Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2015-16 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Ian Lavery
(Wansbeck)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders: North East
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners released from prison in (a) Wansbeck constituency and (b) the North East have reoffended in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The requested information is not available by constituency.

Data for the North East for 2014 is available.gov.uk. Data for 2015 and 2016 will be available in October 2017 and October 2018 respectively.

Q
Asked by Ian Lavery
(Wansbeck)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Per Capita Costs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average cost per prisoner is.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) routinely publishes average costs per prisoner and prison place based on actual net resource expenditure for each private and public sector prison and in summary form for the whole of the prison estate in England and Wales on an annual basis after the end of each financial year. This information is available on gov.uk.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Community Rehabilitation Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average amount paid to community rehabilitation companies is in (a) Wales and (b) England for the supervision of an offender on a 12-month order.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

Contractual prices specific to each Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) are commercially sensitive. All CRCs are paid on the basis of volumes of offenders entering the system, reducing reoffending and services provided for offenders not allocated to them. The payment mechanism can be found in schedule 11 of their contracts with the Ministry of Justice, which are published on the contracts finder section of gov.uk.

We are carrying out a comprehensive review of our probation reforms, including how we pay CRCs, to look at how we can improve upon the delivery of the service and improve outcomes for offenders and communities. We want to incentivise good resettlement outcomes to cut crime and protect the public.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Rehabilitation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for the latest year available, how many offenders supervised by the Community Rehabilitation Company in Wales missed (a) two, (b) three, (c) four, (d) five and (e) six or more appointments; and in how many cases in each categories the offenders were arrested and taken back to court.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

This information requested is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 58885
Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Rehabilitation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders supervised by the Community Rehabilitation Company in Wales missed two or more appointments without good reason in 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

This information requested is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 58884
Q
Asked by Ian Lavery
(Wansbeck)
Asked on: 06 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Personal Independence Payment: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many unsuccessful applications for personal independence payments were appealed in 2016; and what proportion of those appeals were (a) ruled in favour of the appellant and (b) upheld by the tribunal.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 23 January 2017

This information requested is not held centrally. Published national statistics on the Personal Independence Payment is available on gov.uk.

Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she has taken to implement the IMB Annual Reports on prisons in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

All Independent Monitoring Board annual reports for prisons are responded to by Ministers. Those responses set out what has or will be done to address issues identified by Boards. I wrote to the Chair of the Birmingham Board on 28 November 2016 in response to the concerns raised in their report.

The long-standing challenges in our prison estate cannot be fixed overnight but the Justice Secretary and I are absolutely committed to making prisons places of safety and reform. We already embarking on a major recruitment drive to boost the frontline with 2,500 extra prison officers and are putting in place new security measures to tackle drones, phones and drugs, which undermine safety.

Grouped Questions: 59015
Q
(Birmingham, Ladywood)
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Birmingham Prison
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she has taken to implement the most recent IMB Annual Report on HM Prison Birmingham.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

All Independent Monitoring Board annual reports for prisons are responded to by Ministers. Those responses set out what has or will be done to address issues identified by Boards. I wrote to the Chair of the Birmingham Board on 28 November 2016 in response to the concerns raised in their report.

The long-standing challenges in our prison estate cannot be fixed overnight but the Justice Secretary and I are absolutely committed to making prisons places of safety and reform. We already embarking on a major recruitment drive to boost the frontline with 2,500 extra prison officers and are putting in place new security measures to tackle drones, phones and drugs, which undermine safety.

Grouped Questions: 59018
Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Community Rehabilitation Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2016 to Question 54906, whether payments to a community rehabilitation company are reduced when an offender is returned to court having (a) committed a further offence or (b) failed to comply with a community order.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The number of offenders who have had their Community Order or Suspended Sentence Order revoked as a result of failure to comply or committing a further offence is monitored under the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) contract. Underperformance against this measure can result in a Service Credit being applied. As detailed in the response to Question 54906, if a CRC fails to meet the required performance measure, we can require the CRC to pay a Service Credit to recompense for the minimum level of loss or damage as a result of a reduced provision of services. The application of Service Credits is a standard part of our contract management process.

In addition, orders revoked as a result of reoffending may impact payments under contracted Payment by Results incentives.

Q
(South Down)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Human Rights Act 1998
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of repeal or reform of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the Belfast Agreement.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The Government is committed to honouring the Belfast Agreement, and we shall ensure our proposals for a Bill of Rights are compatible with it.

Q
(Camberwell and Peckham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Family Courts: Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases in the family courts involved domestic violence in each year from 2010 to 2016.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The information requested is not held centrally.

We are determined to improve the family justice response to vulnerable witnesses and victims of domestic abuse in particular. Family judges have a range of powers to make sure difficult courtroom situations are handled sensitively for vulnerable witnesses and we continue to work with the judiciary to consider what additional protections may be necessary.

We are particularly concerned about the fact that unrepresented alleged perpetrators of abuse can directly cross-examine their alleged victims in family proceedings. The Lord Chancellor is urgently considering how to put an end to this practice.

Q
(Camberwell and Peckham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Courts: Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent perpetrators of domestic violence from cross-examining in person the victims of that domestic violence and to ensure that contact between those perpetrators and those victims is prevented while they are within court buildings.
A
Answered by: Sir Oliver Heald
Answered on: 23 January 2017

We are determined to improve the family justice response to vulnerable witnesses, and victims of domestic abuse in particular.

Family judges have a range of powers to make sure difficult courtroom situations are handled sensitively for vulnerable witnesses, and we continue to work with the judiciary to consider what additional protections may be necessary.

We are particularly concerned about the fact that unrepresented alleged perpetrators of abuse can directly cross-examine their alleged victims in family proceedings. The Lord Chancellor is urgently considering how to put an end to this practice.

Q
Asked by Callum McCaig
(Aberdeen South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 12 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the level of investment in renewable energy generation in the UK was in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 23 January 2017

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Clean Energy Investment Fact Pack shows investment in UK renewable energy generation as follows:

UK Investment £bn

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

6.7

8.8

9.8

15.6

15.6

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (Jan 2017)

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Telephone Services
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to introduce 0800 and other free numbers for public helpline services to government departments and agencies; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Ben Gummer
Answered on: 23 January 2017

In October 2015 the Government published guidance on department’s use of telephone prefixes and free numbers which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/470411/20151006_Customer_phone_lines_draft_guidance_October_2015.pdf

Departments are responsible and accountable for their choice of number prefix, supported by an appropriate numbering policy position. Where appropriate, departments must justify exceptions to the guidance.

Q
(Hitchin and Harpenden)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Friends of the Earth: Leaflets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will ask the Charities Commission to investigate the implications for the charitable status of Friends of the Earth of the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority on Friends of the Earth's fund-raising leaflets.
A
Answered by: Mr Rob Wilson
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The Charity Commission is the independent regulator and registrar of charities in England and Wales. It is a non-ministerial department and is independent of government and the sector it regulates.

I understand from the Commission that it has received a complaint regarding the Friends of the Earth Trust Limited and is currently engaging with the charity. It is assessing the information provided to determine whether there are any regulatory concerns.

Q
(Totnes)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Cabinet Office
Mortality Rates
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of trends in death rates for people aged 75 and over in each of the last five years; and what steps his Department has taken to investigate the reasons for any change in such death rates.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Letter to Member - Life Expectancy (PDF Document, 133.95 KB)
Q
(Totnes)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Cabinet Office
Life Expectancy
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the change to the life expectancy of (a) men and (b) women at age (i) 75 and (ii) 85 in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Letter to Member - Life Expectancy (PDF Document, 236.73 KB)
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the future of the single energy market on the island of Ireland.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The Department recognises the unique issues raised by the Single Electricity Market on the island of Ireland, and is committed to continue working with the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and with the EU to make sure that Northern Ireland continues to have access to an affordable, secure and sustainable supply of energy for business and domestic use.

Q
Asked by Glyn Davies
(Montgomeryshire)
Asked on: 13 January 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power: Subsidies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether any of the applicants for developing onshore wind farms have been informed that subsidy will be available to developments not beginning production until after March 2017.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The Renewables Obligation (RO) support scheme closed early to new onshore wind capacity in Great Britain after 12 May 2016, with limited grace periods allowing projects meeting certain criteria to gain accreditation up to 31 January 2019. The early closure and grace periods were brought into effect by the Energy Act 2016 and the rules are explained in guidance available on Ofgem’s website.[1] When developers apply for support under the RO scheme, Ofgem assesses their application in line with the relevant legislation and informs them if their station meets the criteria for accreditation (including the conditions for any relevant grace period).

Support for onshore wind installations of up to 5 MW total installed capacity is available through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

[1] Available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2016/10/renewables_obligation_-_closure_of_the_scheme_to_onshore_wind_england_wales_and_scotland.pdf

Q
(Tynemouth)
Asked on: 16 January 2017
Department for Education
Pupil Exclusions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will take steps to provide information on how many pupils were excluded from (a) community schools, (b) foundation schools, (c) free schools, (d) academies and (e) grammar schools in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Edward Timpson
Answered on: 23 January 2017

The department has published information on the numbers of exclusions by detailed school type including maintained schools, academies, and free schools for 2012/13 to 2014/15, but not for community schools and foundation schools. These can be found in the underlying data of ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England: 2014 to 2015’1 and are reproduced in the accompanying table.

Exclusions figures for grammar schools are not published and are also included in the attached table.

Exclusions figures for grammar schools (Excel SpreadSheet, 19.71 KB)
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