Written questions and answers

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

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Attorney General
Travellers: Discrimination
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, how many successful prosecutions there have been under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination against the Gypsy and Traveller communities.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 19 February 2018

There was one prosecution under s175 (1)(a) and 2 of the Equalities Act in 2011/12. This creates offences in relation to access to public service vehicles. In accordance with CPS Retention Policy a case involving an offence under section 175 of the Equalities Act 2010 would be archived one year following sentencing. Therefore, no further information is held about the case in question.

Section 9 of the Equality Act 2010 defines the protected characteristics of ‘race’. Race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins. Ethnic or national origins include being from a Roma or Traveler background, therefore the CPS prosecutes crimes against the Gypsy and Traveller communities under other legislation, in particular hate crimes against the community.

A programme of CPS mandated training for prosecutors, including racially aggravated crime, was developed and completed by the start of 2017.

Q
Asked by Scott Mann
(North Cornwall)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Countryside Stewardship Scheme: North Cornwall
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of farmers in north Cornwall have taken up the Entry Level Stewardship scheme since 2015.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 19 February 2018

Entry Level Stewardship closed for new applications in 2014. There have been no new Entry Level Stewardship applications since 2015 in North Cornwall or elsewhere.

In 2015, the Environmental Stewardship Scheme was replaced by Countryside Stewardship, which offers 5 year land management agreements beginning on the 1st January in the year following application. In North Cornwall we have approved 83 Countryside Stewardship agreements with a 1st January 2016 start date and 102 with a 1st January 2017 start date.

Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Attorney General
Unexplained Wealth Orders
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Crown Prosecution Service has the resources necessary to implement the new unexplained wealth orders.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 19 February 2018

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has adequate resources to undertake work relating to unexplained wealth orders.

The Home Office will provide funding to the value of £70,500 in 2017-18 in order to support CPS POC and the ROCU/RART network to develop the knowledge and skills required in order to investigate cases appropriately and to conduct High Court civil litigation.

Q
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lakeside Energy from Waste
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the construction of a third runway at Heathrow will require the closure of the Lakeside Energy from Waste plant; and of the corresponding impact this would have on the 12 councils that use this plant.
A
Answered on: 19 February 2018

The Environment Agency (EA) has not yet made a detailed assessment of the effect of proposals to expand Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) is currently working on its detailed proposal and once this is submitted the EA will assess it. The EA will be responding to the first phase of HAL’s public consultation which was launched on 17 January 2018. The EA will not be able to assess the detailed proposals until HAL submit their application for a Development Consent Order, which they expect to do by the end of 2019.

Defra is aware of the potential effects of Heathrow’s expansion on local waste management and is monitoring the development.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 06 February 2018
The Senior Deputy Speaker
Parliamentary Estate: Construction
Lords
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how many women are employed in construction works (1) on the House of Lords Estate, and (2) for bicameral projects on the Parliamentary Estate.
A
Answered on: 19 February 2018

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are jointly responsible for the Palace of Westminster. The Strategic Estates department is a bicameral department and is responsible for delivering capital investment across the Parliamentary Estate. As at 14 February the department consisted of 64 (47%) women and 72 (53%) men. These staff work on a bicameral basis and it is not possible to allocate specific figures to those working on each part of the Estate. In addition to these staff, as at 14 February there were 2,620 contractor passes issued to the teams responsible for construction works and maintenance of the Palace and other areas of the Parliamentary Estate. Of these, 312 (11.9%) were issued to women.

Q
Asked on: 29 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Prosperity Fund
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of Official Development Assistance is disbursed through the Prosperity Fund.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 16 February 2018
Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control: Earby
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will meet a delegation from Pendle Borough Council to discuss the problems relating to past and potential flooding in Earby.
A
Answered on: 16 February 2018

Pendle Borough Council are advised to write to the Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Environment setting out their concerns. The contact address is Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Environment, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Public Appointments
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Young of Cookham on 25 January (HL Deb, cols 1083–1085), what action they are taking to widen the pool of talent for appointment to public bodies.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 16 February 2018

In December 2017, the Government published a Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan which sets out the range of activities we are undertaking to attract and to support new and diverse talent into public appointments. It sets out our ambition that, by 2022, 50% of all public appointees should be female and 14% of all public appointments should be from ethnic minorities (currently 43% and 10% respectively). It also announced a review of the barriers preventing disabled people from taking up public appointments. Other actions include improving the recruitment process to maximise opportunities for candidates from the broadest range of backgrounds, developing the networks through which to raise awareness of public appointments, and establishing a group of mentors who will provide peer-to-peer support for new and high potential candidates.

Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Health Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the announcement by the Palestinian Ministry of Health that because of fuel shortages affecting hospitals and clinics “urgent action is needed to prevent collapse of Gaza’s health system”, they are planning to offer any assistance.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 16 February 2018

We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and continue to monitor it closely, including the effect electricity shortages are having on the health sector. The UK will continue to urge all the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to improve conditions, including restoring the availability of electricity as a matter of urgency. The UK is supporting approximately 1 million Gazans by addressing critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza, including basic health care.

Q
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Infrastructure
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the offer by the government of Israel to provide assistance for rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure, and to that government's request for the international community to fund that work.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The UK Government consistently calls on the Israeli Government to ease movement and access restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) and repeatedly calls on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law. We welcome recent Israeli announcements to ease restrictions on the importation of material into Gaza for much needed infrastructure projects such as the proposed Central Gaza Desalination Plant and other waste water plants under construction, which many international donors are supporting. The UK is currently engaging with relevant stakeholders to discuss the development of infrastructure for enhanced water and electricity supply in Gaza, and continues to urge all the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to improve conditions.

Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government's proposals for a clean air strategy will include (a) a commitment not to exceed World Health Organisation recommended limits on particulate matter and (b) a target to reduce premature deaths caused by air pollution.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The evidence of health impacts from particulate matter (PM) is particularly strong and the Government is already taking action to reduce emissions of harmful PM. The UK has signed up to ambitious new targets to reduce emissions of PM2.5 as well as four other damaging pollutants (ammonia, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide) by 2020 and 2030. The Government is aiming to cut early deaths from air pollution by half. The Statutory Instrument committing these targets to law was laid on 1 February.

We will publish a Clean Air Strategy, which will set out plans to meet these targets, for consultation in 2018. We are currently calling for evidence on domestic solid fuel use, one of the largest emissions sources of PM. Householders and businesses are being asked for their views on proposals to cut harmful emissions caused by domestic fuel burning.

Defra works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England to develop a strong evidence base on the health impacts of air pollution and to provide health advice during episodes of elevated air pollution. We are carefully considering public health measures.

Grouped Questions: 126647 | 126648
Q
(Stockton North)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to include a commitment to reach World Health Organization limits on particulate matter in its new clean air strategy.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The evidence of health impacts from particulate matter (PM) is particularly strong and the Government is already taking action to reduce emissions of harmful PM. The UK has signed up to ambitious new targets to reduce emissions of PM2.5 as well as four other damaging pollutants (ammonia, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide) by 2020 and 2030. The Government is aiming to cut early deaths from air pollution by half. The Statutory Instrument committing these targets to law was laid on 1 February.

We will publish a Clean Air Strategy, which will set out plans to meet these targets, for consultation in 2018. We are currently calling for evidence on domestic solid fuel use, one of the largest emissions sources of PM. Householders and businesses are being asked for their views on proposals to cut harmful emissions caused by domestic fuel burning.

Defra works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England to develop a strong evidence base on the health impacts of air pollution and to provide health advice during episodes of elevated air pollution. We are carefully considering public health measures.

Grouped Questions: 126553 | 126648
Q
(Stockton North)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to include a target on decreasing premature deaths from air pollution in its new clean air strategy.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The evidence of health impacts from particulate matter (PM) is particularly strong and the Government is already taking action to reduce emissions of harmful PM. The UK has signed up to ambitious new targets to reduce emissions of PM2.5 as well as four other damaging pollutants (ammonia, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide) by 2020 and 2030. The Government is aiming to cut early deaths from air pollution by half. The Statutory Instrument committing these targets to law was laid on 1 February.

We will publish a Clean Air Strategy, which will set out plans to meet these targets, for consultation in 2018. We are currently calling for evidence on domestic solid fuel use, one of the largest emissions sources of PM. Householders and businesses are being asked for their views on proposals to cut harmful emissions caused by domestic fuel burning.

Defra works closely with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England to develop a strong evidence base on the health impacts of air pollution and to provide health advice during episodes of elevated air pollution. We are carefully considering public health measures.

Grouped Questions: 126553 | 126647
Q
(Meriden)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Horse Riding
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects on the equestrian sector of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 16 February 2018

We are undertaking a comprehensive programme of analytical work looking at the implications of UK withdrawal from the EU. The Government is examining all areas of the UK economy and seeking input from a wide range of businesses and industry bodies in order to inform our negotiations with the EU.

The Government’s priority for the equine sector in the context of leaving the EU, remains to ensure the continued movement of horses between the UK and EU, with the minimum of delay and bureaucracy, whilst at the same time providing appropriate disease control and welfare protection from Day 1 of EU Exit onwards. We have been working through a number of options in this area, considering a wide range of stakeholder views, and intend to embark on an extensive period of stakeholder engagement.

Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what amount they expect to spend on overseas aid, including UK aid administered by the EU, between 2018 and 2025.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The UK Government has committed to spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The budget to achieve this is calculated using forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) (latest published in the EFO in November 2017). These numbers are indicative and will be updated in future budgets to reflect the most up to date OBR forecasts.

Q
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Development
Gaza: Hospitals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they intend to take, if any, in response to reports that Beit Hanoun Hospital has closed due to severe shortages of fuel for hospital generators.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 16 February 2018

The UK is concerned about reports that Beit Hanoun Hospital has been partially closed in order to rationalise fuel. The UK continues to monitor the humanitarian situation in Gaza closely. The UK is supporting approximately 1 million Gazans by addressing critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza, including basic health care. The UK will continue to urge all the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to improve conditions, including restoring the availability of electricity as a matter of urgency.

Q
Asked on: 29 January 2018
Attorney General
Crown Prosecution Service
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to review the performance of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The performance of the DPP is reviewed on a regular basis and the Attorney General has regular meetings with the DPP about the work of the Crown Prosecution Service. The Crown Prosecution Service is also regularly inspected by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate which includes looking at performance within each area and on a national level for thematic reports.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Capita
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many contracts his Department holds with Capita; and what the value of those contracts is.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Defra has a zero value contract with Capita to supply contingent labour which was a call off from a Crown Commercial Services Framework. The responsibility for the management of the supplier in these call off arrangement lies with CCS not Defra. The following table details the amount Defra has spent on the contract with Capita for contingent labour.

Contract

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18 April-December

Total

Contingent Labour

£70,660

£2,323,884

£3,211,830

£2,715,195

£3,019,382

£11,340,951

Defra has a contract with Capita to deliver a system for the Electronic Movement Reporting System for Sheep, Goats and Deers which has a total value of £4,620,370.

Defra is party to a number of contracts with Fera Science Ltd (Fera), a Joint Venture between Defra and Capita. The key contracts on the Fera Science Ltd framework at inception were:

Contract

Total value to 31/03/2020

Plant and Bee Health Services

£28,100,000

Specialist Services and Facilities (Wildlife Facility and Food Safety Laboratories)

£16,600,000

Total

£44,700,000

Variable services are also commissioned annually from Fera under the framework agreement. From the start of the contract (01/04/2015) to date spend for the following additional services is as follows:

Contract Title

Value

Applied Research and Development Services

£5,900,000

Additional Plant and Bee Health Services

£850,000

Total

£6,750,000

Standalone contracts with Fera outside the framework:

Contract Title

Value

Authent-Net

£32,000

VitiSmart

£139,000

Total

£171,000

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tobacco
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK overseas posts have facilitated meetings on tobacco control legislation between the tobacco industry and foreign government ministers or officials since the issuing of revised guidance to posts in December 2013; and whether they will give details of each case.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government has standing instructions to all diplomatic staff to follow the revised December 2013 guidelines on interactions with tobacco companies. In line with this guidance, assistance may be offered to counter discriminatory practices. The Government does not catalogue the representations it makes on behalf of companies.

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how their 25-year environmental planning and implementation policies will be coordinated to involve all relevant Government departments and agencies.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The 25 Year Environment Plan is a Government plan and will inform environmental policy for the next 25 years including the upcoming Agricultural and Fisheries Bills, and will sit alongside the Clean Growth Plan, the Industrial Strategy and other related Government initiatives.

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Department for International Development
Nepal: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what their development priorities are for Nepal over the next five years; and what support they intend to provide for reforestation and sustainable forestry.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The UK government’s three main development priorities are:


1) Supporting Nepal’s transition to an effective federal democracy;
2) Accelerating the rate of inclusive growth to generate jobs; and
3) Ensuring that the most vulnerable are better protected from shocks.

Forestry support will be provided through our market development programmes that will work with forestry enterprises to create jobs and our climate programmes which will support afforestation to reduce emissions and protect watersheds. In addition the UK government is a core supporter of the World Bank, Forestry Investment Programme that is developing a £18.5m forestry programme in Nepal.

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Department for International Development
Nepal: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much humanitarian aid, including earthquake relief and reconstruction, they have provided to Nepal in each of the last five years; and what impact, if any, this has had on the amount of healthcare and sustainable development funding that has been provided.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 15 February 2018

As reported in “Statistics on International Development 2017” (available at www.gov.uk) the UK’s humanitarian support to Nepal was £5 million in 2012, nothing in 2013 and 2014, £35.9 million in 2015 and £13.2 million in 2016. In 2016, the UK committed a further £83 million for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction (2016 – 2022). Although disrupted by the 2015 earthquake, we have maintained our commitment to healthcare and sustainable development over the period.

Q
Asked by Lord Vinson
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
River Itchen
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take, through the appropriate agencies, to safeguard the unique Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest of the Upper River Itchen from threats of pollution and abstraction.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The current Water Framework Directive classification for the River Itchen is Good.

The Environment Agency (EA) regulates abstraction from and discharges to rivers by issuing permits and checking that these are being complied with. Permit limits are set to ensure the protection of the environment. The EA regularly reviews permits based on the evidence available and it amends these limits when necessary.

As part of its ongoing programme of restoring sustainable abstraction the EA is reviewing abstraction permits. Since 2007 this work has reduced the amount of water being abstracted from the River Itchen catchment each year by more than 5.35 million cubic metres. The EA is also reviewing discharge permits and has successfully reduced the levels of chemicals such as phosphates entering the river system.

Q
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Intelligence Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government with which countries the UK has no intelligence sharing agreements.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

​It is the long standing policy of successive Governments not to comment on matters of intelligence.

Q
Asked by Lord Shinkwin
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Ministry of Defence
Veterans
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Armed Forces veterans there are in the UK in total, including those not in receipt of a pension or payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme; and of those, how many are below the age of 66.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Ministry of Defence estimates that in 2016 there were 2.5 million UK Armed Forces veterans residing in households across Great Britain (GB, excluding Northern Ireland), of whom 936,000 (some 37%) were aged between 16 and 64. A breakdown of those aged 16-65 is not available. Further detail on the estimated size and socio-demographic characteristics of the UK Armed Forces veteran population residing in GB can be found in the 'Annual Population Survey: UK Armed Forces Veterans Residing in Great Britain', the latest edition of which (2016) is published at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/annual-population-survey-uk-armed-forces-veterans-residing-in-great-britain.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
HM Treasury
Sanctions: Democratic Republic of Congo
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) individuals, (b) corporations and (c) other entities had assets frozen (i) in the UK, (ii) in the British Overseas Territories and (c) by UK-based institutions as a result of the sanctions applied to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2017, and what estimate he has made of the value of those assets.
A
Corrected answer by: John Glen
Corrected on: 15 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 12 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The approximate aggregate value of funds frozen in the UK (under EU Regulation 1183/2005 Democratic Republic of Congo) was £ 580,000,000 at the close of business on 30 September 2016. The figures for the 2017 round of UK frozen funds reporting are in the process of being finalised and as such are not currently available. The frozen funds continue to belong to the individuals and entities listed under the Regulation and are not seized or otherwise held by HM Government. The figure is provided on an aggregate basis so as not to indirectly disclose the value of funds held by particular individuals or entities.

British Overseas Territories adopt all Sanctions listings that the UK do, to be in line with international standards. The specific information on the number of people or entities who have assets frozen in the overseas territories lies with the individual territories themselves.

A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 12 February 2018

The approximate aggregate value of funds frozen in the UK (under EU Regulation 1183/2005 Democratic Republic of Congo) was £ 580,000,000 at the close of business on 30 September 2016. The figures for the 2017 round of UK frozen funds reporting are in the process of being finalised and as such are not currently available. The frozen funds continue to belong to the individuals and entities listed under the Regulation and are not seized or otherwise held by HM Government. The figure is provided on an aggregate basis so as not to indirectly disclose the value of funds held by particular individuals or entities.

British Overseas Territories adopt all Sanctions listings that the UK do, to be in line with international standards. The specific information on the number of people or entities who have assets frozen in the overseas territories lies with the individual territories themselves.

Q
(Sheffield Central)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Women and Equalities
Pupils: Bullying
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent steps her Department has taken to tackle the bullying of LGBTQ children in schools.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government has sent a clear message to schools that bullying, for whatever reason, is unacceptable. It can have a devastating effect on individuals, blight their education and have serious consequences for their mental health.

All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy with measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. They have the freedom to develop their own anti-bullying strategies appropriate to their environment but are held to account via Ofsted

In September 2016, we announced a £3 million programme from 2016-2019 to prevent and address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in a sustainable way. This programme focuses on primary and secondary schools in England that currently have no or few effective measures in place.
Six grantees have been funded as part of the programme to deliver interventions in at least 200 schools each. The grantees are Barnardo’s, LGBT Consortium, Metro Charity, National Children’s Bureau, Proud Trust and Stonewall.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Home Office
Slavery
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps the Government has taken to raise public awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government continues to use communications as an essential means of raising public awareness of modern slavery.

Building on the success of the 2014 ‘Slavery Happens Here’ campaign, the Home Office has carried out tailored communications activity to raise awareness of modern slavery in high-risk communities in the UK and overseas, most recently in Nigeria.

In September 2017, Crimestoppers and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority launched a joint campaign to encourage the public to spot the signs of modern slavery and to report any suspicions to Crimestoppers.The Home Office also posts regularly about how to identify and report modern slavery on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media channels.

In October 2017, the Government published awareness raising and victim identification guidance for public sector staff as well as signposting public sector organisations to training resources on modern slavery. In August 2017, the National Crime Agency held a media briefing to raise awareness of modern slavery and the response. As a result, the Modern Slavery Helpline received an unprecedented number of calls that month.

In January 2018 the National Crime Agency launched the Invisible People exhibition which uses striking images by an award-winning photographer to portray the signs of slavery and inform the public how to report it.

The display of modern slavery material in public areas is also a Government priority. Border Force, in collaboration with the Modern Slavery Helpline, has led a digital and print modern slavery campaign across UK ports and airports nationwide. The campaign provides advice and guidance about modern slavery for passengers and encourages greater disclosure to officers by vulnerable potential victims or passengers who may have seen something suspicious.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sheep Meat: UK Trade with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held, in conjunction where appropriate with the devolved administrations, with representatives of the UK's sheep farming industry about maintaining and increasing sheep meat exports to the EU post-Brexit.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Defra Ministers and officials have regular meetings with the devolved administrations and with representatives of the UK’s sheep farming industry to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the sheep sector.

Grouped Questions: HL5431
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sheep Meat: Exports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held, in conjunction where appropriate with the devolved administrations, with representatives of the UK's sheep farming industry about finding new export opportunities for that industry post-Brexit.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Defra Ministers and officials have regular meetings with the devolved administrations and with representatives of the UK’s sheep farming industry to discuss a wide range of issues affecting the sheep sector.

Grouped Questions: HL5430
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total amount spent on overseas aid, including UK aid administered by the EU, between 2010 and 2017.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Bates
Corrected on: 15 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 15 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The total amount of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) between 2010 and 2016, including UK aid administered by the EU is shown in the table below. Preliminary ODA spend figures for 2017 will be available in the spring in Statistics on International Development.

Table: Total UK ODA and UK ODA through the EU, 2010 to 2016

Year

Total UK ODA, £ billion

2010

8.5

2011

8.6

2012

8.8

2013

11.4

2014

11.7

2015

12.1

2016

13.4

Source: Statistics on International Development

The total spending on UK ODA is published annually in the statistics on International Development.

A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The total amount of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) between 2010 and 2016, including UK aid administered by the EU is shown in the table below. Preliminary ODA spend figures for 2017 will be available in the spring in Statistics on International Development.

Table: Total UK ODA and UK ODA through the EU, 2010 to 2016

Year

Total UK ODA, £ billion

2010

8.5

2011

8.6

2012

8.8

2013

11.4

2014

11.7

2015

12.1

2016

13.4

Source: Statistics on International Development

The total spending on UK ODA is published annually in the statistics on International Development.

Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Modern Working Practices Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) self employed workers, (2) employees on zero hours contracts, and (3) part-time employees, they expect to benefit from new protections brought forward following the Taylor Review.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Government will be carrying out full impact assessments in relation to employment protections once the consultations have concluded and all decisions have been taken on next steps.

Q
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fish: UK Trade with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many tonnes of fish caught by other member states of the EU in the period 2013 to 2015 were acquired by the UK.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

Over the period 2013-2015, the UK imported 700,000 tonnes of fish products worth £2.5 billion from the other EU Member States. Import statistics include fish caught by EU Member States, fish caught in waters outside of the EU but imported into other Member States prior to entering the UK, and fish caught by UK vessels that are landed into and sold in another Member State before import into the UK.

Further information on UK imports of fish products can be found in the Marine Management Organisation’s annual UK Sea Fisheries Statistics publications.

Q
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animals: Overseas Trade
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any ban or strict controls on the export of live animals after Brexit will be matched by the same controls on import of live animals.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

The Government’s manifesto commitment is that as we leave the EU, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter. We are considering all the options in line with the commitment made in the manifesto.

Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ritual Slaughter
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proportion of meat (1) sold as Halal which has not been slaughtered in accordance with Halal requirements, and (2) not sold as Halal which has been slaughtered in accordance with Halal requirements nonetheless.
A
Answered on: 15 February 2018

There are currently no specific EU or national requirements governing the sale and labelling of Halal or Kosher meat. Where any information of this nature is provided voluntarily, it must be accurate and must not be misleading.

It is for Muslim religious authorities to determine what is Halal and as such some Halal accreditation bodies will accept meat from animals that are stunned prior to slaughter as Halal, whereas others will only accept meat from animals slaughtered without stunning.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Home Office
Nuisance Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the police response to reports of an 0800 number making repeated threatening phone calls.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government takes the issue of malicious or threatening calls very seriously. Individuals who receive such calls are advised to report it to their phone provider.

If such calls are reported to the police it is for chief constables to decide how best to deploy resources to respond to the matter. It is for the directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners to hold the local chief constable to account for the performance of the force on behalf of the public.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
Asked on: 23 January 2018
Home Office
Home Office: Written Questions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to Question 115815, tabled by the hon. Member for Halifax on 27 November 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 February 2018

UIN 115815 was answered on the 14th February 2018.

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: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons the Department did not meet the target to plant 11 million trees by 2015; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 February 2018

There was no target to plant 11 million trees by 2015. The 2010 Conservative manifesto said “in addition to ongoing woodland creation, we will launch a national tree planting campaign, planting up to one million new trees in the next Parliament.” In the years from 2010-2015, it is estimated that through CAP funds, approximately 11 million trees were planted. The 2015 and 2017 manifestos both committed to planting 11 million trees over the course of the expected five-year parliaments to which the manifestos related.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by the Rt Hon Mark Field MP on 26 October 2017 (HC Deb, col 233 WH) that in partnership with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon he would write to the embassies and high commissions in key countries for which he had responsibility, asking them to report on precisely what they are doing to promote freedom of religion or belief, which embassies and high commissions responded; and what they reported.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

To date, I have received substantive replies to the letter of 26 October 2017 from our Embassies or High Commissions in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Burma, Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

As requested in the letter of 26 October, these letters report on the main current and planned activities of those Embassies and High Commissions in the defence and promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Due to the sensitivities of some of the material contained in those letters it would not be appropriate to disclose their contents in detail. In general terms, the responses received show that those Embassies and High Commissions are using a variety of diplomatic tools to defend and promote FoRB as appropriate for the country in which they are operating.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks made by the Rt Hon Mark Field MP on 26 October 2017 (HC Deb, col 233 WH) that in partnership with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon he would reissue the freedom of religion or belief toolkit to all ambassadors and high commissioners, what training has been given to staff in post overseas in the use of that toolkit; and whether the toolkit is publicly available.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reissued the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) toolkit to all Embassies and High Commissions on 10 October 2017. The aim of the toolkit is to provide British diplomats with guidance on the human right to FoRB. The toolkit sets out what FoRB means, how it is commonly denied, and how the right to FoRB can be defended and promoted. The toolkit is therefore designed as a self-standing resource for use by British diplomats in any post.

To complement the educational value of the toolkit itself, the FCO runs a variety of learning and development activities to help our staff to develop their religious literacy and their understanding of the way in which religion affects public policy across the world. Furthermore, officials from the FCO's Human Rights Policy Unit maintain very regular contact with a network of colleagues working on FoRB issues in many posts, offering guidance and support as required.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what training in the use of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's freedom of religion or belief toolkit is given to UK employed staff before deployment to posts overseas; and how frequently that training is updated.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

​The aim of the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) toolkit is to provide British diplomats with guidance on the human right to FoRB. The toolkit sets out what FoRB means, how it is commonly denied, and how the right to FoRB can be defended and promoted. The toolkit is therefore designed as a self-standing resource for use by British diplomats in any post.

We are also increasing the focus on FoRB across our diplomatic network and have encouraged a number of our missions, including those in Asia to have a greater focus on FoRB.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make available to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, the European Union Committee, and its sub-committees, the data, modelling methodology and conclusions drawn from the Brexit economic impact assessments; and if so, when.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 14 February 2018

In accordance with the Humble Address vote on 31st January, the government has provided copies of the analysis that appeared in the media to the EU Exit Commons Select Committee and the EU Lords Select Committee. All members of both Houses are able to see a copy of the analysis on a strictly confidential basis in the reading room which has been made available.

Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tideway: Pay
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what, in 2016–17, were the remuneration packages, including bonuses, of the top three executive directors of Tideway; and what assessment they have made of that remuneration given that the Thames Tideway Tunnel will not be completed, and available to deliver a service, for another six to seven years.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The remuneration packages of the top three executives of Tideway are publically available in Tideway’s annual report for 2016/17, which is published on their website. As a private company, Tideway is responsible for setting its own remuneration policy that is approved by its shareholders in the normal way, and which does not impede it from carrying out its functions under the terms of its project licence. Remuneration is directly related to the delivery of the project, and forms part of the costs reflected in the company’s Regulated Capital Value regulated by Ofwat. A key element of Ofwat’s regulatory remit is to ensure that the revenue charges made by Tideway via Thames Water to customers are fair. Tideway is also incentivised through the terms of its project licence, regulated by Ofwat, and the Government Support Package to deliver the project on time and to budget.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Education
St Stephen's School Newham
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have given to the head and governors at St Stephen's School in Newham; and what assessment they have made of whether the head and governors have been harassed and threatened in their attempts to help integrate primary school children into British society.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The department has been in contact with St Stephen’s Primary School and offered to discuss the intimidation faced by staff, and provide support as appropriate. In addition, the police have also provided support to the school.

Intimidation or bullying of any kind toward school staff is completely unacceptable and anyone who feels they are facing such behaviour should report it to their employer and the police, if necessary.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Trees
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the publication of their 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, when they will announce (1) to whom the Tree Champion will report, (2) the powers they will use, and (3) the budget dedicated to the delivery of their work plan.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Further details about the Tree Champion will be available later this year.

Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control: Earby
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions they have taken since the floods which took place in Earby on Boxing Day 2015, through the Environment Agency or otherwise, to reduce the probability of households in Earby being flooded, and to increase resilience against flooding in that town.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Since the floods of Boxing Day 2015 the Environment Agency (EA) has worked in partnership with Pendle Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and Yorkshire Water to develop schemes to reduce flood risk in Earby.

The EA removed 60 tonnes of gravel and debris from Earby Beck in September 2016 and carried out further channel maintenance in 2017, in addition to its routine maintenance activities on the beck.

The EA is carrying out detailed hydraulic modelling of Earby Beck and its tributaries to identify technically and economically viable options to reduce flood risk from all sources in and around Earby. The EA has secured £100,000 of Flood Risk Management Grant in Aid to fund this study and it is scheduled to be completed in April 2018. The outcomes of this study will also be used to update the EA’s flood map, improve its flood warning service and provide better data to inform planning decisions.

The EA has also developed a programme of works to repair the Victoria Clough culvert and restore it to its original capacity. An improved trash screen will also be installed at its inlet. These works are planned to be completed in 2018, subject to full funding being secured, and will reduce the risk of flooding to 91 properties.

The EA has recruited four new community flood wardens to help coordinate the community response during future flooding and to support the development of the community flood plan led by Pendle Borough Council.

Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control: Earby
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Environment Agency’s flood alleviation study for Earby will be published; and when they will make a decision on the proposed community flood resilience scheme for Earby.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Environment Agency (EA) expects its Modelling and Appraisal Study for Earby Beck and its Tributaries to be completed in April 2018. The EA will make the findings public on completion.

The EA supports the Earby Community Property Flood Resilience Scheme but needs to be sure that the proposed temporary flood barriers will not increase flood risk elsewhere. The EA has commissioned further modelling work to assess this risk which will begin in February 2018 and is due for completion in March 2018.

Q
Asked by Lord Luce
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Somaliland: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy towards the newly elected government of Somaliland; whether they intend to give support for any planned reform in that country; and if so, what form that support will take.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK is committed to supporting the shared prosperity and security of the people of Somalia, including in Somaliland. The UK congratulated the recently elected President of Somaliland on his election victory. We played an active role in supporting the elections, including through the deployment of a 60-strong election observation mission. The UK is working with the new government of Somaliland to support the delivery of its development plan and other crucial reforms. We are providing humanitarian assistance, supporting economic development, promoting good governance, and access to justice.

Q
Asked by Lord Moonie
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Defence: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what inflation rates they are assuming for each of the next five years in planning for defence budgets to rise by inflation plus 0.5 per cent.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Economic forecasts, including for inflation, are provided by the independent Office for Budgetary Responsibility (http://obr.uk/report/economic-and-fiscal-outlook). The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) budget was set at Spending Review 2015 and runs to 2020-21. This meets our commitment to increase MOD's core budget by 0.5% above inflation each year.

Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
High Rise Flats: Fire Extinguishers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 23 January (HL4567), whether, since the statutory guidance was revised, they are satisfied that all new blocks of flats over 30 metres in height have had sprinklers fitted; and in the same period, how many existing buildings have been retro-fitted with sprinklers.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Building control bodies have a statutory responsibility to check the plans for building work (consulting fire and rescue authorities as appropriate) and to inspect work on site during the construction phase to assess whether it complies with the requirements in the Building Regulations. Where the work does not comply, under provisions in the Building Act, it is for local authorities to decide when a prosecution for non-compliance with the requirements in the Building Regulations would be appropriate.

Q
Asked by Lord Patten
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Department for Education
Faith Schools: Admissions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 23 January (HL4568), why the Department for Education has not collected data about the preferences of parents from different faiths in relation to the schools they choose for their children.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Schools designated with a religious character are permitted to collect information about parents’ faith in a supplementary application form. Schools that do not have a religious character will not require information about parents’ religious beliefs or practice as this will be irrelevant to their choice of school. Only schools with a religious character might hold this data and so, if collected by the department, this would not provide an accurate picture across all schools.

We do, of course, keep this general approach to the collection of data under constant review.

Asked on: 31 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing Revenue Accounts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extension of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap in local authority areas of high affordability pressure.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

We have announced a rise in the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by a total of up to £1 billion in areas of high affordability pressure for local authorities who are ready to start building new homes. This will help to deliver the new generation of council house building that the Prime Minister announced recently.

We need to ensure that the housing market works for all parts of the community. So we need action on all fronts to build the homes that this country needs. High demand areas with affordability pressures are especially in need of affordable homes, so it is right that we focus this support on them.

We shall shortly set out the details of what constitutes high affordability and the criteria used in determining how this support is allocated.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Maher al-Khabbaz
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what urgent representations, if any, they have made to the government of Bahrain concerning the decision of the Court of Cassation on 29 January to uphold the death sentence of Maher al-Khabbaz; and what assessment they have made of his case and trial.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty. It is the Government's longstanding position to oppose capital sentences in all circumstances and countries. We continue to make this clear to the Government of Bahrain.

We continue to follow the case of Maher al-Khabbaz and, where we have concerns, we raise them at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Duaa Alwadaei
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 January (HL4428), whether they have received any updates from the British Embassy in Bahrain regarding the charges brought against Duaa Alwadaei.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The British Embassy in Bahrain and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continue to seek clarification from the Government of Bahrain on charges brought against Duaa Alwadaei.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of case and trial of the human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, and of the decision of the Bahraini Court of Cassation on 15 January to uphold his two-year sentence.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

We continue to monitor the case of Nabeel Rajab closely and have raised it at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahraini Ministry of Interior Ombudsman
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 24 January (HL4611), whether the UK played any role in awarding the EU Chaillot Prize to the Bahraini Ministry of Interior Ombudsman in 2014; and if so, what efforts they made to lobby others to secure that result.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK supported the decision to award the Chaillot Prize to the Ministry of Interior Ombudsman in 2014. The decision was reached through consensus by all 28 EU Member States. The UK believes that a body that has the power to investigate allegations of mistreatment in a timely, independent and transparent manner can be of great benefit to Bahraini society.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Nationality
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures, if any, they have taken to tackle reports of arbitrary revocations of citizenship in Bahrain; and what assessment they have made of the findings of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy that, between 2012 and 2017, (1) 506 individuals have been stripped of their citizenship, and (2) in the overwhelming majority of cases, those individuals have consequently been rendered stateless.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK has concerns about the revocation of nationality where it renders a person stateless, and we have raised this at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Deportation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations, if any, they have made to the government of Bahrain to stop the imminent deportations of Mohammed Ali, Abdul Amir, Abdulnabi Almosawi, and Maryam Redha, as reported by Amnesty International.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK has concerns about the revocation of nationality where it renders a person stateless, and we have raised this at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain. We are looking into the reports by Amnesty International.

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the role of the Natural Environment Research Council in guiding and monitoring their 25-year plan for improving the environment; and which areas of research will be of greatest importance.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

In light of the publication of the 25 Year Environment Plan, we are reviewing our evidence requirements and will ensure that we will continue to engage fully with the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) as we explore synergies between our programmes. We have a very positive relationship with NERC in delivering long-term support for policies that have national and international importance and we are keen to build on this. Such cooperation enables us to co-design research programmes, helping to ensure that NERC’s strategic investments are appropriate, support excellent research and tackle environmental challenges.

Asked on: 01 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing: Standards
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following reports of poor standards of private rental accommodation, what remedial measures they are taking in conjunction with local and national housing agencies; and how those measures will be publicised.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords. Local housing authorities already have strong powers under the Housing Act 2004 to require that landlords make necessary improvements to a property. Where a property contains potentially serious risks to the health and safety of the occupants, the local housing authority must take enforcement action.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced a range of further measures to strengthen local housing authority powers to tackle rogue landlords and drive up standards. In April 2017, we introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution and extended Rent Repayment Orders, which require a landlord to repay a specified amount of rent to a local housing authority and/or tenant, to cover illegal eviction and failure to comply with a statutory notice. We intend to introduce a system of banning the most serious and prolific offenders from renting properties, as well as a database of rogue landlords and lettings agents to help local housing authorities with their housing standards enforcement work, in April 2018. These new powers will give local housing authorities the tools they need to crack down on rogue landlords who disregard the law and take advantage of tenants in the private rented sector.

Ultimately local housing authorities are responsible for taking enforcement action against rogue landlords. Our 'How to Rent' and 'How to rent a safe home' guides provide information for tenants on their rights and responsibilities and signpost them to their local housing authority for further information should there be a problem with their rented property. The Department will also be publishing further guidance for local housing authorities on the powers in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which will encourage local housing authorities to publicise successful prosecutions locally and to make information on banned landlords available on request by a tenant. The guidance will be available on Gov.uk by April 2018.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Devolution: Sheffield City Region
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the powers due to be devolved as part of the devolution agreement with South Yorkshire to the Sheffield City Region Mayor will still be devolved if full consultation has not been carried out by the four local authorities by the time of the mayoral election later this year.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government remains clear that the people of South Yorkshire can benefit significantly from devolution. The consolidated transport budget of £20.6 million per annum to 2020/21 has been given to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority since 2017/18, giving the area greater flexibility over how to fund highway maintenance and other strategic transport improvements, and the Bus Services Act 2017 makes provision in relation to bus franchising for mayoral combined authorities. No further budgets or powers will be devolved unless and until all of the statutory requirements are satisfied, including the area undertaking the necessary consultation.

As I told the House on 31 October 2017 in response to a question from the noble Lord [in Written Answer HL2234], if the leaders of the Sheffield City Region do not at some stage undertake the consultation they will have chosen to walk away from the deal. This would deny the people of the City Region some £1 billion investment from Government and the opportunity for the area to have new powers on transport, development, and skills.

Grouped Questions: HL5341 | HL5342 | HL5343
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Devolution: Sheffield City Region
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the powers due be devolved as part of the devolution agreement with South Yorkshire to the Sheffield City Region Mayor will be withheld if full consultation has not been carried out by the four local authorities by the time of the mayoral election later this year.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government remains clear that the people of South Yorkshire can benefit significantly from devolution. The consolidated transport budget of £20.6 million per annum to 2020/21 has been given to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority since 2017/18, giving the area greater flexibility over how to fund highway maintenance and other strategic transport improvements, and the Bus Services Act 2017 makes provision in relation to bus franchising for mayoral combined authorities. No further budgets or powers will be devolved unless and until all of the statutory requirements are satisfied, including the area undertaking the necessary consultation.

As I told the House on 31 October 2017 in response to a question from the noble Lord [in Written Answer HL2234], if the leaders of the Sheffield City Region do not at some stage undertake the consultation they will have chosen to walk away from the deal. This would deny the people of the City Region some £1 billion investment from Government and the opportunity for the area to have new powers on transport, development, and skills.

Grouped Questions: HL5340 | HL5342 | HL5343
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Devolution: Sheffield City Region
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the funds due to be devolved as part of the devolution agreement with South Yorkshire to the Sheffield City Region Mayor will still be devolved if full consultation has not been carried out by the four local authorities by the time of the mayoral election later this year.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government remains clear that the people of South Yorkshire can benefit significantly from devolution. The consolidated transport budget of £20.6 million per annum to 2020/21 has been given to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority since 2017/18, giving the area greater flexibility over how to fund highway maintenance and other strategic transport improvements, and the Bus Services Act 2017 makes provision in relation to bus franchising for mayoral combined authorities. No further budgets or powers will be devolved unless and until all of the statutory requirements are satisfied, including the area undertaking the necessary consultation.

As I told the House on 31 October 2017 in response to a question from the noble Lord [in Written Answer HL2234], if the leaders of the Sheffield City Region do not at some stage undertake the consultation they will have chosen to walk away from the deal. This would deny the people of the City Region some £1 billion investment from Government and the opportunity for the area to have new powers on transport, development, and skills.

Grouped Questions: HL5340 | HL5341 | HL5343
Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Devolution: Sheffield City Region
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the funds due be devolved as part of the devolution agreement with South Yorkshire to the Sheffield City Region Mayor will be withheld if full consultation has not been carried out by the four local authorities by the time of the mayoral election later this year.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government remains clear that the people of South Yorkshire can benefit significantly from devolution. The consolidated transport budget of £20.6 million per annum to 2020/21 has been given to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority since 2017/18, giving the area greater flexibility over how to fund highway maintenance and other strategic transport improvements, and the Bus Services Act 2017 makes provision in relation to bus franchising for mayoral combined authorities. No further budgets or powers will be devolved unless and until all of the statutory requirements are satisfied, including the area undertaking the necessary consultation.

As I told the House on 31 October 2017 in response to a question from the noble Lord [in Written Answer HL2234], if the leaders of the Sheffield City Region do not at some stage undertake the consultation they will have chosen to walk away from the deal. This would deny the people of the City Region some £1 billion investment from Government and the opportunity for the area to have new powers on transport, development, and skills.

Grouped Questions: HL5340 | HL5341 | HL5342
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each local housing authority area, how many (1) council sales under the Right to Buy Scheme there were, (2) council houses were constructed, (3) affordable homes were constructed for rent, and (4) social homes were constructed for rent, in each year since 2010.
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Figures for the number of local authority Right to Buy sales by local authority area are available (attached) in live table 691 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-social-housing-sales

Figures by local authority area are available (attached) in live table 244 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-house-building

Figures for the number of additional affordable dwellings both for social and affordable rent by local authority are available (attached) in live table 1000 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply

Live table 691 (Excel SpreadSheet, 188.73 KB)
Live Table 244 (Excel SpreadSheet, 18.96 KB)
Live Table 1000 (Excel SpreadSheet, 109.22 KB)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Accountable Care Organisations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many accountable care organisations they plan to establish; and in which areas.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 February 2018

NHS England are developing a draft accountable care organisation (ACO) contract which could be used by local commissioners to commission a provider of integrated services. An ‘ACO’ is not a new type of legal entity, neither is it a body created under delegated legislation; instead it is a service provider that holds an ACO contract. NHS England have a power to draft terms and conditions for commissioning contracts in Regulation 17 of the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012. It is for NHS England to decide, after consultation, whether to introduce the ACO contract as a further commissioning contract.

NHS England have already announced that they will be launching a consultation on the contracting arrangements for ACOs in March 2018. No ACO contract will be awarded in the meantime. NHS England has informed the Department that if an ACO contract is introduced, it is most likely that the two areas using a contract of this type will be Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and City of Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group.

If the contract is introduced, it will always be for local commissioners to decide how best to provide services to local patients, and this includes whether or not to establish an ACO.

Where such a decision is taken, it will be for local commissioners, using the standard terms and conditions published by NHS England, to determine the details of the ACO contract. This will include the ACO budget. NHS England has published detailed guidance on how an ACO budget may be calculated. This guidance, Whole population models of provision: Establishing integrated budgets, is attached.

Where a decision has been taken to commission an ACO, the commissioner will be responsible for the award of that contract and ensuring compliance with any relevant procurement law.

The Health Select Committee is conducting a review of ACOs and NHS England is consulting on the draft ACO contract. The Government will not bring forward legislation until the NHS England consultation has concluded.

Whole population models of provision (PDF Document, 1.41 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5354 | HL5355 | HL5356
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Accountable Care Organisations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the budget for accountable care organisations (1) in total, and (2) for each area in which they plan to establish them.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 February 2018

NHS England are developing a draft accountable care organisation (ACO) contract which could be used by local commissioners to commission a provider of integrated services. An ‘ACO’ is not a new type of legal entity, neither is it a body created under delegated legislation; instead it is a service provider that holds an ACO contract. NHS England have a power to draft terms and conditions for commissioning contracts in Regulation 17 of the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012. It is for NHS England to decide, after consultation, whether to introduce the ACO contract as a further commissioning contract.

NHS England have already announced that they will be launching a consultation on the contracting arrangements for ACOs in March 2018. No ACO contract will be awarded in the meantime. NHS England has informed the Department that if an ACO contract is introduced, it is most likely that the two areas using a contract of this type will be Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and City of Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group.

If the contract is introduced, it will always be for local commissioners to decide how best to provide services to local patients, and this includes whether or not to establish an ACO.

Where such a decision is taken, it will be for local commissioners, using the standard terms and conditions published by NHS England, to determine the details of the ACO contract. This will include the ACO budget. NHS England has published detailed guidance on how an ACO budget may be calculated. This guidance, Whole population models of provision: Establishing integrated budgets, is attached.

Where a decision has been taken to commission an ACO, the commissioner will be responsible for the award of that contract and ensuring compliance with any relevant procurement law.

The Health Select Committee is conducting a review of ACOs and NHS England is consulting on the draft ACO contract. The Government will not bring forward legislation until the NHS England consultation has concluded.

Whole population models of provision (PDF Document, 1.41 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5353 | HL5355 | HL5356
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Accountable Care Organisations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of planned accountable care organisations will be subject to competitive tendering and contracting out provisions.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 February 2018

NHS England are developing a draft accountable care organisation (ACO) contract which could be used by local commissioners to commission a provider of integrated services. An ‘ACO’ is not a new type of legal entity, neither is it a body created under delegated legislation; instead it is a service provider that holds an ACO contract. NHS England have a power to draft terms and conditions for commissioning contracts in Regulation 17 of the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012. It is for NHS England to decide, after consultation, whether to introduce the ACO contract as a further commissioning contract.

NHS England have already announced that they will be launching a consultation on the contracting arrangements for ACOs in March 2018. No ACO contract will be awarded in the meantime. NHS England has informed the Department that if an ACO contract is introduced, it is most likely that the two areas using a contract of this type will be Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and City of Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group.

If the contract is introduced, it will always be for local commissioners to decide how best to provide services to local patients, and this includes whether or not to establish an ACO.

Where such a decision is taken, it will be for local commissioners, using the standard terms and conditions published by NHS England, to determine the details of the ACO contract. This will include the ACO budget. NHS England has published detailed guidance on how an ACO budget may be calculated. This guidance, Whole population models of provision: Establishing integrated budgets, is attached.

Where a decision has been taken to commission an ACO, the commissioner will be responsible for the award of that contract and ensuring compliance with any relevant procurement law.

The Health Select Committee is conducting a review of ACOs and NHS England is consulting on the draft ACO contract. The Government will not bring forward legislation until the NHS England consultation has concluded.

Whole population models of provision (PDF Document, 1.41 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5353 | HL5354 | HL5356
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Accountable Care Organisations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether accountable care organisations will be created by delegated legislation; and if so, under what Act of Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 February 2018

NHS England are developing a draft accountable care organisation (ACO) contract which could be used by local commissioners to commission a provider of integrated services. An ‘ACO’ is not a new type of legal entity, neither is it a body created under delegated legislation; instead it is a service provider that holds an ACO contract. NHS England have a power to draft terms and conditions for commissioning contracts in Regulation 17 of the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012. It is for NHS England to decide, after consultation, whether to introduce the ACO contract as a further commissioning contract.

NHS England have already announced that they will be launching a consultation on the contracting arrangements for ACOs in March 2018. No ACO contract will be awarded in the meantime. NHS England has informed the Department that if an ACO contract is introduced, it is most likely that the two areas using a contract of this type will be Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and City of Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group.

If the contract is introduced, it will always be for local commissioners to decide how best to provide services to local patients, and this includes whether or not to establish an ACO.

Where such a decision is taken, it will be for local commissioners, using the standard terms and conditions published by NHS England, to determine the details of the ACO contract. This will include the ACO budget. NHS England has published detailed guidance on how an ACO budget may be calculated. This guidance, Whole population models of provision: Establishing integrated budgets, is attached.

Where a decision has been taken to commission an ACO, the commissioner will be responsible for the award of that contract and ensuring compliance with any relevant procurement law.

The Health Select Committee is conducting a review of ACOs and NHS England is consulting on the draft ACO contract. The Government will not bring forward legislation until the NHS England consultation has concluded.

Whole population models of provision (PDF Document, 1.41 MB)
Grouped Questions: HL5353 | HL5354 | HL5355
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Overseas Trade
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to prevent adverse impacts on the agriculture industry of future trade deals.
A
Answered on: 14 February 2018

British food has a world class reputation for quality and for high standards of animal welfare. The Government has been clear that it will not undermine these values in future trade deals.

Asked on: 05 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Labour Market
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of artificial intelligence and automation on the labour market in the coming decades.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government continually monitors external evidence on this key topic, including evidence drawn from think tanks, academics and representative bodies.

In our Industrial Strategy, we announced a Grand Challenge on growing our AI and Data-driven economy. Meeting our Grand Challenge means maximising the opportunities created by AI and advanced data technologies, and responding to the potential impacts on society, including the labour market. Embedding AI across the UK will create thousands of jobs and drive economic growth. AI could add £232 billion to the economy by 2030. Through the Industrial Strategy, we will help people develop the skills needed for the jobs of the future, including by investing in maths, digital and technical skills, and introducing a national retraining scheme in England.

Q
Asked by Holly Lynch
(Halifax)
[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: 05 February 2018
Home Office
Carillion
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Carillion was responsible for the delivery of any contracts for police forces across the country; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Carillion are responsible for delivering contracts to policing, these contracts are direct between police forces and Carillion. The HO have liaised with all police forces and have been provided with assurance from policing that effective business continuity plans are in place.

Q
Asked by Adam Afriyie
(Windsor)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Heathrow Airport: Inland Waterways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of proposals to expand Heathrow airport on the (a) environmental and (b) financial cost to operators and owners of waterways and canals in the areas surrounding Heathrow.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Environment Agency (EA) has not yet made a detailed assessment of the effect of proposals to expand Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) is currently working on its detailed proposal and once this is submitted the EA will assess it. The EA will be responding to the first phase of HAL’s public consultation which was launched on 17 January 2018. The EA will not be able to assess the detailed proposals until HAL submit their application for a Development Consent Order, which they expect to do by the end of 2019.

Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Education
Sex and Relationship Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will include child early forced marriage and female genital mutilation in his Department's review of relationship and sex education.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Department is conducting a comprehensive engagement exercise to determine the scope and design of relationships education, relationships and sex education and personal, social, health and economic education, with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. This has included meeting with organisations with expertise in forced marriage and female genital mutilation, including Forward and the End Violence Against Women Coalition.

The outcome of this engagement and online call for evidence will determine the development of regulations and statutory guidance for the new subjects.

Q
(York Central)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Juries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department provides to people selected for jury service to ensure that they understand their duties as jurors.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

There is a range of guidance material available to jurors.

Upon confirming their jury service, jurors are sent an information pack, which, alongside practical information, includes a booklet called, ‘Your Guide to Jury Service’ which sets out what happens during jury service and what is expected of a juror. This booklet is also available online.

All jurors are shown a short film entitled, ‘Your Role as a Juror’ on their first day of jury service which explains what they should expect and what their role is. This is also available online.

Once summoned, a juror can contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau if they are unsure of any aspect of their jury service, or once at court can speak to court staff. Further information and guidance for jurors can also be found on the gov.uk website.

The Lord Chief Justice has recently introduced a new notice to be handed to jurors when they are sworn in which details their legal responsibilities and the possible penalties of failing to adhere to them. The new notice is being rolled out on a staged basis across all Crown Court centres with a view to completion in 2018-19.

Q
(Wantage)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Trade
USA: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether his Department plans to raise the relaxation of visa restrictions for UK musicians performing in the USA in negotiations on a potential trade deal.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 14 February 2018

It’s too early to say what would be covered in a future trading arrangement with the USA. We want an agreement that will help both UK and US businesses to trade with each other effectively. We will consider market access barriers across all sectors and identify where we can collaborate to promote trade.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Employment Tribunals Service: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December 2017 to Question 118773, on Employment Tribunals Service: Fees and Charges, what progress his Department is making on its consideration of the Supreme Court's ruling on 26 July 2017.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government is continuing to consider the judgment carefully. It is important to take the time to consider the full implications of this ruling, both for the re-introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunals, and for our wider courts and tribunals fees strategy.

Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many contracts worth more than £1 million his Department signed in each year since 2010; with which companies such contracts have been signed; for what purpose those contracts were signed; what the (a) annual and (b) total cost of each such contract is; to which geographic areas the delivery of those contracts relates; and what the length of each such contact is.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Ministry of Justice has awarded 785 contracts with a value of £1 million or more since 2010, as detailed within the attached table. All contracts are awarded as per EU Public Contract Regulations following comprehensive processes as required. We have robust measures in place to monitor the performance of our contracts.

PQ126792 - Contracts (Excel SpreadSheet, 94.87 KB)
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Consultants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what contracts for consultancy services (a) his Department and (b) his Department's arms length bodies have agreed in each year since 2010; and for each such contract (i) what the value of that contract is, (ii) who the signatories to that contract are, (iii) what the performance measures relating to that contract are, (iv) to which geographic areas the delivery of those contracts relates, (v) what the term of that contract is and (vi) how many people are employed by those contract providers to deliver those contracts.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost due to this information not being centrally held.

Q
(Poplar and Limehouse)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Transport
Diesel Vehicles: Pollution Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has plans to introduce a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme for people on low incomes.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 February 2018

On 22 November 2017 the Government launched a consultation on additional measures to support individuals and businesses affected by local NO2 plans. Options considered include retrofitting vehicles, support for car clubs, vehicle scrappage and improved public transport offers. The consultation closed on 5 January 2018 and the Government will publish a response in due course.

Q
(Brent North)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January 2018 to Question 125208 on UK trade with EU, which of the EU free trade agreements and other EU preferential arrangements listed have been prioritised by his Department.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 14 February 2018

We are committed to securing continuity in the effect of existing EU free trade agreements and other EU preferential arrangements before the provisions of these agreements cease to apply to the UK.

We are discussing with our trading partners how continuity is best achieved, we have had positive reactions from partner countries to our approach so far. None of the over 70 nations with which we have held discussions have any interest in disrupting trade flows, or in erecting barriers to trade where none currently exist.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Immigration: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of appeals heard in the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in each year since its inception.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was created during the 2010-11 financial year. The costs recorded include the Upper Tier Tribunal. Full cost data for both the First and Upper Tier Tribunal has only been reported since 2012.

Year

£m

2012-13

94.1

2013-14

101.1

2014-15

102.8

2015-16

94.9

2016-17

105.5

Q
(Luton South)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diplomatic Service: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make Religious and Freedom of Religion or Belief Literacy training compulsory for diplomats serving in countries where violations are most prevalent.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 14 February 2018

A specific course in Religion and Diplomacy is available to FCO staff designated to take up roles where an understanding of religion is key to their work. We will keep attendance at the course under review, but so far we do not see a need to make this training mandatory.

The FCO also runs seminars on specific themes. For example, Bishop Jonathan Goodall spoke to the FCO about Orthodox Christianity and foreign policy.

Q
(Luton South)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what positive outcomes for freedom of religion or belief were achieved from Magna Carta Fund funding in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 14 February 2018

There have been a number of positive outcomes for freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) from projects supported through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy in financial year 2016-17. These include:

A project delivered by the Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) Hardwired Inc has promoted tolerance in secondary school curricula in 50 schools in Iraq, Morocco and Lebanon. The Kurdish Regional Government has also asked for it to be shared with all children in their region.

The NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide is running a project to support human rights defenders in a number countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This project is raising awareness at the national, regional and international level of the unique challenges human rights defenders campaigning for FoRB face in South and Central Asia. The project is advocating for better protection for them by state authorities.

A project run by the Salzburg Global Seminar is increasing the capacity of institutions with educational missions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to combat extremism, prevent genocide and promote tolerance. There is particular emphasis on Rwanda, South Africa and Cambodia.

The Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy was also used to support projects to promote FoRB and tolerance in Burma, Tunisia, Egypt, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. These projects have strengthened civil society actors in those countries.

A project carried out by Cumberland Lodge has promoted greater understanding of FoRB issues and challenges amongst overseas students in the UK. This is sensitising them to these matters before their returning to their native countries where it is hoped they will act as informal advocates for human rights, including FoRB.

Q
(Luton South)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects in which countries were funded from his Department's Magna Carta Fund to support freedom of religion and belief in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Her Majesty's Government places great importance on defending and promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief. The Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy is one of the tools we use to achieve this goal. In 2016-17 we funded the following projects that supported freedom of religion or belief:

  • Creating Advocates for Freedom of Religion or Belief in developing countries (including, India and Indonesia)
  • Defending Freedom of Religion or Belief in South And Central Asia (including in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).
  • Upholding Freedom Of Expression and Promoting Stable Pluralistic Societies In the MENA region (including Egypt).
  • Promoting Social Stability and Security through Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief in Central Asia (Tajikistan & Turkmenistan)

Due to sensitivities, we are unable to disclose details of all our projects to support freedom of religion or belief.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Transport
East Coast Rail Franchise: Incentives
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will obtain confirmation from Virgin and Stagecoach that none of the Directors working in the East Coast franchise have received or will receive bonuses.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The remuneration of employees of Virgin Trains East Coast is a contractual matter for the business.

Q
(North Swindon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Healthy Living Ministerial Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how often the Inter-Ministerial Group on Healthy Living plans to meet; and whether his Department plans to publish the minutes of those meetings.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Sporting Future: A Strategy for an Active Nation, published in December 2015, made the commitment to a more joined-up approach to delivery and funding for sport and physical activity, putting in place the structures needed to make this happen including a cross government ministerial group which will meet regularly to drive implementation. Sporting Future - Second Annual Report published last month confirmed that government is establishing an Inter-Ministerial Group on Healthy Living, to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Health and Social Care. The Group will be meeting for the first time in early 2018.

Information relating to the proceedings of Inter-Ministerial Groups, including minutes of their proceedings, is not disclosed to encourage full and frank dialogue in such meetings.

Q
(North Swindon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of Sport England’s Wellness Hub initiative; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The setting and environment in which sport and physical activity takes place has a big impact on the likelihood of people taking part, and continuing to take part, in the activity. As set out in government's Sporting Future strategy, government is committed to investing in facilities that are designed and built around customer need and that reflect people's preferences for how they want to engage with sport and physical activity. The strategy is clear that Sport England investment in major sports and physical activity facility projects should include a presumption in favour of co-locating sports and physical activity facilities with other types of community facilities to make it easier for people to get active.

Government has received representations on the Wellness Hub proposal from Sport England and ukactive and is working with both organisations to understand the implications of the proposal and how best to take this forward.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much his Department plans to spend on projects relating to the UK leaving the EU in the next five years; and if he will list the projects to which that funding has been assigned.
A
Answered by: Tracey Crouch
Answered on: 14 February 2018

HM Treasury has already allocated departments nearly £700 million to prepare for Brexit: £412m for DIT, FCO and DExEU over the parliament at Autumn Statement 2016 and nearly £300m across a number of departments from the Reserve in 17/18​. ​My Department received £9m of this funding in 17/18.

At Autumn Budget 2017 HM Treasury made another £3bn of additional funding available over 18/19 and 19/20 – £1.5bn in each year. We are currently working with HM Treasury to determine our allocation for 18/19 with the aim to agree this soon.

Departmental allocations for 19/20 will be agreed later on in the year and decisions on funding in 20/21 and beyond will be decided at the next Spending Review. This is because requirements in these years will be heavily affected by what is agreed in our negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Education
Department for Education: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much his Department plans to spend on projects relating to the UK leaving the EU in the next five years; and if he will list the projects to which that funding has been assigned.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 14 February 2018

At Autumn Budget 2017 HM Treasury made £3 billion of additional funding available across government over 2018/19 and 2019/20 – £1.5 billion in each year. The Department for Education are currently working with HM Treasury to assess if the department requires additional funding for 2018/19 and aim to agree this soon.

HM Treasury has already allocated departments nearly £700 million to prepare for Brexit – £412 million for the Department for International Trade, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union over the parliamentary session at Autumn Statement 2016 and nearly £300 million across a number of other departments from the reserve in 2017/18.

Departmental allocations for 2019/20 will be agreed later on in the new financial year and decisions on funding in 2020/21 and beyond will be decided at the next spending review. This is because requirements in these years will be heavily affected by what is agreed in our negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much his Department plans to spend on projects relating to the UK leaving the EU in the next five years; and if he will list the projects to which that funding has been assigned.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 14 February 2018

HM Treasury has already allocated departments nearly £700 million to prepare for Brexit: £412m for DIT, FCO and DExEU over the parliament at Autumn Statement 2016 and nearly £300m across a number of departments from the Reserve in 17/18 - we received £58.5m of this funding in total in 16-17 and 17-18.

At Autumn Budget 2017 HM Treasury made another £3bn of additional funding available over 18/19 and 19/20 – £1.5bn in each year. We are currently working with HM Treasury to determine our allocation for 18/19 with the aim to agree this soon.

Departmental allocations for 19/20 will be agreed later on in the year and decisions on funding in 20/21 and beyond will be decided at the next Spending Review. This is because requirements in these years will be heavily affected by what is agreed in our negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much his Department plans to spend on projects relating to the UK leaving the EU in the next five years; and if he will list the projects to which that funding has been assigned.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Her Majesty's Treasury (HMT) has already allocated departments an additional nearly £700 million to prepare for Brexit: £412m for the Department for International Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Department for Exiting the European Union over the parliament in the Autumn Statement 2016 and nearly £300m across a number of departments from the Reserve in 17/18.

At Autumn Budget 2017 HMT made another £3bn additional funding available over 18/19 and 19/20 – £1.5bn in each year. We are currently working with HMT to determine our allocation for 18/19 and aim to agree this soon.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much his Department plans to spend on projects relating to the UK leaving the EU in the next five years; and if he will list the projects to which that funding has been assigned.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

HM Treasury has already allocated departments nearly £700 million to prepare for Brexit. At Autumn Budget 2017 HM Treasury made another £3bn of additional funding available over 18/19 and 19/20 – £1.5bn in each year. We are currently working with HM Treasury to determine our allocation for 18/19 with the aim to agree this soon.

Departmental allocations for 19/20 will be agreed later on in the year and decisions on funding in 20/21 and beyond will be decided at the next Spending Review. This is because requirements in these years will be heavily affected by what is agreed in our negotiations with the EU.

Q
Asked by Liam Byrne
(Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Eastern Europe: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what projects the Good Governance Fund has supported since its inception; and what projects it will fund in the 2017 - 22 Parliament.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 February 2018

​Since its inception in 2015, the Good Governance Fund (GGF) has supported around 250 projects in the five GGF recipient countries (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Bosnia and Serbia). These projects have all been in line with UK National Security Council (NSC) priorities for the countries concerned and have focussed on reform to business environment, governance, anti-corruption and judicial reform and media freedom.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sri Lanka: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the delivery of commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka under UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK is closely monitoring delivery of the commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka under UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1, in collaboration with the UN, international partners, Government of Sri Lanka and civil society. I raised commitments most recently with Foreign Minister Marapana by telephone on 8 February.

During my visit to Colombo and Jaffna in October 2017 I also discussed the importance of the Sri Lankan government meeting its obligations in full under UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/1, which rolled over the commitments made under 30/1. Among these were establishing transitional justice mechanisms, including a credible accountability process for those most responsible for violations and abuses during Sri Lanka's civil war and the return of military held civilian land, particularly in the predominantly Tamil north and east.

The UK continues to support the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to promote reconciliation and human rights. The UK is also providing Sri Lanka with £6.6 million of Conflict, Stability and Security Fund funding over three years, to include support for police reform and training, reconciliation and peace building, and demining in the north of the country.

Q
Asked by Jeremy Lefroy
(Stafford)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he has had with the Governments of (a) Norway, (b) Switzerland, (c) Iceland and (d) Liechtenstein on (i) their citizens resident in the UK and (ii) UK citizens resident in those countries after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The UK’s published policy paper, ‘Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU’, stated that we would discuss similar arrangements with Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Prime Minister reiterated this to the Norwegian Prime Minister in October and in her letter to EU citizens on 11 December 2017.

We have already started constructive official-level scoping talks with all four countries and both the UK and the EFTA states are keen to reach agreement as soon as possible. It is our intention that all EEA and Swiss nationals in the UK, and UK nationals living across the EEA and Switzerland can continue living life broadly as they do now.

Q
(Stalybridge and Hyde)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for Education
Higher Education: Strikes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what consideration he has given to refund tuition fees to students whose lectures are cancelled as a result of strike action by lecturers.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Higher education (HE) providers are autonomous institutions. Responsibility for handling student complaints, in the first instance, is a matter for the relevant HE provider.

In addition, HE providers have responsibilities under consumer law, and the obligation for meeting these lies with the individual HE providers. The Competition and Markets Authority has produced guidance for providers on how they can meet their responsibilities under consumer law. This includes ensuring students are provided with clear and transparent terms and conditions and providers have accessible, clear and fair complaints procedures.

Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Home Office
Prisoners: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her polices of the report by the Prison Reform Trust, Domestic abuse as a driver to women’s offending, published on 4 December 2017, that 57 per cent of women sent to prison are victims of domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 14 February 2018

The Government's Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy, backed by £100 million of dedicated funding, sets out the importance of meeting the needs of those with complex needs, which can include female offenders who are also survivors of VAWG, and who may experience additional barriers to accessing support.

As part of the Government’s major programme of work to transform our approach to domestic abuse we will work with partners to improve our response to female offenders who have been victims of abuse. This will include consideration of the recommendations in the Prison Reform Trust report.

Q
(Swansea East)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Domestic Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assistance his Department provides for women engaged with the criminal justice system as a result of domestic abuse.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 February 2018

We recognise that female offenders often have complex circumstances, including backgrounds of domestic abuse, and we are committed to addressing their needs. We are developing a strategy to improve outcomes for female offenders in the community and in custody.

We are taking steps to provide assistance for women engaged with the criminal justice system who have experienced domestic abuse. This includes a confidential 24-hour helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, which is available in all women’s prisons and provides practical and emotional support and advice.

We have also invested £1m between 2016 and 2020 to support local areas to develop holistic, multi-agency approaches which aim to address the complex needs of female offenders and women at risk of offending, including those who have suffered domestic abuse.

We are committed to publishing a draft Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill. This will be accompanied by a programme of non-legislative work, and an additional £20m of funding to support victims of domestic abuse. Our aim is that all victims and survivors of domestic abuse will benefit from measures brought forward following consultation, including women engaged with the criminal justice system.

Q
Asked by Bill Esterson
(Sefton Central)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Department for International Trade
Revenue and Customs: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2018 to Question 126040 on Revenue and Customs: Disclosure of Information, for what reason a request for information from HMRC must be defined in legislation.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 14 February 2018

Information held by HMRC is subject to strict statutory control under the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (CRCA). This restricts sharing of information by HMRC to specified purposes. Any request for information from HMRC not already specified in the CRCA 2005 must therefore have a statutory gateway in order to allow HMRC to share that information.

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