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 2016-17 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

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
(York 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: 07 October 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Social Rented Housing: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much his Department spent on new social housing for rent in (a) the City of York and (b) England in each year since 2010; and how much it expects to spend for such purposes in each year for which projections have been made.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 26 April 2017
Holding answer received on 12 October 2016

The Department does not publish the capital expenditure spent on new social housing for rent. The capital expenditure on social housing through government’s affordable homes programmes are available publicly for the National Affordable Homes Programme 2008-11, the Affordable Homes Programme 2011-2015, the Affordable Homes Programme 2015-2018 and the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21.

Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 initial allocations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/affordable-homes-programme-2016-to-2021-successful-bidders

Data are only available by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) operating areas or by providers.

Affordable Homes Programme 2015-18 initial allocations: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/affordable-homes-programme-2015-to-2018-guidance-and-allocations#allocations

Data are only available by HCA operating areas or by providers.

Affordable Homes Programme 2015-18 quarterly updates: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/affordable-homes-programme-2015-to-2018-quarterly-updates

Data are only available by HCA operating areas or by providers.

Affordable Homes Programme 2011-15 initial allocations, signed contracts and quarterly updates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/affordable-homes-programme-2011-to-2015-guidance-and-allocations

Data are only available for HCA operating areas and by local authorities

National Affordable Homes Programme 2008-11 – Investment statement, Yorkshire and Humberside

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20071204140632/http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk/server/show/nav.4140

Data are only available by HCA operating areas

Government is investing and additional £1.4 billion in the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21, increasing the overall budget for this programme to £7.1 billion to deliver 225,000 affordable housing starts by March 2021.

Between 1997 and 2010 social housing stock fell by 420,000. Since 2010 the overall stock of social housing has increased by 76,000.

Q
Asked by Rob Marris
(Wolverhampton South West)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 31 October 2016
Home Office
Sikhs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which UK Sikh organisations she consulted in the development of her Department's publication, Action Against Hate: The UK Government's plan for tackling hate crime, published in July 2016.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The Government when developing the Hate Crime Action Plan (Action Against Hate) consulted with a range of stakeholders and community groups. This included the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, a number of Police Independent Advisory Groups and a meeting of community stakeholders hosted by Greater Manchester Police on behalf of the Home Office.

The Government welcomes engagement with all faith representatives including the Sikh Community in taking forward the Hate Crime Action Plan and using it as a vehicle to tackle community concerns.

Q
Asked by Jim McMahon
(Oldham West and Royton)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[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: 18 November 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Bilfinger: Non-domestic Rates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if the Government will intervene in the business rates appeal by Bilfinger GVA on behalf of NHS trusts to prevent public funds being spent on Bilfinger GVA,
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 26 April 2017
Holding answer received on 23 November 2016

I am aware of discussions between a number of local authorities and NHS Trusts in relation to charitable business rate relief. The decision to grant charitable rate relief is taken by individual local authorities, the Department for Communities and Local Government is working closely with the Department of Health, the Local Government Association, and local government to consider the issues.

Q
(Jarrow)
Asked on: 10 January 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much was spent on housing in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The numbers of households on local authority waiting lists for each local authority in England since 1997 is published in live table 600 which is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-rents-lettings-and-tenancies

Figures are not available at constituency level.

Q
Asked by Nusrat Ghani
(Wealden)
Asked on: 20 January 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Social Media: Hate Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing fines for social media companies which fail to remove hate material from their online platforms.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 26 April 2017

This Government has recognised the harm caused by hate on the internet and committed to take action to reduce this harm in the recently published Hate Crime Action Plan. Despite the challenges we face, we have made considerable progress in addressing hate on the internet. The Director of Public Prosecutions has published guidance to prosecutors on when it is in the public interest to take perpetrators to court. We also continue to support the police hate crime web-facility, True Vision to provide information to victims and professionals and to allow on-line reporting of hate crime. The College of Policing has included guidance to police and partners on responding to internet hate crime in their Hate Crime Strategy and Guidance. This guidance was downloaded over 4,700 times from True Vision in the first five months, in addition to the physical documents circulated to individual agencies.

We have supported the establishment of the UK No Hate Speech Movement which equips, trains and supports young volunteers to operate on the internet, supporting victims, reporting damaging material and challenging hate-fuelled perpetrators through ‘counter-narrative’ activity.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
Asked on: 27 February 2017
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative assessment she has made of the number of refugee children coming to the UK under (a) Dubs and (b) the Dublin agreement; and if she will identify those numbers in quarterly immigration statistics.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 26 April 2017

In 2016, over 900 unaccompanied asylum seeking children were transferred to the UK from Europe. Over 750 were transferred from France, including over 200 under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016.

In the joint Written Ministerial Statement of 8 November, the Government committed to publishing regular updates on the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children transferred to the UK. The Government is considering options for publishing this information.

Statistics on transfers under the Dublin Regulation are already available here:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Dublin_statistics_on_countries_responsible_for_asylum_application

Asylum statistics are published quarterly in the Home Office Immigration Statistics release, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-october-to-december-2016/asylum

Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Affordable Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the net capital expenditure on affordable housing by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor agencies was in each year since 1991-92, by region.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 26 April 2017

Government’s capital expenditures on affordable housing through government’s affordable homes programmes are available publicly.

A summary of housing expenditure under the Housing Corporation for the period 2000 - 2008 and the National Affordable Homes Programme 2008-11 is available through the National Archives website:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20071204140632/http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk

For the Affordable Homes Programme 2011-2015:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/affordable-homes-programme-2011-to-2015-guidance-and-allocations

For the Affordable Homes Programme 2015-2018:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/affordable-homes-programme-2015-to-2018-quarterly-updates

For the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21:

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

Data for London only is available at:

http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/london-assembly/london-assembly-committees/budget-monitoring-sub-committee

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/spending-money-wisely/annual-accounts-and-governance-statement

Information on expenditure on affordable housing prior to 2000 is not publicly available.

Between 1997 and 2010 social housing stock fell by 420,000. Since 2010 the overall stock of social housing has increased by 76,000.

Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
Asked on: 08 March 2017
Home Office
Freezing of Assets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the value is of assets under restraint of assets related to politically exposed persons in Nigeria.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The NCA does not hold information on the volume or value of assets which have been restrained, confiscated or subject to civil recovery or property freezing orders by the categories described in the question. The nationality of the individual is not routinely recorded, as it is not always possible to obtain it, and they do not differentiate on the basis of politically exposed persons. However we have committed to publishing statistics on the use of Unexplained Wealth Orders as outlined in the Criminal Finances Bill.

Grouped Questions: 67000
Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
Asked on: 08 March 2017
Home Office
Confiscation Orders: Nigeria
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the value is of assets confiscated by the Government belonging to politically exposed persons from Nigeria since 2015.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The NCA does not hold information on the volume or value of assets which have been restrained, confiscated or subject to civil recovery or property freezing orders by the categories described in the question. The nationality of the individual is not routinely recorded, as it is not always possible to obtain it, and they do not differentiate on the basis of politically exposed persons. However we have committed to publishing statistics on the use of Unexplained Wealth Orders as outlined in the Criminal Finances Bill.

Grouped Questions: 67048
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 21 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Help to Buy Scheme: Leasehold
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to stop providing Government support through the Help to Buy scheme for new houses sold on a leasehold basis.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 26 April 2017

In a speech on the 28 March 2017 the Secretary of State said that he will look to ensure Help to Buy Equity Loans are only used to support new build houses on acceptable terms.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 23 March 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much she has spent on each advertising platform by the Go Superfast advertising campaign.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 26 April 2017

A breakdown of media spend by advertising platform for the Go Superfast campaign is as below:

Television £2,398,000

Video on Demand £284,000

Out of Home (posters) £2,000,000

Press (national and regional) £828,000

Radio £300,000

Digital £928,000

In addition, the Department spent £987,620.34 on production costs.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
[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: 23 March 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much her Department spent on the Go Superfast advertising campaign in (a) 2014 and (b) 2015.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The Department spent a) £4,287,620.34 on the Go Superfast advertising campaign in 2014 and b) £3,438,000 in 2015. The campaign increased public awareness of, and interest in, superfast broadband in order to drive take up across the UK.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
Asked on: 23 March 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how much the Government spent on advertising for its Go Superfast campaign by (a) the smallest available geographic area, (b) city and (c) region.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 26 April 2017

It is not possible to get a regional split for all media spend as the campaign was bought on a national basis.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 27 March 2017
Home Office
Emergency Services: Gloucestershire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Gloucestershire County Council review of police and fire governance arrangements that concluded that a merger of the fire authority with the police and crime commissioner for the area would not be cost-effective, for what reason she has decided to allocate £100,000 from her Department's budget to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire for the commissioning of a second review on such a proposed merger.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The Policing and Crime Act (2017) provides for PCCs to take on responsibility for the governance of fire and rescue services in their area, where a local case is made and it appears to the Secretary of State to be in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness or public safety to give effect to the proposal.

The Home Secretary will respond shortly to a recommendation from the Police Reform and Transformation Board that grant funding be provided to up to 10 PCCs, including Gloucestershire, to support the development of proposals relating to future fire and rescue governance.

Q
Asked by Grant Shapps
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Asked on: 28 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Community Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will publish and regularly renew guidance for the public on setting up (a) no cold-calling zones and (b) other local community action projects.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 26 April 2017

I refer my Rt Hon Friend to the answer given on 24 April 2017, by my Hon Friend the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, to Question UIN 69670.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 28 March 2017
Home Office
Emergency Services: Communication
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of clear communications between police forces and ambulance services.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The Airwave network is used for critical communications by all three emergency services, and the performance of the network is constantly monitored. The effectiveness of the emergency services communications is also tested as part of regular scheduled counter terrorism exercises which take place around the country.

Q
Asked by Tim Farron
(Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Data Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many (a) official and (b) official sensitive documents have been recorded as lost by her Department since 8 May 2015.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The information requested is not held centrally. All losses are assessed and responded to individually and on a case by case basis with all possible mitigating actions being taken and in full compliance of our legal and other responsibilities.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Education
Headteachers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will place in the Library a copy of her response to the meeting request of 24 January 2017 from head teachers and their associations from Brighton, East Sussex, Peterborough Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Devon, Cornwall, Surrey, Thurrock, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Wokingham and West Sussex.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 26 April 2017

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State has no record of this meeting request of 24 January 2017, only a meeting request from this group of 24 March 2017.

Asked on: 04 April 2017
Cabinet Office
Environment Protection: Devolution
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to meet with the devolved Administrations to discuss initial proposals for devolved powers on environmental matters; what was the outcome of those meetings; and how frequently they plan to meet the devolved Administrations during the Brexit negotiations to discuss further proposals for devolution on environmental matters.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The UK Government is fully committed to working with the devolved administrations on environmental matters. Discussions are ongoing on a bilateral basis, as well as via the Joint Ministerial Committee EU Negotiations (JMC(EN)) across a range of issues.

Asked on: 04 April 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
High Street Review
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many of the 28 recommendations of the Portas Review published on 13 December 2011 were implemented.
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The Government’s response to the Portas Review, published in April 2012, accepted all but one of the 28 recommendations. The recommendation to introduce Secretary of State “sign off” for all new out-of-town developments and to require all large new developments to have an “affordable shops” quota was not accepted.

Following the Portas Review, a programme was established by the Government to help support high streets of all shapes and sizes across England. This included the establishment of 27 Portas Pilots across England, which were designed to test different approaches to revitalising high streets and town centres.

It also funded the creation of 360 Town Teams that were not selected to become Portas Pilots to give them the opportunity to kick start activity in their areas, with funding of £10,000 and a programme of practical support. The Government went beyond the recommendation for a “National Markets Day” to support and part-fund the very successful “Love Your Local Market” campaign, now in its sixth year. A £1 million High Street Renewal Award was also made available to seven local areas – two of which were Portas Pilot towns – delivering the most effective and innovative plans to bring their town centres back to life.

In addition, a series of measures were implemented in response to the Portas Review. These included a commitment to support Business Improvement Districts, support for small businesses through rate relief and business rate discounts, and planning changes to allow business to respond flexibly to changing market conditions. Concerted action was also taken to tackle over-zealous parking practices.

A High Street Innovation Fund was established in 2012 worth £10 million to help those councils with the highest incidence of empty properties and those affected by the 2011 riots.

The Future High Street Forum has met since 2013, bringing together leading business figures in high street retailing with the Government. The Forum launched the “High Street Pledge” in July 2016 – signed by over 40 national retailers and other high streets business committing their stores to supporting their local high streets – and since 2014 the annual Great British High Street Competition which recognises and celebrates the wonderful work that local communities are doing across the country in their high streets has taken place.

The Future High Street Forum also launched a digital pilot in Gloucestershire with the support of the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership to support SMEs to embrace digital. The Pilot has produced some interesting results.

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