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
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 April 2017
Department of Health
Social Workers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that social care staff receive the most up-to-date information on HIV during their training.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 27 April 2017

It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that their staff are appropriately trained and competent to fulfil the responsibilities of the role. This includes ensuring that their knowledge and skills are kept up to date.

HIV would be covered in infection control which is part of the Care certificate and is included in units within social care diplomas in terms of a good practice for general infection control.

Introduction of the Care Certificate for new healthcare assistants and social care support workers from 1 April 2015, is introducing specific standards for the training of new care workers. By working to achieve the Care Certificate, care support workers will develop the required behaviours, competencies and skills to enable them to provide high quality compassionate care.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 24 April 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Rents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to appoint a Living Rent Commission to (a) determine a definition of affordable rent and (b) make recommendations on rent levels for all housing provided by local authorities and private registered providers in England.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Affordable Rent is defined in Regulation 19 of the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016. The Government committed in the Housing White Paper to set, a rent policy for social housing landlords to help them to borrow against future income.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 24 April 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of NHS mental health patients received follow-up treatment within 48 hours after being discharged as an inpatient from a mental health facility in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Nicola Blackwood
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Currently it is expected that 95% of patients on Care Programme Approach (CPA) should be followed up within seven days of discharge from psychiatric inpatient care. The Quarterly Mental Health Community Teams Activity return collects data on this activity, which is published quarterly on the NHS England Statistics website:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/mental-health-community-teams-activity/

The last 12 months of available data cover Quarter 4 2015/16 to Quarter 3 2016/17 and showed that 61,612 people were followed up with seven days of discharge, 96.7% of patients on CPA. This data are available back to Quarter 1 2010/11 on the link above, during which time the 95% threshold has consistently been met nationally.

The next report, covering Quarter 4 2016/17, will be published on 12 May.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 25 April 2017
Department for Education
Further Education: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 April 2017 to Question 71090, on Department for Education, how much spending was forecast on 16 to 19 education following the autumn statement 2016; and how much was subsequently allocated to institutions.
A
Answered by: Robert Halfon
Answered on: 27 April 2017

Following the 2016 Autumn Statement, the department’s budget for spending on 16-19 education in 2017-18 is £5.4bn. Funding allocations for institutions will be published in the autumn.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 25 April 2017
Department for Transport
Travel: Costs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the percentage change in real terms of the average cost to the individual of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic aeroplane since (i) 1980, (ii) 1997, (iii) 2010 and (iv) 2015.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 27 April 2017

The Department for Transport publishes statistics on travel costs, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the Transport Statistics Great Britain compendium, table 1308.

Real terms change in cost of transport

Motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle

Bus and coach fares

Rail fares

(1) Between 1980 and 2016

-20%

+64%

+63%

(2) Between 1997 and 2016

-16%

+33%

+23%

(3) Between 2010 and 2016

-10%

+7%

+5%

(4) Between 2015 and 2016

-0.3%

+2%

-1%

(d) The costs of travelling by air are not available from ONS data. However estimates are available based on fare data from the Civil Aviation Authority passenger survey from 2000. The real cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights from 2010 to 2015 decreased by 16%. Estimates for 2016 are not yet available.

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.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
LIFE
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department made of the charity, Life's patient information literature before awarding it a grant from the Tampon Tax Fund.
A
Answered by: Mr Rob Wilson
Answered on: 26 April 2017

We will shortly agree the specifics of each of the 70 projects that successfully applied to the Tampon Tax Fund this year, to ensure that taxpayers' money is put to the best use. We will only make grants where we are 100% certain that they align with the aims of the fund.

All applications into the fund were assessed by officials against three criteria: evidence for the need of the project: the organisation’s ability to deliver; and the sustainability/impact of the project, and were then vetted by officials before they were signed off.

Grouped Questions: 71354
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
LIFE
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department made of the charity, Life's safeguarding policies and procedures before awarding it a grant from the Tampon Tax Fund.
A
Answered by: Mr Rob Wilson
Answered on: 26 April 2017

We will shortly agree the specifics of each of the 70 projects that successfully applied to the Tampon Tax Fund this year, to ensure that taxpayers' money is put to the best use. We will only make grants where we are 100% certain that they align with the aims of the fund.

All applications into the fund were assessed by officials against three criteria: evidence for the need of the project: the organisation’s ability to deliver; and the sustainability/impact of the project, and were then vetted by officials before they were signed off.

Grouped Questions: 71353
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department of Health
HIV Infection: Home Care Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Terrence Higgins trust report on supporting the over 50's living with HIV, published in January 2017, what steps he is taking to address HIV-related discrimination to such people in social care settings; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 26 April 2017

Discrimination has no place in the provision of social services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. All providers of regulated activities have to register with the CQC and follow a set of fundamental standards of safety and quality below which care should never fall.

One of the fundamental standards requires that all service users must be treated with dignity and respect. This includes making sure everybody is treated as equals and they are given any support they need.

The Department is working closely with our delivery partners, Skills for Care to improve the level of skills of the adult social care workforce.

Skills for Care has developed a comprehensive suite of standards and qualifications to help workers develop the skills and knowledge they need provide safe, effective and compassionate care for all people who use services.

Under the Care Act, local authorities are required to shape their local social care market to ensure that services are sustainable, diverse and offer high quality care and support. Prices and fee rates are negotiated locally by commissioners for state funded clients, whilst individuals and their families do so for those who self-fund.

Local authorities are subject to the Public Sector Equality duty, which requires them to take steps to meet the needs of people with protected characteristics (which includes people living with HIV), where they are different from the needs of others, and to minimise or remove disadvantages resulting from protected characteristics. Local authorities have a duty to ensure that when someone has been assessed as being eligible for care and support, they must commission the services to meet those needs. However, it is up to each local authority to decide what services to provide and how much based on local circumstances.

Grouped Questions: 71291 | 71316
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department of Health
HIV Infection: Home Care Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what safeguards there are to ensure that people living with HIV are not charged increased fees by residential and domiciliary care providers due to their HIV status.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 26 April 2017

Discrimination has no place in the provision of social services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. All providers of regulated activities have to register with the CQC and follow a set of fundamental standards of safety and quality below which care should never fall.

One of the fundamental standards requires that all service users must be treated with dignity and respect. This includes making sure everybody is treated as equals and they are given any support they need.

The Department is working closely with our delivery partners, Skills for Care to improve the level of skills of the adult social care workforce.

Skills for Care has developed a comprehensive suite of standards and qualifications to help workers develop the skills and knowledge they need provide safe, effective and compassionate care for all people who use services.

Under the Care Act, local authorities are required to shape their local social care market to ensure that services are sustainable, diverse and offer high quality care and support. Prices and fee rates are negotiated locally by commissioners for state funded clients, whilst individuals and their families do so for those who self-fund.

Local authorities are subject to the Public Sector Equality duty, which requires them to take steps to meet the needs of people with protected characteristics (which includes people living with HIV), where they are different from the needs of others, and to minimise or remove disadvantages resulting from protected characteristics. Local authorities have a duty to ensure that when someone has been assessed as being eligible for care and support, they must commission the services to meet those needs. However, it is up to each local authority to decide what services to provide and how much based on local circumstances.

Grouped Questions: 71317 | 71316
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
HIV Infection: Personal Independence Payment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the transition to personal independence payments does not have a disproportionate effect on people aged 50 and over living with HIV.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 26 April 2017

The PIP assessment is designed to treat all health conditions and impairments fairly. I can assure you that we have considered the needs of those with HIV in developing the assessment. We remain committed to providing support to disabled people and those with conditions such as HIV to better enable them to lead full and independent lives.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 April 2017
Department of Health
HIV Infection: Home Care Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people living with HIV are not discriminated against when accessing residential and domiciliary care.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 26 April 2017

Discrimination has no place in the provision of social services.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care providers in England. All providers of regulated activities have to register with the CQC and follow a set of fundamental standards of safety and quality below which care should never fall.

One of the fundamental standards requires that all service users must be treated with dignity and respect. This includes making sure everybody is treated as equals and they are given any support they need.

The Department is working closely with our delivery partners, Skills for Care to improve the level of skills of the adult social care workforce.

Skills for Care has developed a comprehensive suite of standards and qualifications to help workers develop the skills and knowledge they need provide safe, effective and compassionate care for all people who use services.

Under the Care Act, local authorities are required to shape their local social care market to ensure that services are sustainable, diverse and offer high quality care and support. Prices and fee rates are negotiated locally by commissioners for state funded clients, whilst individuals and their families do so for those who self-fund.

Local authorities are subject to the Public Sector Equality duty, which requires them to take steps to meet the needs of people with protected characteristics (which includes people living with HIV), where they are different from the needs of others, and to minimise or remove disadvantages resulting from protected characteristics. Local authorities have a duty to ensure that when someone has been assessed as being eligible for care and support, they must commission the services to meet those needs. However, it is up to each local authority to decide what services to provide and how much based on local circumstances.

Grouped Questions: 71317 | 71291
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 21 April 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2017 to Question HL6597, on children: day care, how much additional funding will be provided to local authorities and childcare providers to enable them to deliver 30 hours of free childcare from September 2017; and what estimate she has made of the additional places for eligible children that will be created by that funding.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 26 April 2017

We have committed over £1 billion more per year by 2019-20 to fund our commitments on the early years entitlements. This includes £300 million per year from 2017-18 for a significant increase to the hourly rate paid to local authorities for delivering the government-funded entitlements, including 30 hours of childcare from September 2017.

We will require that all local authorities pass 93% in 2017-18 then 95% from 2018-19 of 30 hours childcare funding to providers.

In addition to this, we are also investing £100 million of capital funding to create nearly 18,000 additional places for eligible children to help meet demand from working parents. This funding will support even more providers to deliver 30 hours.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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: 21 April 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) nurseries and (b) nursery school places in (i) Brighton Pavilion constituency, (ii) Brighton and Hove local authority area that will offer 30 hours of free childcare from September 2017; whether there is sufficient (A) funding and (B) staffing capacity in place to meet demand for such places; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 26 April 2017

Local authorities are responsible for making an assessment about the number of 30 hours free childcare places that providers plan to offer in their areas. To support them to deliver 30 hours, the Government is investing £100 million to create almost 18,000 additional early years places for eligible children to help meet demand from working parents. This is backed by £1 billion extra revenue per year for the early years entitlements, including £300 million per year to increase the funding rates paid to nurseries, pre-schools and childminders that choose to deliver the offer. This means that Brighton and Hove local authority will see an increase in their hourly funding rate to £4.45. The Early Years Workforce Strategy published on 3rd March, also aims to support the early years sector to remove barriers to attracting, retaining and developing staff.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Severe Disability Premium
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2016 to Question 20446, on severe disability premium, whether the Government plans to (a) uplift the social care budget and (b) transfer funds from the Department for Work and Pensions to his Department to compensate for the phasing out of the severe disability premium and the transfer of costs for care to be picked up through the social care system; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The Government has already taken several steps during this Parliament to help secure a strong and sustainable social care system. Most recently in the 2017 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that councils will receive an additional £2 billion over the next three years for social care; with £1 billion of this to be provided in 2017-18. Taken together with the steps announced as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement, this means that councils will have access to £9.25 billion more dedicated funding for social care over the next three years, as a result of measures introduced by the Government since 2015.

In relation to the severe disability premium, this reform of social security removed duplication from the system and I refer the Hon Member to the Answer of 29 January 2016 to Question UIN 24311 - http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-26/24311/.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 29 March 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to his letter of 29 March 2017 to the European Council President, if he will define the term (a) practical and (b) appropriate as used in the section on the process in the UK.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The main focus of the Great Repeal Bill will be to provide stability, certainty and continuity whilst ensuring that future changes to the UK law will be the matter of the UK and devolved parliaments. As set out in the 'Legislating for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union' White Paper there are a variety of reasons why conversion alone may not be sufficient in particular cases. For example, there will be gaps where some areas of converted law will be entirely unable to operate because we are no longer a member of the EU. There will also be cases where EU law will cease to operate as intended or will be redundant once we leave.

This approach to converting EU derived law will provide a functioning statute book on the day we leave the EU, and ensure that it is for our sovereign Parliament (and where appropriate the devolved administrations) to make any future changes.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 April 2017
Cabinet Office
UK Membership of EU: Referendums
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department or its agencies hold any information on the alleged interference by foreign states or their agents in the EU referendum campaign; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 April 2017

I will not comment on operational or intelligence matters, however I can assure you that the Government has seen no successful interference in our electoral process to date.

Our system of paper balloting and hand counting means UK voting mechanisms do not lend themselves to direct electronic manipulation. A series of protective measures were put in place ahead of the 2015 General Election, designed to be sufficiently enduring to mitigate future threats, including the EU referendum.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) offers UK organisations, including political parties, access to the best cyber security advice and support to help them meet their responsibility to protect their information and prevent cyber attacks from all possible threats.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 April 2017
Department for Transport
Southern: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answers of 20 January 2017 to Question 60337 and 21 March 2017 to Question 67853, on what date he received the (a) advice and (b) set of recommendations developed from the advice from Chris Gibb; if he will publish all documents received from Chris Gibb in full before Parliament prorogues ahead of the 2017 General Election; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 24 April 2017

Chris Gibb’s findings were received by the Department on 30 December 2016. The Department will not be publishing Chris Gibb’s findings before Parliament prorogues however we intend to publish Chris Gibb’s report in full, with minor redactions to protect commercially sensitive material, and the Government’s response in due course.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 April 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Health: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether the fundamental right to health, and the legal obligation to ensure a high level of human protection, as set out in the EU treaties, will be incorporated into UK law as part of the Great Repeal Bill.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The EU Right to Healthcare is a principle for the development of EU law. It did not create new rights to health care above and beyond what is already provided under national laws and practices. The UK's commitment to universal healthcare, free at the point of delivery, goes well beyond minimum EU requirements.

The Great Repeal Bill will ensure that there is maximum possible certainty as to the rights and obligations in our law upon leaving the EU. And it will allow for a smooth and orderly exit that provides a secure basis for future changes to our domestic law.

The Bill will ensure that, wherever possible, the same rules and laws apply on the day after we leave the EU as they did before. This means that the Bill will convert directly-applicable EU law into UK law; it will preserve all the laws we have made in the UK to implement our EU obligations, as well as the rights in the EU treaties that can be relied on directly in court by an individual.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[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 April 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, with reference to page 32, paragraphs A.8 and A.9 of Annex A of the White Paper, Legislating for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, which general principles of EU law will continue to apply to the UK in any future relationships with the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 24 April 2017

The Government’s approach is that the Great Repeal Bill will convert current EU law into domestic law wherever practicable, ensuring a functioning statute book on exit. It is essential that there is a common understanding of what the law means. The Government believes that this is best achieved by providing for continuity in how that law is interpreted before and after exit day. That includes interpretation in light of the general principles of EU law, such as fundamental rights, proportionality and legal certainty.

After we leave the EU, Parliament will be free to change the law where it decides it is right to do so. The terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be a matter for negotiations.

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