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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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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Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to increase the use of rooftop solar power.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

Solar PV is a UK success story. In 2013 we estimated that solar capacity would reach 10-12GW by 2020. We now expect Government support to bring forward around 13 GW by 2020. The Feed-in Tariff remains open to solar PV which provides an incentive for businesses to invest in rooftop solar.

Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the Euratom Supply Agency.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The European Supply Agency forms part of Euratom Treaty arrangements. The UK will leave the European Supply Agency at the same time that it leaves Euratom.

The nature of future arrangements with Euratom and the EU will be subject to negotiation which started this month. Our aim throughout the negotiations with the European Commission will be to maintain our mutually successful civil nuclear cooperation with Euratom and the rest of the world.

The UK is keen to ensure that there is minimal disruption to civil nuclear trade following the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom. We have bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCAs) in place with several countries that we will continue to rely on after our exit from Euratom.

We intend to maintain continuity of cooperation with our international partners and will develop new arrangements as necessary.

Asked on: 18 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the benefits and costs to the UK of membership of the Euratom Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The EU’s Joint Undertaking for ITER (F4E) funds the €540m p.a. EU contribution to the ITER programme. This is funded primarily through the EU central budget with small additional membership fees from member states. The UK pays a €290,000 annual membership fee directly to F4E.

UK membership of F4E gives UK scientists and engineers the opportunity to work at, and in partnership with, ITER on development of fusion as a clean, safe and virtually inexhaustible energy source. It also gives the UK access to intellectual property developed at ITER and helps the UK maintain its position as a world leader in fusion technology.

F4E membership has enabled the UK to win high-value ITER construction contracts, with opportunities to bid for significantly more during the construction which has a current budget of €14.4bn overall and will be complete in 2025.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which the secondary tickets market meets expected standards of consumer protection and fairness; if it does not, whether they intend to lay secondary legislation under the Consumer Rights Act 2015; and if so, when.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Government appointed Professor Waterson to review consumer protections in the secondary ticketing market. He produced his report last year and in March 2017 the Government responded accepting his report in full and included amendments to the Digital Economy Act designed to enhance protections further. The Government has no plans to introduce additional legislation on the matter under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Q
Asked by Lord Moynihan
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tickets: Sales
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure full cooperation between international jurisdictions to facilitate legal action against alleged abuses propagated within the secondary ticketing market.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently undertaking an enforcement investigation and will liaise with other international enforcement bodies as necessary to progress the investigation.

The CMA is the lead UK member in the Consumer Protection Cooperation partnership and has strong working relationships with other countries.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 24 April (HL6622), what assessment they have made of mass marketing scams that target energy customers.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how many mass marketing scams targeting energy customers there have been since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how many victims of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers since 2016 have required assistance from (1) local authorities, and (2) National Trading Standards.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Fraud
Lords
Her Majesty's Government how much money the victims of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers have lost since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

National Trading Standards (NTS) work with various bodies including the police to tackle mass marketing frauds across all sectors, including energy.

The NTS scams teams work with local authorities to provide support to victims. The team currently has agreements with nearly two hundred local authorities to provide additional support for victims in their areas to help them rebuild their lives. The Department does not hold data on number of mass marketing scams targeting energy customers, the number of victims targeted or the amount of money they have lost.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Billing
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 13 July (HL392), whether they will publish the number of businesses which have been issued an invitation to the online payment practices reporting service, broken down by (1) company type, (2) company size, and (3) sector.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

To date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have directly issued invitations to the payment practices reporting online service to 208 people. The Department does not hold specific information about company type, size or sector of those invited to the service.

Q
Asked on: 19 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Radioisotopes
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, following the UK’s departure from Euratom, (1) whether they have any plans for molybdenum-99 to be produced in the UK; (2) whether design plans for nuclear reactors to produce molybdenum-99 have been approved and tendered; (3) what is the location of any new reactors located in the UK; (4) what is their assessment of how much such reactors will cost; and (5) what is the estimated unit cost of domestic production compared to current import prices.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

Euratom places no restrictions on the export of medical isotopes to countries outside the EU. Such isotopes are not subject to Euratom Supply Agency contracts or to Euratom safeguards.

Q
Asked on: 20 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund on the construction industry in delivering future housing needs.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 27 July 2017

The new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), announced in November 2016, will back priority technologies where the UK has the potential to turn research strengths into a global industrial and commercial lead.

The first challenges announced as part of the ISCF will invest over £1bn in creating the UK industries of the future. There will be a wave 2 and Government will be consulting further with industry and other stakeholders over the summer.

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will include information on twins and multiple births in any formal updates on progress towards their aim of halving the rates in England of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

In November 2015, the Secretary of State announced a national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030. This ambition applies to both single and multiple pregnancies.

The Department will publish an annual report on the progress towards achieving this aim and will include information on twins and multiple births. The first report will be published later this year.

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether NHS England’s stillbirth care bundle will be reviewed to assess whether it is having an impact on reducing stillbirths among multiple pregnancies; and what plans they have to update it if further improvements are required.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

The Saving Babies Lives care bundle covers all types of pregnancy, including multiple pregnancies. The care bundle will be evaluated so that it can be developed and refined to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice.

The Maternity Transformation Programme Board will drive forward the implementation of the National Maternity Review, Better Births, published in February this year. It will also include work to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England. The formation of the Board marks a clear step forward towards delivering the vision laid out in the National Maternity Review, ensuring that key organisations work together to improve maternity services. Better Births makes recommendations on the use of data including the development of a set of national indicators to aid data comparison. NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement this and the report’s other recommendations, and as part of this are considering the case for a national dashboard. A copy of both Better Births and the Saving Babies Lives care bundle are attached.

The Board held its first meeting on 8 June 2016 and is chaired by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. The Board members and the organisations they represent are detailed in the following table.

NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement the vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review. These plans are likely to include commissioning guidance.

Person

Organisation

Sarah-Jane Marsh

Chair

Jane Cummings

Senior Responsible Officer, Chief Nursing Officer

Keith Willett

Deputy Chair, Medical Director for Acute Care, NHS England

Matthew Jolly

Clinical lead (obstetrics) / workstream lead (data)

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent

Clinical lead (midwifery)

Dame Julia Cumberlege

Stakeholder Reference Group Chair / Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework Panel Chair

Flora Goldhill

Department of Health / workstream lead (best practice for safer care)

Wendy Reid / Bill Irish

Health Education England / workstream lead (workforce)

Viv Bennett

Public Health England / workstream lead (public health)

Ruth May

NHS Improvement (Director of Nursing)

Mike Durkin

NHS Improvement (Director of Patient Safety)

Jimmy Walker

Care Quality Commission

Lauren Hughes

NHS England /workstream lead (local transformation)

James Sanderson

NHS England / workstream lead (choice and personalisation)

Simon Medcalf

NHS England / workstream lead (perinatal mental health)

Tom Denwood

NHS Digital / workstream lead (technology)

Martin Campbell

NHS England / workstream lead (pricing)

David Richmond

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Cathy Warwick

Royal College of Midwives

Nigel Acheson

Regional delivery lead / Regional Medical Director, South

Roz Lindridge

Clinical Networks maternity lead / East Midlands Associate Director, Clinical Networks and Senate

Asked on: 27 June 2016
Department of Health
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government who will be on the NHS England’s Maternity Transformation Board, and whether they plan to introduce a national maternity dashboard to provide analysis relating to both single and multiple pregnancies.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 07 July 2016

The Saving Babies Lives care bundle covers all types of pregnancy, including multiple pregnancies. The care bundle will be evaluated so that it can be developed and refined to ensure that it continues to reflect best practice.

The Maternity Transformation Programme Board will drive forward the implementation of the National Maternity Review, Better Births, published in February this year. It will also include work to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England. The formation of the Board marks a clear step forward towards delivering the vision laid out in the National Maternity Review, ensuring that key organisations work together to improve maternity services. Better Births makes recommendations on the use of data including the development of a set of national indicators to aid data comparison. NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement this and the report’s other recommendations, and as part of this are considering the case for a national dashboard. A copy of both Better Births and the Saving Babies Lives care bundle are attached.

The Board held its first meeting on 8 June 2016 and is chaired by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. The Board members and the organisations they represent are detailed in the following table.

NHS England and its delivery partners are developing plans to implement the vision set out in Better Births, the report of the National Maternity Review. These plans are likely to include commissioning guidance.

Person

Organisation

Sarah-Jane Marsh

Chair

Jane Cummings

Senior Responsible Officer, Chief Nursing Officer

Keith Willett

Deputy Chair, Medical Director for Acute Care, NHS England

Matthew Jolly

Clinical lead (obstetrics) / workstream lead (data)

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent

Clinical lead (midwifery)

Dame Julia Cumberlege

Stakeholder Reference Group Chair / Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework Panel Chair

Flora Goldhill

Department of Health / workstream lead (best practice for safer care)

Wendy Reid / Bill Irish

Health Education England / workstream lead (workforce)

Viv Bennett

Public Health England / workstream lead (public health)

Ruth May

NHS Improvement (Director of Nursing)

Mike Durkin

NHS Improvement (Director of Patient Safety)

Jimmy Walker

Care Quality Commission

Lauren Hughes

NHS England /workstream lead (local transformation)

James Sanderson

NHS England / workstream lead (choice and personalisation)

Simon Medcalf

NHS England / workstream lead (perinatal mental health)

Tom Denwood

NHS Digital / workstream lead (technology)

Martin Campbell

NHS England / workstream lead (pricing)

David Richmond

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Cathy Warwick

Royal College of Midwives

Nigel Acheson

Regional delivery lead / Regional Medical Director, South

Roz Lindridge

Clinical Networks maternity lead / East Midlands Associate Director, Clinical Networks and Senate

Q
Asked by Lord Wigley
Asked on: 13 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 26 July 2017

The Government is currently assessing the recommendations of the Hendry Review on tidal lagoons and will publish a response in due course.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States in regard to their intended withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty; and what subjects were covered during those discussions.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 25 July 2017

The Department has had several discussions with officials from the United States on civil nuclear cooperation when the UK leaves Euratom, including a future Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the United States.

Our aim is clear: we want to maintain continuity of our mutually successful civil nuclear co-operation with Euratom and international partners.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 11 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Prior of Brampton on 11 July (HL Deb) on Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, why no reference was made to zero-hours contracts; what consideration they are giving to increasing the level of employment rights protections afforded to workers employed under such contracts towards the level afforded to full-time workers, or the self-employed; and whether they intend to introduce a right to weekly guaranteed minimum paid hours.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 24 July 2017

The oral statement referred to was to bring to the notice of the House the publication of the independent Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Zero hours contracts are just one example of a working practice in the UK labour market and Matthew in his review has considered the labour market as a whole. I refer the noble Lord to the full transcript of the statement where zero hours contracts are discussed.

This Government will give the report the careful consideration it deserves and will respond in full later this year.

Extract from Official Report (PDF Document, 770.49 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the International Atomic Energy Authority following, and in connection with, their decision to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 21 July 2017

The Department engages regularly with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to ensure that the UK continues to meet international standards for nuclear safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation. In addition, my officials have held discussions in London and Vienna with the IAEA to discuss the arrangements that need to be put in place ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

Q
Asked by Lord Teverson
Asked on: 10 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
Her Majesty's Government when they expect to have a UK safeguarding authority that is authorised and approved by the International Atomic Energy Authority to replace the responsibilities undertaken on the UK’s behalf by Euratom.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 21 July 2017

The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech its intention to introduce legislation to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime, to enable the UK to meet international safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation obligations after we leave Euratom. This primary and secondary legislation will provide the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) with the powers needed to take on the role and responsibilities required to meet our international safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation obligations. The ONR is taking its preparatory work forward as a top priority in parallel with the legislative programme.

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