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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

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.
Showing 1-20 out of 58
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 11 July 2016
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps would be needed to replace EU Atomic Energy Community safeguards inspectors with International Atomic Energy Agency Inspectors to implement safeguards provisions on (a) UK nuclear installations and (b) nuclear material used and created at UK nuclear sites under treaties to which the UK is a party.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 03 August 2016

Until the UK leaves the EU, it is expected to remain a full member with all relevant rights and obligations. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy will continue to work closely with stakeholders and the rest of Government during our negotiations to exit the EU to deliver energy which is secure, affordable and clean.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 July 2016
Department for Education
Pupils: Personal Records
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department consulted (a) schools and (b) parents on the new requirement to collect country of birth data in the 2016-17 school census; how parents are informed of their right to opt out of providing that information; for what purpose that information will be used; whether that information will be shared with other Government departments; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 26 July 2016

The collection of data on the country of birth and nationality of pupils will be used to improve our understanding of the scale and impact of pupil migration on the education sector and provide the Department with a better evidence base for future policy decision making. These new data items will provide valuable statistical information on the characteristics of these groups of children, along with their attainment and destinations, and allow the Department to measure whether the individual pupils, or the schools they attend, face additional educational challenges.

The data will be collected solely for the Department’s internal use for the analytical, statistical and research purposes described above. There are currently no plans to share the data with other government departments unless we are legally required to do so.

All Departmental proposals for new, or revised, data collections are reviewed by the Star Chamber Scrutiny Board (SCSB). The SCSB is an external panel of representatives from schools and local authorities who approved the collection of country of birth data via the school census in November 2015.

The Department have not consulted directly with parents regarding the changes to the school census. As we do not have a means of directly communicating with individual parents ourselves, the Department provides a privacy notice template for schools to use to explain to parents what personal data they collect, why it is collected, who it is shared with and what it is used for. As data controllers in their own right, we do not advise schools directly on their collecting and processing of personal data or regulate their compliance with the Data Protection Act but the template we provide to schools gives parents access to further information about the Department’s use of their children’s data.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 July 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of people who have (a) had their payments reduced and (b) lost their motability cars after transferring from disability living allowance to personal independence payments; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 26 July 2016

Breakdowns of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims made by Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants in payment by type and rate of awards, and reassessment claims by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn), can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

The Department does not have verified data on the number of PIP claimants who have had their payments reduced as a result of the move to PIP. We intend to provide more detailed breakdowns of DLA to PIP reassessment outcomes in due course. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity.

The Department does not hold data on whether a DLA recipient has leased a car under the Motability scheme.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 July 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Fracking: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to publish the full recommendations and report of the Planning Inspector before taking a decision on Lancashire County Council's rejection of the Cuadrilla fracking applications at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road.
A
Answered by: Gavin Barwell
Answered on: 25 July 2016

The Inspector's report will be published when the formal decision on these appeals is issued. This will be on or before 6 October.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 July 2016
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Hinkley Point C Power Station
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the projected fall in wholesale electricity prices on the financial feasibility of the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 25 July 2016

The Government remains confident in the Hinkley Point C project. Contracts for Difference provide long-term price certainty for generators and investors, which drives investment in a new generation of clean, secure electricity supplies.

Consumers will only pay when Hinkley is up and running.

The Secretary of State’s decision will be informed by a value for money assessment, a summary of which will be published alongside the contract.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 19 July 2016
Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the requirements for the Great Northern and Thameslink services to be Driver Only Operation contained in the Invitation to Tender for the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) Franchise apply to all other services across that franchise; what agreement is in place between GTR and his Department on Driver Only Operation; and if he will place that agreement in the public domain.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 25 July 2016

The requirements the Department specified for Driver Only Operation in the Invitation To Tender can be seen in that document on page 74. Govia proposed changes beyond what was specified in the Invitation to Tender in their bid. These were then contractualised in the Franchise Agreement as an obligation for the operator to fulfil. A copy of the Invitation To Tender and redacted Franchise Agreement is available on the DfT website.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 July 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Poultry: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the welfare of quail in the egg farming industry; and if she will extend the ban on the use of unenriched battery cages for laying hens to quail egg production.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 22 July 2016

The welfare of all animals, including quail raised for egg production, is protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which makes it an offence to fail to provide satisfactorily for welfare needs.

The ban on conventional cages only applies to laying hens of the species Gallus gallus.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 15 July 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to provide a comprehensive government response to the Committee on Climate Change UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Report 2017; if she will meet the Committee on Climate Change to discuss the contents and recommendations of that report; if she will discuss that report with other relevant departments; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 22 July 2016

The Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report published by the Committee on Climate Change on 12 July was commissioned by Defra to inform the Second UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Government Report that will be laid in Parliament in January 2017. The Government will subsequently respond to the new evidence in a second National Adaptation Programme report as soon as practicable thereafter.

Defra ministers have met and will continue to meet with members of the Committee on Climate Change and the Adaptation Sub-Committee to discuss their work, including the Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report. Officials also meet regularly with members of the Committee as part of formal governance arrangements. Government departments provided input to the Evidence Report and will be closely involved in the preparation of the Government Report and, subsequently, the National Adaptation Programme.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 July 2016
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what his policy is on backdating payments for personal independence payment applicants who receive an uprating as a result of a tribunal ruling; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 21 July 2016

The general rule is that a tribunal’s decision will take effect from the same date as that of the decision under appeal – as determined by the Secretary of State. However, as a tribunal considers all appealed decisions afresh, it may decide that a different date is more appropriate.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 July 2016
Department for Communities and Local Government
Supported Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the review on supported housing.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 21 July 2016
Home Office
Refugees: Disability Living Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with Ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions on people who have been granted refugee status in the UK being eligible to access disability living allowance.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 July 2016
Home Office
Turkey: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the ability of refugees in Turkey to receive international protection in that country.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 July 2016
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nuclear Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's costings for nuclear power of the findings of the National Audit Office in its report published in July 2016 on Nuclear power in the UK, HC 511, paragraph 2.11, on the effect on running costs of nuclear power facilities of increased terrorist threats.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 July 2016
Cabinet Office
UK Withdrawal from EU
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the (a) mechanisms and (b) timescales are for securing input into his Department's work on negotiations for withdrawal from the EU from (i) non-governmental organisations and civil society, (ii) opposition political parties and (iii) other interest groups; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr David Davis
Answered on: 19 July 2016

The Government is committed to listening to all those with a view on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union; Parliament, the devolved administrations, NGOs, and other groups will all have important ideas to contribute. The new Department for Exiting the European Union will lead this engagement.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 12 July 2016
Cabinet Office
Civil Servants: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the public purse of additional staff to be recruited from outside the civil service to work on preparations for negotiation of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr David Davis
Answered on: 19 July 2016

A new Department for Exiting the European Union has been established by the Prime Minister. The staffing requirements for the new department, and their costs, are now being identified.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 July 2016
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Deployment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraphs 5.36 to 5.38 of the Cabinet Manual, whether the convention that a debate in Parliament should be held before troops are committed in military action applies to (a) the lethal use of armed drones, (b) military training and advisory missions (i) related to force-protection and (ii) where there is a risk of UK personnel engaging in combat in self-defence, (c) the use of special forces in long-term combat missions and (d) the embedding of UK military personnel in foreign militaries; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Michael Fallon
Answered on: 19 July 2016

This Government is committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter, except where there was an emergency and such action would not be appropriate. The convention does not apply to British military personnel embedded in the armed forces of other nations.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 11 July 2016
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Natura 2000
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy that the Natura 2000 network of protected conservation areas in the UK will (a) continue to have the same level or stronger protection than they now have under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and (b) remain part of the Emerald Network under the Bern Convention regardless of the outcome of the UK's negotiations to leave the EU.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 14 July 2016

Until we leave the EU, current arrangements for our environment remain in place.

Defra will continue to ensure the right policies are in place for a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.

The Government will wish to consider the Impacts of the decision to leave the EU, including for the UK’s Natura 2000 and other protected sites, We have a manifesto commitment to produce a 25 Year Plan for the Environment. We all now have an opportunity to consider our long-term vision for the environment following the referendum vote.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 07 July 2016
Home Office
Asylum: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the report by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration on the handling of family reunion applications.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 13 July 2016

The final report on the handling of family reunion applications has not yet been sent to the Home Office by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

Arrangements for publication will be considered once the final report has been received

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: 04 July 2016
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Written Questions: Government Responses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when he expects to answer Question 39267, tabled by the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion on 3 June 2016.
A
Answered by: Nick Boles
Answered on: 07 July 2016

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 28 June 2016
Department of Health
NHS Professionals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his policy is on the (a) full or (b) part privatisation of NHS Professionals; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Freeman
Answered on: 06 July 2016

Currently NHS Professionals Ltd works with around a third of National Health Service trusts, saving over £40 million a year by providing bank staff cheaper than agencies. The Department's sole objective is to expand this good work into more trusts, thus boosting efficiency and improving patient care.


The Department has been exploring a range of potential options, to help NHS Professionals drive further value for the NHS, and enable NHS Professionals to become more agile and flexible to meet the needs of the NHS. No final decisions have yet been made by Ministers about the future of NHS Professionals.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 58
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100