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 Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Home Office
101 Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many calls were made to the non-emergency police phone number 101 in (a) the UK and (b) Wales in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

101 is the single non-emergency number for contacting the police. It was launched in December 2011 to provide a memorable and accessible number for contact with the police. It is shared with Police Scotland and Police Service Northern Ireland.

The number was rolled out nationally in 2011 with Vodafone as the single supplier for the service. Calls from mobile devices and landline telephones cost 15p regardless of call duration.

Grouped Questions: 118306 | 118307 | 118309 | 118313
Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Home Office
101 Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what was the average duration of calls made to the non-emergency police phone number 101 in (a) the UK and (b) Wales in each of the last twelve months.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

101 is the single non-emergency number for contacting the police. It was launched in December 2011 to provide a memorable and accessible number for contact with the police. It is shared with Police Scotland and Police Service Northern Ireland.

The number was rolled out nationally in 2011 with Vodafone as the single supplier for the service. Calls from mobile devices and landline telephones cost 15p regardless of call duration.

Grouped Questions: 118306 | 118307 | 118308 | 118313
Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Home Office
101 Calls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the cost to callers of the non-emergency police phone number 101 in (a) the UK and (b) Wales in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

101 is the single non-emergency number for contacting the police. It was launched in December 2011 to provide a memorable and accessible number for contact with the police. It is shared with Police Scotland and Police Service Northern Ireland.

The number was rolled out nationally in 2011 with Vodafone as the single supplier for the service. Calls from mobile devices and landline telephones cost 15p regardless of call duration.

Grouped Questions: 118306 | 118307 | 118308 | 118309
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many personnel of visiting forces are based in the UK; what nations those forces come from; and what the locations are of visiting units.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 14 December 2017

It will take some time to gather the information required to answer the hon. Member's question.

I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Economic Situation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to his oral evidence to the Exiting the EU Committee on 6 December 2017, whether the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast of the economic impact of withdrawal from the EU is in the public domain.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook was published on 22 November 2017 and is available at the following address: http://cdn.budgetresponsibility.org.uk/Nov2017EFOwebversion-2.pdf. This sets out forecasts of the UK economy and public finances to 2022-23, which extends well beyond the point at which the UK leaves the EU.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Radioactive Materials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, at which sites managed by his Department radioactive materials are stored, and at which such sites radioactive materials were previously stored during the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Radioactive materials are used in a wide range of equipment (e.g. in small quantities for radioluminescent light sources). Therefore this information is not held centrally, it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Official Hospitality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what estimate he has made of the expenditure of (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on hospitality since 7 May 2015.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The total spend of the Scotland Office on hospitality since May 2015 is as follows:

2015-2016 £ 8,987.00

2016-2017 £ 453.35

The 2015-16 figure includes food and drink spend for both events and hospitality, as these were not recorded separately. From 2016, events spend has been recorded separately to hospitality spend. This is reflected in the figures above.

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, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary regarding the Border Force preparations being made to minimise the disruption to small business supply chains after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 14 December 2017

I have regular discussions with my colleagues at the Home Office on a wide range of topics of mutual interest.

Although the changes business will face - as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU - are subject to negotiations with our EU partners, we want to achieve the best possible outcome and the strongest possible partnership - one that works for UK businesses.

We already have highly efficient processes for freight arriving from the rest of the world – the vast majority of customs declarations in the UK are submitted electronically and are cleared rapidly.

However, 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.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) location is and (b) running costs are for each building used by his Department., excluding operational bases.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 December 2017

A list of where Ministry of Defence buildings are located is attached.

The running cost for each building used by the Ministry of Defence is not held centrally.

118336 - MOD Building Locations (Word Document, 57.58 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland,what the running costs are for each building used by his Department.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The cost of running the Scotland Office buildings in 2016-17 was as follows:

Melville Crescent

£253,217

Dover House

£601,456

Q
Asked by John Grogan
(Keighley)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Public Holidays
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which rail franchises are required to provide train services on Boxing Day, and what those requirements are for each franchise.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Two rail franchises are currently required to provide limited Boxing Day services. Greater Anglia is required to operate certain services between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport. Govia Thameslink Railway is required to operate certain services between London Victoria, Gatwick Airport and Brighton, between London Victoria and Sutton, and between London Victoria and East Croydon. During any periods of engineering work, replacement bus services would be provided.

All franchises have discretion to operate Boxing Day services on a commercial basis, subject to agreement with Network Rail.

Q
(Sevenoaks)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Education
Teachers: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the value of using recruitment agencies to recruit teachers.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 14 December 2017

It is for schools to decide how they recruit their staff but the government wants to help schools do so in the most efficient way possible.

In the manifesto we committed to creating a national teacher vacancy service for schools to publish vacancies, in order to reduce costs and help them find the best teachers. The aim is to reduce both the time schools currently spend on publishing vacancies and the cost of recruiting new teachers. The service will also make it easier for aspiring and current teachers to find jobs quickly and easily.

Dependent on the outcome of our current development phase, we could expect to start building this service in 2018.

Q
Asked by Kirstene Hair
(Angus)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Scotland Office
European City of Culture: Dundee
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the (a) eligibility of and (b) support for Dundee's bid to be European City of Culture.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

I regularly discuss matters of interest to Scotland with Cabinet colleagues and have expressed my support for Dundee’s bid to the DCMS Secretary of State and ministers at every available opportunity.

The UK Government is in discussions with the European Commission about the position it has taken on UK participation and is also in discussions with the five cities that submitted bids to host the European Capital of Culture 2023.

I would be happy to meet with the honourable Member to discuss this in more detail.

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average funding per unit from allocations under the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 for (a) London and (b) each Homes and Communities operating area, excluding nil grant units was for (i) the entire programme (ii) Affordable Rent units and (iii) Affordable Home Ownership units for the period up to the end of September 2017,
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 14 December 2017
Holding answer received on 13 December 2017

Funding is allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency and the Greater London Authority in London. Housing associations and local authorities are able to bid into the Programme for funding.

Successful bids for the HCA and GLA can be found online.

HCA figures can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/affordable-homes-programme-2016-to-2021-successful-bidders

GLA figures can be found here:

https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/homes-londoners/homes-londoners-affordable-homes-programme-2016-21

Q
Asked by Cat Smith
(Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Transport
Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Expert Committee
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have been appointed as members of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Expert Committee to date.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Following discussion with various stakeholders, the Department has established a stakeholder advisory group to hold the Government to account for the delivery of the Strategy, and ensure that its cycling and walking policies are informed by regular dialogue with the relevant organisations. This replaces the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Expert Committee and this group met for the first time in October 2017, with it due to meet on a quarterly basis. Ministers and officials also continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss issues such as the Cycle Safety Review.

Q
(Mid Norfolk)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for International Development
Lebanon: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Lebanese Government on the potential forced return of refugees to Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 December 2017

I have raised the issue of refugee returns on several occasions with the Government of Lebanon, including during a visit to Lebanon in October 2017, where I met with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, among others. I also discussed the issue with Education Minister Marwan Hamade and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil when they visited the UK in November. The UK is committed to ensuring that any refugee returns to Syria take place voluntarily, in safety and dignity, in line with international law. We do not support forced returns and will not support any returns before Syria or parts of Syria are declared safe by the United Nations. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees does not currently consider conditions to be in place for refugees to return to Syria in safety and dignity.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Berwyn Prison
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of installing medical facilities at HMP Berwyn to reduce the pressure on local NHS providers.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 14 December 2017

A full range of health and wellbeing services are available to the men at HMP Berwyn including primary care services, mental health and learning disability services, and services for men with a need for substance misuse services.

These services are housed in purpose built facility and are staffed by a variety of health and wellbeing professionals.

Health is devolved in Wales.

Welsh Government, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the HMP Berwyn project team have worked closely together to assess the potential impact of HMP Berwyn on local health services, including emergency services. A full health needs assessment was carried out in the early stages of the development of the prison and models of care were developed from this, with the aim of reducing the local health impact as far as possible.

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Berwyn Prison
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the procedure is for taking an inmate from HMP Berwyn to local A&E services.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Men who present with issues which may require attendance at hospital, short of emergency medical issues, are assessed by health professionals before any decision is made to take them to hospital. There are a wide range of interventions which can be provided by the health and wellbeing team in situ to prevent the need for men to attend at local emergency departments. In the event of a medical emergency a man may be transferred to local services if care cannot be provided within HMP Berwyn but men are transferred back to the prison at the earliest appropriate opportunity.

A risk assessment will decide the level of staffing required for the safe transfer to hospital and during any further hospital stay. This will be completed before any move to hospital from HMP Berwyn except in an emergency. The risk assessment is approved by the Head of Security or the person operationally in charge of the prison.

Q
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Non-native Species
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take in response to the findings of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 that new and emerging invasive non-native species are one of six urgent climate change risks for the UK.
A
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The UK has long recognised the threats posed by invasive non-native species. In 2008, we published a comprehensive Great Britain Non-native Species Strategy designed to tackle these threats, the first of its kind in Europe.

As part of our strategy, we carry out horizon-scanning for new invasive non-native species likely to pose a significant risk if they arrive in the UK. These threats are formal assessments using a comprehensive risk framework that takes climate change into account. We will be carrying the next horizon scanning exercise in 2018.

We also carry out risk analysis for individual species which specifically takes the potential impacts from climate change into account.

We have set up a Great Britain working group to consider research needs relating to invasive non-native species, which includes the impacts from climate change.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Standards Council
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have put in place for monitoring the work of the Video Standards Council, and for holding the Video Standards Council Board to account.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Government formally monitors the work of the independent Video Standards Council (VSC) on an annual basis through scrutiny of their Annual Report. This report describes the VSC's application of the independent Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) rating system over the previous year, and is assessed by officials and ministers before being laid before Parliament for further review.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Standards Council
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last met representatives of the Video Standards Council; and whether they have any plans to review the work of that body.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Officials last met representatives of the Video Standards Council (VSC) at their St Albans headquarters on 29 August 2017 and maintain regular communications outside of meetings. The work of the VSC will next be reviewed upon submission of their Annual Report in 2018.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Standards Council
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what qualifications are required of employees and members of the Video Standards Council who are involved in determining age classifications for video games.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Video Standards Council objectively follows the Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) classification criteria produced by psychologists and child welfare experts. Their employees have demonstrated analytical capabilities and include graduates and former police officers. They are also able to consult their Advisory Panel of leading psychologists and legal experts before deciding upon the rating of a video game.

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Standards Council
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the independence of the Video Standards Council in respect of the discharge of the Council's responsibility for determining age classifications for video games.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Video Standards Council (VSC) applies the independently determined Pan-European Games Information (PEGI) classification system on behalf of industry in order to provide objectivity and consistency in video games age ratings. The VSC’s classification work is reviewed by Government as part of the assessment of their Annual Report.

Q
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Home Office
Police: Unmanned Air Vehicles
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which police forces in England and Wales use drones for operational purposes; and what training is provided to officers and staff in the use of such drones.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

In a study published on 30 November HMICFRS reported that 28 Police Forces use drones. The deployment of drones is an operational decision for the police.

Police forces need to adhere to the commercial operator requirements of the Air Navigation Order when operating drones. This requires operators to be trained by a National Qualified Entity approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Q
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Home Office
National Oversight Group on Domestic Abuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 December (HL3560), how many times the National Oversight Group on domestic abuse has met since 13 July 2016; and when the next meeting is scheduled to take place.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The National Oversight Group on domestic abuse has met on three separate occasions since 13 July 2016, the next meeting is scheduled to take place in the New Year.

Q
Asked on: 08 December 2017
Home Office
Domestic Violence
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 7 December (HL3560), what advice on good practice to tackle domestic abuse has been disseminated by (1) the National Police Lead for domestic abuse, and (2) the College of Policing, to police forces in England and Wales in the last 12 months.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The National Policing Lead for domestic abuse has provided guidance to forces in the last 12 months on counter allegations of domestic abuse, arrest rates, use of police outcome codes and the use of bail legislation and Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

The College regularly maintains and updates the Authorised Professional Practise for Domestic Abuse, which provides national guidance on handling domestic abuse incidents.

Both have worked with the domestic abuse charity Safelives to develop a domestic abuse training programme. An evaluation of this training was published this autumn.

Asked on: 11 December 2017
Home Office
Borders: Wales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional border stages will be required following Brexit for those Welsh ports whose main trade in freight and passengers is with Ireland.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government is committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements with Ireland after the UK leaves the EU, protecting the ability to move freely between Ireland and the UK. Joint principles have been agreed with the European Commission to ensure the continuation of the Common Travel Area.

The nature of customs arrangements between the UK and the EU following the UK’s departure from the Customs Union will depend on the outcome of Exit negotiations. The Government has been clear that its priority will be to ensure that trade between the UK and the EU is as frictionless as possible.

Asked on: 11 December 2017
Home Office
Borders: Wales
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the cost of new border and customs arrangements at Welsh ports following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We actively monitor workflows at the border to ensure sufficient resources are in place to meet demand and will continue to do so throughout EU Exit negotiations and as the UK leaves the EU.

Government departments are working together across a range of complex issues to develop our future approach at the border. These options will be kept under review in light of negotiations with the EU.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what was the total sum owed in student loans in (a) 2000 and (b) 2016.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 14 December 2017

This information is published in the relevant SLC Annual Report and Accounts for financial year 1999-2000 and financial year 2015-16, both of which are available at: https://www.slc.co.uk/about-us/remit/annual-report.aspx. Please note that the figure for 31 March 2016 excludes outstanding balances on mortgage style loans which were sold by the government in November 2013 and for which information is no longer available.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 Transport
Aviation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department would make an assessment of the potential merits of permitting further routes from an airport where Public Service Obligation support for a specific air route has been successful.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public Service Obligations are imposed where there is a risk that an air service will be withdrawn and Government believes that the route is vital for the economic and social development of a region. Government will be examining the role of Public Service Obligations in its upcoming Aviation Strategy.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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
Cabinet Office
Older People
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the increase in the number of people in the UK aged over 100 between 2017 and 2022.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA response (PDF Document, 143.46 KB)
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[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
Cabinet Office
Food: Trade Agreements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, which Department is taking the lead on developing free trade deals for food products.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Department for International Trade is responsible for delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK as we leave the EU. It works closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which is responsible for supporting our world-leading food and farming industry.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
[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
Cabinet Office
Electoral Register
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 6 December 2017 to Question 116685, what plans he has to make an assessment of the potential reasons for areas reporting significant increases in registered electors.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We keep the evidence on democratic engagement under constant review. We are also exploring ways of making available more data about levels of registration to assist Electoral Registration Officers and others in maximising registration. Further detail will be set out in the Democratic Engagement Plan to be published later in December 2017.

Q
Asked by Thelma Walker
(Colne Valley)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Home Office
Children: Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 29 November 2017 to Question 116398, what assessment she has made of the effect of the reduction in neighbourhood policing on the ability of police forces to protect vulnerable children.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

It is for operationally independent Chief Constables to make decisions on the size, composition and deployment of the workforce in line with local needs and priorities.

We recognise that it is crucial that the police have the right resources, capabilities and powers to keep the public safe. We have provided millions of pounds of extra investment through the Police Transformation Fund to transform policing to respond to changing crimes and threats including crimes against vulnerable children such as child sexual abuse.

Through this fund we have awarded £1.9million to the College of Policing to transform policing’s approach to vulnerability, including developing a more comprehensive package of training for first responders in vulnerability so that they are better able to identify signs of vulnerability and provide support to victims. This package will also include the piloting of a licence to practise which will ensure that only those officers who are qualified to carry out specialist investigations in high risk areas like child protection, are able to do so.

Q
(Blackpool 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: 11 December 2017
Department for Education
Higher Education: Part-time Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation of 19 July 2017, Official Report, Col 893, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of buoyant labour markets on the number of students entering part-time higher education in England.
A
Answered by: Joseph Johnson
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The factors that influence the number of students that enter higher education part-time are complex. External studies have explored the connection between the state of the labour market and the number of people studying in higher education part-time.

Government is taking steps to help people who want to study part-time, enabling individuals to gain new skills and advance their careers, and supporting the wider economy. We introduced tuition fee loans for part-time students in 2012/13 and will be offering part-time maintenance loans from 2018/19.

Q
Asked by Tim Loughton
(East Worthing and Shoreham)
[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 Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Polygamy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what changes to benefit entitlement for partners in polygamous partnerships has resulted from the introduction of universal credit.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Universal Credit does not recognise polygamous marriages. In Universal Credit, a person who is not party to the earliest existing marriage has to claim as a single person on the basis of their own circumstances, as opposed to being treated as part of a couple. This is a simpler approach that is easier to administer and avoids complexity within the structure of the benefit.

Q
Asked by Tim Loughton
(East Worthing and Shoreham)
[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
Home Office
Gun Sports: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations he has received from people with disabilities who participate in recreational shooting to her Department's consultation on prohibiting .50 calibre and VZ58MARS firearms.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government’s consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons closed on 9 December 2017. We received a number of responses in relation to disabilities and the use of firearms. We are considering the responses received and the Government will publish a response to the consultation in early 2018.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[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 Education
Soft Drinks: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 28 November 2017 to Question 115565, on Soft Drinks: Taxation, how much of the £60 million for other relevant projects her Department estimates will be spent in each year of the forecast period.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We are investing £26 million from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy over the next three years to expand breakfast club provision, to be split as follows: £1 million in 2017-18, £12.5 million in 2018-19, and £12.5 million in 2019-20.

We will spend £22 million from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy on the Essential Life Skills programme, with a provisional split as follows: £8 million in 2017-18 and £14 million in 2018-19.

The remaining funds will be spent on relevant projects in the spending review period.

Q
Asked by Angela Rayner
(Ashton-under-Lyne)
[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
Leader of the House
Statements
Commons
To ask the Leader of the House, pursuant to her oral contribution of 26 October 2017, Official Report, column 459, what the criteria are for determining whether a Minister will make an (a) oral and (b) written statement to the House.
A
Answered by: Andrea Leadsom
Answered on: 14 December 2017

As I announced on 26 October, the relevant Minister will respond to the resolution of the House by making a statement no more than 12 weeks after the debate.

Q
Asked by Heidi Allen
(South Cambridgeshire)
[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
Home Office
Slavery: Victims
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's timetable is for implementing the recommendations of the Human Trafficking Foundation's Trafficking Survivor Care Standards, published in June 2015, for shelters caring for victims of modern day slavery in the UK.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The recent announcements on National Referral Mechanism (NRM) reform indicate the Government’s commitment to markedly improve the identification of, and support provided to, victims of modern slavery. This includes the adoption of the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Trafficking Survivor Care Standards as a minimum standard of victim support in all future contracts providing support to adult victims of modern slavery.

The Government is working with key stakeholders to ensure the standards reflect current best practice and to look at options for monitoring compliance. These will then be incorporated into the retendering of the Victim Care Contract in due course.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[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 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency: Inland Waterways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 12 October 2017 to Question 105954, what progress has been made on the development of proposals to transfer navigation responsibilities and assets from the Environment Agency to the Canal and River Trust since that Answer was given; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Following my meeting with the Chair and Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust, we have been looking carefully at the proposals made by the Trust to transfer navigation responsibilities and assets from the Environment Agency. We will be holding discussions with the Trust and the Environment Agency over the coming months.

In looking at the proposals, we must balance the need to secure the long term future of our managed waterways against the need to ensure that any final agreement offers the best deal for the public purse, and for those who currently work on these waterways. We are analysing the Trust’s proposal to see whether it would provide the benefits the Government wants to derive from a potential transfer.

Q
(Tooting)
[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 Education
Pupils: Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that all children in state schools who have medical conditions have individual healthcare plans.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Since September 2014, schools have been subject to a duty, under Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014, to support pupils with medical conditions, and to follow statutory guidance.

The guidance sets out that school governing boards should ensure that schools develop a policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions. It also states that governing boards should ensure that the school’s policy covers the role of individual healthcare plans, and who is responsible for their development.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[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
Scotland Office
Autumn Budget 2017: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what representations his Department made to the Chancellor before the Autumn Budget 2017.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

My Department is in regular contact with the Treasury, making representations on a wide range of matters with impact in Scotland. I have regular discussions with all my Cabinet colleagues including the Chancellor about matters of importance to Scotland.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[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
Scotland Office
Emergency Services: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will take steps to reimburse VAT payments made by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue between 2013 and 2017.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Under the previous arrangements, Scottish services were locally-funded and were able to recover VAT under UK law, but the new bodies became ineligible to recover VAT as they were no longer locally funded. The Scottish Government was aware of this but decided to restructure in full knowledge of these consequences.

To support our brave police and fire services in Scotland, the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2017-18 to allow Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to recover normally irrecoverable VAT which will save Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service c. £40m per year. The change will come into effect in April 2018.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[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
Scotland Office
Devolution: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on providing additional resources to the Scottish Government to administer powers repatriated to the Scottish Parliament after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

I have regular discussions with members of the Cabinet, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Barnett Formula is operating as usual where additional funding is being provided to UK Government departments to prepare for EU Exit in devolved areas.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[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
Scotland Office
Budgets: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions the Government has had with the Scottish Government on its 14 December 2017 budget.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

I meet regularly with Scottish Government ministers to discuss a wide range of issues.

Q
(Glasgow North East)
[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
Scotland Office
Public Expenditure: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what plans his Department has to secure additional funding for the Scottish Government.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Autumn Budget demonstrates that the UK Government is delivering for Scotland.

From support for city deals and some of our finest charities to landmark tax measures on oil and gas and whisky, this Budget backs Scotland’s great industries. This is in addition to the £2 billion of extra spending power the Scottish Government will have as a result of this Budget.

Q
Asked by John Woodcock
(Barrow and Furness)
[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
HM Treasury
Help to Buy Scheme
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether there have been any changes to the eligibility criteria for qualifying for a bonus with a Help to Buy ISA since that policy was introduced; and what the eligibility criteria were when that policy was introduced.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 14 December 2017

There has been no change to the eligibility criteria since the policy was introduced.

Q
(Midlothian)
[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 Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Suicide
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have taken their own lives while (a) applying for, (b) claiming and (c) under sanction in relation to universal credit.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The information requested is not available.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Raw Materials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September 2017 to Question 7669, what steps he is taking to ensure continued co-operation with the European Commission to address supply risks to the availability of (a) helium and (b) other materials on the European Commission's Critical Raw Materials list in the event that the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We recognise the importance of helium and other raw materials to UK supply chains, and support key UK industrial sectors manage their critical resource risks. The UK’s future trade arrangements are currently being developed as part of the UK’s EU Exit negotiations.

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