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 Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Home Office
Freezing of Assets: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to use the powers given to her under of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 against Victor Grin and others listed under the US Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 15 December 2017

It has been the practice of successive governments that we do not comment on specific cases.

Grouped Questions: 118297 | 118298 | 118299 | 118303 | 118395
Q
Asked by Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Home Office
Freezing of Assets: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to use the powers given to her under of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 against Artem Kuznetsov and others listed under the US Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 15 December 2017

It has been the practice of successive governments that we do not comment on specific cases.

Grouped Questions: 118297 | 118298 | 118299 | 118300 | 118395
Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has prepared a plan to assist small businesses in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on the future trading relationship.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Although the future trading relationship with the EU is subject to negotiations, we are committed to minimising disruption and giving as much certainty as possible. That’s why the Government is pursuing a time-limited implementation period to allow business the time they need to adapt to new arrangements.

Government will be working alongside trade associations and others to communicate to businesses the changes in the UKs trading relationship with the EU, ensuring that they are ready for Day One of exit regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.

Grouped Questions: 118099
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Non-departmental Public Bodies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what bodies for which his Department is responsible are required to lay reports before Parliament.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The following entities which come within the Ministry of Defence (MOD) boundary are required to lay reports before Parliament:

Armed Forces' Pay Review Body

Defence Equipment and Support

Defence Electronics and Components Agency

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Greenwich Hospital and Travers Foundation

National Army Museum

National Employer Advisory Board

National Museum of the Royal Navy

Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations

Royal Air Force Museum

Service Complaints Ombudsman

Single Source Regulations Office

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

A list of the bodies for which the MOD is responsible can be found on the gov.uk website and in the MOD Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17 (HC 21) at Note 22.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Submarines: Accidents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many accidents Royal Navy submarines have been involved in the past five years, broken down by (a) class of submarine and (b) severity of accident.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 15 December 2017

To answer this question, an accident has been defined as an incident involving another vessel. There have been two accidents in the last five years. A UK submarine was involved in an incident with the Fishing Vessel KAREN on 15 April 2015 and HMS AMBUSH (Astute Class) collided with a Merchant Vessel on 20 July 2016.

I am withholding further information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Q
(Sevenoaks)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to support GP services in (a) Sevenoaks and (b) England.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 December 2017

It is the responsibility of local commissioners, overseen by NHS England, to ensure that general practitioner (GP) services meet the needs of local people.

In line with its strategic vision, Mapping the Future, that was approved by West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in July 2017 a Local Care Plan that describes the model of GP care, the infrastructure required and what will change for local people was published.

In this local care model, the system is organised at four different levels – general practice, cluster, local care hubs and west Kent-wide services. There are seven ‘clusters’ of general practices in West Kent. The cluster model is being implemented in three phases across the seven clusters. The Sevenoaks cluster lead GP, Dr Vicky O’Neill, is leading the development of a bid on behalf of local practices to secure GP Five-Year Forward View funding to help ensure that local GP care is sustainable.

Several practices in Sevenoaks are finalising practice premises development plans to allow them to expand their services. The Sevenoaks cluster is also working to prepare for delivering the enhanced access requirements for general practice and West Kent CCG expects the cluster to be compliant by the target date of March 2019.

In April 2016, the General Practice Forward View set out a package of investment in English general practice. This included a number of reforms which will support general practice through increased investment in general practice, recruitment and retention of GPs and the wider workforce, and investment in extended access to GP services.

By 2020 the Government has committed to supporting general practice by incrementally increasing investment up to £12 billion (an additional £2.4 billion compared to 2015/16); an additional 5,000 GPs and 5,000 other staff working in general practice; and by March 2019 everyone having access to GP services, including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand.

Q
(Ribble Valley)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department of Health
Ophthalmic Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of hospital eye departments to meet the demand for treatment in a timely manner.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Waiting times for hospital eye services are assessed and reported on in the same way as other secondary care services. Monthly performance statistics which include figures on general practitioner referrals to a consultant-led team and number of outpatient/inpatient appointments carried out each month are published by NHS England and are available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/hospital-activity/

National Health Service hospital eye services are arranged by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in response to the needs of their local population. CCGs are also able to commission eye care services in the community to meet local demand. For all services commissioned, including ophthalmic services, there will be an assessment of the health needs of their local population.

NHS England’s Elective Care Transformation Programme is supporting local clinicians and CCGs to manage demand for services effectively to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients and the most efficient use of resources. Eye care services are one of a number of specialities being examined through this programme of work.

Q
(Ribble Valley)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department of Health
Ophthalmic Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to promote the greater use of community optometrists and opticians to relieve pressure on hospital eye departments.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning secondary care hospital eye services for their populations. CCGs are also able to commission eye care services in the community, over and above the National Health Service sight test, to meet local need. Given the size of England, and the diversity of the health needs of different communities, we believe commissioning needs to be owned and managed locally.

Q
(Ribble Valley)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department of Health
Ophthalmic Services: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the merits of committing additional funds to optometry research in the 2018-19 financial year.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including optometry research; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. Information on individual projects funded by the NIHR can be found at:

https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/

Q
Asked by Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Home Office
Freezing of Assets: Russia
Commons
To ask The Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using the powers given to him under of the Criminal Finances Act against those listed under the US Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 15 December 2017

It has been the practice of successive governments that we do not comment on specific cases.

Grouped Questions: 118297 | 118298 | 118299 | 118300 | 118303
Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department of Health
Death: Weather
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce winter deaths.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Public Health England (PHE), working with the Department and NHS England, oversees the national flu immunisation programme, conducts flu surveillance and publishes an annual Flu Plan. PHE also publishes the Cold Weather Plan for England, in collaboration with the Department, NHS England and the Local Government Association, which aims to avoid preventable illness and deaths in winter. In addition, PHE runs the ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign in partnership with NHS England, encouraging people most at-risk of preventable emergency hospital admission to take actions helping them stay well.

We know the National Health Service is facing increased pressure this winter and that is why we planned earlier this year than ever before. The NHS has robust plans in place to cope with winter supported by additional capital and revenue funding for the NHS of £435 million and funding of an additional £1 billion for the social care system this year to be spent on meeting adult social care needs, supporting the social care market and reducing pressure on the NHS this year.

The NHS is committed to ensuring all patients continue to receive high quality, safe and efficient care as demand over winter increases.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that potential delays to the construction of new nuclear power stations do not undermine the UK’s ability to meet the requirements of the fifth carbon budget.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out an indicative pathway to 2032 for meeting the fifth carbon budget through domestic action. This is one of a number of possible pathways. The route we ultimately take to meeting our targets will depend on a range of factors, in particular ensuring we are mindful of any impact on energy costs for households and businesses, and changes in costs as a result of innovation.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to incentivise businesses and consumers to participate in demand-side flexibility to reduce the cost of meeting the requirements of the fifth carbon budget.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Government published the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan in July 2017, which outlined a series of actions to support the transition to a smart energy system, which could save the UK an estimated £17-40 billion up to 2050. The Plan includes measures to increase the participation of industrial and commercial consumers in demand side response (DSR), which focuses on improving access to energy markets and actively supporting National Grid’s changes to ancillary services. The Plan also details policies to enable domestic consumers to participate in DSR, including measures to increase the availability of smart tariffs and on standards for smart appliances, alongside provisions for appropriate consumer protection.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to engage the UK public with future developments and opportunities associated with the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy system.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Moving to a productive low carbon economy cannot be achieved by central government alone; instead, clean growth must be a shared endeavour with business, civil society and the British people.

To this end, the Clean Growth Strategy announced that, from 2018, Government will work with business and NGOs to introduce a Green Great Britain Week.

Q
Asked by Bill Esterson
(Sefton Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for International Trade
Developing Countries: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations he has received from the Fairtrade Foundation on the effect on the UK's Sustainable Development Goals of the provisions in his Department's Trade Bill, published in November 2017; and what assessment he has made of that effect.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Department for International Trade indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Courts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he will publish a draft Courts Bill.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Government is committed to introducing legislation to modernise the courts system, as soon as parliamentary time allows. There are no current plans to publish the Bill in draft.

Q
(Leicester South)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department of Health
Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many NHS hospitals had comprehensive front-door clinical streaming in (a) March 2017 and (b) October 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available confirms that there were 41 out of 138 acute National Health Service trusts with a type 1 accident and emergency (A&E) which had front-door clinical streaming in place in July 2017. In October 2017 this number had increased to 125 out of 137 acute NHS trusts with a type 1 A&E.

Q
(Leicester South)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department of Health
Accident and Emergency Departments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to NHS England's Good practice guide: Focus on improving patient flow published in July 2017, how many NHS hospitals adopted that best practice in (a) March 2017 and (b) October 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The data requested is not collected centrally.

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that electricity generated from renewable sources takes priority over energy generated from other sources.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The way in which the electricity market and renewable support schemes operate means that renewable electricity generators have effective priority to generate as they generally have very low operating costs.

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the production of electricity from onshore wind.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Over 12GW of installed onshore wind capacity was operational in the UK at the end of the second quarter of 2017. This deployment was supported by schemes such as the Renewables Obligation (RO), which are funded by bill payers.

Further onshore wind farms are expected to deploy up to March 2019 with support from the RO, utilising grace periods provided for in the Energy Act 2016 and the Renewables Obligation Closure Order (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the Renewables Obligation Closure (No.2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2016. In addition, around 690MW of onshore wind capacity has been contracted to deploy under the Contracts for Different regime by 2019, which was established to replace the RO.

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