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Written Statements

Thursday 16 October 2014

Banking Act 2009


The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): My right honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Andrea Leadsom) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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 October 2013 to 31 March 2014. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

Businesses: Street Trading and Pedlary


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs (Jo Swinson) has today made the following statement.

I am today publishing the Government’s response to the consultation on reform of the street trading regimes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the pedlary regime across the UK. This will ensure compliance with the EU Services Directive.

A joint consultation with the Devolved Administrations was published on 23 November 20121 seeking views on draft regulations to:

• repeal the Pedlars Acts 1871 and 1881 (which apply to the whole of the UK) because the certification process set out in the Acts does not comply with the requirements of the European Union Services Directive 2006/123/EC (the Services Directive); and • amend the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (LGMPA) in England and Wales and the Street Trading Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 to ensure compliance with the Services Directive.

The need to make these changes followed the consensus reached by EU Member States in 2010 that the retail sale of goods is generally a service activity which falls within the scope of the Services Directive.

The consultation closed on 5 April 2013, having been extended twice to allow as many stakeholders as possible (particularly pedlars) to respond.

The responses from pedlars showed that they regard the Pedlars Acts as the source of their legitimacy and they were adamant that they should not be repealed but instead, the certification process amended. Local authorities, police forces, market traders and their associations all thought it essential that pedlars should continue to be certified. The Government therefore intends to make the minimum changes required to bring the regime into compliance with the Services Directive.

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The Pedlars Acts, which apply across the UK, will be retained with the existing definition of pedlary. The certification process will be amended to remove a requirement for prior residency in an area and to make the required good character check an objective one that can be applied consistently across the UK. The Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments are content for these changes to apply in those nations and the Association of Chief Police Officers, Police Scotland and Police Constables Northern Ireland are working to develop a new good character check.

Street trading in many parts of England and Wales is controlled, either because a local authority has chosen to adopt Schedule 4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (LGMPA) or because it has its own local legislation. In these areas there are restrictions on what can be sold where and licensing regimes which allow particular traders to set up their stalls, usually for a fee.

Schedule 4 of the LGMPA contains an exemption for certified pedlars and the consultation proposed that if the Pedlars Acts were repealed, a new definition of pedlary should be included and the exemption made to refer to that. While recognising that the existing definition is out of date and accepting the principle of the proposed new one, most respondents disagreed with the descriptions of how it would apply, from two opposing points of view. Pedlars thought that the proposed descriptions would unduly hamper their ability to trade freely. Local authorities thought the proposed descriptions were too “generous” and would be unworkable in practice. The market trading associations, other organisations and individuals that commented were also opposed. In retaining the Pedlars Acts, the Government is therefore not making any changes to the definition of pedlary or to the exemption in Schedule 4 of the LGMPA.

The consultation set out other changes to Schedule 4 of the LGMPA that were necessary to bring the regime into compliance. These concerned the application process, the duration of licences and the grounds for refusing or revoking a licence or consent as well as consequential changes to other parts of the Schedule. There was general acceptance from local authorities of these changes and support for the Government’s proposals. I am therefore proposing to take these forward where they are necessary to ensure compliance.

The consultation contained two additional proposals – for an additional power to designate streets for established traders only and for new discretionary grounds for refusing a licence based on the suitability of the street – for which the consultation provided insufficient evidence to proceed and accordingly, I do not propose to pursue these.

These changes mainly affect England, Wales and Scotland because Northern Ireland has a separate street trading regime which effectively negates the pedlary regime in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Government has requested that the necessary changes to its regime are made at the same time.

In Scotland, the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 provides local authorities with the power to license street traders and it exempts certified pedlars from that regime in the same way as Schedule 4 of the Local

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Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act does in England and Wales. The Scottish Government will issue a separate response to its consultation.

Secondary legislation to effect these changes will be brought forward as soon as the Parliamentary timetable allows.


https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/street-trading- and-pedlary-laws-a-joint-consultation-on-draft-regulations-to-repeal-the-pedlars-acts-uk-wide-and-make-changes-to-the-street-trading-legislation-in-england-wales-and-northern-ireland

Child Poverty


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I intend to lay regulations to set a new, statutory persistent child poverty target for the UK. Later today, jointly with my Right Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Schools, I will also publish the Government’s response to its consultation on the target on the Gov.uk website. I will place a copy of the Government’s response in the House Library.

The Child Poverty Act 2010 requires us to set a persistent child poverty target by the end of 2014. It is our firm belief that we need a revised set of child poverty measures which underline our commitment to reducing child poverty, but better reflect the evidence about its underlying causes. We are not yet in a position to put these forward. In the meantime we remain committed to meeting our existing obligations under the Act.

At the end of this Parliament, as at the start, the coalition Government is committed to ending child poverty by 2020, transforming the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. Despite the tough economic climate, we are making progress. With employment at a record high, up by nearly 1.7 million since 2010, there are now 290,000 fewer children in workless households. Poor children are doing better than ever at school, with the proportion of children on free school meals getting good GCSEs, including English and maths, having increased from 31% in 2010 to 38% in 2013. This is the kind of lasting life change that makes a real difference to children’s outcomes.

We recognise that persistent poverty can be particularly harmful to children’s life chances. In representations to our consultation on the proposed new persistent child poverty target, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, and others, put particular emphasis on the damaging effects of persistent poverty and urged the Government to continue to put this at the centre of policy ambition. We will do so. Our Child Poverty Strategy 2014-17, published in June, sets out action on this front, such as tackling entrenched worklessness. We will continue to focus action on breaking the cycle of persistent poverty, exploring what further steps can be taken to reduce persistent poverty as far and as fast as possible. We will keep the degree of ambition of the target itself under close review.

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We are grateful to all those who responded during the consultation and provided their views on the level of the target. In its response, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission put forward an alternative approach, which would involve setting a target as a proportion of relative poverty rather than at a fixed level as defined in the Act.

We carefully considered all representations made to us and have decided, on balance, to set the persistent child poverty target at less than 7%. This is based on detailed analysis looking at the relationship between relative poverty and persistent poverty historically. A target of less than 7% is consistent with the other Act targets, provides the most coherent overall suite of targets and will drive continued efforts to address persistent child poverty.

We do not believe that the approach offered by the Commission would provide the coherence of targets which we consider important. It would also mean that the target could be achieved even if numbers in persistent poverty remained the same while short-term child poverty increased. This could create a possible disincentive to take action on child poverty in all its forms.

The Government is therefore laying draft regulations in Parliament which set the persistent child poverty target at less than 7 per cent. These must be debated and approved by both Houses before they can be made and brought into force.

We will continue to focus Government action on tackling the damaging effects of persistent poverty, exploring what further steps we can take to reduce it as far and as fast as possible. We will also keep the degree of ambition of the target itself under close review.

Cycling: Delivery Plan


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Robert Goodwill) has made the following Ministerial Statement:

I am today publishing a draft Cycling Delivery Plan for informal consultation to seek views from interested parties on its content.

On 12 August 2013, as part of a wider announcement on cycling, the Prime Minister set out his ambition for a cycling revolution. He committed the Department to publishing a Cycling Delivery Plan which would set out a long-term 10 year strategy on how his ambition will be realised. Since then, my officials have been working with relevant government departments as well as with key stakeholders to develop a draft Delivery Plan which incorporates a number of government commitments and actions to increase levels of cycling. The plan has also been extended to include commitments and actions to increase walking, across England. The Delivery Plan is also a key strand of the government’s Moving More, Living More campaign to secure a physical activity legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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The Delivery Plan issues a call to action to local authorities, offering the opportunity to establish partnerships with Government that will open up access to a range of incentives. The Plan also includes a number of specific actions for the next 10 years focusing on infrastructure developments, cycle-proofing our roads and wider transport infrastructure, and for facilitating behaviour change across the country by promoting cycling and walking as alternative sustainable travel choices. The key features of the draft Plan include:

• An aspiration to work with local government and businesses to explore how we can achieve a minimum funding packet equivalent to £10 per person each year by 2020-21 – and sooner if possible – a focus of our engagement on the Delivery Plan over the next four weeks; • Quantified national ambition for increasing cycling – to double cycling by 2025 and a quantified ambition for increasing walking – to increase the proportion of school children aged 5-10 that usually walk to school to 55% by 2025; • Responding to the recommendations made by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s Get Britain Cycling report, and addressing many of the transport-related recommendations of the All Party Physical Activity Commission.

As well as setting out Government's ambitions for walking and cycling, the Delivery Plan is also a call to action for local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to formally commit to driving up walking and cycling across the country. The Plan calls for expressions of interest from local authorities who would be interested in setting a long term ambition for walking and cycling in their area, and who, as part of that ambition would like to work in partnership with government to secure its delivery.

The consultation will last four weeks, due to the prior engagement that has taken place. Interested parties can attend one of our six regional consultation events during October and November in Manchester, Birmingham, Bedford, Exeter, York and Durham or respond with comments electronically via Walking. Cycling@dft.gsi.gov.uk. We expect to be in a position to publish a final Delivery Plan on 27 November at a Summit to be hosted by a senior Cabinet Minister.

I will be placing a copy of the draft Delivery Plan in the Libraries of both Houses.

EU: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): My right honourable friend the Minister for Employment (Esther McVey MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I will attend the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

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The Council will seek a general approach on a Council Decision on establishing a European Platform to enhance co-operation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work.

There will be a policy debate on the Mid-Term Review of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the evaluation of the European Semester. As part of this, the Council is asked to endorse the joint opinion presented by the Employment Committee (EMCO) and Social Protection Committee (SPC). The Council is also asked to endorse the Social Protection Committee’s report on social policy reforms for a fair and competitive Europe.

Under Any Other Business the Italian Presidency will provide information to the Council on the September 2014 G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting. It will provide an update on the proposed Tripartite Social Summit, and finally will report on other ongoing issues.

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): My right honourable friend the Lord Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

“The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council was held on 9 and 10 October in Luxembourg. The Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Shailesh Vara), and I attended on behalf of the United Kingdom. The following items were discussed.

The Interior session began with a presentation by the Presidency on its paper on serious and organised international crime. The Presidency invited Ministers to endorse the role of the Committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI). Rob Wainwright, the Director of Europol, briefed Ministers on the latest Europol operation highlighting the real world relevance of COSI: Operation Archimedes – a recent operation involving over 25,000 law enforcement officers from across the EU and beyond.

I endorsed the achievements of the Policy Cycle and thanked Europol for their impressive work on Operation Archimedes. I stated that it is crucial to recognise Modern Slavery and the abuse of free movement as priority issues at European level. The EU must also focus on threats coming from outside its borders and tackle the issues at source – the European External Action Service would therefore have to play its part. I then thanked the Latvian government for their co-operation in a recent high profile murder investigation in the UK. In order to tackle the issue I called on Ministers to make efforts to improve the proactive sharing of criminal records as a matter of urgency.

The Presidency concluded that COSI’s Policy Cycle work on serious organised crime has indeed been successful. Operation Archimedes had shown that pan-European police co-operation is now not only possible, but that EU financial support and facilitation significantly enhances results.

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Next, the Council discussed the issue of foreign fighters, based on a paper presented by the Presidency. Discussion focused on how to achieve progress on the Passenger Name Records Directive before the end of the year; and possible amendments to the Schengen Border Code. I welcomed the paper and the continued focus on foreign fighters and stressed the importance of acting quickly to tackle the threat.

Over lunch, the Council discussed the Presidency paper “Taking action to better manage migratory flows”. The Government supports the approach set out in the paper, which calls for the prompt withdrawal of the Mare Nostrum operation in the Mediterranean and for all Member States to comply fully with their obligations under the EU migration and asylum acquis. The paper was subsequently adopted as Council Conclusions. The discussion on the Task Force Mediterranean was largely assimilated into the discussion on the Presidency paper.

After lunch, the Commission provided a brief assessment of progress made under the Greek Action Plan on Asylum and Migration Management. Significant improvements have been made to the Greek asylum and migration systems, including: the establishment of a First Reception Service, the Asylum Service and Appeals Authority; the closure of inadequate detention facilities and an increase in available places in open reception centres. However, several areas of concern remain including inconsistent detention conditions, the lack of a national strategy on minors and issues of financial sustainability. The Presidency noted the update and this subject will possibly come back to Council in December for further consideration.

Under AOB the Presidency provided a brief update on the progress of negotiations on the UK’s JHA opt-out. The Presidency also provided an update of progress in the negotiations on the Data Protection Directive and the Visa Code; provided feedback on the High Level Conference on a renewed EU Internal Security Strategy; and described upcoming Presidency initiatives including a conference on the Rabat Process on 27 November in Rome, a Horn of Africa Conference and a Conference on Integration and Migration in Milan in December.

Finally, Hungary thanked successive Presidencies and the Commission for their assistance in the successful relocation of CEPOL to Budapest and invited Ministers to the opening of the new building on 16 of November.

On Justice Day, the Presidency proposed a partial general approach on Chapter IV of the Data Protection Regulation, which deals with the data protection obligations on organisations. This agreement was proposed on the understanding that it was without prejudice to any questions which cut across the whole of the proposal. Whilst the Minister for the Courts and Legal Aid (Shailesh Vara), speaking for the UK, welcomed the risk-based approach which the Council was pushing for in this Chapter, he expressed concerns about the inward investment implications of the requirement for controllers established outside the EU to designate a representative within the EU. The UK reiterated its objections to the concept of partial general approaches and reserved the right to return to Chapter IV when considering the overall burden of the Regulation on

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business and its impact on the EU growth agenda. Other Member States expressed other areas of concern, and shared the UK’s view that nothing should be agreed on the proposal until everything was agreed, and that this should not form a mandate for trilogue negotiations with the European Parliament. The Presidency nonetheless concluded that the partial general approach was agreed, subject to the caveats previously expressed.

The Presidency then introduced its paper on the Court of Justice’s judgment of 14 May 2014 in relation to Google Spain and the ‘right to be forgotten’, which drew particular attention to the balance between the right to privacy and freedom of expression. The Commission noted that the implications of the Google judgment were still being worked through. The Commission believed the current text of the draft Regulation struck the right balance by adopting a generic approach including protecting freedom of expression. Nearly all Member States emphasised the need to balance the rights to privacy and freedom of expression and most argued that it should be left to Member States to do so at national level on a case-by-case basis. The UK insisted that the Council, as a legislator, was not bound to follow the conclusions of the judgment in preparing the new Regulation. The Presidency concluded that the Regulation should only deal with the issue at a generic level, with Member States and national courts having the latitude to find the appropriate balance on a case-by-case basis.

The second session to take place on Justice Day was on the concept of a “single legal area” in relation to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) proposal. While some Member States welcomed the concept, there was no consensus and a number expressed concerns, indicating that more clarity was needed. The Presidency concluded that further work was needed on the concept. The UK does not participate in the EPPO but does take an active interest in developments.

Next, the Presidency stated its intention to seek a General Approach on the Directive on the Presumption of Innocence at the December JHA Council. The UK is not opted in to this proposal so its provisions will not apply to us. The Presidency sought views from Member States on how to approach some detailed issues in order to guide the next phase of work. It was agreed that the Directive should allow trial judges to have the same investigatory powers as was provided for prosecutors in respect of finding incriminating or exonerating evidence. It was also agreed that presumptions which reversed the usual burden of proof could be made in some limited circumstances, whilst noting that if there were doubt that should profit the defence. It should also be clear that any such reversal made must be rebuttable. The Presidency noted this agreement which would guide its work toward a general approach.

On the Simplification of Acceptance of Public Documents, there was a discussion on EU standard multilingual forms, the relationship with existing international agreements and the possibility of a feasibility study on developing an IT system for the purposes of exchanging public documents within the EU. A majority of Member States, including the UK, proposed simple translations that do not have independent evidentiary

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value rather than the development of multilingual forms. These would need to be attached to the original national documents and should not replace or be used as an alternative to national forms. On the scope of the proposal, some Member States, again including the UK, favoured reducing the scope to civil status documents only, i.e. certificates of birth, marriage and death. In conclusion, the Presidency observed that Member States had differing positions, and warned against a possible block in Council. Discussion at expert level would need to continue on these issues.

A discussion took place over lunch on the confiscation of criminal assets, particularly in the absence of a specific criminal conviction. Member States exchanged views on how to implement the new EU Directive on confiscation. The UK has not opted in to this Directive.”

Foreign Affairs Council, and General Affairs Council


The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): My right Honourable Friend, the Minister for Europe [Mr David Lidington], has made the following written Ministerial statement:

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 20 October, and I will attend the General Affairs Council on 21 October. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, and the General Affairs Council will be chaired by the Italian Presidency. The meetings will be held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

Introductory remarks

Baroness Ashton is expected to update Ministers on the E3+3 Iran negotiations and recent developments in Bosnia. I do not expect substantive discussion on either item.


Ministers will discuss the unprecedented scale and severity of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which requires a similarly unprecedented response from the international community. The UK will seek to ensure that the FAC recognises the deteriorating situation and the ensuing potential political, security and economic impact for the region. The UK will highlight the need for the EU response to scale up urgently in order to address the serious threat Ebola poses to regional and global health and security. The UK will push for Council Conclusions that point to Ebola as a major agenda item at the October European Council, preparing the way for the Leaders of the EU and its Member States to take the steps needed to defeat the threat posed by the disease.


The EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean, Bernardino León, will update Ministers on political developments in Libya, the UN negotiation

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efforts and regional initiatives. The UK will encourage Member States to support a clearly defined role for the EU that supports the UN-led process to mediate between the various parties in Libya and that adds value to international efforts to restore peace and stability to the country.

Iraq / Syria / ISIL

Ministers will discuss the role the EU can play in supporting international efforts to tackle ISIL.  The UK will emphasise the need for the EU to agree on a robust foreign policy strategy that aims to confront, degrade and defeat ISIL.  The UK will also underline that current international military action taking place in Iraq and Syria against ISIL will need to be underpinned by inclusive politics if there is to be a lasting resolution to the crisis. The UK will call for Member States to offer the new Iraqi government practical support in addressing the legitimate grievances of Iraq’s communities and creating the conditions for political stability.  Alongside political engagement, this might include assistance with reform of the justice system and development of the private sector, and technical and financial assistance with reconstructing areas retaken from ISIL.  On Syria, the UK will make clear that Assad cannot be a partner in combating ISIL – he has neither the will nor the capability. The UK will also urge the FAC to agree new sanctions targeting those supplying oil to the Syrian regime, or involved in human rights abuses.

Middle East Peace Process

Ministers will discuss recent developments in the Middle East Peace Process. The UK will emphasise the importance of addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and press for the EU to make a substantive contribution to this effort. The UK will also call for Member States to continue pressing for a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In that regard, the EU should send a clear message expressing its concern at Israel’s recent settlement activity.


Ministers will discuss the situation in Ukraine. The UK will share its concern about continuing violations of the ceasefire agreed as part of the 12 point Minsk Protocol on 5 September, and the continued loss of life.  The UK will urge the Council to send a strong signal of the importance of all parties respecting the ceasefire and fulfilling commitments made at Minsk, and to recognise the critical role of the OSCE in monitoring the situation on the ground.  The UK will stress the importance of Russia taking immediate action to withdraw all of its remaining troops and equipment from Ukraine, secure the borders and cease support for the separatists.  

In discussion the UK will reiterate the importance of maintaining coordinated international pressure on Russia, including through restrictive measures.  The UK will also stress the importance of the 26 October parliamentary elections and 7 December local elections being conducted in line with international standards, and as many as possible of Ukraine’s citizens being able to exercise their democratic rights without external interference.  The UK will encourage the EU institutions and Member States to renew our collective commitment to continued support for Ukraine’s efforts to make deep rooted and sustained economic and

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political reforms, including those envisaged as part of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and in assisting Ukraine to meet security, economic and energy challenges. The UK will also encourage partners to increase their contributions to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

General Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 21 October is expected to focus on: the preparation of the European Council on 23 and 24 October 2014; the follow-up to the Strategic Agenda for the EU agreed at the June European Council; and Protocol 36 of the Treaties.

The Preparation of the October European Council

The GAC will prepare the 23 and 24 October European Council, which the Prime Minister will attend. The October European Council agenda will include: the Climate and Energy Policy Framework 2030; economic issues; and external relations issues (to include Ebola and Ukraine). We also look forward to the European Council formally appointing the new Commission, following the vote by the European Parliament, currently expected on 21 October.

Follow-up to the June European Council

The GAC will examine the progress to date in implementing the Strategic Agenda chapter on Freedom, Security and Justice, agreed at the June European Council. The UK has been very clear about the need for more effective review of progress in this area and for existing legislation to be fully implemented. I therefore welcome this move by the Italian Presidency to ensure the commitments contained in the Agenda are acted upon at EU-level, and that support is forthcoming to Member States like ourselves, who are seeking to tackle illegal migration, the threat from foreign fighters and serious organised criminals, who operate with no respect for national borders.

Protocol 36 of the Treaties

The GAC will discuss the state of play of the UK’s negotiations to rejoin 35 measures under Protocol 36 to the Treaties (the JHA 2014 Decision).  This relates to the UK’s decision to opt-out of all police and criminal justice measures adopted before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.  The UK will enter a minute statement setting out the UK’s intentions regarding the Prüm and Probation decisions.  The minute statement will outline the approach set out to Parliament on 10 July.

Composition of the Committee of the Regions

The GAC will consider a Commission proposal to amend the composition of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), which would reduce the number of members from 353 to 350 as stipulated in the Treaties.

Health: Triennial Review of NHS Litigation Authority


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Dr Dan Poulter) has made the following written ministerial statement.

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I am today announcing that the Department of Health is commencing a Triennial Review of the NHS Litigation Authority. This review forms part of the first tranche of reviews to be announced this session.

Triennial reviews of arms-length bodies are a key part of the Department’s stewardship and assurance of the health and care system, they also contribute to the Government’s wider programme of work on public bodies reform.

The review will consider the body’s functions and corporate form, as well performance and capability, governance, and opportunities for greater efficiencies. The Department will be working with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the review.

I will announce the findings of the review later this year.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My hon Friend the Minister of State for Immigration and Security (James Brokenshire) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The reforms to the immigration appeals system in the Immigration Act 2014 are being phased in from 20 October. These provisions contain important measures to make it easier to deport foreign criminals and build upon the significant reforms we have already made.

In July we introduced new powers to stop criminals using family life arguments to delay their deportation. This has been successful, enabling the Home Office to deport over 100 criminals since July pending any appeal.

From Monday criminals will also no longer be able to appeal against a decision that their deportation is conducive to the public good. This is the most significant change to deportation appeals since 1971. Criminals will be deported and will not be able to appeal beforehand unless they face a real risk of serious irreversible harm. For those that do have an appeal right, they will only be able to appeal once.

From Monday the new Act will also reform the appeals system for students. For those with meritorious appeals the old system was a costly and time-consuming way to correct simple case work errors which could be resolved by a request to the Home Office to review the decision. New immigration rules provide a system of administrative review through which case work errors will be corrected within 28 days rather than 12 weeks, supporting our policy of attracting immigrants who benefit the United Kingdom’s businesses and universities. For non-compliant students the new appeals reforms, combined with the new single power of removal, will make removal quicker and more legally straightforward.

On 3 September I announced that the West Midlands would be the location for the first phase of the implementation of new restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented housing. I have now made the order to bring into force the necessary powers in the Immigration Act to allow the scheme to start from 1 December. This will allow further secondary legislation to be laid before Parliament shortly.

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Further measures in the new Act are also being brought into force to limit the ability of immigration detainees to make repeat bail applications and to extend the powers of the Immigration Services Commissioner to combat rogue immigration advisers. Finally, powers are being brought into force to enable us in due course to lay before Parliament the secondary legislation needed to implement the NHS health surcharge and to implement the changes to the process for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership to combat sham marriages and civil partnerships.

Reforms are also being made to strengthen the regime and further enhance security. Technical changes are being implemented across the immigration rules to tackle abuse while enhancing the United Kingdom’s status as an excellent place to do business. In particular, the Tier 1 (investor) route is being reformed following recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee. The minimum investment threshold will be raised from £1m to £2m. The Government will also consult further on what sort of investment the route should encourage in order to deliver real economic benefits, and other improvements to the route. A consultation document will be published in due course.

Immigration Services Commissioner: Triennial Review


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today announcing the start of the Triennial Review of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Triennial reviews are part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that non-departmental public bodies continue to have regular independent challenge. The review will examine whether there is a continuing need for the functions and form of the OISC and whether it should continue to exist at arm’s length from government. Should the review conclude there is a continuing need for the OISC, it will go on to examine whether the OISC’s control and governance arrangements continue to meet the recognised principles of good corporate governance.

I shall inform the House of the outcome of the review.

International Whaling Commission


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (George Eustice) has today made the following statement.

I was pleased to attend the first day of this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia (IWC65). I made very clear our commitment

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to maintaining the moratorium on commercial whaling and also to supporting ongoing work to strengthen IWC conservation and welfare initiatives.

I am happy to report that all UK objectives for this meeting were achieved. Most notable was the adoption of the UK-led welfare action plan, setting in train a programme of work to improve the IWC’s consideration of cetacean welfare. We worked hard with all IWC parties, including whaling nations such as Norway and Japan, to table a proposal that achieved consensus. This was a considerable achievement which demonstrates our strong leadership on such issues.

The UK led recommendations to strengthen IWC conservation financing and improve financial governance and transparency were similarly adopted by consensus and praised. I was especially pleased at the significant floor time given to the conservation of small cetaceans by the IWC, with the UK raising our concerns about a number of species globally, including the Maui and Vaquita, as well as noting our concerns about ongoing hunts of small cetaceans. In addition, a Resolution which sought to enhance international co-operation on highly migratory species, including small cetaceans, was adopted.

A number of other Resolutions and Schedule Amendments were adopted at IWC65. This included a request from Denmark for an Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) quota for Greenland. This followed a controversial two year period where Greenland hunted in the absence of an IWC endorsed quota. In addition, an EU Resolution on ASW, which seeks to improve IWC approaches to ASW, including the standardisation of Needs Statements, was also adopted as part of this package.

An important Resolution that sought to incorporate the findings of the March 2014 judgment of the International Court of Justice on Japan’s Scientific Whaling in the Southern Ocean was adopted by a strong majority. Although it is disappointing that consensus could not be achieved, this ambitious Resolution will still progress to the Scientific Committee and provide guidance in updating relevant processes for assessing scientific whaling permits.

I am especially pleased to note that the IWC has adopted measures to increase the participation of Civil Society in IWC meetings, as well as the improved consideration of conservation issues within the Scientific Committee. These two Resolutions – agreed by consensus – were small but important steps forward, representing a significant achievement for the modernisation of IWC processes and continuing the work the UK began in 2011 to improve IWC governance.

A number of proposals were not successful. This included Japan’s longstanding request for a quota for “small-type coastal whaling”. In a change of approach, Japan now states that this is not a request for a new category of whaling, but a request for a quota for small scale commercial whaling. The proposal, which would undermine the moratorium on commercial whaling, was strongly defeated, but Japan will continue to pursue this issue intersessionally.

Although the UK voted in favour of establishing a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, unfortunately the proposal narrowly missed the three-quarters majority

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required to be adopted. The proponents will progress this through the Scientific Committee in 2015. Another proposal we might expect to see return to the next meeting is a Resolution on Food Security. Although all parties noted the importance of Food Security, a number of countries - including the UK - had concerns about the scope of the Resolution and the competence of the IWC in relation to actions proposed. Whilst the IWC can recognise the work done by organisations such as the FAO on the “right to food”, the IWC is not itself the forum for making resolutions on human rights. As no consensus was reached, the Resolution was withdrawn and will be progressed intersessionally.

Finally, an EU led demarche to Iceland concerning continuing commercial whaling and international trade in whale products was delivered in Reykjavik on 15 September. Many countries drew attention to the demarche during the IWC meeting and requested that Iceland consider more profitable and sustainable alternatives like well managed whale watching.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Further to the update I provided to the House on 13 October on military activities to counter ISIL (Official Report, column 9WS), we are re-deploying Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft from Afghanistan to be based in the Middle East for use against ISIL. This deployment will complement our existing capabilities which provide highly valued surveillance support and situational awareness to the Iraqi authorities and our coalition partners.  As the UK’s only armed remotely-piloted aircraft, Reaper will add to the strike capability we are already providing with our Tornado GR4 aircraft.  The policy for their use is the same as that for manned aircraft, with the pilots operating under strict UK Rules of Engagement. We expect to begin Reaper operations in Iraq shortly.

The deployment is the first operational use of UK Reaper outside of support to our operations in Afghanistan, where we are beginning to withdraw the aircraft.  As Reaper numbers in Afghanistan reduce, we intend to move more of themto the Middle East, adding to our coverage. 

I will continue to provide updates to the House on our military activity.  

Justice: Secure Colleges


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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“Today I am announcing the launch of a consultation on my plans for Secure College Rules.

In January this year I informed the House of plans to create a new form of secure educational establishment to place education at the heart of detention, and to develop a purpose-built Secure College pathfinder in the East Midlands to open in 2017. We have introduced the legislation to provide Secure Colleges in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

All young people deserve access to a high quality education which will allow them to fulfil their potential. This is all the more important if a young person has set out on the wrong path in life. Secure Colleges will be a pioneering approach to tackling the stubbornly high reoffending rates in youth custody, moving away from the traditional environment of bars on windows and putting education and training at the forefront. They will equip young offenders with the skills, qualifications and self-discipline they need to turn their back on crime and become productive, hardworking members of society.

The design of the educational facilities at the Secure College Pathfinder will enable operators to provide a broader range of subjects and vocational activities than is possible anywhere within the current youth estate. This is mirrored in the healthcare facilities which have been designed in collaboration with NHS England and are focused on provision of healthcare at least comparable to that offered in the community. In addition, the Secure College Pathfinder design will enable substantial access to outside space and a wide range of fitness and recreational facilities.

The Secure College Rules will set out the key parameters within which Secure Colleges will have to operate to ensure that young people are detained safely and securely, and that their educational and rehabilitative needs are addressed. These are important issues on which we are now seeking wider views.

The public consultation will be laid today and will run for six weeks, closing on 27 November 2014. Copies will be available in the Vote and Printed Paper Offices. It will also be published on the Department’s website: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/plans-for-secure-college-rules.”

National Insurance Contributions Bill


The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government is tabling amendments to the National Insurance Contributions Bill today ahead of Committee Stage of the Bill starting on 21 October 2014.

The amendments update the Bill to include the 2015-16 Class 2 National Insurance contributions rate and small profits threshold. The Share Fishermen’s rate of Class 2 contributions in the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 is also amended in line with Government policy announced in Budget

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2011. A minor technical amendment is also being made in relation to the application of the promoters of avoidance schemes legislation to National Insurance contributions.

Nuclear Powered Submarines


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): My hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Mr Philip Dunne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today that the Ministry of Defence’s Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) has published the final shortlist of candidate sites for the storage of Intermediate Level radioactive Waste removed from nuclear-powered submarines after they have left naval service and been defuelled. The storage will be for an interim period until the UK’s Geological Disposal Facility is available some time after 2040. I am also announcing that public consultation on the storage sites will begin on 14 November 2014.

The provisional shortlist I announced on 13 February 2014, (Official Report, column 71WS) was as follows: the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, which are owned by the MOD and run by AWE plc; Sellafield in Cumbria and Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire, which are owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; and Capenhurst in Cheshire, which is run by Capenhurst Nuclear Services.

We have now completed a period of pre-engagement with local authorities, elected representatives and established site stakeholder groups around each of the shortlisted sites. This provided these groups with an early opportunity to understand and comment on the criteria that should be considered during the main assessment of shortlisted sites. It is also helping to shape plans for the formal public consultation that we will carry out before any decisions are made.

The assessment process considers:

1. Whole life costs for each site.2. Operational effectiveness of the site.3. A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).4. The project schedule proposed by the site owner. 5. Other contributory factors such as anticipated public opinion, policy and planning in each area.

Today we have published the final shortlist of sites. This is unchanged from the provisional list. Our analysis has not presented any grounds for discounting any of the sites at this stage.

This final shortlist will be taken forward as the basis for detailed assessment including public consultation, which will be carried out locally around each candidate site, as well as nationally.

Public consultation will begin on 14 November 2014 and end on 20 February 2015. This will take the form of public meetings and engagement alongside a wealth of information being put into the public domain to aid stakeholder’s understanding of the project.

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Further information on the SDP can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/submarine-dismantling-project-interim-storage-of-intermediate-level-radioactive-waste.

Planning: Waste


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon): My right hon Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Eric Pickles) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is today publishing new planning policy and new planning practice guidance on waste. Both support the Government’s commitment to decentralise power to local people and give local people far more ability to shape the places in which they live. The new policy and guidance apply to England.

The new policy document streamlines previous waste planning policy, making it more accessible to local authorities, waste developers and local communities alike. It provides a clear framework to enable waste planning authorities to work collaboratively with their communities and consider, through their Local Plans, what sort of waste facilities are needed and where they should go, while also protecting the local environment and local amenity by preventing waste facilities being placed in inappropriate locations. It also takes into account changes to legislation, such as the removal through the Localism Act of the last administration’s unpopular and top-down Regional Strategies.

The policy replaces previous policy in Planning Policy Statement 10 as the national planning policy for waste in England, and will sit alongside other national planning policy for England set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The planning streamlined guidance to support the new policy replaces the Companion Guide to PPS10 published in 2006.

Taking into account responses received to the consultation announced on 29 July 2013, Official Report, House of Lords, Columns WS162-163, we have strengthened the policy to set out a positive policy framework for planning for waste, and its contribution to sustainable development objectives. We have also emphasised in policy the importance of early and meaningful engagement with local communities, alongside an expectation that waste planning authorities should work collaboratively with each other and their district authorities in managing waste needs, consistent with the statutory duty to co-operate.

Moreover, the new policy strengthens and underlines the Government’s commitment to protecting the Green Belt from development. We have emphasised the special protection given to the Green Belt, and made clear our expectation that when preparing Local Plans, waste planning authorities will work collaboratively with other planning authorities to first look for suitable sites and areas outside the Green Belt.  We have also removed reference in previous policy that waste planning authorities should give significant weight to locational

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need and wider environmental and economic benefits when considering waste planning applications in the Green Belt. 

This approach brings national waste planning policy into line with the National Planning Policy Framework, which makes clear that most types of new development should only be approved in the Green Belt in very special circumstances. This maintains and enhances the stringent protection against inappropriate development in the Green Belt. .

The waste policy is available on my Department’s website, with the response to the consultation.

The planning guidance is available on my Department’s planning guidance website at http://planning guidance.planningportal.gov.uk.

Copies of these documents have been placed in the Library of the House.

Shipping: Commissioners of Irish Lights


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Transport (John Hayes), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

The three general lighthouse authorities (GLAs) for the United Kingdom and Ireland provide an essential service for mariners through the deployment of coastal aids to navigation and the inspection of harbour lights. Their work is financed through light dues levied on ships using UK and Irish ports and paid into the General Lighthouse Fund (GLF). Since 2010 the UK Government has been committed to reducing this cost to the shipping industry in partnership with the GLAs.

Increasing collaborative working among the GLAs continues to bear fruit. They have recently awarded a £13m seven-year contract for the provision of helicopter services to cover all three GLAs. The new contract will commence in December 2015 and will deliver significant savings of around £7.9m to the GLF.

Tri-GLA operations are supported by the UK and Irish governments, but the shipping industry has expressed concern in recent years that the costs of the Commissioners of Irish Lights’ (CIL) operations in the Republic of Ireland should be met fully from Irish sources. In 2010, the two governments committed to a process of enabling CIL to increase its revenue from Irish sources with the expectation of achieving full self-financing of its activities in the Republic by 2015-16.

The agreement was subject to CIL’s pension liabilities being addressed. This criterion was met on 1 April 2014 when the pension schemes of all three GLAs were transferred to the UK’s Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (6 March 2014, columns 64WS-65WS). Furthermore, since the 2010 agreement, CIL has reduced its costs by an impressive 31%, while simultaneously increasing commercial income. Fully concluding the 2010 agreement now relies on increasing light dues income in Ireland.

To do this, the UK and Irish governments have agreed to ensure that ships pay light dues at the rate applicable at the first port where they become liable.

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Ships liable to pay the higher light dues rate in Ireland will have to do so and the option for ships which call in the UK and Ireland to buy multiple light dues certificates in advance will be withdrawn. As now, once ships have made a light dues payment, they will be exempt from further payments when calling at ports in both the UK and Ireland for the following month.

In addition, the Irish Government confirmed its continuing support for CIL by increasing its financial contribution. These arrangements are subject to a trial period of three years from April 2015 so that their cost-effectiveness and sustainability can be monitored. Any changes required after that period will maintain the principles of the 2010 agreement.

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of her TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 31 August 2014)


TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 31 August 2014)


TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period)


TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period)


TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period)


Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period)


Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period)


During the reporting period one TPIM notice that had been revoked in a previous quarter was revived upon the subject’s release from prison.

The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The TRG has convened once during this reporting period.

Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas


Baroness Northover (LD): My Rt Hon Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development (Lynne Featherstone) has made the following statement:

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I am pleased to take this opportunity to update the House on my work as ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas.

We enter the autumn after a summer of work that the UK can be proud of, continuing to take a leading role on tackling violence against women and girls; and working alongside all the tireless campaigners who have made this their lives’ work. We can be particularly proud of hosting two highly successful global summits: the ‘Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict’ summit in June (which I spoke about in my last written ministerial statement); and in July the ‘Girl Summit’ – focused on ending female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in a generation. We secured 170 commitments to action, and 475 signatories to the Girl Summit Charter.

In 2012, DFID committed to scaling up our programming to tackle violence against women and girls. Following a comprehensive review of DFID’s progress, I am delighted to announce some really encouraging results. Over the past two years, we have had an estimated 63% increase in the amount of DFID programmes that include an element to tackle violence against women and girls. This equates to 54 new programmes, such as working with communities to stop FGM in Sudan and supporting survivors of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan.

Despite significant progress, girls and women around the world remain particularly vulnerable when conflict erupts or disaster strikes. Since my previous ministerial statement in July 2014, we have been closely following the reports of sexual violence, forced marriage and other atrocities carried out by ISIL. The UK government is working closely with humanitarian partners to support victims of sexual violence in Iraq and to understand the scale and patterns of violence so we can channel additional assistance where it is needed most. We continue to challenge the international community to do more to address sexual and gender based violence in emergencies, most recently at the Call to Action event at the United Nations General Assembly where the Secretary of State called for increased efforts to protect vulnerable women and girls in the face of today’s unprecedented humanitarian needs.

However, violence against women and girls does not just take place in humanitarian emergencies. I am continuing to push for as much progress as possible towards our goal of ending all forms of violence overseas and ending FGM in all contexts within a generation. I was delighted that this campaign led to FGM being given the level of international attention it deserves at the Girl Summit this summer. On 10 October, we launched the global social change campaign: Girl Generation. This will build momentum to end FGM in a generation and unify all those working on this important agenda across the globe. Launches took place in east and west Africa (Kenya and The Gambia) as well as the Southbank Centre in London. We have committed £31 million to the Global Girls Research Initiative to generate new evidence on issues such as how best to address harmful social norms like child marriage. The Secretary of State also announced up to £25 million for a new UN multi-country programme in 12 countries to end CEFM.

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I take this opportunity to note progress on another of my ministerial priorities: access to clean energy for girls and women. Women and girls are often put in danger as they collect firewood for their family’s cooking needs, and the World Health Organisation estimates that 4.3 million people die each year from cooking with inefficient fuels on smoky stoves. In November, I will be co-hosting the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Future Summit with Hillary Clinton, to bring together the international community to mobilise action to tackle this problem. Studies have shown that most sexual violence among displaced people occurs when women and girls leave camps to collect firewood. I am committed to bringing about meaningful change on this issue – improving the health and safety of girls and women, and their economic opportunities, through clean, affordable and modern energy.

I visited South Sudan early last month, to meet with NGOs working with girls and women who have experienced violence and see the living conditions of internally displaced people. I was impressed by how the NGOs are tackling violence, and how DFID South Sudan is already responding. I also met with key partners to discuss what more we can do to unblock constraints on humanitarian aid. I announced an additional £30 million to support life-saving assistance, including to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

My trip to South Sudan was the first of several visits I am making to countries over the next six months to drive forward our commitments on FGM, CEFM, sexual violence and intimate partner violence. I will also be using these visits to hold governments, multilateral organisations and others to account for the commitments they have made to tackle violence against women and girls. My mission is to break the silence that is pervasive around these issues and champion work to stop violence before it starts – as well as crucial work supporting survivors of violence.

Over the coming months, I will also be working with key partners across the international community, such as the EU and World Bank, to increase their focus on and resources for these issues. My goal is to ensure that the elimination of VAWG in all its forms is considered to be a core part of all development and humanitarian work.

Voluntary and Community Sector: Grants


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): My honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, (Edward Timpson MP) made the following announcement:

I am pleased to announce, together with my colleague Sam Gyimah, Minister responsible for early education and childcare, that today we have published a National Prospectus setting out the key activities we wish to fund at a national level through organisations working with children and their families.

We will invest up to £25m in 2015-16 for grants awarded through the National Prospectus programme. This investment matches the funding provided through

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the Prospectus in 2014-15. It shows, in these tough financial times, the value we place on the good work many organisations have done as a result of the prospectus funding programme. This is work which we hope will continue to improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children.

As in previous years the funding awarded through the Prospectus is part of a bigger funding picture. The Prospectus therefore refers to a number of additional services and activities that we will procure outside the £25 million Prospectus funding.

For the first time we have separately identified mental health as a theme in the Prospectus in recognition of the significant role improvements in this area have in supporting better outcomes for children and young people. The focus in the prospectus seeks to build on the work already underway through the special educational needs reforms and the Department of Health Task Force.

This year we have also decided to include within the Prospectus a theme on online and telephone advice and support for families. Support for families is a cross Government matter, with the Department for Work and Pensions taking a lead, but we have a strong interest in ensuring that parents can access information and services that will benefit their children, particularly where those children and families are vulnerable.

We hope to receive bids that can make a real difference to children and their families. We want to be able to use this work to inform and guide national policy under the following seven themes.

• Theme One: Support the delivery of reform priorities around choice, quality and affordability in early education and childcare. • Theme Two: Support the delivery of special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms,

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specialist advice and support for specific SEND and encouraging innovative approaches to filling gaps in the market and the SEND reforms.• Theme Three: Improve the identification of children’s mental health issues, their prevention, and the better commissioning of support and collaboration between agencies and services. • Theme Four: Improve the early help provided to children with additional support needs; protect and support children at risk of harm including at risk through bullying. • Theme Five: Drive change in the care system to raise expectations and outcomes for children in care and care leavers.• Theme Six: Continue to improve the adoption system and ensure reforms are sustained, particularly through improvements to matching, post adoption support, services for prospective adopters, support and challenge to the workforce, and strengthening parental voice.• Theme Seven: Improve advice and support to families to promote resilience, support early intervention and to improve engagement with statutory services.

We are inviting applications from voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises and other organisations bidding on a “not for profit” basis. Funding will be available for one year from 1 April 2015. The grants programme application process opens today, and bids must be received by noon on 21 November 2014. The National Prospectus and accompanying application form set out the details of the bidding process.

A copy of the National Prospectus has been placed in the House Libraries.