to ensure fair competition. I flagged significant reservations on any such extension due to our concerns over the likely rise in enforcement costs and potential negative impact on road safety.

Under any other business, there were several aviation items, including: a presentation from the Commission on its proposed aviation package, published on 7 December, which aims to enhance competitiveness, improve growth and maintain high EU standards in safety, security, environment, social provisions and passenger rights; a presentation from the Netherlands on the investigation into the crash of flight MH17; and information from Bulgaria, together with other member states in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) central European rotation group, on the 2016 election to the ICAO Council.

The Commission also gave a brief presentation on its state of the energy union report encouraging further member state action, in particular calling on member states to start drafting their national energy and climate plans, and updated member states on transport security following recent tragic events. The presidency encouraged member states to ratify the Luxembourg protocol, relating to the financing and purchasing of rail rolling stock, and finally, the Netherlands outlined their transport priorities for their upcoming presidency which include taking forward negotiations on aviation proposals, opening trilogue discussions with the European Parliament on the ports services regulation and completing them on the fourth railway package, and promoting developments in innovative technology.

Following formal Council business I attended the lunchtime debate on road safety, which discussed ways in which to reduce fatalities and serious injuries across the EU, and held bilateral meetings with my French and Polish counterparts, as well as thanking the Luxembourg Minister for their very competent presidency.


Ministerial Cars

I am publishing today details of the charges incurred by Departments for the use of official Government cars provided to Ministers by the Government Car Service (GCS) during the financial years 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

Charges to Departments have not increased since 2010. The GCS has reduced its running costs by over two thirds since the start of the reform programme and we are committed to continue reducing the cost to the taxpayer of the provision of secure ministerial cars. As a result of a series of changes, including closure of the Government mail service, overall operating costs have fallen from £21.617 million in 2010-11 to £6.325 million in 2014-15.

The charges recorded in this statement reflect the service model which came into effect in April 2012. This provides Departmental Pool Cars which are a shared resource for a Department to use as efficiently as possible. In addition, the Car Service offers a small pre-bookable service utilising any spare capacity.

These charges do not necessarily reflect the total spend on car services for Ministers as some Departments have arrangements with other providers. The Chancellor uses the Government Car Service to supply a driver and vehicle for his protection package whereas the Prime Minister, Home, Foreign, Defence and Northern Ireland Secretaries of State use the Metropolitan Police.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www.


Walking and Cycling Investment Strategy

I am today publishing the Government’s timetable for the development of the first cycling and walking investment strategy (CWIS).

In February 2015, the Government introduced a duty through the Infrastructure Act 2015 for the Secretary of State for Transport to bring forward a cycling and walking investment strategy in England. In July, part 2 of the Infrastructure Act (cycling and walking investment strategies) was enacted.

The document, setting the first cycling and walking investment strategy, sets a long-term vision for walking and cycling to 2040 through a series of consecutive five-year strategies. Our starting principle for the development of the investment strategy is a desire for cycling and walking to become the norm for short journeys or as part of a longer journey in places that are designed first and foremost for people on foot or bicycle.

The document also sets out the elements that will form the first investment strategy, which will be a step towards delivering our manifesto commitment to double cycling—an ambition document and statement of funds available, governance structures, a performance monitoring framework, and a national walking and cycling infrastructure plan study. I plan to undertake public consultation on the draft first CWIS next spring with publication following in the summer.

I will be placing a copy of this statement and the document “Setting the First Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy” in the Libraries of both Houses.

Attachments can be viewed online at http://www.