Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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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
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for International Trade
Energy: Sub-Saharan Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what energy-related exports to sub-Saharan Africa have been supported by UK Export Finance and for which (a) companies (b) type of project or export (c) destination country in the most recent year for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 15 December 2017

UK Export Finance (UKEF) publishes details of the companies it has supported on an annual basis in its Annual Report and Accounts which is presented to Parliament and on its website. These details include the type of project or export supported, and the destination country.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-export-finance-annual-reports-and-accounts

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for International Trade
Renewable Energy: Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support his Department provides to help UK renewable energy companies export to Africa.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Department for International Trade (DIT) uses multiple channels to provide support to UK companies looking for opportunities in the renewable energy sector in Africa. For example:

- UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has capacity to support UK trade and welcomes new applications for support from companies in the renewables sector. There is up to £2 billion available from UKEF for East Africa across all sectors. Further details on the products available from UKEF are listed on their website, along with country by country data. (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-export-finance).

- In April 2016, UKEF also joined African Trade Insurance (ATI), the pan-African export credit agency. As an ATI member, UKEF gains access to information about upcoming opportunities for exporters. ATI will also provide a platform to raise awareness among project sponsors and buyers in African countries of the UKEF support available to importers of UK goods and services.

- In 2016 UKEF signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenyan government on renewables investment, to promote opportunities for private sector trade and investment by the UK in Kenya’s renewable energy sector.

- DIT has a High Value Campaign (HVC) targeting renewables exports to East Africa.

- DIT also provides reactive support to exporters through our International Trade Advisor’s (ITA) network. (https://www.contactus.trade.gov.uk/office-finder/)

Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 06 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Marine Conservation Zones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2017 to Question 115500, for what reasons a new consultation is being undertaken on the designation of the third tranche of marine conservation zones; what aspect of the designation is under consultation and which (a) individuals and (b) organisations are being consulted.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public consultation prior to designation is a legal requirement under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This has not yet happened. The consultation is due to start in the first half of 2018, with designation taking place within 12 months and is expected to happen in 2019.

The responsibility for marine protected areas is devolved. The Devolved Administrations keep each other and Defra informed of their plans for marine protected areas.

Grouped Questions: 117925 | 117926
Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 06 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Marine Conservation Zones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2017 to Question 115500, whether he plans for the designation of the third tranche of marine conservation zones to be completed by the end of 2018.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public consultation prior to designation is a legal requirement under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This has not yet happened. The consultation is due to start in the first half of 2018, with designation taking place within 12 months and is expected to happen in 2019.

The responsibility for marine protected areas is devolved. The Devolved Administrations keep each other and Defra informed of their plans for marine protected areas.

Grouped Questions: 117924 | 117926
Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 06 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2017 to Question 115500, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the Scottish Government on Marine Protected Areas which remain outstanding and the Government of Wales on that government's plans for a separate Marine Conservation Zone process.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public consultation prior to designation is a legal requirement under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This has not yet happened. The consultation is due to start in the first half of 2018, with designation taking place within 12 months and is expected to happen in 2019.

The responsibility for marine protected areas is devolved. The Devolved Administrations keep each other and Defra informed of their plans for marine protected areas.

Grouped Questions: 117924 | 117925
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Codes of Practice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2017 to Question 115879, what the timetable is for the publication of the updated statutory welfare codes for (a) meat (b) chickens (c) pigs (d) laying hens (e) cats (f) dogs and (g) horses.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 13 December 2017

New statutory welfare codes for meat chickens, cats, dogs and horses will be laid in both Houses shortly. We will be consulting on new statutory welfare codes for laying hens and pigs in the new year.

Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 13 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he will be taking to align the devolved administrations' agri-food production targets and enforcement of nitrates water quality standards with each other and those of the Westminster Government, after the UK leaves the EU.
Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 13 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the devolved administrations' policies and incentives for green finance are all coherent with each other and with those of the Westminster Government, after the UK has left the EU.
Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 13 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will introduce requirements for manufacturers of antifreeze to (a) include a bittering agent in the product and (b) ensure that the product is non-toxic to animals.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of intensive livestock units in the UK.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) the level of antibiotic resistant bacteria associated with intensive livestock units in the UK and (b) how this level of antibiotic resistant bacteria has changed in the past five years.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department of Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has plans to reduce the screening age for bowel cancer to 50 years old.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department of Health
Slaughterhouses: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2017 to Question 115457, whether a slaughterhouse is allowed to continue operating after receiving an unsatisfactory audit result, before the performance of the slaughterhouse has been seen to have or have not improved, whilst follow-up audits and unannounced inspections are occurring.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department of Health
Slaughterhouses: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many (a) slaughterhouses and (b) other meat establishments audited by the Food Standards Agency have (i) received one unsatisfactory audit result, (ii) received more than one successive unsatisfactory audit result, (iii) had their approval withdrawn as a result of an unsatisfactory audit result and (iv) been audited in the last seven years.
Q
(Bristol East)
[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: 12 December 2017
Department of Health
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress has been made on the NHS England and Vertex negotiations around a pipeline deal for Orkambi for people with cystic fibrosis age 12 and over.
Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wildlife: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to introduce legislative proposals or guidance to increase the severity of sentences for people convicted of wildlife crimes.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 11 December 2017

There are currently no plans to increase the penalties for offences against wildlife. Within the maximum limits it is up to the court to decide the appropriate sentence in any case, having taken into account the facts of the case. Sentencing guidelines are considered by the independent Sentencing Council.

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Slaughterhouses: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will launch an investigation into the variation in rates of animal welfare between (a) non-stun halal and (b) other abattoirs.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Official veterinarians (OVs) from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are present in all approved slaughterhouses in England and take a prompt, proportionate and risk based approach to enforcement action when animal welfare breaches are identified.

The government is introducing mandatory CCTV recording in slaughterhouses which will further enable OVs to monitor and verify animal welfare standards in the slaughterhouse.

The Government would prefer all animals to be stunned before slaughter but respects the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. We are aware of the audit data suggesting a variation between non-stun and stun slaughterhouses and are investigating this with FSA.

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wildlife: Crime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment the Government has made of trends in wildlife crime; and what steps it is taking to tackle such crime.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Wildlife crime is a priority for Defra. Consequently, Defra and the Home Office have committed £300,000 a year to fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) until 2019/20.

The NWCU helps prevent and detect wildlife crime by obtaining and disseminating intelligence, undertaking analysis which highlights local or national threats and directly assisting law enforcers in their investigations.

Every two years the NWCU compiles a strategic assessment of wildlife crime in the UK. This is used to set UK wildlife crime priorities in conjunction with relevant enforcement authorities. The NWCU also compiles tactical assessments every six months to report on progress in tackling the wildlife crime priorities and to highlight any emerging threats or possible new priorities. The reports can be found on the NWCU website and also include information on trends:

http://www.nwcu.police.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/NWCU-Strategic-Assessment-2016-Not-Protectively-Marked.pdf

http://www.nwcu.police.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/NWCU-Tactical-Assessment-May-2017-sanitised-version.pdf

Defra is co-chair of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime, a collaboration of stakeholders who work together in partnership to reduce wildlife crime through prevention and awareness-raising, better regulation, and effective and targeted enforcement.

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Cetaceans: Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dolphins, porpoises, whales, harbour seals and other protected species have been accidentally caught by commercial fishing vessels operating in UK waters by vessels registered (a) in the UK, (b) in other EU countries and (c) elsewhere in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 December 2017

We do not have information on the exact number of dolphins, porpoises, whales, harbour seals and other protected species which have been accidentally caught by commercial fishing vessels operating in UK waters. Estimates derived from observer data can be found at: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18535.

We do not hold data on other EU countries’ vessels which means we are unable carry out robust assessments.

Q
(Bristol East)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Music: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions her Department has had with music educators on the National Plan for Music Education; and whether that Plan should (a) include Early Years, (b) recognise informal pathways for young musicians and (c) continue with universal provision or be focussed on disadvantaged children.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 07 December 2017

The Department has regular meetings with music educators to discuss aspects of the National Plan for Music Education. Music teaching starts in the early years and the plan provides a template for high quality music education throughout a pupil’s education, both in and out of school, in both formal and informal settings. Our vision continues to be that children from all backgrounds and every part of England have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level. We will continue to consider the best way of ensuring that disadvantaged children can benefit from all programmes we fund.

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