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 2015-16 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 John Mann
(Bassetlaw)
Asked on: 08 November 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Planning Permission: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning appeals to his Department on new housing projects have been (a) approved and (b) not approved in 2016.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Planning Inspectors determine each appeal on its individual merits, in light of the circumstances, and policy, applicable to each case.

We publish on a quarterly basis appeals decided and their outcome on PINS part of gov.uk, see link below (Table 2.5).

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/planning-inspectorate-statistics

Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 07 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Harassment: Court Orders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many restraining orders were imposed as a result of stalking and harassment in England and Wales in 2014 and 2015.
A
Corrected answer by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Corrected on: 19 January 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 16 December 2016.
The correct answer should have been:

The Government is clear that stalking and harassment, which cause misery for victims, are totally unacceptable. The fixated nature of stalking may result in a prolonged campaign sometimes lasting many years. So we are determined to do everything possible to protect all victims of stalking and stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity – even before the stage at which a perpetrator might be prosecuted. That is why, following a public consultation, we have recently announced that there will be a new civil stalking protection order, to support victims of stalking at an earlier stage and address the perpetrator’s behaviours before they become entrenched.

The number of restraining orders imposed as result of stalking and harassment in England and Wales, 2014 and 2015 can be viewed in the table. Information on the specific restrictions included in a restraining order is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nor do we hold data on how frequently perpetrators of these crimes seek to contact their victims through action in the civil or family courts. The courts do have powers to deal with unmeritorious claims and applications. The court may strike out the action as an abuse of process or issue an order restricting the litigant’s ability to continue with further applications or claims, either of its own motion or on request by a party to the proceedings.

Table 56513-56515 (Excel SpreadSheet, 33 KB)
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 16 December 2016

The Government is clear that stalking and harassment, which cause misery for victims, are totally unacceptable. The fixated nature of stalking may result in a prolonged campaign sometimes lasting many years. So we are determined to do everything possible to protect all victims of stalking and stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity – even before the stage at which a perpetrator might be prosecuted. That is why, following a public consultation, we have recently announced that there will be a new civil stalking protection order, to support victims of stalking at an earlier stage and address the perpetrator’s behaviours before they become entrenched.

The number of restraining orders imposed as result of stalking and harassment in England and Wales, 2014 and 2015 can be viewed in the table. Information on the specific restrictions included in a restraining order is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nor do we hold data on how frequently perpetrators of these crimes seek to contact their victims through action in the civil or family courts. The courts do have powers to deal with unmeritorious claims and applications. The court may strike out the action as an abuse of process or issue an order restricting the litigant’s ability to continue with further applications or claims, either of its own motion or on request by a party to the proceedings.

Table 56513-56515 (Excel SpreadSheet, 33 KB)
Q
Asked by Diana Johnson
(Kingston upon Hull North)
Asked on: 14 December 2016
Department for Education
Careers and Enterprise Company
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2016 to Question 55535, in (a) how many and (b) what proportion of schools in (i) Hull and (ii) each region is the Careers and Enterprise Company's Enterprise Adviser Network active.
A
Answered by: Robert Halfon
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The Careers & Enterprise Company is continuing to make excellent progress towards transforming the provision of careers, enterprise and employer engagement experiences for young people.

Based on the most recent data (December 2016), the Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network is now active in 37 out of the 38 Local Enterprise Partnership areas, and 1,302 secondary schools and colleges across the country have signed up to the network. This represents 38% of all mainstream state-funded secondary schools/colleges in the country. Of these, 1,014 (78%) have been matched to an Enterprise Adviser and 11 schools have been matched in Hull.

The Company does not yet have fully reported data, by region, for its Enterprise Adviser Network. This will be available in March 2016 on the Company’s website at: www.careersandenterprise.co.uk.

Q
(York Central)
Asked on: 16 December 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of the partnership funding for flood protection raised within the current six-year programme has come from private sector donations.
A
Corrected answer by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Corrected on: 19 January 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 21 December 2016.
The correct answer should have been:

To reduce the risk of flooding to a further 300,000 homes as part of the flood and coastal erosion risk management investment programme 2015 to 2021, the Environment Agency expects currently that 15 per cent of the partnership funding contributions required will come from private sources. The Environment Agency continues to work in partnership with the private sector and expect that further contributions will be secured as the programme progresses.

A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 21 December 2016

To reduce the risk of flooding to a further 300,000 homes as part of the flood and coastal erosion risk management investment programme 2015 to 2021, the Environment Agency expects currently that 15 per cent of the partnership funding contributions required will come from private sources. The Environment Agency continues to work in partnership with the private sector and expect that further contributions will be secured as the programme progresses.

Q
(Hackney North and Stoke Newington)
Asked on: 19 December 2016
Home Office
Airports: Immigration Controls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the longest period of time a (a) UK or EEA national and (b) non-EU citizen had to wait during December before passing through border checks at (i) Heathrow, (ii) Gatwick, (iii) Manchester, (iv) Stansted and (v) Luton airports was in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Heathrow airport is currently the only provider to publish queue statistics on its website:

http://www.heathrow.com/company/company-news-and-information/performance/airport-operations/border-force

There were only five ports which fell below the 95% SLA performance target from 2012. Data before 2012 is not available. Data for December 2016 is not yet available.

The performance data relates to passenger queuing times – defined as when a passenger / vehicle joins a static body of people / line of vehicles to when they arrive at the UK Border control desk - and as such excludes transaction times for clearance.

Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Immigration: Appeals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the average time taken for immigration and asylum tribunals to process and hear cases.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The average waiting times for immigration and asylum appeals in 2015/16 was 34 weeks.

As at 30 September 2016 there were 57,290 registered appeals awaiting hearing. This figure is based on internal management information which is not subject to the same rigorous verification processes as published data.

We do everything we can to avoid unnecessary delay in the Immigration & Asylum Tribunal and we have provided an additional 4,950 tribunal sitting days for this financial year to ensure current caseloads continue to decrease. We are keeping performance under close review.

Grouped Questions: HL4314 | HL4315
Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Immigration: Appeals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cases are awaiting appeal hearings at immigration and asylum tribunals in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The average waiting times for immigration and asylum appeals in 2015/16 was 34 weeks.

As at 30 September 2016 there were 57,290 registered appeals awaiting hearing. This figure is based on internal management information which is not subject to the same rigorous verification processes as published data.

We do everything we can to avoid unnecessary delay in the Immigration & Asylum Tribunal and we have provided an additional 4,950 tribunal sitting days for this financial year to ensure current caseloads continue to decrease. We are keeping performance under close review.

Grouped Questions: HL4313 | HL4315
Q
Asked by Lord Ahmed
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Ministry of Justice
Immigration: Appeals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the speed at which cases are handled in immigration and asylum tribunals in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The average waiting times for immigration and asylum appeals in 2015/16 was 34 weeks.

As at 30 September 2016 there were 57,290 registered appeals awaiting hearing. This figure is based on internal management information which is not subject to the same rigorous verification processes as published data.

We do everything we can to avoid unnecessary delay in the Immigration & Asylum Tribunal and we have provided an additional 4,950 tribunal sitting days for this financial year to ensure current caseloads continue to decrease. We are keeping performance under close review.

Grouped Questions: HL4313 | HL4314
Q
(Glasgow Central)
Asked on: 20 December 2016
Home Office
Deportation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many enforced removals of failed asylum seekers were conducted in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each month since January 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 January 2017

I am sorry but the data required to answer the question can only be provided at disproportionate cost. The government produces regular data on asylum as part of its Migration Statistics and the latest release can be found at:

Q
Asked by Lord Beecham
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Ministry of Justice
Family Proceedings
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will participate in the consultation launched by the President of the Family Division on proposed changes relating to public hearings in family law cases.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The last consultation document on transparency in the family courts the President issued was published in August 2014 and he has not published another since. A recent article published in a national newspaper which suggested otherwise was incorrect.

Q
Asked by Lord Crisp
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Voluntary Work: Young People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many young people who have taken part in the National Citizen Service engage in full-time volunteering opportunities with organisations such as City Year UK, Volunteering Matters and vInspired, after taking part in the National Citizen Service.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Government does not hold this information. However the independent evaluation of the National Citizen Service (NCS) in 2014 demonstrates that NCS graduates give back an additional 6 hours volunteering per month to their community.

On 14 December 2016 the Minister for Civil Society announced a review into full time social action by young people. The review will look at how to increase participation in full-time social action by reviewing the opportunities and barriers faced by organisations supporting young people. The advisory panel will include experts from the private and voluntary sectors and is expected to make recommendations to the Minister for Civil Society by October 2017.

Grouped Questions: HL4392
Q
Asked by Lord Crisp
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Voluntary Work: Young People
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of young people in the United Kingdom who are classed as Not in Education Employment or Training are engaged in full-time volunteering.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Government does not hold this information. However the independent evaluation of the National Citizen Service (NCS) in 2014 demonstrates that NCS graduates give back an additional 6 hours volunteering per month to their community.

On 14 December 2016 the Minister for Civil Society announced a review into full time social action by young people. The review will look at how to increase participation in full-time social action by reviewing the opportunities and barriers faced by organisations supporting young people. The advisory panel will include experts from the private and voluntary sectors and is expected to make recommendations to the Minister for Civil Society by October 2017.

Grouped Questions: HL4391
Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Attorney General
Corruption
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many successful prosecutions for corruption overseas there have been of (1) British companies, and (2) individuals, in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Official data regarding prosecutions are held by the Ministry of Justice, but the department does not record it in a form which allows it to distinguish between overseas bribery and domestic bribery.

Whilst not official data, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) record data for their own management information purposes. In the last five years, the SFO has successfully prosecuted three British companies and 10 individuals, nine of whom were British citizens, for bribery or corruption overseas (offences under the Bribery Act 2010 or the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906).

In addition to this the SFO has secured three Deferred Prosecution Agreements with British companies in the past two years for overseas corruption offences. The first agreement included a financial penalty of $25m, plus SFO’s full costs; the second resulted in financial orders of £6.6m and the most recent one was for £497.25m plus interest, as well as a payment of the SFO’s full costs.

CPS’s data measures the outcome of prosecutions against defendants but not on the outcome against individual offences. This information could only be obtained by examining CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Local Government: Devolution
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the issues of energy generation and distribution are being considered during the discussions on devolution agreements with cities.
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The Government recognise that national and local measures are key to moving to a low carbon economy. We have agreed 8 ground-breaking devolution deals with areas across the country – including the Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Tees Valley in the Northern Powerhouse – with the majority having energy and low carbon related commitments.

We have been clear that devolution deals are bespoke and that we are not taking a one-size fits-all approach, including on energy issues. Our bottom-up approach has allowed local areas to have the powers that they need to drive growth and deliver for their citizens.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
BBC Board
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 5 December 2016 (HL3691), whether a representative from local government will be eligible to join the new BBC Board in order to help ensure that the BBC meets its public purpose of helping audiences to engage fully with major regional and local issues.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The BBC Board as a whole is required by the Royal Charter to ensure that the BBC promotes all of its Public Purposes, including helping people from all parts of the UK to understand and engage with the world around them. The Charter also sets out that there must be a 'Nation Member' for each of the UK’s four constituent nations who will have a specific role in ensuring that the BBC is both engaging with and reflecting all regions and diverse communities of the whole of the UK. Representatives from local government are eligible to apply for any of the roles on the Board which are currently being advertised.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hong Kong: Politics and Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of China regarding the reported assaults on Nathan Law, an elected member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, by pro-Beijing activists.
Answered on: 19 January 2017

The UK has not raised this issue with the Chinese Government. Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, law enforcement is a matter for the Hong Kong authorities. We understand that the Hong Kong Police have made arrests in connection with this incident and are conducting further investigations.

Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
[I]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that the member concerned has a relevant registered interest.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department of Health
Capita
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Capita's performance in administering the National Dental Performers List.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Capita has made NHS England aware of a number of issues involving the National Dental Performers List process. Immediate action has been taken to put in place plans to recover the services, and NHS England has provided a team of experts to support Capita’s work, both in managing existing functions more effectively and improving the service for the future.

The actions Capita are taking to stabilise and recover the service include:

- Recruiting additional staff and developing staff knowledge through further training and development supported by external experts;

- Standardising the processes used and work tracking tools;

- More proactive communication to applicants regarding the progress of their application; and

- Developing the internal integrated work management system to enable Performers List work to be tracked and work-flowed through the process.

NHS England is meeting with Capita on a weekly basis to oversee the delivery of these plans and to ensure the right improvements are in place.

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Nicola Blackwood), will continue to work with Capita and NHS England to ensure that services are restored to an acceptable and sustainable standard.

Grouped Questions: HL4454
Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
[I]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that the member concerned has a relevant registered interest.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department of Health
Capita
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current length of time dentists applying to join the National Dental Performers List have to wait to have their application processed by Capita.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 January 2017

NHS England is responsible for the National Dental Performers list and currently do not hold information centrally on how many applications have been received from individuals wishing to join the National Dental Performers list. Information on the length of time to process applications is therefore currently not available.

Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
[I]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that the member concerned has a relevant registered interest.

Asked on: 09 January 2017
Department of Health
Capita
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to help resolve any issues Capita is experiencing managing the process of applications to the National Dental Performers List.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 19 January 2017

Capita has made NHS England aware of a number of issues involving the National Dental Performers List process. Immediate action has been taken to put in place plans to recover the services, and NHS England has provided a team of experts to support Capita’s work, both in managing existing functions more effectively and improving the service for the future.

The actions Capita are taking to stabilise and recover the service include:

- Recruiting additional staff and developing staff knowledge through further training and development supported by external experts;

- Standardising the processes used and work tracking tools;

- More proactive communication to applicants regarding the progress of their application; and

- Developing the internal integrated work management system to enable Performers List work to be tracked and work-flowed through the process.

NHS England is meeting with Capita on a weekly basis to oversee the delivery of these plans and to ensure the right improvements are in place.

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Nicola Blackwood), will continue to work with Capita and NHS England to ensure that services are restored to an acceptable and sustainable standard.

Grouped Questions: HL4452
Q
Asked on: 09 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Ambassador to Burma has had one or more meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi regarding the treatment of Rohingya citizens.
Answered on: 19 January 2017

We are deeply concerned about the treatment of the Rohingya community in Rakhine State of Burma. The British Ambassador discussed the situation in Rakhine with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 21 December. He called for an urgent resumption of humanitarian access and steps to improve the situation on the ground. I also raised our concerns direct with the Ministers of Defence and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, when I visited Burma from 9-11 November. In those meetings I called for an urgent resumption of humanitarian aid and an independent investigation into allegations of recent human rights violations conducted by the security forces. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Alok Sharma), raised our concerns with the Burmese Minister of Construction when he visited London on 29 November.

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