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
(Newcastle upon Tyne North)
[N]
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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: 06 January 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Council Housing: Older People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what safeguards he plans to put in place to prevent older people from having to relocate at the end of a fixed-term local authority tenancy.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 21 February 2017

I refer the hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 58708.

Q
(Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Asked on: 30 January 2017
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2016 to Question 41410, when his Department last carried out an assessment of (a) whether the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen were targeting civilians and (b) that coalition's level of respect for and compliance with international humanitarian law; and if he will place in the Library copies of documentation used in such assessments.
A
Answered by: Sir Michael Fallon
Answered on: 21 February 2017
Holding answer received on 07 February 2017

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) analyses allegations of International Humanitarian Law violations arising from air strikes in Yemen conducted by the Saudi-led Coalition. The MOD has not assessed that the Coalition is deliberately targeting civilians.

Q
(Bristol North West)
Asked on: 30 January 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of proposals by the Anti-Slavery Commissioners to establish a central repository for modern slavery statements; and if she will make a statement.
A
Corrected answer by: Sarah Newton
Corrected on: 21 February 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 02 February 2017.
The correct answer should have been:

We have not received a proposal from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner regarding the establishment of a central repository for modern slavery statements. We have not endorsed a particular repository for such statements. So far, two repository websites have been set up to collect the ‘slavery and human trafficking statements’ published by businesses in one place. These are being run by Unseen and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. These are being run by Semantrica and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 02 February 2017

We have not received a proposal from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner regarding the establishment of a central repository for modern slavery statements. We have not endorsed a particular repository for such statements. So far, two repository websites have been set up to collect the ‘slavery and human trafficking statements’ published by businesses in one place. These are being run by Unseen and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. These are being run by Semantrica and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

Asked on: 06 February 2017
Home Office
Asylum: North Korea
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any children born to one North Korean parent in China, who have not acquired citizenship of either the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, or the People’s Republic of China, have claimed asylum in the United Kingdom; and if so, whether they have been granted refugee status.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Information on claims and decisions is published as part of the Government’s Immigration Statistics quarterly release.

The relevant data tables can be found in tabs AS_01 and AS_01_q at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/572374/asylum1-q3-2016-tables.ods

The tables are also attached to this answer.

Data Tables (Excel SpreadSheet, 3.06 MB)
Asked on: 06 February 2017
Home Office
Asylum: North Korea
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many individuals born in North Korea who have sought asylum in the United Kingdom have been deported since the United Kingdom–Republic of Korea Readmission Agreement came into force.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Information on removals is published as part of the Government’s Immigration Statistics quarterly release.

These can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/572383/returns5-q3-2016-tables.ods

The table is also attached to this answer.

Asylum Data Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 3.49 MB)
Q
[I]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that the member concerned has a relevant registered interest.

Asked on: 06 February 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Balkans: Conflict, Stability and Security Fund
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what projects have been funded in the Balkans through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund over the last 24 months; what is the breakdown of the funding for each of the countries for which the funding was made available; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the funding provided.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Details of CSSF funded projects by country for FY 15/16 and 16/17 are shown below. Illustrative outcomes achieved so far include: A reduction in the impact of fiscal crime and improvements in regional law enforcement cooperation, improvement of legislation to ensure fair treatment for the survivors of wartime sexual violence, and improvements in transparency and professionalism in the public sector to help tackle corruption and patronage.

Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH)

Peacekeeping/Conflict Deterrence: Support to European Union Force Althea (EUFOR) in BiH

Security Sector Reform: Capacity building support to BiH's Armed Forces to meet NATO-required standards; improve coordination of law enforcement agencies

Reconciliation: Support to improve access to justice, non-discrimination and equality for survivors of wartime Sexual and Gender Based Victims

Governance: Support to the EU Special Representative's Office; capacity building to support socio-economic reform and development of economic and employment opportunities; promote anti-corruption measures to improve transparency and effective public financial management; support political reform; build future leader network; promote good governance

Rule of Law: Capacity building to improve governance, transparency and judicial reform; support for criminal justice reform.

FY15/16 Funding: £2,505,174 FY16/17 Funding: £8,421,421

Kosovo

Peacekeeping/Conflict Deterrence: Support to NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR)

Security Sector Reform: Capacity building support to defence ministries to meet NATO-required standards

Reconciliation: Supporting cross-border dialogue, economic cooperation and normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia; promote social cohesion, political and ethnic reconciliation; support return and reintegration of minority communities and their rights; support to victims of sexual violence during conflict

Governance: Support to EU Special Representative's Office; capacity building to promote economic development; build future leader network ; strengthen political accountability, democratic institutions, media freedom; promote civic activism

Rule of Law: Support to EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX); enhance capacity and transparency of legal and judicial system; support to combat illegal migration; introduce anti-corruption measures

FY15/16 Funding: £3,616,953 FY16/17 Funding: £2,883,034

Macedonia

Security Sector Reform: Capacity building support to Macedonia's Armed Forces to meet NATO-required standards; promote intelligence reform

Reconciliation: Support and promote inter-ethnic community relations and activity

Governance: Enhance media and civil society freedom; improve transparency and effective public financial management; strengthen democratic accountability and civic engagement; support socio-economic development

Rule of Law: Promote judicial reform; enhance civil society monitoring and engagement on state oversight and regulatory bodies; strengthen rule of law policies

FY15/16 Funding: £835,121 FY16/17 Funding: £1,162,345

Serbia

Security Sector Reform: Capacity building support to Serbia's Armed Forces

Rule of law: Capacity building support to Serbia's response to the migration crisis, and combating illegal migration

Governance: Promote good governance and accountability; promote economic development and improvement to business environment; promote public administration reform

Reconciliation: Strengthening ability of the state to handle legacy issues

FY 15/16 Funding: £615,995 FY16/17 Funding: £4,441,000

Cross Region

Countering organised crime, fiscal crime, CT/extremism and illegal migration: Technical assistance, strengthening expertise, and equipment provision to law enforcement agencies; understanding threat posed by violent extremism and radicalisation

FY15/16 Funding: £599,588 FY16/17 Funding: £2,214,106

Asked on: 06 February 2017
Cabinet Office
Charities: Grants
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 30 January concerning government and NHS donations to charities (HL4976), whether they will now arrange for each government department and NHS Trust to publish details of donations to charities during the period 2010–15.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The cabinet office has no plans to arrange for the collation or publication of these details.

Q
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
[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: 06 February 2017
Home Office
Migrant Workers: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) certificates of sponsorship and (b) extensions of stay were issued for people working for Scottish employers for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas, by industry, in each year from 2011 to 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Published information/data relating to the issuance of Certificates of Sponsorship can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2016-data-tables

Q
Asked by Lord Cashman
Asked on: 07 February 2017
Home Office
Homosexuality
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks of Baroness Williams of Trafford on 12 December 2016 (HL Deb, col 1021), what progress they have made in giving consideration to including additional offences in Chapter 4 of Part 5 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and which specific offences they have identified as appropriate for inclusion.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The provisions enabling the Secretary of State to extend, by regulations, the list of offences eligible for a disregard under the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, will come into force two months after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent. This happened on 31 January 2017. The Government will work with stakeholders to identify what offences might be appropriately added to that list.

Q
Asked by Lord Empey
Asked on: 07 February 2017
HM Treasury
Public Expenditure: Northern Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have recovered unspent financial allocations to the Northern Ireland Executive in (1) the current financial year, (2) the financial year 2014–15, and (3) the financial year 2015–16; how much was recovered in each year; what was the purpose for which those sums were originally granted; and what were the dates on which they were granted.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The Northern Ireland Executive’s block grant is not hypothecated for spending on specific purposes. In common with the other devolved administrations, it may carry over unspent provision from one year to the next under the Budget Exchange system, described in section 7 of the Treasury’s ‘Statement of Funding Policy’.

The current ceilings for Budget Exchange are 0.6% Resource DEL, 1.5% General Capital DEL and 15% Financial Transactions Capital DEL. No funding in these categories was surrendered to the Treasury in 2014-15 or 2015-16 as unspent provision was within these limits. Underspends for 2016-17 will be calculated after the end of the financial year.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
HM Treasury
Fracking
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish the outcome of the consultation on the delivery methods and priorities for the Shale Wealth Fund.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The Shale Wealth Fund consultation resulted in 170 responses and closed on 26 October. Following this the government set out at Autumn Statement 2016 that local communities will benefit first and determine how the money is spent in their area. A government response to the consultation will be published shortly.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Home Office
Peers: Correspondence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Home Secretary intends to reply to Lord Lamont's letter of 16 November 2016 about Mr Amini and his request for a visa to come to the UK.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your correspondence of 16 November 2016 to the Home Secretary. This was passed to me for response and a reply was sent on 10 February 2017.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU Law
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks in the White Paper The United Kingdom's exit from and new partnership with the European Union, how the Great Repeal Bill will ensure that legislatures and Courts in the UK will be the final decision-makers in respect of UK cases.
A
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The Government will bring forward legislation in the next session that, when enacted, will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and ensure a functioning statute book on the day we leave the EU. This ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will end the authority of EU law and return power to the UK.

The Prime Minister has been clear that we will take back control of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UK.

O​ur laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast and those laws will be interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg but in courts across this country.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Ministry of Justice
European Convention on Human Rights
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to continue to honour the UK's commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights and to give effect to internationally binding judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in UK cases.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The Government has no plans to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. As a nation we continue to comply with our international human rights obligations.

Q
Asked by Lord Tebbit
Asked on: 07 February 2017
Home Office
Firearms and Unmanned Air Vehicles
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of whether the differences in the legal constraints placed upon ownership and use of (1) shotguns, and (2) drones available to the public, are proportional to the risks posed to the public and property by each of those devices.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The shotgun licensing process is governed by the Firearms Act 1968. Under section 28 of the Firearms Act, the chief officer of police will only grant a shotgun certificate to individuals who, after investigation, are deemed not to pose a threat to public safety or to the peace.

Extensive checks are carried out on every applicant for a shotgun certificate, and are taken into account by the chief officer in their assessment of suitability. In respect of drones available to the public, it is vital that drones are operated safely and responsibly, and the use of drones for criminal purposes is something Government takes very seriously.

The Government is currently consulting on the future safe use of drones, including proposals such as registration and making drones electronically identifiable and strengthening penalties for breaking the law. The consultation can be found on gov.uk and closes on 15 March 2017.

Asked on: 07 February 2017
Home Office
Madeleine McCann
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the total cost to date of Operation Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and whether any resources have been allocated to it for the financial year 2017–18.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The total cost of Operation Grange since 2011, up until end of January 2017, is £11.05m.

We have already provided the Metropolitan Police Service with the funding required for Operation Grange to continue until at least the end of the 2016/17 financial year. The resources required will be reviewed again at this point.

Q
(East Yorkshire)
[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: 07 February 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Badgers: Bovine Tuberculosis
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the badger vaccination programme in Ireland, what plans she has to introduce trials of oral bacillus calmette-guerin badger vaccinations in the UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 21 February 2017

We work in partnership with the Irish and French governments, as well as the devolved administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland, on the development of an oral bovine TB vaccine for badgers.

Asked on: 08 February 2017
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will continue to implement section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, relating to unaccompanied refugee children, beyond the end of March into the next financial year.
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Under the Immigration Act we made a commitment to transfer a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children to the UK, following consultation with local authorities on capacity.

On 8 February, the Government announced that we will transfer the specified number of 350 children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act. This includes the more than 200 children already transferred from France as part of the UK’s support for the Calais camp clearance.

We will announce in due course the basis on which further children will be transferred from Europe to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act to the specified number.

Q
Asked on: 08 February 2017
Department for Education
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the recently published Ofsted inspection framework does not make any reference to the role of parents and families in developing the personal, social and health education of children and in preparing those children for carrying out a role as parents in the future.
A
Answered by: Lord Nash
Answered on: 21 February 2017

The purpose of Ofsted school inspection is to assess the quality of education provided by the school for its pupils. This includes reporting on how well the school’s provision supports pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. In addition, Ofsted’s school inspection handbook does require inspectors to consider how well leaders and governors engage with parents, carers and others in supporting pupils.

Asked on: 08 February 2017
Department of Health
Abortion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of women who travelled from (a) the Republic of Ireland, and (b) Northern Ireland, to the rest of the UK to obtain legal abortions in the latest year for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 21 February 2017

Summary information from the abortion notification forms returned to the Chief Medical Officers of England and Wales shows that 3,451 women from the Republic of Ireland and 833 women from Northern Ireland had a legal abortion in England and Wales in 2015. The Department does not collect data on abortions in Scotland.

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