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 2017-19 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
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will examine the reasons for the number of asylum applications which are overturned on appeal; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 January 2018

UK Visas and Immigration reviews all asylum appeals allowed by the Tribunal and is committed to using this information to continue to improve performance.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on young autistic adults in further education of the implementation of universal credit.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The Department continues to evaluate Universal Credit as it is delivered.

The Universal Credit Evaluation is a comprehensive and multi-dimensional programme of analysis designed to assess the economic, social and behavioural impacts of the Universal Credit experience. Research and analysis is conducted to provide continuous tracking and inform the evaluation and expansion of Universal Credit, focusing specifically on the effects of Universal Credit on all claimants’ behaviours and outcomes.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 118830, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the Single European Market on the ability of UK touring musicians to tour the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 January 2018

We are working closely with the music industry to better understand the potential impacts for UK touring musicians after the UK leaves the European Union.

The department is also working closely with the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure that they are informed of our understanding of these issues.

We want to continue to build on the success of the live music scene by helping artists do business across the world.

Grouped Questions: 121658
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 118830, on Musicians: Free Movement of People, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of leaving the Customs Union on the ability of UK touring musicians to tour the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 January 2018

We are working closely with the music industry to better understand the potential impacts for UK touring musicians after the UK leaves the European Union.

The department is also working closely with the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure that they are informed of our understanding of these issues.

We want to continue to build on the success of the live music scene by helping artists do business across the world.

Grouped Questions: 121657
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the likely effects of introducing warnings on alcoholic products at the point of sale on a link between alcohol and cancer and other health matters.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 17 January 2018

Public Health England’s evidence review on the public health burden of alcohol found that alcohol health warning labels on alcoholic products can raise awareness of the messages they contain. However, the evidence review did not identify any studies which considered the specific impact of warnings at the point of sale on the link between alcohol and cancer and other health harms. The review is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-public-health-burden-of-alcohol-evidence-review

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Clinical Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will consider the merits of introducing a national audit system for clinical trials; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 17 January 2018

All clinical trials of investigational medicinal products in the European Union are registered and information on the trial and a summary of results is made public in the EU clinical trials register, except for adult phase 1 trials which are considered commercially confidential.

Good clinical practice (GCP) is a set of internationally-recognised ethical and scientific quality requirements that must be followed when designing, conducting, recording and reporting clinical trials that involve people. To ensure compliance with GCP, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency carries out inspections in the United Kingdom of organisations that are involved in clinical trials.

The Government’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which is the country’s largest public funder of health research and trials, has implemented a number of initiatives on publication of research results. The NIHR is the world’s first health research funder to publish comprehensive accounts of its commissioned research within its own publicly and permanently available journal series. The NIHR Journals Library comprises a suite of five open access peer-reviewed journals reporting results from a range of health research areas. The reports provide a full account of the research project, including methods and a full description of the results, and complement shorter articles submitted for publication in other peer-review journals, which the NIHR actively encourages researchers to do as part of their dissemination strategy. In addition – contracts for NIHR funding include requirements on publication of the results from NIHR funded and supported research.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has plans to allow online applications for universal credit to be made without having to provide bank details.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 16 January 2018

People can already claim Universal Credit online without a bank account and instructions are provided on the bank account page itself.

Claimants can also use their relatives’ and appointees’ bank accounts in the short term. However, we would always recommend that claimants have and use their own bank accounts.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to add newly recognised refugees to the list of groups exempt from the seven day waiting period for universal credit.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 16 January 2018

From February 2018, newly recognised refugees, like all other claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the first day they claim it (subject to satisfying the conditions of entitlement), removing the seven days some households currently have to wait. The most vulnerable refugees such as those with serious illnesses are already exempt.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
English Language: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to publish a strategy for English as a Second Language provision in England.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 16 January 2018

The manifesto committed the Government to bring forward a new integration strategy, which will include proposals to teach more people to speak English. We are working closely with other government Departments, including the Department for Education, in preparing the integration strategy, which we will publish for consultation shortly.

Grouped Questions: 121784
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department provides to refugees to find employment; and if he will make it his Department’s policy to work with local authorities to increase such support.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Jobcentre Plus work coaches provide tailored support to claimants with complex needs, including refugees, to help them find employment. Refugees will have early access to the Work and Health Programme which will help people who face additional barriers find work. Partnership managers work with a range of stakeholders, including local authorities, to establish what support is available locally, to encourage partnership working and to ensure claimants are signposted appropriately.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance her Department provides to schools to support refugee and asylum seeker children.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 16 January 2018

The department does not currently provide schools with specific guidance on how to support refugee and asylum seeker children. Our policy position is that schools will take responsibility for ensuring that all of their pupils, regardless of their background, are engaged, challenged and attain to the best of their abilities. As such, it is for head teachers to determine how to deploy the school’s resources to best effect in meeting the particular needs of their pupils – including those who have refugee or asylum seeker status. Schools have flexibility over how they use their funding to support such pupils – including, where relevant, funding that is allocated for pupils for whom English is an additional language, and for those from financially deprived backgrounds.

If unaccompanied, asylum seeking children become looked-after by a local authority. The government is committed to ensuring that looked-after children, including those seeking asylum, are supported to succeed in education. Statutory guidance on ‘Promoting the Education of Looked-After Children’ and ‘The Roles and Responsibilities of Designated Teachers’ is available to support local authorities and schools in doing this. Revised versions of both documents, updated to include information on unaccompanied asylum seeking children, are due to be published on GOV.UK shortly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of removing legal aid from refugee family reunion cases on those refugees seeking family reunion; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Legal aid for family reunion cases may be available through the Exceptional Case Funding Scheme (ECF), subject to the statutory means and merits tests, where failure to provide legal aid would breach rights under the European Convention on Human Rights or EU law.

Changes to the availability of legal aid for civil legal cases were made in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). As part of the pre-legislative consultation process which preceded the passage of LASPO, the Government produced an impact and equality assessment which included the changes to the scope of civil legal cases.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications for exceptional case funding for refugee family reunion applications under part 11 of the Immigration Rules have been (a) received and (b) accepted in each financial year since 1 April 2013.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 January 2018
Holding answer received on 11 January 2018

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentres: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to provide training to JobCentre staff to support refugees.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Jobcentre Plus staff are trained to consider a person's circumstances and to tailor support according to their individual needs. Staff complete claimant awareness training that covers a wide range of claimant circumstances including refugees. Staff also have access to information on services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants including refugees.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on ensuring that newly recognised refugees receive the first payment of universal credit within 28 days of their application.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 January 2018

DWP and the Home Office have recently introduced a supported handover process to assist newly recognised refugees needing assistance to claim benefits. This enables those participating in the process to access benefits by the end of the 28 day move on period, either through their claim to legacy benefits being processed by day 28, or through the offer of an advance payment of benefit that is made at their work-focused interview if they are being considered for Universal Credit. New claimants can already receive an advance of up to 50% of their estimated entitlement and this will increase to 100% later this month. Their repayment period may also move from six months to 12 months accordingly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: DNA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to reinstate Government funding for DNA testing when it is required for asylum applications.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum claimants and their dependants are not required to provide DNA evidence to support an asylum claim lodged in the UK.

Those applying for refugee family reunion are not required to provide DNA evidence to prove their family relationship and can rely on other evidence to support their application. Our guidance on considering family reunion applications highlights the challenges that applicants may face in obtaining documents to support their application and makes clear the types of evidence that can be provided. This is available on Gov.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-reunion-instruction.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Sponsorship
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to amend immigration legislation to allow adult refugees in the UK to sponsor any dependent relative.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

We already have a comprehensive framework for refugees and their families to be safely reunited in the UK. Our refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of those granted protection in the UK to reunite with them here. The family provisions in the immigration rules provide for relatives with protection in the UK to sponsor children when there are serious and compelling circumstances.

Our policy is also clear that where an application fails under the rules, we will consider whether there are exceptional reasons to grant leave outside the rules. In addition, refugees with family members in the UK may be eligible for resettlement under the Mandate and Gateway Scheme.

Our family reunion policy is designed to provide a safe and legal route for close, dependent family members to join their refugee family in the UK. This avoids the need for family members to make dangerous journeys in order to seek protection.

Grouped Questions: 121572
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Sponsorship
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to amend the immigration legislation to allow unaccompanied child refugees in the UK to sponsor their parents and siblings.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

We already have a comprehensive framework for refugees and their families to be safely reunited in the UK. Our refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of those granted protection in the UK to reunite with them here. The family provisions in the immigration rules provide for relatives with protection in the UK to sponsor children when there are serious and compelling circumstances.

Our policy is also clear that where an application fails under the rules, we will consider whether there are exceptional reasons to grant leave outside the rules. In addition, refugees with family members in the UK may be eligible for resettlement under the Mandate and Gateway Scheme.

Our family reunion policy is designed to provide a safe and legal route for close, dependent family members to join their refugee family in the UK. This avoids the need for family members to make dangerous journeys in order to seek protection.

Grouped Questions: 121571
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allow asylum seekers to work while awaiting a decision on their application for refugee status.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK unless their claim has been outstanding for at least 12 months through no fault of their own. Those who are allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. This policy is designed to protect the resident labour market so that access to employment is prioritised for British citizens and lawful residents, including those granted refugees status. We have no plans to change this policy.

Asylum seekers do not need to work whilst their claim is considered – they are provided with accommodation and support to meet their essential living needs if they would otherwise be destitute.

Grouped Questions: 121582
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will remove the limitation that asylum seekers are only able to work in jobs on the shortage occupation list, when granted permission to work.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK unless their claim has been outstanding for at least 12 months through no fault of their own. Those who are allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. This policy is designed to protect the resident labour market so that access to employment is prioritised for British citizens and lawful residents, including those granted refugees status. We have no plans to change this policy.

Asylum seekers do not need to work whilst their claim is considered – they are provided with accommodation and support to meet their essential living needs if they would otherwise be destitute.

Grouped Questions: 121578
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Tribunals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much public money has been spent on tribunals relating to Personal Independence Payments in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 15 January 2018

As per the answer to PQs 107049 and 109256, the information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 09 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the reasons for the rise in the number of asylum applications in the last 12 momths that have failed to receive a decision within six months.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

The Home Office has, for 39 months, met its Service Standard to make decisions on 98% of straight forward asylum claims within six months.

Notwithstanding this, we are aware that the number of older cases awaiting decision is increasing. As noted by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in his recent report on Asylum Intake and Casework, this is partly caused by issues relating to staff retention. We recruit high quality and highly skilled people to be asylum caseworkers and they are able to progress their careers quite quickly. However, plans are in place to address this and to reduce the number of older cases awaiting a decision.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Education
English Language: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to work with English as Second Language providers to ensure that refugee women with child caring responsibilities are able to access classes.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 12 January 2018

In 2016/17, the Department for Education supported 114,100 adult learners, including refugees, to improve their levels of English through fully and part-funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. 67% of these learners were women. These courses were funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), which also provides additional support for all learners, including refugee women, who face specific financial hardship, which can be used to cover childcare costs, for those aged 20 years or over on the first day of learning.

The government has made available £10 million for additional English language training and support for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to help them integrate into British society. This is jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Home Office. A proportion of the additional ESOL funding (25%) can be used to increase ESOL infrastructure and future participation rates, including supporting activities that help overcome accessibility barriers, such as the provision of childcare facilities.

In addition, all families in England, including refugees, with children aged 3 and 4 are eligible for 15 hours a week of free early education. Since September 2017 working parents of 3 and 4-year olds, including refugee parents, are also eligible for an additional 15 hours of early education, provided they meet certain income criteria.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Police: Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which police forces own an international mobile subscriber identity catcher.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Police: Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police forces operate an International Mobile Subscriber Identifier Catcher.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

Grouped Questions: 121466
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance the Government gives on the ownership and use of International Mobile Subscriber Identifier Catcher devices by (a) any agency or person and (b) police forces.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

Grouped Questions: 121465
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will increase the period in which refugees continue to receive asylum support after receiving a positive decision on their asylum application to 50 days.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

There are no plans to increase the period to 50 days. We are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that newly recognised refugees are provided with assistance to apply for any benefit to which they are entitled before their Home Office support comes to an end.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will reintroduce a programme of support to newly-recognised refugees similar to that provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service until 2010.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Government has been reviewing the available evidence on the main causes of poor integration and in the coming months will bring forward plans for tackling these issues through a new integration strategy.

This will set out how we will support people in more isolated communities, and assist women, into the workplace in particular, and teach more people to speak English. The strategy will be widely applicable and will include refugees. Refugees are currently given the same access to the labour market and benefits as UK residents, as well as access to English language training. There are no plans to reintroduce a programme of support similar to that previously provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service.

Grouped Questions: 121583
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 08 January 2018
Department of Health
Health Services: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will publish guidance for healthcare professionals on the entitlements refugees have to NHS treatment.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Department has published extensive guidance on implementing the overseas visitor charging regulations. This guidance is for use by all frontline staff providing National Health Service funded services, as well as the providers and commissioners of those services. It is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-overseas-visitors-hospital-charging-regulations

This guidance, most recently refreshed in December 2017, is clear that refugees (those granted asylum, humanitarian protection or temporary protection under the immigration rules), and their dependents, are exempt from charges for NHS-funded services. They are therefore eligible for free NHS care in the same way as someone who is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. This guidance also sets out that any individual who has made a formal application with the Home Office to be granted asylum, temporary protection or humanitarian protection which has not yet been determined is also exempt from charges, as are their dependants, as part of the application.

Advice and guidance for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients, including refugees, was also published by Public Health England on 8 January 2018 and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will produce a National Refugee Integration Strategy.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Government has been reviewing the available evidence on the main causes of poor integration and in the coming months will bring forward plans for tackling these issues through a new integration strategy.

This will set out how we will support people in more isolated communities, and assist women, into the workplace in particular, and teach more people to speak English. The strategy will be widely applicable and will include refugees. Refugees are currently given the same access to the labour market and benefits as UK residents, as well as access to English language training. There are no plans to reintroduce a programme of support similar to that previously provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service.

Grouped Questions: 121557
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate her Department has made of the contribution of the childcare industry to the UK economy.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 08 January 2018

By 2019-20, the department will be spending around £6 billion on childcare support – a record amount. We have not recently undertaken an economic assessment of the contribution of the industry to the UK economy.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 20 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Occupational Pensions: Public Consultation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the outcome was of the Government's consultation entitled Defined Benefits Schemes: Security and Sustainability which ended on 14 May 2017; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 08 January 2018

The Government published a consultation entitled Security and Sustainability in Defined Benefit Schemes on 20 February 2017. The 12-week consultation closed on 14 May 2017. Over 800 responses were received from pension scheme members (active and deferred), pensioners, scheme trustees, employers and national pension associations. We are in the process of analysing these results and we will publish a white paper in due course.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 20 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Pensions: Uprating
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require all pension schemes to index according to inflation for pre-1997 components of defined benefit pensions.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 08 January 2018

If a pensioner’s pre-1997 defined benefit pension rights include a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) earned after April 1988, that element must be increased by inflation, capped at 3 per cent.

Defined benefit pensions accrued after 1997 are subject to statutory limited price indexation: inflation capped at 5 per cent for pensions accrued between April 1997 and April 2005 and inflation capped at 2.5 per cent for pensions accrued after April 2005.

We have no plans to change this.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wood-burning Stoves
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has to discourage the use of wood-burning stoves.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Around 40% of the UK’s primary emissions of harmful particulate matter come from domestic burning of wood and coal.

To tackle this we are raising consumer awareness about the impact of burning wet wood on health and working with industry to help reduce harmful emissions by encouraging people to shift from using wet/unseasoned wood to dry wood, which can halve emissions of soot and smoke.

We have recently distributed an advice leaflet on open fires and wood burning stoves to all local authorities which includes advice on burning less and the benefits of quality fuels, modern appliances and regular servicing as a means to reduce environmental impact.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department of Health
Clinical Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of whether the UK not being part of the Clinical Trials Regulation coming into effect in 2019 will be able to take part in such trials after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government values the strong collaborative partnerships that we have across the European Union in the areas of science, research and innovation, and as part of Exit negotiations is working to ensure that we have the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials and new medicines after we leave the EU.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, ethics services, National Institute for Health Research and National Health Service have been working towards implementation of the new European Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) since it was agreed in 2014. The application date of the CTR across the EU will be set by the European Commission. The current regulatory approval legislation will stay in place until such time as any changes are needed so there will be no interruption in UK clinical trials approval.

Grouped Questions: 119186
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department of Health
Clinical Trials: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the legislation that will be required in the UK to ensure that the UK becomes compatible with the EU Clinical Trials Regulation coming into force in 2019.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government values the strong collaborative partnerships that we have across the European Union in the areas of science, research and innovation, and as part of Exit negotiations is working to ensure that we have the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials and new medicines after we leave the EU.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, ethics services, National Institute for Health Research and National Health Service have been working towards implementation of the new European Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) since it was agreed in 2014. The application date of the CTR across the EU will be set by the European Commission. The current regulatory approval legislation will stay in place until such time as any changes are needed so there will be no interruption in UK clinical trials approval.

Grouped Questions: 119185
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 December 2017
Department of Health
Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing on alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government has made no assessment of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer or the number of cancer deaths. MUP and its effects will continue to remain under review pending the impact of its implementation in Scotland.

Grouped Questions: 119707
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 December 2017
Department of Health
Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of minimum unit pricing of alcohol on the number of cancer deaths.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government has made no assessment of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer or the number of cancer deaths. MUP and its effects will continue to remain under review pending the impact of its implementation in Scotland.

Grouped Questions: 119705
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department of Health
Rare Diseases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that researchers in the UK can continue to access pan-EU patient cohorts for rare disease and other special populations after the UK has withdrawn from the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 20 December 2017

The Government's policy paper, Collaboration on Science and Innovation: A Future Partnership Paper, emphasises the importance of continued collaboration with European partners to ensure that the United Kingdom remains one of the best places in the world for science and innovation. European Reference Networks for rare diseases were cited in the paper as an example of a partnership that the UK believes should continue.

A key principle for the Government is that patients should not be put at a disadvantage as a result of European Union-exit.

Q
(Bristol West)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on (a) UK and (b) non-UK EU touring musicians.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 20 December 2017

Since the referendum we have held a series of ministerial meetings and roundtables with the creative industries on the impact and opportunities of the UK leaving the EU. These meetings have included input from the UK music industry on the impact of leaving the EU on touring musicians.

We are committed to supporting and promoting a thriving live music industry and ensuring the continued growth of this vital and vibrant sector.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of providers of 30 hours of funded childcare in Bristol West constituency.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 December 2017

I am sorry, but the department does not hold the data requested.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of children who are currently eligible for 30 hours free childcare in Bristol West constituency.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 December 2017

As of 6 September, 2010 codes were generated for eligible children in Bristol with 1,299 (64%) of these being validated by childcare providers. This figure continues to increase as per our latest management information release in October, which showed 90% of codes being validated across all local councils (compared to 70% in September).

On 19 December we will publish an experimental statistics release ’30 hours free childcare: Autumn term 2017’ which will include a local council breakdown of codes issued and validated.


Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Personal Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, under what powers the property of a person who is street homeless can be confiscated.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Education
Education: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the assessment by UK National Recognition Information Centre that the International Certificate of Christian Education General Certificate is comparable to a Cambridge International Education O Level; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 December 2017

The UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) is the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from all over the world.

A benchmarking study by UK NARIC has confirmed that the International Certificate of Christian Education General and Advanced Certificates can be considered to be comparable to the overall Cambridge International O and A Level standards. UK NARIC uses the term ‘comparable’ rather than ‘equivalent’. ‘Comparable’ acknowledges that two qualifications may be of the same academic standing, without necessarily having the same aims, curriculum or structure.


Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, of 5 December 2017, Official Report, column 882, on Female Offender Management, when he plans to publish the strategy for women and justice.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are committed to doing all we can to address the issues around female offending so we can better protect the public and deliver more effective rehabilitation.

Considering how we can best address the needs of female offenders to improve outcomes for them, their families and their communities, is a complex issue that we want to get right.

We are working hard to develop the Female Offender Strategy and we will publish in due course.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Curriculum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of schools which follow an Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

No exact estimate is possible. Registered independent schools in England belonging to the Christian Education Europe group (as shown on the group’s website) are known to use elements of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum - although which elements they use, and how, varies from school to school. However, other independent schools may also use elements of the ACE curriculum.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her policy is on requiring independent schools to offer qualifications that are recognised and accredited by Ofqual; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

Independent schools must comply with the Independent School Standards Regulations. However, these do not require such schools to offer qualifications. The schools are free to offer any qualification, whether or not they are recognised and accredited by Ofqual. It is for parents to decide whether the provision offered by a particular independent school meets the needs of their children.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Curriculum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of independent schools that are teaching a faith-based curriculum.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

There is no estimate available for the number of independent schools that teach a faith-based curriculum.

Although independent schools may declare a religious ethos, and some also have a designation as being a school of religious character, this does not necessarily mean that the curriculum used by the school is significantly affected by the faith in question. There are also some independent schools that offer a faith-based curriculum without having a declared faith ethos or a designation.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what guidance her Department provides to architects and contractors on the construction of health facilities which her Department funds or supports.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 December 2017

Where health facilities are constructed with DFID support, we expect implementing partners to work with architects and the Ministry of Health to ensure that basic quality standards set by local regulatory authorities are met. For example, in our Access to Health Care programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our implementing partners developed standard designs with the Ministry of Health and with the technical input of architects. This programme also systematically provides WASH infrastructure at health facilities, including toilets, water cisterns, and incinerators. DFID supports adherence to standards through technical advice and programme implementation, and through investments to strengthen health systems that will increase national and local capacity to improve and monitor the quality of health facilities.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Airguns: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to announce the details and scope of her review of air gun licensing in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 04 December 2017

I announced recently my intention to review the regulation of air weapons, and details of the scope of this review, and how to participate, will be set out shortly. We will also be writing to a number of interested parties shortly, seeking their views on the issues that arise as part of this review.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 03 November 2017
Home Office
Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received any formal complaints on the conduct of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 27 November 2017

We are aware of a formal complaint being made against the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner towards another organisation and we are taking the appropriate action.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 14 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Work Capability Assessment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that training offered to those carrying out work capability assessments complies with statutory obligations under the Autism Act 2009.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 20 November 2017

The Autism Act 2009 does not impose any specific statutory obligations on DWP or its Providers. The Department is, however, fully committed to improving the services it provides for people with autism. Part of the Department’s Autism Strategy Action Plan focuses on key areas for improvement, including promotion of the autism agenda to our Assessment Provider, Centre for Health and Disability Assessments. In order to improve the skills and knowledge of Healthcare Professionals that undertake Work Capability Assessments, the Department supported the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments in the development of condition specific training on autism which is quality assured by external reviewers.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 14 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Work Capability Assessment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether people administering work capability assessments are required to undertake training on autism and autistic spectrum disorders; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 20 November 2017

All Healthcare Professionals conducting Work Capability Assessments receive extensive training regarding autism spectrum disorders as part of their initial new entrant training. This training programme includes simulated assessments covering claimants with autism and learning disabilities to allow Healthcare Professionals to develop appropriate consultation skills. All Healthcare Professionals have access to condition specific information on autism which is quality assured by external reviewers. Healthcare Professionals are further supported by Functional Champions who are available to provide advice to Healthcare Professionals on particular conditions including autism before, during or after an assessment.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 14 November 2017
Home Office
Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answers of 7 September 2017 to Questions 6955 and 8408, what public appointments process was used to appoint the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner for a second term; and how his performance in that role was reviewed.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 November 2017

The first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was appointed by Government on a three-year fixed term contract which ends later this year.

Decisions in relation to this appointment will be taken in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments published on 16 December 2016.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 25 October 2017
Home Office
Rifles: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to introduce a licensing regime for air rifles.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 31 October 2017

I announced a review of the regulation of air weapons on Monday 9 October. Details of the scope of the review will be set out shortly

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 25 October 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an assessment of the (a) number and (b) types of calls made to the modern slavery helpline has been made since that helpline was established.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 30 October 2017

The Modern Slavery Helpline is operated by an organisation called Unseen, and is completely independent of Government.

Information about the number and types of calls received by the Modern Slavery Helpline can be found on the Unseen website www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/information/stats

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 October 2017
Department of Health
Motor Neurone Disease
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to assess the (a) clinical benefit and (b) value for money of Endaravone in extending the lifespan of people with motor neurone disease.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 25 October 2017

We have assumed the Hon. Member is referring to edaravone (Radicava). Edaravone is not currently licensed or under assessment within the European Union for any indication and the Department therefore has no such plans. If the manufacturer seeks a marketing authorisation for edaravone in the United Kingdom or EU, it will be assessed for safety, efficacy and quality through the established licensing process and then considered through the topic selection process for possible assessment of clinical and cost effectiveness by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Where a drug or treatment has not been appraised by NICE, funding decisions should be made by the relevant National Health Service commissioner, based on an assessment of the available evidence and on the basis of an individual patient’s clinical circumstances.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 16 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance: Mental Illness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will review the employment and support allowance assessment criteria to tackle the difficulties faced by applicants suffering with mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 23 October 2017

We are committed to ensuring that the WCA assesses people fairly and accurately, which is why we keep our processes under review. Since ESA was introduced, we have made a number of changes to strengthen the assessment process for people with mental health conditions. We took forward a number of recommendations from Professor Harrington and Dr Litchfield who independently reviewed the WCA, including redesigning the ESA50 claimant questionnaire to make it clear that evidence from healthcare professionals and advocates is particularly valuable in mental health cases.

More information regarding these independent reviews can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-1

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 17 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Joint Press Statement from the Permanent Representatives to the UN of the US, France and UK on 7 July 2017, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the global stockpile of nuclear weapons.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 October 2017

The Government continues to work to deliver the Strategic Defence and Security Review commitment to reduce our stockpile of nuclear weapons to no more than 180 warheads by the mid 2020s. Progress on global nuclear disarmament also requires building the mutual trust between states, addressing the security concerns that continue to make nuclear deterrence necessary and putting into place the key international architecture to help build the conditions for further disarmament. The Government continues to work with partners across the international community to press for key steps towards multilateral nuclear disarmament, including the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and successful negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. We also continue to play a leading role in disarmament verification.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Public Libraries: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 13 October 2017 to Question 106052, when the complete figures for the numbers of library closures for the last 12 months will be available; and if she will publish the data her Department holds on the numbers of libraries in each constituency in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 19 October 2017

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not collect or publish data on the number of public library closures in each Parliamentary constituency. Data relating to public libraries is collected from local authorities by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy which makes available the data annually to subscribers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Home Office
Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what data her Department collects on the nationality of people spot-checked by immigration officers and subsequently (a) arrested and (b) not arrested.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 18 October 2017

The nationality of every individual arrested during immigration enforcement activity is recorded as part of their immigration records.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powers-and-operational-procedure

The nationality of individuals spoken to or encountered but not arrested during deployments in public areas may or may not be recorded.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 13 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will review the decision not to sign the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty 2017.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 October 2017

We have no plan to review our decision.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 14 September 2017
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what terms of reference she has set for the study of the economic and social contributions and costs of EU citizens in the UK that she has commissioned from the independent Migration Advisory Committee; and whether other studies covering social and cultural contributions will be commissioned.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 10 October 2017

On 27 July, my Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to gather evidence on patterns of EU migration and the role of migration in the wider economy, ahead of our exit from the EU, as well as aligning the UK immigration system with a modern industrial strategy

We have asked the MAC to report by September 2018 but the MAC may wish to provide interim reports throughout the period. The full commission is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633321/Commission_to_the_MAC.pdf

The Government will carefully consider any recommendations made to it by the MAC before finalising the details of the future immigration system for EU nationals.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Drinks: Plastics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote the use of drinking straws made from non-polluting materials.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 09 October 2017

The impact of single-use plastics is a critical concern for Defra and I have praised outlets that have switched to using plant based drinking straws and those that have stopped automatically providing straws. The extent of single-use plastics needs to be addressed and options for engagement with key stakeholders are being drawn up, for example in relation to developing a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead at opportunities outside the EU. These will include discussions with leading retailers.

Grouped Questions: 10131
Q
(Bristol West)
[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 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Drinks: Plastics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage retailers and food outlets to eliminate the use of plastic straws.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 09 October 2017

The impact of single-use plastics is a critical concern for Defra and I have praised outlets that have switched to using plant based drinking straws and those that have stopped automatically providing straws. The extent of single-use plastics needs to be addressed and options for engagement with key stakeholders are being drawn up, for example in relation to developing a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead at opportunities outside the EU. These will include discussions with leading retailers.

Grouped Questions: 10132
Q
(Bristol West)
[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 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pollinators
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 32 of the National Pollinator Strategy, published by his Department in November 2014, what interim measurements of progress against the aims of that strategy have so far been made.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 09 October 2017

The National Pollinator Strategy was launched in November 2014 and included commitments on measuring progress by developing an indicator on the status of pollinators and by evaluating Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) and agri-environment schemes.

Defra has developed an indicator of the status of pollinating insects in partnership with the research community and the voluntary sector. The indicator was first published in 2014 and integrated into the suite of 24 indicators used to track progress with Biodiversity 2020: our Strategy for England’s Wildlife and Ecosystem Services. The indicator summarises trends for almost 400 pollinating insect species and was last published on 3 August (www.gov.uk/government/statistics/england-biodiversity-indicators). It shows that the overall status of pollinating insects has declined since 1980. There are, however, early indications that this trend may have stabilised in recent years. We will continue to take action for pollinators as set out in our Pollinator Strategy and encourage others to do the same through our Bees’ Needs campaign.

The monitoring and evaluation framework for NIAs was updated in 2014 and included two voluntary indicators on population of threatened or widespread species, including a number of pollinating insects.

A report on monitoring and evaluation of NIAs was published in 2015 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/nature-improvement-areas-improved-ecological-networks/nature-improvement-areas-about-the-programme). This found no significant change in any of the species indicators in the NIAs over the short period involved. Collectively, however, the 12 NIAs secured beneficial management on over 13,500 ha of important wildlife habitats and put in place action to create 4,500 ha of new habitats, primarily species rich grasslands and heathland which will provide important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinating insects.

For agri-environment schemes, Natural England has a contract in place with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the British Trust for Ornithology to provide a landscape-scale evaluation of the impact of Countryside Stewardship in England on mobile species, including pollinators. Initial findings are expected in 2018.

Since 2015, we have initiated a pollinator monitoring and research partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, to strengthen pollinator monitoring across Great Britain and improve our capacity to understand trends in pollination services. Details of the partnership are available on the external Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 September 2017
Department of Health
Benzodiazepines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what data his Department collected on benzodiazepine dependence relating to 2016.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 09 October 2017

Data specific to this question is not held centrally.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 09 October 2017
Women and Equalities
Females: Science and Engineering
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of women taking up careers in science and engineering.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 12 October 2017

Girls are just as likely to do well in science, technology, enginerring and mathematics (STEM) GCSEs as boys and the number of girls taking STEM A Levels since 2010 has increased by 20%, but there’s more to do.

STEM careers have a 19% pay premium and we are spending over £12m per year on programmes to increase take up of physics, computing and maths A Levels; for example, the Stimulating Physics Network which provides specific support to address the low uptake of physics.

Apprenticeships are also a crucial route into engineering and that’s why the National College for High Speed Rail will be delivering apprenticeships in the industry and focusing on getting more young women to apply.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pollinators: Monitoring
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government's National Pollinator Strategy, published in November 2014, what progress has been made on developing a pollinator indicator under the planned Biodiversity 2020 monitoring strategy.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 20 September 2017

The National Pollinator Strategy was launched in November 2014 and included commitments on measuring progress by developing an indicator on the status of pollinators and by evaluating Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) and agri-environment schemes.

Defra has developed an indicator of the status of pollinating insects in partnership with the research community and the voluntary sector. The indicator was first published in 2014 and integrated into the suite of 24 indicators used to track progress with Biodiversity 2020: our Strategy for England’s Wildlife and Ecosystem Services. The indicator summarises trends for almost 400 pollinating insect species and was last published on3 August (www.gov.uk/government/statistics/england-biodiversity-indicators). It shows that the overall status of pollinating insects has declined since 1980. There are, however, early indications that this trend may have stabilised in recent years. We will continue to take action for pollinators as set out in our Pollinator Strategy and encourage others to do the same through our Bees’ Needs campaign.

The monitoring and evaluation framework for NIAs was updated in 2014 and included two voluntary indicators on population of threatened or widespread species, including a number of pollinating insects.

A report on monitoring and evaluation of NIAs was published in 2015 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/nature-improvement-areas-improved-ecological-networks/nature-improvement-areas-about-the-programme). This found no significant change in any of the species indicators in the NIAs over the short period involved. Collectively, however, the 12 NIAs secured beneficial management on over 13,500 ha of important wildlife habitats and put in place action to create 4,500 ha of new habitats, primarily species rich grasslands and heathland which will provide important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinating insects.

For agri-environment schemes, Natural England has a contract in place with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the British Trust for Ornithology to provide a landscape-scale evaluation of the impact of Countryside Stewardship in England on mobile species, including pollinators. Initial findings are expected in 2018.

Since 2015, we have initiated a pollinator monitoring and research partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, to strengthen pollinator monitoring across Great Britain and improve our capacity to understand trends in pollination services. Details of the partnership are available on the external Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website.

Grouped Questions: 10162
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pollinators: Monitoring
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 32 of the National Pollinator Strategy, published by his Department in November 2014, what progress has been made on extending the monitoring and evaluation framework for nature improvement areas to include pollinators.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 20 September 2017

The National Pollinator Strategy was launched in November 2014 and included commitments on measuring progress by developing an indicator on the status of pollinators and by evaluating Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) and agri-environment schemes.

Defra has developed an indicator of the status of pollinating insects in partnership with the research community and the voluntary sector. The indicator was first published in 2014 and integrated into the suite of 24 indicators used to track progress with Biodiversity 2020: our Strategy for England’s Wildlife and Ecosystem Services. The indicator summarises trends for almost 400 pollinating insect species and was last published on3 August (www.gov.uk/government/statistics/england-biodiversity-indicators). It shows that the overall status of pollinating insects has declined since 1980. There are, however, early indications that this trend may have stabilised in recent years. We will continue to take action for pollinators as set out in our Pollinator Strategy and encourage others to do the same through our Bees’ Needs campaign.

The monitoring and evaluation framework for NIAs was updated in 2014 and included two voluntary indicators on population of threatened or widespread species, including a number of pollinating insects.

A report on monitoring and evaluation of NIAs was published in 2015 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/nature-improvement-areas-improved-ecological-networks/nature-improvement-areas-about-the-programme). This found no significant change in any of the species indicators in the NIAs over the short period involved. Collectively, however, the 12 NIAs secured beneficial management on over 13,500 ha of important wildlife habitats and put in place action to create 4,500 ha of new habitats, primarily species rich grasslands and heathland which will provide important sources of pollen and nectar for pollinating insects.

For agri-environment schemes, Natural England has a contract in place with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the British Trust for Ornithology to provide a landscape-scale evaluation of the impact of Countryside Stewardship in England on mobile species, including pollinators. Initial findings are expected in 2018.

Since 2015, we have initiated a pollinator monitoring and research partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, to strengthen pollinator monitoring across Great Britain and improve our capacity to understand trends in pollination services. Details of the partnership are available on the external Centre for Ecology and Hydrology website.

Grouped Questions: 10029
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department uses for assessments of humanitarian protection after refugees have been in the UK for five years; and what that guidance advises on the (a) retention of documents, (b) time to be taken for the process and (c) criteria by which decisions should be made; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 12 September 2017

Guidance is based on asylum policy “Settlement Protection”. This guidance explains the circumstances in which the Home Office will consider an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) following a grant of refugee status and leave or humanitarian protection (HP). The Settlement Protection Asylum Instruction is published policy, and therefore publically available on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/settlement-protection-asylum-policy-instruction

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Department for Transport
Taxis: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department plans to establish a national database of registered taxi and private hire vehicles in conjunction with the DVLA and police.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 September 2017

The Government currently has no plans to establish a national database of registered taxi and private hire vehicles. However, at the recent Westminster Hall Debate on the ‘Regulation of working conditions in the private hire industry’ I announced my intention to set up a working group to consider the regulation of the sector. The group’s terms of reference and membership will be confirmed shortly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Visas: Married People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department provides for its caseworkers on (a) the timescale for, (b) the use of discretion in assessing and (c) assessment of the minimum income in applications for spouses to join someone with a legal right to live in the UK, including the timescale, the assessment of minimum income and the application of discretion.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 September 2017

The guidance for caseworkers on the minimum income requirement for spouse visas is published on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's definition of a complex case is with regard to immigration cases; and how the decision is taken for a case not to be subject to the timescale of six months for an immigration decision.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 September 2017

The Home Office has clear internal guidance on the management of asylum claims and the factors that can lead to a case being designated as ‘non straight forward’. These cases are proactively managed to ensure barriers are cleared and decisions are made as soon as possible. There are many factors that could lead to a case being designated as ‘non straight forward’ including medical issues with the claimant, non compliance from the claimant that delays case progression and referrals to specialist casework units.

The decision to designate a case as ‘non straight forward’ must be discussed and agreed by an officer at least the grade of a Senior Executive Officer and a case cannot be designated simply because the 6 month target cannot be met. Where a case is designated as ‘non straight forward the claimant will be informed of the delay to the decision.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
British Nationality: Assessments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test is being correctly used in (a) Bristol and (b) elsewhere.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 September 2017

The Home Office has a number of measures in place to ensure testing around both English language and knowledge of life is correctly followed in all parts of the country. To maintain the integrity of the process we do not publicise the specific measures in place.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Department for Transport
Taxis: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to establish minimum requirements which all local authorities must abide by when granting licenses to taxi or private hire vehicle drivers.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 11 September 2017

The Department has established a working group to consider current issues concerns relating to taxi and private hire vehicle licensing, and produce focussed recommendations for action. National standards were proposed by the Law Commission in its 2014 report on taxi and private hire licensing, and I have asked the working group to consider relevant Law Commission recommendations in its deliberations.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to commence the appointment process for the second Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner; and what criteria will be used to assess applicants.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was appointed by Government on a three-year fixed term contract which ends later this year. Decisions in relation to this appointment will be taken in accordance with the New Public Appointments Governance Code published on 16 December 2016.

Grouped Questions: 8408
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 04 September 2017
Home Office
Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the process is for the appointment of the independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner was appointed by Government on a three-year fixed term contract which ends later this year. Decisions in relation to this appointment will be taken in accordance with the New Public Appointments Governance Code published on 16 December 2016.

Grouped Questions: 6955
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 04 September 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Work Capability Assessment: Chronic Illnesses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance is given to work capability assessors who deal with claimants who suffer from chronic fluctuating conditions.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 07 September 2017

It is recognised that over time most conditions fluctuate to some degree and that it is therefore essential that the assessment works for people with fluctuating conditions. The Health Professional carrying out the assessment is directed not to focus on an individual’s ‘best day’ or take a ‘snapshot’ of their condition on the day of their face-to-face consultation but to take a view of the claimant’s ability over a longer period of time. This presents a more coherent picture of the disabling effects of the claimant’s health condition.

The Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) engages with relevant stakeholders in developing their training for Health Professionals, who receive comprehensive training in disability analysis. This includes a functional evaluation as to how medical conditions and the long-term medical treatment of those conditions affect an individual over time.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 29 August 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, What assessment his Department has made of the appropriate ratio of staff to prisoners in each prison for operating a safe and rehabilitative prison regime.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 07 September 2017

There are arrangements in place in every prison, taking into account population and accommodation, to set staffing levels which are sufficient to maintain safe and decent conditions.

We are significantly increasing staff numbers by recruiting a net 2,500 extra prison officers by December 2018.

This will allow us to introduce a new key worker role, in which all prison officers on wings will support a small caseload of prisoners, improving the quality of staff-prisoner relationships and tackling the drivers of each prisoner’s offending.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 July 2017
Department of Health
Weston Hospital: Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment has been made of the potential effect of the decision to close Weston General Hospital's accident and emergency department at night on the long-term staffing of that department.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 21 July 2017

Since the Trust Board’s decision temporarily to close Weston General Hospital’s accident and emergency department at night, North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) have invested in additional staff shifts in their emergency departments and medical assessment units, and UHB has increased bed numbers. Additional community resources have also been made available in north Somerset to support people in their own homes.

Before the temporary closure, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan put in place a comprehensive set of actions to mitigate the impact. These included agreeing a bespoke policy whereby patients who are expected to stay in hospital for more than 48 hours are transported back to Weston General Hospital as soon as they are deemed clinically fit enough to travel, in order to reduce the burden on neighbouring hospitals.

Weston General Hospital is working with local general practitioners, community services, social care colleagues and neighbouring hospitals to strengthen, redesign and rebuild urgent and emergency care services in north Somerset. This includes exploring alternative staffing models for its emergency department.

By consolidating the small number of senior medical staff into daytime hours, the Trust is now able to deliver improved staff training and team building. The aim is that leadership will improve, making its emergency department a more attractive place to work. The Trust has already recruited two new consultants to work in its emergency department since the closure was announced.

Grouped Questions: 4696
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 July 2017
Department of Health
Weston Hospital: Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what additional resources have been allocated to accident and emergency departments in neighbouring hospitals after the decision to close Weston General Hospital's accident and emergency department at night.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 21 July 2017

Since the Trust Board’s decision temporarily to close Weston General Hospital’s accident and emergency department at night, North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) have invested in additional staff shifts in their emergency departments and medical assessment units, and UHB has increased bed numbers. Additional community resources have also been made available in north Somerset to support people in their own homes.

Before the temporary closure, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan put in place a comprehensive set of actions to mitigate the impact. These included agreeing a bespoke policy whereby patients who are expected to stay in hospital for more than 48 hours are transported back to Weston General Hospital as soon as they are deemed clinically fit enough to travel, in order to reduce the burden on neighbouring hospitals.

Weston General Hospital is working with local general practitioners, community services, social care colleagues and neighbouring hospitals to strengthen, redesign and rebuild urgent and emergency care services in north Somerset. This includes exploring alternative staffing models for its emergency department.

By consolidating the small number of senior medical staff into daytime hours, the Trust is now able to deliver improved staff training and team building. The aim is that leadership will improve, making its emergency department a more attractive place to work. The Trust has already recruited two new consultants to work in its emergency department since the closure was announced.

Grouped Questions: 4695
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 17 July 2017
Home Office
Avon Fire and Rescue Service: Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of reductions to the numbers of Primary Crewed Aerial Appliances in Avon Fire and Rescue Service on the fire readiness of that service.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The Home Office has made no assessment. It is the responsibility of each fire and rescue authority to manage their resources across prevention, protection and operational response to mitigate effectively local risk.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 17 July 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will introduce a transparent system for monitoring her Department's performance on decision-making on applications for asylum support and publish the results, broken down by decision on section 95 (long-term cash or cash and accommodation support) and section 98 (emergency support) applications.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 20 July 2017

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for free accommodation and cash support to cover their essential living needs whilst their cases are considered. If they have an emergency need for accommodation they can ask to be put in initial accommodation whilst their support applications are being processed and the vast majority of such requests are processed on the same day. We aim to resolve Section 95 applications received from people in Initial Accommodation within 3 days and other applications from people staying in private accommodation within 10 days.

All cases are considered on their own merits, in some cases applicants are asked to provide further information before a decision on eligibility can reached. The Home Office monitors closely the performance of asylum support application decision making and we take seriously all complaints about performance failure. The department has robust procedures in place to inspect, investigate and resolve issues when specific information is received, however there are no plans to publish this performance or complaints data.

Grouped Questions: 5533
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 17 July 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish data on the performance of her Department on its decision-making on applications for asylum support broken down by section 95 and section 98 applications; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 20 July 2017

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for free accommodation and cash support to cover their essential living needs whilst their cases are considered. If they have an emergency need for accommodation they can ask to be put in initial accommodation whilst their support applications are being processed and the vast majority of such requests are processed on the same day. We aim to resolve Section 95 applications received from people in Initial Accommodation within 3 days and other applications from people staying in private accommodation within 10 days.

All cases are considered on their own merits, in some cases applicants are asked to provide further information before a decision on eligibility can reached. The Home Office monitors closely the performance of asylum support application decision making and we take seriously all complaints about performance failure. The department has robust procedures in place to inspect, investigate and resolve issues when specific information is received, however there are no plans to publish this performance or complaints data.

Grouped Questions: 5403
Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
Department for Education
Higher Education: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment has been made of the effect of changes in immigration policy on levels of university recruitment.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 18 July 2017

Numbers of international students studying at UK universities are at record highs - over 170,000 entrants to UK higher education institutions for the sixth year running. The latest Home Office visa data also shows that, since 2011, university-sponsored visa applications have risen by around 11 per cent.

The Government fully recognises the important contribution that international students make to the UK’s higher education sector, both economically and culturally. There remains no limit to the number of international students who can come to the UK to study.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 July 2017
Department for Education
Maintained Schools: Special Educational Needs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure all maintained schools receive adequate funding for catering for children with special needs.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 17 July 2017

Mainstream schools are funded through the formula set by their local authority. The funding formula is decided by each local authority and often uses factors such as the prior level of attainment of the pupils in the school to give an estimate of the additional support for those with special educational needs (SEN) that the school will need to make available.

Local authorities are required to delegate funds to a level that enables schools to meet the additional cost of pupils with SEN up to £6,000 per annum, and when a school can demonstrate that the costs exceed this, the local authority should allocate top-up funding from its high needs budget.

The local authority can also use its high needs budget to give extra funding to schools with a disproportionate number of pupils with SEN.

We have provided local authorities with £130 million of additional funding for high needs this year.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
Department of Health
Breast Cancer: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of drugs for the treatment and post-treatment needs of breast cancer patients contain lactose; and what provision is made for breast cancer patients who are intolerant or allergic to lactose.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 17 July 2017

Lactose (milk sugar) is commonly used as a diluent in solid oral dosage forms such as tablets and capsules; however is rarely present in oral liquid presentations or parenteral dosage forms, such as injections. While no list of “lactose-free” medicines is maintained, the presence or absence of lactose in any licensed medicine, including those for breast cancer, can be readily identified.

Where a medicine contains lactose, this is highlighted, together with the quantity of lactose, within the Summary of Product Characteristics. The package leaflet for that medicine will also highlight in qualitative terms whether the medicine contains lactose. The package leaflet is provided with each pack of medicine sold or dispensed in the United Kingdom.

The British National Formulary, a standard medical text in the UK, advises that the lactose content in most medicines is too small to cause problems in most lactose-intolerant patients. However, in patients with severe lactose intolerance, lactose content should be determined before prescribing especially if they are taking several products containing lactose.

Clinicians prescribe the medicines and drugs that are most appropriate for their patient, taking into account all relevant factors and guidance. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for the regulation of medicines in the UK, will help prescribers to establish the availability of a lactose free version of any particular medicine.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
HM Treasury
Economic Situation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the economic effect of the enforcement of immigration policy on businesses in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 17 July 2017

The Treasury has not made any formal assessment of the economic effect of immigration enforcement on business.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
Department of Health
Weston Hospital: Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect on Bristol hospitals of the decision to close the accident and emergency department at Weston General Hospital overnight.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 17 July 2017

NHS Improvement and NHS England are working closely with the local health community to monitor and manage the impact on neighbouring trusts of the temporary overnight closure of the Weston Area Health NHS Trust’s emergency department.

Detailed modelling to evaluate the potential movement of patients to other acute providers overnight both in terms of attendances and admissions was undertaken prior to the decision being taken temporarily to close Weston’s emergency department at night. The situation is being monitored on a daily basis to understand actual patient movement overnight as well as the bed occupancy of each hospital.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
Department of Health
Gynaecology: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the average time taken from the presentation of symptoms to a GP to the start of treatment for fibroids.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 17 July 2017

NHS England publishes monthly data on referral to treatment waiting times to monitor performance against the legal right that patients have to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions. The data that are published include the proportion of patients who waited within 18 high volume specialties but not individual procedures such as fibroids or benign testicular tumours. The information requested is therefore not available.

Grouped Questions: 4655
Q
(Bristol West)
[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 July 2017
Department of Health
Tumours: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the average time taken from the presentation of symptoms to a GP to the start of treatment for benign testicular tumours.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 17 July 2017

NHS England publishes monthly data on referral to treatment waiting times to monitor performance against the legal right that patients have to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions. The data that are published include the proportion of patients who waited within 18 high volume specialties but not individual procedures such as fibroids or benign testicular tumours. The information requested is therefore not available.

Grouped Questions: 4654
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has carried out to ensure that the proposed £1,000 financial assistance offered to GP practices which accept the full repairing lease contract will be sufficient to cover the legal and survey work associated with those leases.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The £1,000 + VAT offered to general practitioner practices is intended to assist with the legal fees associated with documenting a lease. The calculation is based on the fact that the ‘template’ lease has already been negotiated and agreed with NHS Property Services and the British Medical Association, which minimises negotiations with practices.

The nature of lease – either Full Repairing and Insuring or Internal Repairs – determines the level of reimbursement for the current market rent. This includes both the lease rent and an element for upkeep of the tenanted areas. This is set out in the Premises Costs Directions 2013.

Ultimately, it is for the landlord and tenant to agree the terms of any lease to suit their specific circumstances.

Grouped Questions: 4036
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to review the Carr-Hill funding formula for GP practices with atypical populations.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 13 July 2017

NHS England recognises that atypical practices with a significantly skewed patient population will not necessarily have their workload reflected through the Carr-Hill Formula. It is for this reason that NHS England is exploring the additional demands on atypical practices, testing out in the first instance, the experiences of practices that serve university populations, practices with significant number of non-English speaking patients, and practices operating within remote or isolated areas.

Commissioner guidance was published in December 2016 and further analysis of the workload implications is being undertaken.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of increased service charges on GP surgeries which lease their buildings from NHS Property Services.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 13 July 2017

NHS England confirmed the introduction of the market rent model, applying the property sector’s standard method of charging, to the National Health Service in January 2016. It was part of a long-planned move across the public sector to improve utilisation and value for money in property occupancy by putting publicly-owned property on a level with privately-owned alternatives.

The Department agrees that understanding the real cost of running public service buildings has benefits for tenants and the wider NHS:

- It helps the NHS understand the true cost of occupation and reflect these transparently;

- It informs decisions about the best location for services and investment; and

- It drives better and more efficient use of space.

Customer invoices should be based on accurate property information. This includes the precise amount of space used, as well as reflecting an assessment of the facilities provided for that space, e.g. cleaning, reception services and maintenance. This data was not always available in predecessor Primary Care Trust or Strategic Health Authority records.

NHS Property Services owns only a small proportion of general practitioner (GP) surgeries in England and its approach is consistent with the way those with private sector landlords are treated. The company has endeavoured to improve the quality of its property data and to negotiate and agree lease terms with customers, providing them with the assurance they require. Transparently agreeing precise occupancy details is one reason why some GPs, are

seeing their costs increase, while others have seen a reduction. NHS Property Services recognises a requirement from its customers to explain any billing changes fully and accurately. It shares their wish to make invoicing totally transparent and is focussed on this quality improvement work.

Within the Premises Cost Direction 2013 under sections 46 and 47 there is the facility for the GP to apply to NHS England for transitional funding related to large increases to service charges.

It is only by improved understanding of the true costs that better informed decisions about the best location for NHS services can be made, as well as also encouraging the most efficient use of NHS space – both of which are important elements of securing best value for taxpayers from the health service estate.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect on GP funding of the proposed full repairing leases offered to GP surgeries.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The £1,000 + VAT offered to general practitioner practices is intended to assist with the legal fees associated with documenting a lease. The calculation is based on the fact that the ‘template’ lease has already been negotiated and agreed with NHS Property Services and the British Medical Association, which minimises negotiations with practices.

The nature of lease – either Full Repairing and Insuring or Internal Repairs – determines the level of reimbursement for the current market rent. This includes both the lease rent and an element for upkeep of the tenanted areas. This is set out in the Premises Costs Directions 2013.

Ultimately, it is for the landlord and tenant to agree the terms of any lease to suit their specific circumstances.

Grouped Questions: 4033
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners: Repairs and Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on what basis the deadline of October 2017 has been set for GP surgeries to agree full repairing leases with NHS Property Services.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 13 July 2017

The Full Repairing and Insuring Lease is a standard, recognised property industry lease and as such is put forward as a starting point in the Standard Lease Agreement agreed between NHS Property Services (NHS PS) and the British Medical Association in 2016.

NHS England has committed to a date of 30 November 2017 by which it will offer certain additional benefits to general practitioner practices which enter into a Lease. These are as follows:

- NHS England will reimburse Stamp Duty Land Tax for an initial term of up to 15 years;

- NHS England will reimburse legal fees for conveyancing up to a maximum of £1,000, plus VAT; and

- NHS England will reimburse the Management Fee for Service Charges for both 2016/17 and 2017/18.

NHS PS is working with all GP practices to facilitate outcomes which work for both parties in all cases, using the framework as outlined by NHS England.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 23 June 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to review the effectiveness of systems of integration for asylum seekers and refugees ensuring that all those granted refugee status have the best possible opportunity for integration.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 04 July 2017

We are working towards achieving more integrated communities and creating the conditions for everyone to live and work successfully alongside one another. This includes those who are recognised as refugees or granted Humanitarian Protection.

On 5 December 2016, Dame Louise Casey published her independent review of how to boost opportunity and integration in isolated and deprived communities. The Government will bring forward plans for tackling these issues in the coming months through a new integration strategy.

Those who are granted refugee status are given access to the labour market and benefits, and are encouraged to access organisations that can assist with integration. Each local authority region has a strategic migration partnership that provides coordination and support services for those organisations working with migrants. The Home Office also provides a dedicated integration loan directly to recognised refugees. The loan is designed to help refugees integrate into UK society by offering financial support towards housing costs, employment and training.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2017
Home Office
UN Convention on the Status of Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with other parties to the UN Convention on Refugees on reforming the Convention to improve its response to the global refugee crisis; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 04 July 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and the Home Office regularly discuss refugee issues with our counterparts. We are committed to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it. Across Government, we engage comprehensively with partners on the response to the refugee crisis.

We aim to support refugees as close to their homes as possible, to avoid dangerous journeys and enable returns in due course. We provide development and humanitarian assistance to refugees and the communities which host them. We have pledged £2.46 billion for Syria, our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.

Our resettlement programmes are focussed on the most vulnerable; we have committed to resettle 23,000 under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons and Vulnerable Children Resettlement Schemes. We are working with partners, including the UNHCR, on taking forward the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework established by the New York Declaration last September and are fully engaged in the negotiations on a UN Refugee Compact.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 June 2017
Department for Transport
Lawrence Hill Station: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the work at Lawrence Hill Station in Bristol to make that station accessible for people with mobility disabilities will be completed.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 03 July 2017

There is no set date for the completion of works at Lawrence Hill Station.

Network Rail are re-profiling the infrastructure works in and around Bristol, including Lawrence Hill Station.

No work has yet begun to make Lawrence Hill step free, however, Network Rail will be scheduling sessions later this year to develop options and to look at how best to progress this work as a choice for Government.

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