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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Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 25 October 2017
Department of Health
Prescription Drugs: Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which prescription drugs had the highest increase in price to the NHS in the last 10 years for which data is available.
A
Corrected answer by: Steve Brine
Corrected on: 12 December 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 03 November 2017.
The correct answer should have been:

The table below shows the top five individual medicines and chemicals that have shown the highest increase in cost price over the last 10 years for Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) per prescription item and NIC per quantity. Prescription medicines/chemicals have only been included where there was prescribing in both 2006 and 2016.

For any medicine listed, it does not necessarily mean that the price has increased. For example, the cost per prescription item will be higher if the quantity being prescribed per prescription item has increased.

This is based on Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data. PCA data is based on analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. PCA data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Costs vary over time due to numerous factors including medicines going off patent and becoming available generically, unlicensed medicines becoming licensed medicines, shortages, the level of competition for generic medicines, as well as centrally agreed pricing schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

The Department is working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on a number of investigations into unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines. Where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money back into the National Health Service.

The top five medicines with the highest increase in Net Ingredient1 Cost per prescription item2

Drug Name

2006

2016

Increase

Orfadin_Cap 10mg

£5,436.74

£20,030.86

£14,594.12

Cerezyme_I/V Inf 400u Vl (Dry)

£18,143.17

£30,397.85

£12,254.68

Chenodeoxycholic Acid_Cap 250mg

£88.57

£9,580.10

£9,491.54

Trientine Dihydroch_Cap 300mg (Old)

£218.58

£5,488.22

£5,269.64

Sod Benz_Liq Spec 400mg/5ml

£361.95

£4,352.92

£3,990.96

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis

Notes:

1NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income, so the amount the NHS spent will be slightly different.

2Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as an FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 03 November 2017

The table below shows the top five individual medicines and chemicals that have shown the highest increase in cost price over the last 10 years for Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) per prescription item and NIC per quantity. Prescription medicines/chemicals have only been included where there was prescribing in both 2006 and 2016.

For any medicine listed, it does not necessarily mean that the price has increased. For example, the cost per prescription item will be higher if the quantity being prescribed per prescription item has increased.

This is based on Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data. PCA data is based on analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. PCA data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Costs vary over time due to numerous factors including medicines going off patent and becoming available generically, unlicensed medicines becoming licensed medicines, shortages, the level of competition for generic medicines, as well as centrally agreed pricing schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

The Department is working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on a number of investigations into unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines. Where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money back into the National Health Service.

The top five medicines with the highest increase in Net Ingredient1 Cost per prescription item2

Drug Name

2006

2016

Increase

Orfadin_Cap 10mg

£5,436.74

£20,030.86

£14,594.12

Cerezyme_I/V Inf 400u Vl (Dry)

£18,143.17

£30,397.85

£12,254.68

Chenodeoxycholic Acid_Cap 250mg

£88.57

£9,580.10

£9,491.54

Trientine Dihydroch_Cap 300mg (Old)

£218.58

£5,488.22

£5,269.64

Sod Benz_Liq Spec 400mg/5ml

£361.95

£4,352.92

£3,990.96

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis

Notes:

1NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income, so the amount the NHS spent will be slightly different.

2Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as an FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 30 October 2017
Cabinet Office
Think Tanks
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) financial, (b) organisational and (c) other support the Government has given to which think-tanks in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is not held centrally.

Q
Asked by Diana Johnson
(Kingston upon Hull North)
Asked on: 06 November 2017
Department for Transport
Department for Transport: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much (a) Network Rail, (b) Transport for London, (c) his Department, (d) Transport for the North and (e) Rail North have spent on advertising in each year since 2009-10.
A
Corrected answer by: Paul Maynard
Corrected on: 12 December 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 14 November 2017.
The correct answer should have been:

Network Rail, Transport for London, the Department for Transport and Transport for the North carry out a range of different legislative and operational functions. The expenditure on advertising will reflect those functions.

Network Rail and Transport for London have direct operational responsibility for transport networks and need to inform and advise users of those networks. The Department for Transport has national strategic, regulatory, operational and enforcement responsibilities. The role of Transport for the North is to provide a strategic transport vision for the North of England.

Network Rail

Network Rail’s expenditure on advertising focuses on public information campaigns including: level crossing safety campaigns; travel disruption information; and apprentice and graduate recruitment. Figures are in the table below. It includes spending across its network.

Financial Year

Media Buying Spend Value

2009/2010

Not known

2010/2011

£1,865,574

2011/2012

£3,446,679

2012/2013

£2,863,774

2013/2014

£1,476,805

2014/2015

£3,210,642

2015/2016

£714,498

2016/2017

£915,154

Transport for London

We do not hold figures for the amount Transport for London has spent on advertising.

Department for Transport

The central Department for Transport’s spend reflects its national role and the mix of responsibilities:

Organisation

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Department for Transport Central

£1,999,946

£810,450

£688,272

£712,091

£2,788,957

£977,343

£2,478,424

£597,449

£799,416

The response contained information that was incorrect as a result of miscoding of the spend information in the departmental spend analytics system. These coding errors have been addressed. The central Department for Transport’s majority of advertising expenditure relates to the THINK! Road Safety campaign, which was incorrectly not included in the table in the original answer showing the central Department’s advertising expenditure

Organisation

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18*

Department for Transport Central

£17,130,901

£585,578

£3,119,352

£2,339,750

£3,760,794

£3,719,491

£9,451,137

£6,007,213

£1,158,660

*2017/18 spend figures are up to October 2017.

N.B.

  • These figures reflect the change in policy in regards to paid-for advertising introduced by the Coalition Government following the May 2010 General Election.

Transport for the North

Transport for the North is responsible for the development of a long term, strategic transport vision for its region. It does therefore not have network management responsibilities, nor the advertising requirements that come with them. The figures below are therefore not comparable as the spending serves very different functions.

The figures below cover spending by TfN on the advertising of vacancies required as the organisation has developed to take on its strategic transport planning role.

Expenditure

2015/16

No data

2016/17

£25k

2017/18

£25k

Rail North

We do not hold information about the expenditure of Rail North Ltd on advertising.

A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 14 November 2017

Network Rail, Transport for London, the Department for Transport and Transport for the North carry out a range of different legislative and operational functions. The expenditure on advertising will reflect those functions.

Network Rail and Transport for London have direct operational responsibility for transport networks and need to inform and advise users of those networks. The Department for Transport has national strategic, regulatory, operational and enforcement responsibilities. The role of Transport for the North is to provide a strategic transport vision for the North of England.

Network Rail

Network Rail’s expenditure on advertising focuses on public information campaigns including: level crossing safety campaigns; travel disruption information; and apprentice and graduate recruitment. Figures are in the table below. It includes spending across its network.

Financial Year

Media Buying Spend Value

2009/2010

Not known

2010/2011

£1,865,574

2011/2012

£3,446,679

2012/2013

£2,863,774

2013/2014

£1,476,805

2014/2015

£3,210,642

2015/2016

£714,498

2016/2017

£915,154

Transport for London

We do not hold figures for the amount Transport for London has spent on advertising.

Department for Transport

The central Department for Transport’s spend reflects its national role and the mix of responsibilities:

Organisation

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Department for Transport Central

£1,999,946

£810,450

£688,272

£712,091

£2,788,957

£977,343

£2,478,424

£597,449

£799,416

The response contained information that was incorrect as a result of miscoding of the spend information in the departmental spend analytics system. These coding errors have been addressed. The central Department for Transport’s majority of advertising expenditure relates to the THINK! Road Safety campaign, which was incorrectly not included in the table in the original answer showing the central Department’s advertising expenditure

Organisation

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18*

Department for Transport Central

£17,130,901

£585,578

£3,119,352

£2,339,750

£3,760,794

£3,719,491

£9,451,137

£6,007,213

£1,158,660

*2017/18 spend figures are up to October 2017.

N.B.

  • These figures reflect the change in policy in regards to paid-for advertising introduced by the Coalition Government following the May 2010 General Election.

Transport for the North

Transport for the North is responsible for the development of a long term, strategic transport vision for its region. It does therefore not have network management responsibilities, nor the advertising requirements that come with them. The figures below are therefore not comparable as the spending serves very different functions.

The figures below cover spending by TfN on the advertising of vacancies required as the organisation has developed to take on its strategic transport planning role.

Expenditure

2015/16

No data

2016/17

£25k

2017/18

£25k

Rail North

We do not hold information about the expenditure of Rail North Ltd on advertising.

Q
Asked by Julie Elliott
(Sunderland Central)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Courts: Sunderland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2017 to Question 110760 on courts: Sunderland, for what reasons he failed to engage with the invitation to visit the court building in Sunderland.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 12 December 2017

A further meeting with the Hon. Member to restate the actions taken by HM Courts & Tribunals Service in Sunderland would be welcome and can be arranged. Diary pressures over the coming weeks would, however, preclude a visit to Sunderland.

The recent decision to integrate Sunderland County Court into the Sunderland Magistrates' Court building will enable us to focus our investment into a single court in Sunderland. This will result in a better standard of accomodation and improve the experience of those who use the court.

Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 22 November 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many positive conclusive grounds decisions were made in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The table below shows the conclusive grounds decision outcomes for potential victims of modern slavery referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2016 and between January and June 2017. The NRM is the process that identifies and supports victims of modern slavery. The decision outcomes data are correct as of 10 November 2017.

Year of Referral

Nationality of Potential Victim

Positive CG

Negative CG

Pending CG

Other Outcome (Suspended, Withdrawn, Negative RG, RG Pending)

Total

2016

UK

284

17

9

16

326

EU (non-UK)

362

77

26

145

610

Other

429

530

1205

704

2868

Total

1075

624

1240

865

3804

2017 (Jan-Jun)

UK

117

7

165

18

307

EU (non-UK)

91

16

87

76

270

Other

63

64

1200

455

1782

Total

271

87

1452

549

2359

The Government has announced reforms to the NRM to improve the identification and support for victims of modern slavery. These reforms include the creation of a single, expert unit in the Home Office to handle all cases referred to the NRM and decision about whether someone is a victim of modern slavery. This will replace the current case management units in the National rime Agency and the UK Visa and Immigration and will be separate from the immigration system. In addition, a multi-agency panel will be set up to monitor and quality assure negative decisions.

Grouped Questions: 115170 | 115171
Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 22 November 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many positive conclusive grounds decisions in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking were made in respect of UK nationals in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The table below shows the conclusive grounds decision outcomes for potential victims of modern slavery referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2016 and between January and June 2017. The NRM is the process that identifies and supports victims of modern slavery. The decision outcomes data are correct as of 10 November 2017.

Year of Referral

Nationality of Potential Victim

Positive CG

Negative CG

Pending CG

Other Outcome (Suspended, Withdrawn, Negative RG, RG Pending)

Total

2016

UK

284

17

9

16

326

EU (non-UK)

362

77

26

145

610

Other

429

530

1205

704

2868

Total

1075

624

1240

865

3804

2017 (Jan-Jun)

UK

117

7

165

18

307

EU (non-UK)

91

16

87

76

270

Other

63

64

1200

455

1782

Total

271

87

1452

549

2359

The Government has announced reforms to the NRM to improve the identification and support for victims of modern slavery. These reforms include the creation of a single, expert unit in the Home Office to handle all cases referred to the NRM and decision about whether someone is a victim of modern slavery. This will replace the current case management units in the National rime Agency and the UK Visa and Immigration and will be separate from the immigration system. In addition, a multi-agency panel will be set up to monitor and quality assure negative decisions.

Grouped Questions: 115169 | 115171
Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 22 November 2017
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department,how many positive conclusive grounds decisions were made concerning nationals of EU members states other than the UK in (a) 2016 and (b) 2017.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The table below shows the conclusive grounds decision outcomes for potential victims of modern slavery referred in to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2016 and between January and June 2017. The NRM is the process that identifies and supports victims of modern slavery. The decision outcomes data are correct as of 10 November 2017.

Year of Referral

Nationality of Potential Victim

Positive CG

Negative CG

Pending CG

Other Outcome (Suspended, Withdrawn, Negative RG, RG Pending)

Total

2016

UK

284

17

9

16

326

EU (non-UK)

362

77

26

145

610

Other

429

530

1205

704

2868

Total

1075

624

1240

865

3804

2017 (Jan-Jun)

UK

117

7

165

18

307

EU (non-UK)

91

16

87

76

270

Other

63

64

1200

455

1782

Total

271

87

1452

549

2359

The Government has announced reforms to the NRM to improve the identification and support for victims of modern slavery. These reforms include the creation of a single, expert unit in the Home Office to handle all cases referred to the NRM and decision about whether someone is a victim of modern slavery. This will replace the current case management units in the National rime Agency and the UK Visa and Immigration and will be separate from the immigration system. In addition, a multi-agency panel will be set up to monitor and quality assure negative decisions.

Grouped Questions: 115169 | 115170
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Cabinet Office
Brexit: Wales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will respond to the Welsh Government’s document, Brexit and Devolution, sent to them in June; and whether they will publish that response.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government continues to respond to the Welsh Government’s document, Brexit and Devolution, through bilateral meetings between the First Minister of Wales and the First Secretary of State and also through multilateral meetings such as the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Capital Investment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Autumn budget, what his Department's capital budget will be for (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21, and how that spending will be allocated.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Following the announcements in the Autumn budget, the Department’s capital budgets and allocations are:

£m

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Ring-fenced: Flood Defences

450.4

490.0

459.0

Ring-fenced: Official Development Assistance

37.4

35.4

45.5

Other

166.2

100.9

85.5

Total

654.0

626.3

590.0

Allocation of the ‘other’ amounts is confirmed on an annual basis.

This mainly covers investment in our I.T systems to improve efficiency; renovating and developing our Estate to make it fit for purpose; and developing Kew’s facilities to preserve its status of world-leading botanic gardens.

Defra’s total capital spend in each of these three years will be higher than in both 2010/11 (£548m) and 2015/16 (£493m).

Q
Asked by Lord Adonis
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Education
Office for Students: Business Interests
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which members of the board of the Office for Students are (1) employed by, and (2) in receipt of remuneration from, a university in England; and what was the total amount of that remuneration in the 2016–17 tax year.
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Board for the Office for Students (OfS) currently exists in shadow form and will be legally constituted on 1 January 2018. The Board will be constituted with a mixture of executive and non-executive members that reflect the skills and experiences specified in Schedule 1 of the Higher Education and Research Act (2017). This includes a need for the Secretary of State to have explicit regard when appointing members for them to have experience of providing higher education on behalf of English higher education providers.

In recognition of this, two of the members of the OfS shadow board are currently employed by a university in England. Professor Steve West, is employed and remunerated by the University of the West of England and David Palfreyman, is employed and remunerated by a college of the University of Oxford. Both are also currently members of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) board and have been appointed onto the OfS Board to maintain continuity and manage a smooth transition to the new regulatory regime.

As is common amongst regulators, including HEFCE, we will expect the OfS to operate an internal governance code, once established, that provides a clear declaration of the interests of members and ensures that individuals recuse themselves from any Board discussion where there is the potential for a conflict of interest. The declaration of interests of public appointees does not include the amount of remuneration from employment beyond the remuneration they receive from the public body of which they are members.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
HM Treasury
Alcoholic Drinks: Excise Duties
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, prior to the suspension of the alcohol duty escalator announced in the Budget Statement, they conducted a risk assessment of the effects and consequences for the NHS; and if so, what that risk assessment showed.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The government ended the alcohol duty escalator for beer in 2013, and for cider, wine and spirits in 2014.

A Tax Impact and Information Note (TIIN) was published alongside these measures which set out the government’s assessment of the impacts of ending the beer duty escalator. The relevant TIINs for the 2013 changes are attached.

For the 2014 changes please see Section A63 of the Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates document which is also attached.

A separate assessment of the specific impact on the NHS was not undertaken.

Tax and legislation rules (PDF Document, 999.27 KB)
Beer duty rates (PDF Document, 46.52 KB)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services: Staff
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the next Adult Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Workforce Census Report will be published.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Health Education England is due to publish its 2016 Adult Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Workforce Census Report in spring 2018.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they remain committed to meeting the targets set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Delivering parity of esteem for mental health remains a priority for this Government and we are committed to achieving the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health in 2016 in full. We published the Government’s response to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health in January 2017 and alongside this the Prime Minister set out a wide range of mental health reforms. We are working across Government, its agencies and with stakeholders to implement this ambitious agenda to transform mental health services.

Since the publication of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, NHS England has been working across the National Health Service and its arm’s length bodies to implement the NHS recommendations. NHS England published Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health earlier this year to show progress one year on. NHS England monitors progress on implementing these recommendations through the national Mental Health and Dementia Programme Board, which regularly reports progress to Ministers. We hold NHS England to account for delivery through the NHS Mandate.

The Government’s Inter-Ministerial Group for Mental Health, led by the Department, oversees delivery of the Government’s ambitious agenda on mental health across Government Departments.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the additional £2.8 billion resource funding announced for the NHS in the Budget will go to mental health.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government is already committed to backing the National Health Service with an additional £8 billion, in real terms, by 2020/21. As part of the Budget announcement on 22 November, we have now committed to backing the NHS in England further so that by 2019/20 it will have received an additional £2.8 billion of revenue funding for frontline services than previously planned over the period. This includes £335 million this winter to help trusts to increase capacity. We have also committed £3.5 billion of new capital investment by 2022/23 to transform its estate and drive further efficiency savings.

The use of this funding allocation is a matter for NHS England. Decisions on funding have yet to be made, but the Mental Health Investment Standard makes clear that mental health investment must increase as a proportion of each clinical commissioning group’s spend each year.

The Government is committed to parity of esteem between mental health and physical health and delivering the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. We have backed this with a significant increase in funding – spending on mental health has increased to a record £11.6 billion, with a further £1 billion on top of this by 2020/21. We are also investing an additional £1.4 billion in mental health services for children and young people.

Q
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Alcoholic Drinks: Older People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to measures to help older generations in England cut down alcohol consumption.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Local authorities (LAs) are responsible for commissioning effective drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services based on an assessment of local need. Public Health England supports LAs in this work, by providing bespoke data, value for money tools, topical briefings, and advice on good practice to help LAs meet the needs of their local population, including older people. In addition, the UK Chief Medical Officers have produced new low risk drinking guidelines which provide the public with the latest information about the health risks of different levels and patterns of drinking. The guidelines enable people to make informed choices about their drinking. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines are attached.

UK Chief Medical Officers' Guidelines (PDF Document, 323.17 KB)
Q
Asked on: 28 November 2017
HM Treasury
EU Staff: Pensions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their liability to continue to contribute towards the pensions of retired EU officials after Brexit; and what is their estimate of the cost of any such liability.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 12 December 2017
Following on from the Prime Minister’s speech in Florence, the Joint report on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU lays down the methodology agreed for calculating the financial settlement.

The UK will contribute its share of the financing of the Union’s liabilities incurred before 31 December 2020, including pensions, as they fall due.

The current liability associated with pensions is given in the Annual Accounts of the European Union 2016. As the Joint Report states, this liability has a long time-span and the forecast of its net present value depends on a number of assumptions and is sensitive to, in particular, the real discount rate, which has a historically low value at the time of drafting of the report.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Females
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish their strategy for female offenders in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
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 developing a strategy for female offenders to improve outcomes for women in the community and custody. This will be published in due course.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Females
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the cross-government suicide prevention strategy, including action on self-harm, will form part of their strategy on female offenders in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are committed to improving the safety of female offenders to reduce rates of self-harm and prevent deaths.

The cross-government suicide prevention strategy recognises the importance of working across criminal justice settings to reduce suicide and self-harm. This approach will be reflected in our female offender strategy, alongside our work with the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody on the results of their rapid information gathering exercise on Preventing the Deaths of Women in Prison.

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Parents
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children in England and Wales have had a parent in prison in the last seven years.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The government is committed to supporting prisoners to establish or maintain relationships with their families and significant others where appropriate. My Noble Friend, Lord Farmer, published his report in August, produced on behalf of the Government, which we have warmly welcomed. Work has already commenced on taking forward some of the important recommendations from this review.

The Ministry of Justice does not collect data on the number of children who have a parent in prison. An MoJ longitudinal study of adult prisoners estimated that there were around 200,000 children who had a parent in prison at some point during 2009.

In 2015, MoJ published estimates of the proportions of adult female offenders in 2012 who had one or more dependent children in their care at the time of their disposal. This analysis estimated that between 13-19% of women serving an immediate custodial sentence had at least one dependent child in their care. On average, this group of women had 1.8 children each.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/465916/female-offenders-child-dependents-statistics.pdf

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Lipodystrophy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure early diagnosis and referrals to specialist care for patients with lipodystrophy.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

In 2012, Cambridge University Hospital was commissioned as a single Highly Specialised Service for Severe Insulin Resistance service which can assess, provide assistance with diagnosis, and treat patients with generalised or partial lipodystrophy.

Based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, the National Severe Insulin Resistance Service provides a multidisciplinary NHS service for patients with severe insulin resistance and / or lipodystrophy from across England. The service supports both adult and paediatric patients.

Patients who meet the relevant criteria can be referred to the service by their treating clinician. A copy of Information for referring clinicians, including details of the referral criteria, is attached.

Information for referring clinicians (PDF Document, 914.46 KB)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Cabinet Office
Lipodystrophy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the premature mortality rates for patients diagnosed with lipodystrophy in each of the last five years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA response (PDF Document, 72.04 KB)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Education
Social Services: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the operating models of social care trusts in relation to improving local children’s services.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

A small proportion of local councils have arrangements whereby some or the entirety of their service is run at arms’ length from the council, through a children’s services trust, including some that are in intervention. In two of these councils, Doncaster and Slough, the department established an independent trust after children’s social care services were found to be systemically and persistently inadequate.

An evaluation of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust shows it was viewed favourably by its staff and has had a positive affect on culture and practice: the investment in staff, quality assurance and the way that the Trust communicates its work has led to a shift in culture. This has led to improved staff morale, workforce stability and some practice improvements. For example, the use of agency workers and staff turnover has reduced; and staff reported spending more time with children and families. However, it is too early to determine whether these changes will result in sustained improvements for children and families. An evaluation of Slough Children’s Services Trust is in progress.

Other alternative operating models are being tested by councils who are not in intervention. For example, ‘Achieving for Children’ (AfC) is a social enterprise company, set up and jointly owned by two councils, Richmond-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Thames. It has recently been funded by the Department for Education to expand to three more councils, the first of which is Windsor and Maidenhead, who joined in August 2017. A Department for Education review, published in 2016, into the establishment of AfC suggested that the main benefits of its creation were: better service quality; better staff engagement; higher levels of innovation; better recruitment and retention; and savings from the combining of services across the two local councils and the development of alternative revenue streams.

The department is keen to broaden the developing evidence base on the potential of alternative delivery models to bring better outcomes for local councils. We are funding four projects to explore this through its ‘Innovation Programme’, and will be evaluating their efficacy.

Q
Asked by Lord Stirrup
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Veterans: Mefloquine
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) identify, (2) monitor, and (3) assist, those veterans who were prescribed mefloquine while in the military before the introduction of recent safeguards.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Any veteran presenting to his or her National Health Service general practitioner (GP) with side effects of any medication will receive care in line with national guidelines.

In making a clinical judgement about any patient, the GP will consider a number of factors, including relevant medical history, and will be treated appropriately. GP registration forms include a section to complete if a patient has served in the armed forces. Armed forces’ medical records can be accessed by NHS clinicians.

Q
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Asylum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposal announced by the government of Israel to encourage large numbers of African migrants to self-deport to third countries; and what representations they have made to (1) the government of Israel, and (2) international partners, concerning Israel’s international obligations in this regard.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We have not made any assessment on this issue, nor have we raised the issue with the Israeli authorities and international partners.

Q
Asked by Lord Adonis
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Bath University: Pay
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Ministers and the Higher Education Funding Council for England plan to investigate the decision-making process at the University of Bath which led to an "exit package" being paid to the Vice-Chancellor; what was the total value of that package; and whether they consider this was consistent with the proper and efficient use of public funds.
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The government expects the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to look into issues related to value for money with regard to English higher education institutions. HEFCE has investigated the governance process at the University of Bath which led to the Vice-Chancellor being awarded their most recent salary increase. On the 20 November 2017 it published a report, containing recommendations relating to that governance process. The university has agreed to respond to those recommendations by 15 December 2017.

Separately, the university’s governing body has agreed the retirement arrangements for the Vice-Chancellor. The university issued a press release on 28 November, confirming the details of the exit package.

We understand that HEFCE is currently considering whether it should investigate the governance processes concerned with the Vice-Chancellor’s retirement.

The government’s determination to ensure that students and the taxpayer receive value for money from the higher education sector underpin the reforms we are making through the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The Office for Students (OfS) will become the regulator for the sector in 2018. The OfS has a statutory duty to have regard to the need to promote value for money in the provision of higher education by English higher education providers.

Q
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Dental Services: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to extend NHS England's new Starting Well: A Smile4Life Initiative beyond the 13 areas in which it is initially being dleivered.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

NHS England’s Starting Well programme will work in 13 high needs areas to reach children most at risk of tooth decay who are not currently seeing a dentist. Alongside this, NHS England is also developing a complementary Starting Well Core offer, a commissioning approach designed to facilitate increased access and early preventive care for young children.

The offer will be made available in 2018, with NHS England commissioners making local decisions on use based on their assessment of need locally.

Q
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Sugar: Sales Promotions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to limit the availability of high sugar products (1) in supermarket price promotions, and (2) at the point of sale.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Key measures in our world-leading childhood obesity plan, launched in August 2016, include the soft drinks industry levy and sugar reduction and wider reformulation programme, which will encourage the food and drink industry to reduce the amount of sugar in products popular with children.

Monitoring of progress by Public Health England (PHE) towards achieving the 20% sugar reduction by 2020 will be achieved through the use of sales weighted average sugar levels and reviewing changes in product sales towards lower or no added sugar products. If businesses over-promote high sugar products, they will be less likely to achieve the sales weighted average sugar level per 100 grams for the 20% reduction.

PHE will publish a detailed assessment of progress against delivering the 5% sugar reduction for the first year of the programme in March 2018. We will use this to determine whether sufficient progress has been made and whether alternative levers need to be considered.

Q
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Dental Health: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publiish the next Child Dental Health Survey.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The national Child Dental Health Surveys are undertaken every 10 years and the next survey is due to be undertaken in 2023. The last survey for England, Wales and Northern Ireland took place in 2013 and the findings were published in March 2015. A copy of the Children’s Dental Health Survey 2013: Executive Summary is attached.

Children's Dental Health Survey 2013 (PDF Document, 307.32 KB)
Q
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Dental Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish the next Adult Dental Health Survey.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

No decisions have been taken yet on the timing of the next Adult Dental Health Survey.

Q
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Marines: Plymouth
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to make any changes to the size and location of the Royal Marine garrisons in Plymouth.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

As part of the Service's Structural Rebalancing Plan earlier this year, 200 Royal Marines positions will be reassigned to the wider Royal Navy by 2020.

As announced in November 2016, the Ministry of Defence intends to dispose of Royal Marines Stonehouse in 2023 and The Royal Citadel in 2024, and re-provide for Units from them in the Plymouth and Torpoint area. Exact locations are subject to on-going assessment. Parliament and staff within the impacted Units will be informed when a decision on reprovision has been made.

Q
Asked by Lord Judd
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between morale and overstretched resources in the armed services; and what steps they intend to take to remedy this situation.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The management of morale in the Armed Forces is a high priority for Defence. The Department seeks to measure morale in a robust, consistent and scientific manner, through forums such as the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey. Morale is influenced by many variables and the Department has made no specific assessment of a relationship with resourcing.

We have launched the Armed Forces Families Strategy and the Armed Forces Covenant to improve the Service Offer and lived experience of Service personnel.

We are also developing a number of other initiatives under the Armed Forces People Programme which is focused on modernising the employment offer for Service personnel to allow us to attract and retain the right mix of people and skills.

Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department of Health
Lipodystrophy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the total costs of treating lipodystrophy in each of the last five years for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 December 2017

No assessment or estimate has been made by NHS England of the total costs of treating lipodystrophy, as there are many different types and causes of lipodystrophy, including inherited cases or those caused by HIV treatments.

NHS England commissions the National Severe Insulin Resistance Service to provide a multidisciplinary NHS service for patients with severe insulin resistance and/or lipodystrophy from across England. The service supports both adult and paediatric patients and is available to assess, help diagnose, and treat patients with generalised or partial lipodystrophy.

Asked on: 29 November 2017
Cabinet Office
Unemployment: Wales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were registered as unemployed in each Welsh local authority in (1) 1990, (2) 2000, (3) 2005, (4) 2010, and (5) 2015.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply and I will place a copy of their letter in the Library of the House.

UKSA response (PDF Document, 222.75 KB)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Wales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which ten local authorities in Wales had (1) the lowest number, (2) the lowest percentage, (3) the highest number, and (4) the highest percentage, of individuals in receipt of social security payments, in the last year for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. Such information that is available for Wales is published by the Welsh Government on gov.wales

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sheikh Isa Qassim
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Bahrain about (1) the house arrest, and (2) deteriorations in health, of Sheikh Isa Qassim since May.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

​We have raised this issue with the Bahraini authorities, as recently as December 10th. These authorities have issued public statements making clear that Isa Qassim has access to healthcare with no impediment, and is not under house arrest. He is currently undergoing treatment in hospital.

Grouped Questions: HL3726
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sheikh Isa Qassim
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the government of Bahrain about Sheikh Isa Qassim’s access to medical care since 26 November 2017, with particular regard to interference with his medical care by the police.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

​We have raised this issue with the Bahraini authorities, as recently as December 10th. These authorities have issued public statements making clear that Isa Qassim has access to healthcare with no impediment, and is not under house arrest. He is currently undergoing treatment in hospital.

Grouped Questions: HL3725
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Detainees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is their policy to advise those with concerns about treatment of persons in detention in Bahrain to report those incidents to that country’s Ombudsman Office, the Ombudsman of the Ministery of Interior, and the Special Investigations Unit, given those bodies alleged role in the convictions of (1) Hajer Mansoor Hassan, (2) Sayed Nizar Nimaa Alwadaei, and (3) Mahmood Marzooq Mansoor on 30 October.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The oversight bodies in Bahrain are independent organisations whose duty it is to investigate claims of mistreatment in detention. We continue to encourage those with such concerns to report them to the appropriate oversight body, and we encourage the oversight bodies to carry out their investigations swiftly and thoroughly.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sayed Alwadaei
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the trial in Bahrain of Sayed Nizar Alwadaei which resulted in an additional three-year prison sentence on 29 November; and whether representatives of the UK Government attended his trial.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our Embassy in Bahrain continue to monitor this case and we have raised it with the Government of Bahrain. British officials regularly attend the hearings of high profile cases in which we have an interest. We understand there is a right of appeal to this sentence.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Television: Smoking
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy in relation to smoking on reality TV shows, particularly in regard to the risk that smoking amongst young people might be glamourised.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Broadcasting regulation is a matter for Ofcom, the independent regulator. Ofcom takes the protection of children and young people very seriously - and that is why there are already specific restrictions on the portrayal of smoking on television. The government does not interfere in editorial decisions and it is for content makers to decide what to include in their programmes, provided that they comply with the Broadcasting Code.

Q
Asked by Lord Tebbit
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Caribbean: Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government upon which departmental budget the costs of UK aid given to persons and institutions damaged in the recent hurricanes and storms in the Caribbean and South-Western United States has been allocated.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The UK has provided £92 million of funding in response to the damage inflicted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and is matching public donations to the British Red Cross Appeal up to £3 million. On 27 November the Prime Minister announced a further £70 million package of recovery and reconstruction support for the affected Overseas Territories. This will be delivered over the next three years and will be supplemented by up to £300 million of loan guarantees.

£72 million of the immediate response and early recovery funding has been allocated to the UK Overseas Territories. This is being managed through the cross-Whitehall Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and is being delivered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Department of Health. In addition £20 million of official development assistance​ has also been allocated from the DFID budget for the response to the impact in Barbuda and Dominica.

The £70 million long term recovery and reconstruction package will also be governed by the CSSF.

Grouped Questions: HL3738
Q
Asked by Lord Tebbit
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Caribbean: Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total cost to the UK of aid given in connection with the recent hurricanes and storms in the Caribbean and South-Western United States.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The UK has provided £92 million of funding in response to the damage inflicted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and is matching public donations to the British Red Cross Appeal up to £3 million. On 27 November the Prime Minister announced a further £70 million package of recovery and reconstruction support for the affected Overseas Territories. This will be delivered over the next three years and will be supplemented by up to £300 million of loan guarantees.

£72 million of the immediate response and early recovery funding has been allocated to the UK Overseas Territories. This is being managed through the cross-Whitehall Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and is being delivered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID), the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Department of Health. In addition £20 million of official development assistance​ has also been allocated from the DFID budget for the response to the impact in Barbuda and Dominica.

The £70 million long term recovery and reconstruction package will also be governed by the CSSF.

Grouped Questions: HL3737
Q
Asked by Lord Warner
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Marriage: Humanism
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Scotland and the Republic of Ireland having legal humanist marriages on the case for such recognition in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government has noted the use of humanist marriages in Scotland and has not carried out a specific assessment. The existing law on how and where people may marry in England and Wales presents different issues from other jurisdictions for the Government to consider.

Q
Asked by Lord Warner
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Marriage: Humanism
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the fact that there are now more humanist marriages in Scotland than Church of Scotland marriages, what assessment they have made of the impact of extending legal recognition to humanist marriage on the number of people getting married overall.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government has noted the use of humanist marriages in Scotland and has not carried out a specific assessment. The existing law on how and where people may marry in England and Wales presents different issues from other jurisdictions for the Government to consider.

Q
Asked by Jess Phillips
(Birmingham, Yardley)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Refuges: Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in which locations the additional 2,200 bed spaces funded by his Department’s Domestic Abuse Fund have been created.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 12 December 2017

My Department has so far provided funding to 76 projects covering 248 local authorities through the 2016-2018 £20 million Domestic Abuse Fund, and recently confirmed that a further four projects will shortly receive funding. The attached table sets out all 80 lead local authorities which have received funding, or are due to receive funding.

Lead local authorities are responsible for allocating the funding for the projects set out in their bids and not all bids were based purely on provision of beds, this is reflected in the attached table.

Based on the ranges given in the local authorities’ bid documents, we estimate that the funding will deliver more than 2,200 additional bedspaces in refuges and other safe accommodation. We are committed to evaluating the outcomes from our £20 million fund.

The bed spaces are additional to the 3649 bedspaces counted in the Women’s Aid ‘Routes to Support’ data in 2016. There were 3479 refuge bedspaces in 2010.

UIN 116569 refuge bed spaces table (Word Document, 31.43 KB)
Grouped Questions: 116570
Q
Asked by Jess Phillips
(Birmingham, Yardley)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Refuges: Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the number the organisations that have received funding from the Department’s Abuse Fund; where those organisations are located; and the number of new refuge bed spaces created by those organisations, in each of the last 2 years.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 12 December 2017

My Department has so far provided funding to 76 projects covering 248 local authorities through the 2016-2018 £20 million Domestic Abuse Fund, and recently confirmed that a further four projects will shortly receive funding. The attached table sets out all 80 lead local authorities which have received funding, or are due to receive funding.

Lead local authorities are responsible for allocating the funding for the projects set out in their bids and not all bids were based purely on provision of beds, this is reflected in the attached table.

Based on the ranges given in the local authorities’ bid documents, we estimate that the funding will deliver more than 2,200 additional bedspaces in refuges and other safe accommodation. We are committed to evaluating the outcomes from our £20 million fund.

The bed spaces are additional to the 3649 bedspaces counted in the Women’s Aid ‘Routes to Support’ data in 2016. There were 3479 refuge bedspaces in 2010.

UIN 116569 refuge bed spaces table (Word Document, 31.43 KB)
Grouped Questions: 116569
Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Grenfell Tower: Fires
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many households from (a) Barandon Walk, (b) Hurstway Walk, (c) Testerton Walk, (d) Treadgold House, (e) Bramley House and (f) other surrounding blocks in the Lancaster West Estate were evacuated from their homes following the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017; and how many of those households remain in emergency accommodation.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire had impacts for the whole of the Lancaster West Estate. During the fire, there were safety concerns for residents in the 364 occupied properties in Barandon, Hurstway & Testerton Walks (‘The Walkways’) which lead up to Grenfell Tower. These properties were evacuated on the night of the fire on the advice of the London Fire Service. The evacuation extended as a result of a temporary loss of water, heating and hot water and most Walkways residents were able to return to their homes on 16 June 2017.

As of 4 December 2017, data provided by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea showed 109 households from the Walkways and an additional 14 households from the wider Lancaster West Estate are in emergency accommodation.

We appreciate that many households from the Lancaster West Estate are finding it difficult to return to their homes. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is offering support to residents to return to their homes where possible. We are supporting their plans to make the Lancaster West Estate a model for social housing by allocating additional funds as detailed in the Autumn Budget 2017.

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Grenfell Tower: Fires
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will set out the details of any meetings or other contact that has taken place between his Department and representatives from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea about allowing council tenants who formerly resided in Grenfell Tower to retain the right to buy.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government has been clear that residents who held a council tenancy in Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk will be offered a new home that will be on at least the same terms as the one they lost.

Survivors who held a council tenancy at Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk will have the Right to Buy their new permanent council property; where they move into a permanent housing association property, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) will ask landlords to grant them the Right to Buy.

Officials from my Department have regular meetings with representatives from RBKC about rehousing, including allowing council tenants who formerly resided in Grenfell Tower to retain the Right to Buy.

Q
Asked by Gill Furniss
(Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Public Houses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to continue the Community Pub Business Support Programme beyond March 2018.
A
Answered by: Jake Berry
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government continues to support the community ownership of pubs where they deliver a clear benefit to their local communities. The £3.62 million More Than A Pub Programme is jointly funded by my Department and Power to Change, the independent trust supporting businesses in England.

This two year programme was launched in Spring 2016, with the aim to create a lasting legacy for both the communities supported, and the many more communities they inspire in years to come. To this end, the Government has created a community pubs loan fund, which will continue to be available to community pubs until 2025.

In addition to the support announced in the Autumn Budget 2017 with duties on beer, cider, wine and spirits frozen in 2018, and the extension to March 2019 of a £1,000 discount to pubs with a rateable value below £100,000, the Government continues to support the work of not-for-profit organisation such as the Plunkett Foundation and Pub is The Hub, to help communities realise their goals of a sustainable local pub.

Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
HM Treasury
International Assistance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to assist the actions of NGOs in relation to vulnerable populations by leading an international initiative to establish secure and protected licensed financial routes in order to finance humanitarian and reconstruction work in sanctioned areas, such as Syria.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government is supporting NGOs to provide vital humanitarian services in Syria. The Government is also working domestically and internationally, with both the banking sector and NGOs, to ensure payment channels are available and secure.

The Government recognises the difficulties some NGOs are facing in accessing banking services in the UK. Indeed, the Government has received representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals who have been affected by bank account closures, including from the charitable sector.

This is a global problem, with the Government taking steps to address this internationally and domestically. The UK put the issue on the G20 agenda in 2015, which led to an Action Plan being undertaken by the Financial Stability Board, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF), the International Monetary Fund and other relevant bodies. As a result of this initiative, FATF has amended the global AML/CTF standard relating to non-profit organisations, to ensure that banks take a risk-based approach to managing the risk of criminal and terrorist exploitation of this sector. In addition, FATF has produced guidance to support the effective and proportionate management of money laundering/terrorism financing risks by correspondent banks and money service businesses providing similar services.

Domestically, the Government has encouraged the banking sector to develop new due diligence guidance specifically for smaller NGOs in the charitable sector and will support the banks in the development of a common understanding of the due diligence requirements to help minimise the impact on smaller NGOs.

HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation also published guidance on 19 October 2017 for charities and NGOs to raise awareness and promote compliance with financial sanctions.[1]

For the longer term, in order to continue dialogue with the NGO community on banking access and payments in high risk jurisdictions, including Syria, a Government-NGO Working Group has been established to better understand concerns and explore possible solutions. The group is currently examining the specific challenges faced in getting aid into hard-to-reach communities.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-to-help-charities-comply-with-financial-sanctions ;

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653168/OFSI_Charity_FAQ_web.pdf

Grouped Questions: HL3764
Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
HM Treasury
Middle East: International Assistance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which measures they intend to adopt to support the efforts in Syria and surrounding countries of small NGOs, particularly in relation to (1) the holding of bank accounts in the UK, and (2) the receipt or transfer of funds.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government is supporting NGOs to provide vital humanitarian services in Syria. The Government is also working domestically and internationally, with both the banking sector and NGOs, to ensure payment channels are available and secure.

The Government recognises the difficulties some NGOs are facing in accessing banking services in the UK. Indeed, the Government has received representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals who have been affected by bank account closures, including from the charitable sector.

This is a global problem, with the Government taking steps to address this internationally and domestically. The UK put the issue on the G20 agenda in 2015, which led to an Action Plan being undertaken by the Financial Stability Board, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF), the International Monetary Fund and other relevant bodies. As a result of this initiative, FATF has amended the global AML/CTF standard relating to non-profit organisations, to ensure that banks take a risk-based approach to managing the risk of criminal and terrorist exploitation of this sector. In addition, FATF has produced guidance to support the effective and proportionate management of money laundering/terrorism financing risks by correspondent banks and money service businesses providing similar services.

Domestically, the Government has encouraged the banking sector to develop new due diligence guidance specifically for smaller NGOs in the charitable sector and will support the banks in the development of a common understanding of the due diligence requirements to help minimise the impact on smaller NGOs.

HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation also published guidance on 19 October 2017 for charities and NGOs to raise awareness and promote compliance with financial sanctions.[1]

For the longer term, in order to continue dialogue with the NGO community on banking access and payments in high risk jurisdictions, including Syria, a Government-NGO Working Group has been established to better understand concerns and explore possible solutions. The group is currently examining the specific challenges faced in getting aid into hard-to-reach communities.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-to-help-charities-comply-with-financial-sanctions ;

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/653168/OFSI_Charity_FAQ_web.pdf

Grouped Questions: HL3763
Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
International Assistance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which sanctions have harmed humanitarian efforts to help civilian populations in countries such as Iraq and Syria; and whether they intend to report to Parliament on that matter on a regular basis.
A
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government pursues a policy of targeted sanctions aimed at maximising the desired political effect while minimising unintended consequences. This includes working with international and domestic partners to protect humanitarian efforts as far as possible from the impact of EU sanctions against Syria, UN sanctions against Iraq, and UN sanctions against Daesh and Al'Qaida. We engage regularly with charities and other implementing partners to minimise the impact of sanctions on these humanitarian efforts, for example through the guidance published on 19 October by Her Majesty's Treasury's Official of Financial Sanctions Implementation. The EU carries out regular reviews of its sanctions and the UN Security Council receives monitoring reports from panels of experts. The UK participates actively in these review processes and reports to Parliament on the EU's regular reviews of its sanctions regimes through the agreed scrutiny process for EU legislation.

Q
Asked by Liz Twist
(Blaydon)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the extent of the divergence of regulations and standards which underpin health, safety and personal protective products in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a mutual recognition agreement.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 12 December 2017

As part of EU exit negotiations, we will discuss how best to continue cooperation in the areas of health and safety and personal protective equipment, in order to satisfy the best interests of both the UK and the EU. It would not be appropriate to prejudge the outcome of these negotiations.

It should however be noted that, regardless of our future economic relationship with the EU, the UK is committed to ensuring strong health and safety standards. The UK is recognised as a world-leader in delivering strong health and safety protections for workers, and according to health and safety at work statistics, the UK is one of the safest places to work in the EU.

Q
Asked by Liz Twist
(Blaydon)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Industrial Health and Safety
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the UK health and safety product sector of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 12 December 2017

As part of our work preparing to make a success of our departure from the European Union we are undertaking a broad range of sectoral analysis covering the entirety of the UK economy. This means looking at 58 sectors as well as cross-cutting regulatory, economic and social issues to help inform our negotiation positions.

The Government’s sector report on Life Sciences, which also covers pharmaceuticals and medical devices, sets out a description of the sectors, the current EU regulatory regime, existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries in these sectors and sector views. These reports have been made available for members of both Houses to read in a secure reading room.

The Government is committed to securing the best possible deal for the United Kingdom - a deal that works for the entirety of the UK economy. We have been engaging with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy in order to inform our negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Coventry South)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Meters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes will have been offered a smart meter in the West Midlands by the end of 2017.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We do not hold this information.

Energy suppliers have their own individual systems and criteria for recording offers for installations of a smart meter.

The rollout of smart meters is on track to deliver significant benefits, including putting an end to estimated bills, and is set to save consumers £300m in 2020 alone.

Suppliers are mandated by government to offer every household and small business a smart meter by 2020, and remain committed to this target.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Groceries Code Adjudicator
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department expects to publish its response to its consultation on extending the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator which closed in January 2017.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on our response to the Call for Evidence on the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. This will be published in due course.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Clinical Trials: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he has had with the science and research community on ensuring that the UK will have compatible regulations with the EU clinical trials regulations after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Prime Minister has made clear that a key priority through the negotiations will be to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world for science and innovation. As part of those negotiations the Government will discuss with the EU and Member States how best to continue cooperation in the field of clinical trials.

Stakeholder engagement is a central element of our plan to build a national consensus around our negotiating position; we are listening and talking to as many organisations, companies and institutions as possible. We have been working closely with business through the joint government and industry, UK EU Life Sciences Steering Group, to help identify the priorities for our future relationship with the EU for the benefit of patient health, including clinical trials. We have also engaged stakeholders from other sectors, including the Association of Medical Research Charities, to discuss cross cutting issues which may impact our future relationship on clinical trials. I also attend the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Stakeholder Working Group on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation.

Q
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money has been spent in (1) the past 12 months, and (2) each year since 2014, on the administration of Employment and Support Allowance mandatory reconsiderations in (a) England, (b) Scotland, and (c) Wales.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: HL3796
Q
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance: Appeals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money has been spent in (1) the past 12 months, and (2) each year since 2014, on the process of administering Employment and Support Allowance tribunals in (a) England, (b) Scotland, and (c) Wales.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: HL3795
Q
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Pension Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is was the value of Pension Credit in each year since it was introduced from 2010–11; and what is their estimate of what that value would be from April 2018 if Pension Credit had been increased by the triple lock which has applied to the Basic State Pension.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Pension Credit was introduced in October 2003 and has a number of elements, including additional amounts for severe disability for example.

Table 1 below shows the value of the Pension Credit Standard Minimum Guarantee (PC SMG) for single claimants in weekly terms, between 2010/11 and 2017/18.

Table 1: Pension Credit Standard Minimum Guarantee for single claimants, 2010/11 to 2017/18

Year

Rate

2010/11

£132.60

2011/12

£137.35

2012/13

£142.70

2013/14

£145.40

2014/15

£148.35

2015/16

£151.20

2016/17

£155.60

2017/18

£159.35

In 2018/19, the PC SMG will be £163.00 per week for single claimants. It is estimated that, if from 2010/11 the PC SMG had been uprated in the same way that the basic State Pension was uprated; then the PC SMG for single claimants would be £171.20 per week in 2018/19.

Q
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Pension Credit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many single (1) women, and (2) men, over 80 years old are in receipt of Pension Credit.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

In May 2017, there were 445,302 single women aged over 80 that were claiming Pension Credit, and 97,080 single men aged over 80 that were claiming Pension Credit.

Q
Asked by Lord Beecham
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Magistrates' Courts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Shailesh Vara MP on 25 February 2015 (HC 224618), what proportion of the total work undertaken in magistrates' courts was presided over by (1) lay magistrates, and (2) district judges, on 1 April in each year from 2015 to 2017.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 12 December 2017

For 1st April 2015 and 2017 the data are set out in the following table[1]:

Date

Judiciary

Cases by number

Cases in %

01 April 2015

Magistrates

10,150

89.90%

District Judges

1143

10.10%

01 April 2016

Magistrates

6,832

89.10%

District Judges

833

10.90%

01 April 2017[2]

Magistrates

517

92.30%

District Judges

43

7.70%

31 March 2017

Magistrates

5,687

91.80%

District Judges

510

8.20%

03 April 2017

Magistrates

7,130

88.70%

District Judges

911

11.30%

Magistrates and District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) bring different but equally valuable skills to our justice system and the magistrates’ courts. We continue to work with magistrates to ensure they have as full a role as possible.

[1] ‘Cases’ provide a count of cases that have a hearing listed on the specified hearing date. It is possible for a single defendant to have more than one case listed at the same time. The data include Criminal, Civil, and Enforcement cases, but will exclude any work in the single family court. It is possible to have Magistrates sitting with District Judges in the same session; where this occurs the case will be counted under both.

[2] 1st April 2017 was a Saturday so the data has also been provided for 31st March 2017 (the working day before) and 3rd April 2017 (the working day afterwards).

[1] ‘Cases’ provide a count of cases that have a hearing listed on the specified hearing date. It is possible for a single defendant to have more than one case listed at the same time. The data include Criminal, Civil, and Enforcement cases, but will exclude any work in the single family court. It is possible to have Magistrates sitting with District Judges in the same session; where this occurs the case will be counted under both.

[1] 1st April 2017 was a Saturday so the data has also been provided for 31st March 2017 (the working day before) and 3rd April 2017 (the working day afterwards).

Q
Asked by Lord Bird
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Poverty
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Buscombe on 28 July (HL954), in what ways, and by which means, (1) ministers, and (2) departments, work together to tackle the root causes of poverty, including through (a) committees, (b) units, (c) taskforces, and (d) forums.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families, published on 4 April, set out a framework for improving outcomes for disadvantaged children, now and in the future. The Department for Work and Pensions continues to work with key stakeholders and with other Departments to take forward the four policies set out in the paper. Further announcements will be made in due course.

This paper also set out national statutory and non-statutory indicators to track progress in tackling worklessness and associated disadvantages that can affect families’ and children’s lives. We made available the latest analysis and an evidence base to enable local authorities, local partners and others to understand, and act on, the complex factors of disadvantage in their local area. This includes local-level data on the factors of disadvantage that are available through a local government data tool (LG Inform).

The Department for Work and Pensions works across government and is represented at a ministerial level at a number of groups and forums which focus on supporting those who are most disadvantaged, including the Social Reform Committee, Inter Ministerial Groups on Homelessness, Gangs and Violence against Women and Girls and the Drugs Strategy Group. In the future DWP will co-chair the Financial Inclusion Policy Forum with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Q
Asked by Lord Bird
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Poverty
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions, if any, they have had with the devolved administrations since 2010 about possible coordinated actions across the UK to reduce (1) poverty, and (2) child poverty; whether they have learned any lessons from specific initiatives introduced by those administrations that may now be applied in England; and if so, what.
A
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

This Government is committed to an approach to tackling poverty that goes beyond a focus on the safety net of the welfare system. Work is the best route out of poverty and our welfare reforms are designed to incentivise employment and support people to progress in work. There are now 954,000 fewer workless households and 608,000 fewer children in workless households across the UK compared with 2010. Through Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families we have set out a framework for a continued focus for improving outcomes for workless families, now and in the future.

The Scottish Government has powers in the Scotland Act 2016 to introduce new provision in areas where responsibility is devolved and the Devolved Government in Wales and Scotland are also free to develop their own approaches to tackling child poverty.

Officials in DWP continue to have regular engagement with devolved administrations on a wide range of welfare issues, including constructive discussions about the Improving Lives evidence base and approaches to tackling poverty.

Q
Asked by Lord Birt
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Planning
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning to require local authorities to conduct planning and conservation processes speedily and within set timeframes.
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The performance of local planning authorities in deciding all types of applications for planning permission is crucial to achieving our objective of building the homes this country needs.

That is why we continuously monitor the performance of local planning authorities in determining planning applications for major and non-major development, through our designation regime.

Local planning authorities are required to determine more than 60 per cent of major applications and 70 per cent of non-major applications within the statutory timescales. If a local planning authority falls below this figure within a defined 24 month period then they risk being designated as under-performing.

Should an authority be designated as under-performing, applicants will have the option of submitting applications directly to the Planning Inspectorate (who act on behalf of the Secretary of State) for determination.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Home Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of children who are excluded and subsequently home-schooled.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The department does not collect information on the number of children that are home educated. Parents are not under any duty to register with their local council when they home educate and so there is no reliable basis on which to collect statistics.

Grouped Questions: HL3840 | HL3841
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Home Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of pupils who were taken out of school to visit families abroad, in (1) Pakistan, and (2) elsewhere, and who are subsequently home-schooled following their return in the last five years; and what proportion of those students were teenage girls.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The department does not collect information on the number of children that are home educated. Parents are not under any duty to register with their local council when they home educate and so there is no reliable basis on which to collect statistics.

Grouped Questions: HL3839 | HL3841
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Home Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pupils in the last academic year were taken out of school to be home-schooled.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The department does not collect information on the number of children that are home educated. Parents are not under any duty to register with their local council when they home educate and so there is no reliable basis on which to collect statistics.

Grouped Questions: HL3839 | HL3840
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Out-of-school Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of children in unregistered schools who are notionally home-schooled.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

National statistics are not centrally collected for the number of children being taught at unregistered schools who are notionally home schooled.

Q
Asked by Lord Ouseley
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Home Office
Crimes of Violence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following recent moped-related snatch crimes and acid attacks, they intend to introduce special measures to tackle those crimes.
Answered on: 12 December 2017

In July 2017, the Home Secretary announced an action plan to tackle the use of acid and other corrosives substances in violent attacks. The action plan is based on four key strands: ensuring effective support for victims and survivors; effective policing; ensuring that relevant legislation is understood and consistently applied; and working with retailers to restrict access to acids and other harmful corrosive substances.

We are also consulting on new legislative proposals on new offences in respect of selling the most harmful corrosive substances to under 18s and possession of a corrosive substance in a public place.

On moped related crime, the Government is working with motorcycle and insurance industry leaders, the police, the Local Government Association, charities and representatives from the motorcycle riding community to identify a set of actions so that more can be done to prevent these crimes. This work sits alongside the review we have announced into the law, guidance and practice in relation to police pursuits and response driving.

Officials have met representatives from Uber and UberEats to discuss this issue. We have ensured they are in contact with the Metropolitan Police Service so that they are aware of these concerns and to discuss what practical advice can be provided to their couriers and drivers.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Officers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 30 November  (HL3468), whether any honorary five-star officers are in regular service.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 12 December 2017

There are no honorary five-star officers in Regular Service in the UK Armed Forces.

Q
Asked by Chris Elmore
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Women and Equalities
Bullying: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the level of in-person bullying against BAME people.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We welcome the publication of the Race Disparity Audit (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/650723/RDAweb.pdf), by the Cabinet office in October 2017. Officials from the Government Equalities Office and Cabinet Office are discussing a number of issues highlighted by the audit, including any implications that it might have for the Equality Act 2010 which prohibits harassment on grounds of race in employment and the provision of goods, services and public functions.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) records the number of calls they receive about harassment and victimisation of BAME people and have reported that, between October 2016 and 31 October 2017 there were 89 calls from BAME people about harassment or victimisation, out of a total of 2,235 race-related calls.

Q
Asked by Chris Elmore
(Ogmore)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Women and Equalities
Bullying: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has met with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the level of in-person bullying against LGBT+ people.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), and those who are perceived to be LGBT, are disproportionately affected by bullying. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is unacceptable and the Government is determined to tackle it.

As the Department responsible for equality strategy and legislation across Government, Ministers for the Government Equalities Office regularly meet with members of the Cabinet and with Ministers from other Government Departments. Such meetings are used as an opportunity to discuss issues affecting LGBT people and how Departments can work together to reduce the inequalities LGBT people face.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Ambulance Services: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to recategorise ambulance response times more accurately to reflect journey times.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 12 December 2017

There are no such plans.

Following an independent evaluation, we have agreed NHS England’s recommendation to introduce an improved ambulance performance framework, including the introduction of new response time categories. National Health Service ambulance trusts are now implementing these changes.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a trade agreement with the United States on UK farming.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Defra and the Department for International Trade are conducting ongoing research and analysis into potential trade deals. Leaving the EU is a golden opportunity to secure bold and ambitious trade agreements that work for consumers, farmers, and businesses in the UK.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Overseas Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) administrative support his Department has provided to the forthcoming trade conference with Sudan on 12 December 2017.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 12 December 2017
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not providing any financial or administrative support to the forthcoming trade conference with Sudan on 12 December 2017.
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
HM Treasury
House Insurance
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the affordability of home insurance for older and vulnerable people.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry, including insurance firms. The FCA is actively investigating issues surrounding access to financial services and vulnerable customers, and is also undertaking a wider review of firms’ pricing practices. The FCA recently published its ‘approach to consumers’ consultation paper which includes a focus on understanding the needs of vulnerable people.

The government awaits the finding of the FCA’s consultation.

The government believes that it is important that consumers have access to suitable insurance products at the right price. We recognise that various factors – including age – can impact on availability, pricing and terms of insurance policies. As set out in the government’s response to the final report of the Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion in November 2017, we are setting up a new Financial Inclusion Policy Forum. This will help us to consider important issues on this subject, enabling ministers to take a strategic, cross-government approach on action to improve financial inclusion.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Breast Cancer: Biosimilar Medicines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England has provided any guidance to hospital trusts and clinicians on the introduction of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) for breast cancer.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 12 December 2017

A final date for the availability of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) has yet to be agreed. Therefore NHS England has not yet issued any guidance on the introduction of a biosimilar of Herceptin (trastuzumab) for breast cancer. However, NHS England has discussed the introduction and uptake of biosimilar trastuzumab with the Cancer Vanguard. The Vanguard is a group of National Health Service trusts looking at developing new models of care and providing replicable models for cancer care nationally that will act as blueprints for the NHS.

The Cancer Vanguard will provide guidance and supporting documentation to hospital trusts and clinicians in the same way that documents were provided to support the introduction of biosimilar rituximab. Once a firm date is known, NHS trusts will be contacted regarding the availability of biosimilar trastuzumab and what they must do to ensure uptake. This will include linkages to the supporting documents issued by the Vanguard.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Medical Records: Data Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of delaying the roll-out of the national data opt-out programme from March 2018 to May 2018 to coincide with General Data Protection Regulations, to improve patient roll-in figures.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are actively considering the opportunities presented by aligning roll out of the national data opt-out with implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enabling patients and the system to derive maximum benefit from these complementary measures, designed to enable use of data in a safe, secure and legal way.

Effective communication for both public and professionals will be critical to successful implementation of both GDPR and the national opt-out.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Medical Records
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, Pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2017 to Question 115323 on armed forces: medical records, which of the regulations and standards referred to in that answer have been amended since 2013.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Since 2013, a number of textual amendments or annotations have been made to the following regulations, such as to reflect changes in related legislation:

• Access to Medical Reports Act 1988

• Human Rights Act 1998

• Access to Health Records Act 1990

• Computer Misuse Act 1990

• Data Protection Act 1998

• Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015

Following a second review of information governance, the Caldicott Principles were revised in 2013. A seventh principle 'the duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality' was introduced.

The General Medical Council - Confidentiality: Good Practice in Handling Patient Information (2017) updates guidance previously published in 2009.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Compulsorily Detained Mental Patients
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference too the explanatory notes of the Mental Health Act 1983 (Places of Safety) Regulations 2017, how the 33 additional health-based places of safety were calculated.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The methodology is set out in paragraphs 31 to 60 of the detailed impact assessment prepared for the Policing and Crime Act 2017. This is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/528323/Impact_Assessment_-_Police_Powers_under_the_Mental_Health_Act.pdf

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Compulsorily Detained Mental Patients
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will undertake an assessment of the effectiveness of the Mental Health Act 1983 (Places of Safety) Regulations 2017.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The effectiveness of the changes to be introduced by the Mental Health Act 1983 (Places of Safety) Regulations 2017 will be assessed by the Care Quality Commission as part of its duty to monitor the working of the Act and to report annually on its findings.

The National Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat Steering Group for England and Wales provides an overarching structure through which a wide range of national stakeholders can provide feedback through regular contact with the Home Office and the Department of Health.

Emerging information from the monitoring of the operation of the new provisions will be fed into the wider Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983, chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, which was launched on 4 October 2017.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Apprentices: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the effect of the introduction of the apprenticeship levy on the number of people undertaking apprenticeships.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 12 December 2017

There have been over 1.1 million apprenticeship starts since May 2015 and we aim to reach 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. The apprenticeship levy is an essential step in our drive to boost productivity and encourage sustained employer investment in more high quality apprenticeships.

We are pleased to see a greater investment in higher quality, employer designed apprenticeship standards. 24,600 starts on standards took place in 2016/17, a significant increase from 4,300 the year before.

Our reforms are the largest changes to apprenticeships that government has ever made. It is expected that employers, and the apprenticeship market, take time to maximise the opportunities that apprenticeships represent.

Grouped Questions: 117219
Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions Ministers have flown on VIP-configured RAF Voyager aircraft in the last 12 months and to set out the destinations of those flights.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The requested information is given below.

Location

Date

VIP

India

5-9 November 2016

Prime Minister

Cyprus/Bahrain

4-7 December 2016

Prime Minister

USA/Turkey

25-29 January 2017

Prime Minister

Romania/Austria/Italy

29 March-8 April 2017

HRH Prince of Wales

Italy/Beijing

13-15 May 2017

Chancellor

Belgium/Italy

23-26 May 2017

Prime Minister

Germany

6-8 July 2017

Prime Minister

Japan

29 August-2 September 2017

Prime Minister

Canada/USA

16-21 September 2017

Prime Minister

Malaysia

29 October-9 November 2017

HRH Prince of Wales

Jordan

27-29 November 2017

Prime Minister

Grouped Questions: 117150
Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions members of the royal family have flown on VIP-configured RAF Voyager aircraft in the last 12 months; and which destinations those flights visited.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The requested information is given below.

Location

Date

VIP

India

5-9 November 2016

Prime Minister

Cyprus/Bahrain

4-7 December 2016

Prime Minister

USA/Turkey

25-29 January 2017

Prime Minister

Romania/Austria/Italy

29 March-8 April 2017

HRH Prince of Wales

Italy/Beijing

13-15 May 2017

Chancellor

Belgium/Italy

23-26 May 2017

Prime Minister

Germany

6-8 July 2017

Prime Minister

Japan

29 August-2 September 2017

Prime Minister

Canada/USA

16-21 September 2017

Prime Minister

Malaysia

29 October-9 November 2017

HRH Prince of Wales

Jordan

27-29 November 2017

Prime Minister

Grouped Questions: 117149
Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Air Force: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF officers accepted on elementary flying training have (a) completed and (b) failed that course in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is given below;

Elementary Flying Training

Financial Year

Passed

Failed

2012-13

20

0

2013-14

20

~

2014-15

40

~

2015-16

60

0

2016-17

90

~

In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, data has been rounded to the nearest 10, “~” denotes a number less than 5.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Air Force: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF officers accepted on basic fast jet training have (a) completed and (b) failed that course in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is given below;

Basic Fast Jet Training

Financial Year

Passed

Failed

2012-13

10

0

2013-14

10

0

2014-15

20

~

2015-16

20

0

2016-17

10

~

In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, data has been rounded to the nearest 10, “~” denotes a number less than 5.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Compulsorily Detained Mental Patients
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans to publish the latest figures on section 136 detentions under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the places of safety patients are taken to.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Information on s136 detentions where the person is taken to a health based place of safety is published annually by NHS Digital. The most recent report, Mental Health Act Statistics, Annual Figures: 2016-17, Experimental statistics was published in October and is available at

https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB30105

Information on s136 detentions where the person is taken to a police station as a place of safety is published annually by the Home Office. The most recent report, Police powers and procedures England and Wales year ending 31 March 2017 second edition was published in October and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2017

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Air Force: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF officers accepted on to the multi-engine lead-In preparatory course have (a) completed and (b) failed that course in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is given below.

Multi Engine Lead In

Financial Year

Passed

Failed

2015-16

20

0

2016-17

20

0

In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, data has been rounded to the nearest 10.

Figures prior to Financial Year 2015-16 for the Multi Engine Lead in Course are not held.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Air Force: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF officers undertaking rotary-wing pilot training at the Defence Helicopter Flying School have (a) completed and (b) failed the basic stages of rotary-wing pilot training in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The information requested is given below;

Single Engine Rotary Wing

Financial Year

Passed

Failed

2012-13

0

0

2013-14

~

0

2014-15

20

0

2015-16

20

0

2016-17

20

0

In accordance with the Data Protection Act and our obligations in relation to the protection of confidentiality when handling personal data, data has been rounded to the nearest 10, “~” denotes a number less than 5.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress is being made on the implementation of curriculum elements required by the provisions of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Children and Social Work Act requires the Government to make regulations to provide for primary schools to teach Relationships Education and for secondary schools to teach Relationships and Sex Education. The Act also provides a power to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PHSE) education mandatory in all state-funded schools.

We have begun an engagement process with stakeholders to help reach evidence-based decisions on the content of the regulations and guidance, as well as further consideration of the status of PSHE.

We envisage draft regulations and the guidance will be published for consultation in 2018. The Regulations will then be laid alongside final draft guidance allowing for a full and considered debate in Parliament. We are working towards schools teaching the new subjects from September 2019.

Grouped Questions: 117161
Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Air Force: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many RAF (a) pilot navigator instructors, (b) navigator instructors, (c) helicopter navigator instructors, (d) helicopter crewman instructors, (e) air engineer instructors, (f) air electronics instructors and (g) weapons instructors there were in each of the last five years; and how many of each such instructor have left the armed forces in that period.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Details of the number of RAF personnel who currently hold the relevant instructor qualifications (as at 6 December 2017) can be provided within the cost limit, and are:

Number of RAF personnel

Qualified Pilot Navigator Instructor

40

Qualified Navigator Instructor

60

Qualified Helicopter Navigator Instructor

20

Qualified Helicopter Crewman Instructor

110

Qualified Air Engineer Instructor

~

Electronic Warfare Instructor

320

Qualified Weapons Instructor

300

Data has been rounded to the nearest 10, where "~" denotes a number less than or equal to 5. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

Air Electronics instructor has been interpreted as Electronic Warfare instructor.

Q
(North West Norfolk)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Sex and Relationship Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress is being made on updating guidance on sex and relationship education.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Children and Social Work Act requires the Government to make regulations to provide for primary schools to teach Relationships Education and for secondary schools to teach Relationships and Sex Education. The Act also provides a power to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PHSE) education mandatory in all state-funded schools.

We have begun an engagement process with stakeholders to help reach evidence-based decisions on the content of the regulations and guidance, as well as further consideration of the status of PSHE.

We envisage draft regulations and the guidance will be published for consultation in 2018. The Regulations will then be laid alongside final draft guidance allowing for a full and considered debate in Parliament. We are working towards schools teaching the new subjects from September 2019.

Grouped Questions: 117159
Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Cabinet Office
Blood: Contamination
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the Government has not yet appointed a chair for the contaminated blood inquiry.
A
Answered by: Damian Green
Answered on: 12 December 2017

I refer the Honourable Member to my Written Ministerial Statement of 3 November, in which I commit to making a further statement on the running of the inquiry before the end of this year.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Bereavement Counselling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2017 to Question 115326, how many members of the (a) VO and (b) BAS teams attended bereavement counselling courses after 2014; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 12 December 2017

If a family requires bereavement counselling they are referred to the Army Welfare Service, who will access counselling support. The Visiting Officer and Bereavement and Aftercare Support team are not trained counsellors and cannot provide this level of specialised support, so they do not attend bereavement counselling courses.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Portsmouth
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the (a) speed and (b) reliability of rail services between Portsmouth and London.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Under the new South Western Franchise operated since August 2017, passengers from Portsmouth to London should see journey times reduce by around 5 minutes from December 2018. South Western Railway (SWR) are currently consulting on their proposed timetable for December 2018 until 22nd December.

With regard to reliability, the Secretary of State recently called a joint-performance summit bringing together SWR, Network Rail with senior officials in the Department and the Office of Road and Rail to ensure that there are plans in place to bring operational performance to levels that passengers rightly expect and deserve.

I should also explain further the new Franchise Agreement contains provision that better incentivise operators to improve performance. This includes financial penalties if the contracted levels are not achieved.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
HM Treasury
Small Businesses: Bank Services
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support small businesses whose local bank branches have just closed or are at risk of closure.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Government is committed to improving access to financial services. While the decision to close a branch remains a commercial judgement for banks, the impact on communities must be understood, considered and mitigated where possible.

The industry’s Access to Banking Standard, launched in May 2017, commits banks to ensure personal and business customers are better informed about branch closures and the reasons for them closing, along with the options they have locally to continue to access banking services, including specialist assistance for customers who need more help. The Access to Banking Standard is monitored and enforced by the independent Lending Standards Board.

95% of banks’ business customers are now able to withdraw cash, deposit cash and cheques, and make balance enquiries at a Post Office counter via its network of 11,600 branches. At Budget, I wrote to the Post Office and UK Finance to ask them to raise public awareness of the banking services available at the Post Office for individuals and SMEs.

Government will have provided nearly £2 billion during the period 2011 to 2018 to maintain and modernise the Post Office network.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to (a) improve data collection on business ownership and (b) encourage more women to set up small businesses.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are working to ensure we have the right business support for everyone, including women, to set up and grow a business.

We carry out and publish the Longitudinal Small Business Survey which provides estimates of ownership of businesses by women. The 2016 survey can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/small-business-survey-reports.

Start-Up Loans provide funding and intensive support to new entrepreneurs. As at the end of October 2017, there were over 20,130 loans issued to women totalling over £132.5m. To date 39% of start-up loans have been issued to women.

Government has also supported and invested in the creation of a network of 38 Growth Hubs (one in each Local Enterprise Partnership area), providing businesses across England with tailored advice and support.

The Business Support Helpline also provides information and guidance to people across England - 49% of users in the last year (2016-17) were women.

As part of the Industrial Strategy, we will identify ways to tackle barriers faced by female-led businesses in accessing venture capital through new behavioural research commissioned by the British Business Bank.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Travel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the transparency document entitled Ministers: Quarterly Return April - June 2017, which tickets relating to which international journeys were (a) first, (b) business, (c) economy and (d) any other class; and what the cost of each such ticket was.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The breakdown of the ministers transparency return for the quarter April to June 2017 highlighting type of ticket and cost are shown below:

2/4/17

Single

Glasgow

Yangon

£3,675.20

Business Class

4/4/17

Return

Yangon

Nay Pyi Taw

£264.36

Domestic

5/4/17

Single

Yangon

Singapore

£577.90

Business Class

7/4/17

Single

Singapore

London Heathrow

£3,949.52

Business Class

Total Cost

£8,466.98

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Infant Foods
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will reinstate the Infant Feeding Survey.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

There are at present no plans to commission any further Infant Feeding Surveys.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Continuing Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average length of time taken has been for clinical commissioning groups to implement Continuing Healthcare fast-track packages.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 12 December 2017

NHS England does not collect or hold information on the average length of time it takes for clinical commissioning groups to implement NHS Continuing Healthcare fast-track care packages.

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