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
(Hendon)
Asked on: 17 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Coroners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department has issued to coroners on ensuring that bodies are released for burial as soon as possible as per religious tradition.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Guidance for coroners is issued by the Chief Coroner.

The needs of those faiths which require early burial can only be fully met if coroners provide an out of hours service. In his Annual Report for 2016-2017 the Chief Coroner recommended that coroner areas should provide an out of hours service but that they should normally do so on a ‘light touch’ basis. He went on to say however that “in some areas an out of hours service will require more, particularly in order to assist families who seek early burial for their loved ones”.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice’s Guide to Coroner Services, which is available on gov.uk and is aimed in particular at bereaved families, says that “the coroner’s office will take account where possible of individuals’ views and expectations, including family and community preferences, traditions and religious requirements relating to mourning, post-mortem examinations and funerals”.

Q
Asked by Diana Johnson
(Kingston upon Hull North)
[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: 19 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people serving (a) fixed-term (b) life and (c) indeterminate sentences who had been granted parole by the Parole Board were recalled in each year since 2004-05.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The breakdown of the number of people recalled following parole release by the Parole Board:

Sentence Type

Year (1)

Determinate

IPP

Life

2010

-

34

95

2011

-

60

118

2012(2)

-

123

124

2013

-

240

174

2014

-

332

201

2015

4

363

212

2016

19

482

212

(1) The figures provided are for offenders recalled in each full year from 2010 to 2016 whose first releases were directed by the Parole Board. Information datasets held by the department do not record the data in this format prior to 2010. The figures may include offenders recalled more than once across multiple years but not within years. The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. Recall reasons do not sum to the total number of recalls as more than one reason can be recorded against each recall

(2) 2012 onwards saw a significant increase in the number of IPP recalls. This reflects a steady increase in IPP releases from 97 in 2010 to 576 in 2016; it follows that the more IPP releases we see, it is likely that larger numbers will be recalled to custody.

Public protection is our priority and offenders on licence must comply with a strict set of conditions. If any offender breaches his licence conditions, he is liable to be recalled immediately to prison.

As more offenders are reaching their minimum tariff dates, the number of first-time IPP releases continues to rise year on year, and there are consequently ever greater numbers of offenders on an IPP licence in the community. Correspondingly, and as is to be expected, the number of offenders on an IPP licence who are recalled to custody also continues to rise.

No changes have been made to the IPP release test, and the independent Parole Board will continue to assess rigorously all tariff-expired IPP prisoners, in order as to determine they are safe to be released.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
[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: 19 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offenders who were granted early release from prison by the Parole Board have re-offended in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The number of offenders sentenced to indeterminate sentences and released by the Parole Board, once they had completed their tariff, and who have gone on to re-offend, can be found in the Quarterly Proven Re-Offending Statistics published by the MoJ .

Table: Adult proven reoffending data, by custodial sentence length1

2013

2014

2015

2016 Q1 3

Indeterminate sentence for public protection

Number of reoffenders

53

43

68

18

Number of offenders in cohort

389

376

453

137

Mandatory life prisoner

Number of reoffenders

8

4

8

2

Number of offenders in cohort

172

113

185

51

Other life 2

Number of reoffenders

7

17

11

2

Number of offenders in cohort

93

90

102

26

All

Number of reoffenders

68

64

87

22

Number of offenders in cohort

654

579

740

214

Notes:

1. Data regarding offenders released from indeterminate sentences up to September 2015 are extracted from the Public Protection Unit Database (PPUD). As data were not of sufficient quality for these offenders prior to 2009, they have not been included in the figures. Data regarding offenders released from indeterminate sentences from October 2015 onwards are extracted from nDelius.

2. 'Other life' category includes discretionary and automatic life sentences.

3. Data from April 2016 are not yet published.

The Parole Board will release prisoners serving an indeterminate sentence after they have completed the tariff set by the Court, where it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for public protection for them to remain in prison. Offenders released by the Parole Board are supervised on licence by the National Probation Service

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Owner Occupation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the decline in the level of home ownership among people under 45 years old since 2010.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Under the last Labour government, home ownership started falling from a peak of 63.9 per cent in 2003-04 for all homeowners between the ages of 16-44 to a low of 53.8 per cent in 2009-10.

The Government have put in place a wide ranging package of measures to improve homeownership. While overall homeownership rates have remained stable since 2013, they have declined for people under 45 since 2003. The best way to help young people to own their own home is to build more homes, and that is precisely what this Government is doing.

Already, over 1.1 million additional homes have been delivered in England since 2010, including over 217,000 in 2017 alone. Since 2010, over 357,000 affordable homes have been delivered, as well as the 443,000 households that have been helped into home ownership through Government schemes including Help to Buy and Right to Buy.

More still needs to be done to get more houses built. We will be working on this through the implementation of our Housing White Paper and the further measures we introduced in the Autumn Budget 2017. This includes reforms to Stamp Duty, which are expected to help 95 per cent of first-time buyers.

Q
Asked by Anna Soubry
(Broxtowe)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Heart Diseases: Death
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths were registered with an underlying cause of sudden cardiac death in England and Wales by age in each year from 2010 to 2016.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 22 February 2018

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

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 112.44 KB)
Grouped Questions: 125918
Q
Asked by Anna Soubry
(Broxtowe)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Heart Diseases: Death
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths were registered with an underlying cause of sudden cardiac death in England and Wales by region in each year from 2010 to 2016.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 22 February 2018

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

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 112.44 KB)
Grouped Questions: 125917
Q
(York Central)
Asked on: 01 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Personal Income: York
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average net weekly household income was for people in York in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 22 February 2018

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

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 76.22 KB)
Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 05 February 2018
Women and Equalities
Pregnancy: Discrimination
Commons
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she has taken in response to recommendations by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on women taking pregnancy and maternity discrimination cases against their employers to a tribunal.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Anyone who believes that they have faced discrimination in employment because of pregnancy and maternity is entitled to bring a claim for discrimination in an Employment Tribunal. The report of research undertaken by the then Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the EHRC into pregnancy and maternity related discrimination and disadvantage, published in 2015-16, made two recommendations intended to help women take pregnancy and maternity discrimination cases to an Employment Tribunal:

  • in light of the findings of the review, make changes to the Employment Tribunal fee system to ensure that fees are not a barrier to accessing justice for women experiencing pregnancy and maternity discrimination, and
  • consider increasing the time limit for a woman to bring an Employment Tribunal claim in cases involving pregnancy and maternity discrimination from three to six months, in line with other employment claims such as redundancy and equal pay.

Fees for bringing a claim before an Employment Tribunal have now been withdrawn, following the case of R (on the application of Unison) v Lord Chancellor on Employment Tribunals fees. We immediately stopped charging fees in Employment Tribunals after the Supreme Court judgment and said we would refund those who had paid fees. The full refund scheme was launched on 15 November.

Tribunal rules already allow the time limit to bring a claim be extended where it is just and equitable to do so. Government has asked H.M. Court and Tribunal Service to consider the scope for collecting data on the number of requests made for extensions and the types of cases involved. The Government will consider the results of any exercise carefully to see if any further action is required.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
Attorney General
Attorney General: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, 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: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 22 February 2018
Holding answer received on 21 February 2018

Given the role of the Attorney General’s Department, it does not lead on specific projects related to the UK leaving the EU and therefore has not incurred any additional expenditure. None of the Law Officers’ Departments has received direct funding therefore for work relating to the UK leaving the EU. Members of staff across the Law Officers’ Departments provide advice and analysis on different issues as required, and different Government departments bid for funding from HMT to pay for their resource needs, including the services of the Government Legal Department (GLD).

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on how many occasions he has been asked to confirm a local planning authority's decision to revoke planning permission under Section 97 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and on how many such occasions he (a) confirmed and (b) overturned that decision in each year since 2016.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 only requires the Secretary of State to confirm an order revoking planning permission made by a local authority under Section 97 of the Act where it is opposed by the person on whom it is served. According to available records, the Secretary of State has been asked to confirm 25 revocation orders.

The Secretary of State has not confirmed or overturned any revocation orders since 2016.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) registered care home and (b) nursing home places there were in (i) England and (ii) Greater London in each year since 2016.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The total number of beds in care homes remains broadly static but high quality care is not just about care home beds and the numbers of care homes. Of those aged 65 and over who need local authority support, 62% are cared for in their own home. The number of home care agencies in England has increased by 55% since 2010 (3,184 more agencies).

The following table shows care home bed numbers in England and Greater London 2016 – 2018, as of the date listed in the table.

England

London Region

Date

Number of Nursing Home Beds

Number of Care Home Beds

Number of Nursing Home Beds

Number of Care Home Beds

1 January 2016

224,024

237,769

20,905

16,336

1 January 2017

221,205

239,118

20,199

16,624

1 January 2018

222,416

237,229

20,452

15,917

Data on care home closures is not held centrally.

The following table shows care both the total number of care home locations active on 1 January and the number of care home locations deactivated from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. A location can be deactivated for a number of reasons, and not necessarily because the service has closed. For example, it may have re-registered because it has made changes to its legal structure or changed address. Similarly, other operators may have entered the market and replaced the care provision provided by the deactivation of a location.

England

London Region

Nursing Home

Residential Home

Nursing Home

Residential Home

Year

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

2016

370

4,648

1,010

12,191

30

396

115

1,220

2017

416

4,513

937

11,968

46

380

117

1,172

2018

4,489

11,615

374

1,107

Notes:

A location with a service type of ‘Care home service with nursing’ is categorised as a ‘Nursing Home’; a location with a service type of ‘Care home service without nursing’ is categorised as a ‘Care Home’; a location may have multiple service types.

Grouped Questions: 127148
Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Company Accounts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies have had their financial statements rejected by Companies House as unsuitable for filing in each year since 2012-13.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Companies House does not hold information on the number of companies that had their financial statements rejected. However, the table below shows the number of financial statements that were rejected by Companies House as unsuitable for filing in the periods requested. These figures are not reflective of the number of companies which have had financial statements rejected, as it is possible that more than one set of financial statements were rejected for individual companies within the year in question’

Periods

Number of financial statements rejected (UK)

2012-2013

76,044

2013-2014

80,031

2014-2015

82,920

2015-2016

88,075

2016-2017

81,720

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Care Homes: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) residential care homes and (b) nursing homes have closed since 2016.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The total number of beds in care homes remains broadly static but high quality care is not just about care home beds and the numbers of care homes. Of those aged 65 and over who need local authority support, 62% are cared for in their own home. The number of home care agencies in England has increased by 55% since 2010 (3,184 more agencies).

The following table shows care home bed numbers in England and Greater London 2016 – 2018, as of the date listed in the table.

England

London Region

Date

Number of Nursing Home Beds

Number of Care Home Beds

Number of Nursing Home Beds

Number of Care Home Beds

1 January 2016

224,024

237,769

20,905

16,336

1 January 2017

221,205

239,118

20,199

16,624

1 January 2018

222,416

237,229

20,452

15,917

Data on care home closures is not held centrally.

The following table shows care both the total number of care home locations active on 1 January and the number of care home locations deactivated from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. A location can be deactivated for a number of reasons, and not necessarily because the service has closed. For example, it may have re-registered because it has made changes to its legal structure or changed address. Similarly, other operators may have entered the market and replaced the care provision provided by the deactivation of a location.

England

London Region

Nursing Home

Residential Home

Nursing Home

Residential Home

Year

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

Number of Locations Deactivated in year

Number of Active locations as of 1 January

2016

370

4,648

1,010

12,191

30

396

115

1,220

2017

416

4,513

937

11,968

46

380

117

1,172

2018

4,489

11,615

374

1,107

Notes:

A location with a service type of ‘Care home service with nursing’ is categorised as a ‘Nursing Home’; a location with a service type of ‘Care home service without nursing’ is categorised as a ‘Care Home’; a location may have multiple service types.

Grouped Questions: 127126
Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in the price of construction materials since 2010 on (a) house building and (b) the cost per unit of Government spending on housing.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The Office for National Statistics estimates that just over 50 per cent of the cost of house building comes from the cost of materials. The cost of construction materials for house building rose 15.3 per cent between 2010 and 2017, the equivalent of 1.8 per cent annual inflation. Over the same period, the Construction Output Price Index for New Housing rose by 17.8 per cent, the equivalent of 2.1 per cent annual inflation.

Annual net additional dwellings in England increased from 137,390 units in 2010/11 to 217,350 units in 2016/17, and our ambitious end-to-end reforms announced at Autumn Budget and in the Housing White Paper put us on track to transform the market to support delivery of an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Asked on: 07 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Palace of Westminster: Repairs and Maintenance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to seek the consent of Her Majesty the Queen for a full decant of both Houses of Parliament.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 22 February 2018

As a parliamentary programme, the delivery of the Restoration and Renewal (R&R) of the Palace of Westminster is a matter for both Houses of Parliament. I understand that the Queen’s consent may be required in relation to the Bill to brought forward in respect of R&R.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies had their registered office in each parliamentary constituency in the tax year 2015-16.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Companies House does not gather information related to the constituency map of the UK, so is unable to provide the number of companies that have their registered off address in each parliamentary constituency.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies were struck off in 2015-16 in each parliamentary constituency in which that company's registered office was located.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Companies House does not gather information related to the constituency map of the UK, so is unable to provide the number of companies that have been struck off in each parliamentary constituency.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Company Accounts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many prosecutions there were for financial statements which failed to comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and associated legislation and regulation in (a) 2012-13, (b) 2013-14, (c) 2014-15, (d) 2015-16 and (e) 2016-17; and what the outcome of those prosecutions was.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 22 February 2018

The table below details how many prosecutions there were for financial statements that failed to comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and associated legislation and regulation for the periods shown.

Number of Prosecutions for Annual Accounts (Financial Statements) UK

Period

Number of Charges Laid in Court

Convictions

Charges Withdrawn

Adjourned to Later date

2012-2013

3,816

1,833

1,178

716

2013-2014

3,752

1,837

1,307

587

2014-2015

4,444

2,126

1,545

751

2015-2016

4,474

2,162

1,467

774

2016-2017

4,052

1,936

1,445

659

Charges that are withdrawn are generally because the company has brought its public record up to date.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what checks are undertaken on the confirmation statements presented by companies for filing at Companies House in order to meet the requirements of the Companies Acts 2006 and associated legislation and regulations.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Companies may file confirmation statements electronically or on paper, with 99% choosing to do so online. For confirmation statements received electronically, the online filing system contains validation checks to ensure that the document is acceptable for filing. These checks ensure it contains the correct company name and number, it has the correct the information required, the confirmation statement date is included and that it is authenticated by the company.

For confirmation statements received on paper, Companies House staff carry out a series of similar checks. Instead of checking whether a filing has been authenticated, they check that the document has been signed and the correct fee has been received.

Asked on: 07 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders: Sentencing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to review sentencing guidelines for offences committed by people previously incarcerated for serious crimes against the person.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 22 February 2018

Sentencing guidelines are issued by the independent Sentencing Council. The Council have a duty to monitor the use of guidelines and will review them where appropriate. Those guidelines should be followed by courts at the point of sentencing in conjunction with other statutory requirements, including the need to take account of previous convictions. There are appeal processes to enable prompt challenges to a sentence, including, in some circumstances, the ability of the Attorney General to refer to the Court of Appeal an unduly lenient sentence.

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