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
(Easington)
[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: 11 December 2017
Home Office
Misuse of Drugs Ministerial Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date the Inter Ministerial Group on Drugs last met, and what the timetable is for the appointment of a Recovery Champion.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government’s new Drug Strategy includes a commitment to establish a Home Secretary chaired Drug Strategy Board. The Board met for the first time on 13 December.

The Recovery Champion will be appointed in due course.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Insulation: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government spent on funding for cavity wall insulation schemes in the last ten years.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 13 December 2017

We do not hold data on the amount of money spent on cavity wall insulation. Most of the cavity wall insulation installed under Government sponsored schemes has been funded under supplier obligations (such as the current Energy Company Obligation) and not funded directly by Government.

Over the last ten years around 3.5m cavity wall insulation measures have been installed under Government sponsored schemes.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Insulation: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will introduce an independent dispute mechanism for consumers related to companies which have installed defective or unsuitable cavity wall insulation.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 13 December 2017

The Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) is one of the main organisations providing consumer guarantees for cavity wall insulation installations and it has a complaints process including an independent dispute mechanism for consumers where cavity wall insulation may be defective.

Each Home Counts was an independent review, led by Dr. Peter Bonfield, which published its report in December 2016. Implementation of Each Home Counts is being led by industry with the support of Government, in line with the recommendations of the review.

One of the main recommendations from the Review was to establish a quality mark for retrofit energy efficiency and renewable energy measures including cavity wall insulation, and for companies operating in this sector. Those who wish to use the quality mark will need to adhere to a consumer charter and code of conduct, which will ensure all consumers have access to a clear redress process and guarantee protection.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Housing: Insulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received on companies using funding from the public purse to install sub-standard and faulty cavity wall insulation; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 13 December 2017

The Energy Company Obligation is funded by energy suppliers through regulation, rather than from the public purse. For the installation of cavity wall insulation to be eligible for the scheme, it is required to come with a 25-year guarantee. This would cover cases where sub-standard or faulty insulation may be installed.

The Government has received a number of representations, and is aware through discussions with industry, of some examples of poor practice and quality in the installation of energy efficiency measures. To help improve quality and consumer confidence, the Government commissioned the independent Each Home Counts review, led by Dr. Peter Bonfield, which published its report in December 2016. Implementation of Each Home Counts is being led by industry with the support of Government, in line with the recommendations of the review.

One of the main recommendations from the Review was to establish a quality mark for retrofit energy efficiency and renewable energy measures including cavity wall insulation, to help offer a clear and consistent standard for consumers. Those businesses who wish to use the quality mark will need to adhere to a consumer charter and code of conduct, which will ensure all consumers have access to a clear redress process and guarantee protection.

Q
(Easington)
[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 Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who in the Government will be responsible for considering the recommendations made by the Legal Working Group on Seafarers and the National Minimum Wage.
Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much funding his Department plans to make allocate to Homes England for the (a) compulsory purchase and (b) demolition of unsuitable housing to provide larger areas of housing regeneration.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 11 December 2017

As the Chancellor stated in his Autumn Budget 2017 speech, over the next five years the Government will commit a total of at least £44 billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees to support our housing market.

This funding will be used for a variety of purposes, including for compulsory purchase, but also for identification of sites, supporting small and medium enterprise builders, guarantees to support house building, transforming our rundown estates and more.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Transport
East Coast Rail Franchise
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 11 of Stagecoach Group plc’s analyst and investor presentation of 27 November 2014 on award of the Inter City East Coast franchise, what effect the recent changes to the franchise agreement will have on the sum of £2.3 billion which Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited and Virgin Holdings Limited intended to pay the Government in real terms premium payments between 2014 and 2023; and what the value was of each such payment received by his Department to date.
Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Transport
East Coast Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the rate of return to the public purse was on the East Coast Main Line (a) in each year from November 2009 to February 2015 and (b) from March 2015 to date.
Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Supply Teachers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of reintroducing the Local Educational Authority supply pool for schools in England.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 December 2017

The Department is committed to ensuring schools are able to employ good quality supply teachers at value for money when needed. Local Authority supply pools are one of many approaches to providing supply teachers.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Supply Teachers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will bring forward legislation to ban finders fees being imposed by teaching supply agencies where a school seeks to appoint on a permanent basis a supply teacher originally provided by those agencies.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 December 2017

The Department is aware of concerns raised regarding the level of fees charged by some agencies when offering a supply teacher permanent employment. Whilst there are no immediate plans to legislate in this area, the Department is working with Crown Commercial Service to develop a new commercial framework for schools aimed at bringing consistency and transparency of cost to this area.

The new arrangement will address inconsistent practices of some agencies and the levels of mark-up charged as well as the issue of finders’ fees. It is anticipated that the new commercial deal will be available for use by schools from September 2018.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Supply Teachers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will bring forward proposals regulate teaching supply agencies and cap costs charged for the provision of supply teachers.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 08 December 2017

The Department is aware of concerns raised regarding the behaviour of some agencies when dealing with schools as well as the level of costs charged. Whilst there are no immediate plans to legislate in this area, the Department is working with Crown Commercial Service to develop a new commercial framework for schools aimed at bringing consistency and transparency of cost to this area.

The new arrangement will address inconsistent practices of some agencies and the levels of mark-up charged as well as the level of fees charged. It is anticipated that the new commercial deal will be available for use by schools from September 2018.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
Driving Tests
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the new Approved Driving Instructor Part 3 Test will be introduced.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 08 December 2017

The regulations were laid before Parliament on 1 December 2017. The Approved Driving Instructor Part 3 test will be implemented from 23 December 2017.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
Tonnage Tax
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2017 to Question 113639, on shipping: ownership, how many of the vessels on each of the three routes in the table are in company groups which qualify for the Tonnage Tax scheme.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 08 December 2017

It is not possible to identify which companies qualify for the Tonnage Tax scheme from the information held by the department.

For example, information on whether a company operates ships which are strategically and commercially managed in the UK, which is a requirement to be a qualifying company for the Tonnage Tax scheme, is not held for companies not currently part of the scheme.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
Shipping: Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2017 to Question 113639, on shipping: ownership, how many of the vessels on each of the three routes in the table are registered on (a) the UK Ship Register, (b) a Red Ensign Group register, (c) EEA register or (d) non-EEA register.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 08 December 2017

Figures for the number of vessels operating on each route in 2016 by registration are shown in the table.

Register

UK Ship Register

Another Red Ensign Group (REG) register

Another EEA country register

A non-EEA country and non-REG register

  1. Vessels which carried cargo between a UK port and a UK offshore oil and gas terminal or platform in 2016

60

30

110

100

  1. Vessels which carried cargo on domestic routes to or from UK ports in 2016 (excluding between UK ports and UK offshore oil and gas terminals covered in 1. above)

80

60

390

360

  1. Vessels operating on domestic or international short sea passenger services to or from UK ports in 2016

20

10

80

10

Source: Based on DfT port freight and sea passenger statistics, and IHS Global fleet data.

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 vessels. A single vessel may operate on any combination of the routes shown. Registration was unavailable for a small number of vessels. Figures shown here for the Red Ensign Group do not include the UK Ship Register, which is shown separately in the table.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether the remit of Homes England includes housing regeneration in areas of low housing demand.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 05 December 2017

As the Chancellor set out in the Autumn Budget, the Homes and Community Agency will expand to become Homes England, bringing together money, expertise, and planning and compulsory purchase powers, with a clear remit to facilitate delivery of sufficient new homes, where they are most needed, to deliver a sustained improvement in affordability. As part of its remit, Homes England will work closely with combined authorities on their Housing Deals and will play an important role in supporting the Infrastructure Plan, Industrial Strategy and Local Growth Strategies.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much funding his Department plans to allocate to Homes England for the (a) identification and (b) clearing of sites suitable for housing developments.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The recent Autumn Budget demonstrated this Government's determination to fix our broken housing market. It announced £15.3 billion of new financial support for housing over the next five years, bringing the total support for housing over this period to £44 billion.

Of the new financial support announced, some £4.8 billion will be used for interventions on land, including relating to identification and clearing sites - £2.7 billion for the Housing Infrastructure fund , £1.1 billion for a Land Assembly Fund, £630 million aimed at tackling smaller stalled sites and £400 million for tackling our run down estates. The precise use these funds will be put to, will come through engagement with places to identify the barriers to delivering housing in their areas, and the specific sites and opportunities brought forward.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Epilepsy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to undertake a review the effectiveness of the (a) Employment Support Allowance and (b) Personal Independence Payment medical assessments for people with epilepsy.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 05 December 2017

Both assessments are designed to treat all health conditions and disabilities fairly by assessing the functional impact of those conditions and disabilities on an individuals' life rather than focusing on the health condition or disability itself. For, Employment and Support Allowance that is through assessing their capability to work and in Personal Independence Payment (PIP) through their ability to manage daily living or mobility activities.

Q
(Easington)
[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: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Drugs: Misuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of (a) evidence and (b) recommendations regarding Drug Consumptions Rooms reported by the (i) Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and (ii) Volteface report, entitled Back Yard.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 04 December 2017

The Government has no plans to introduce drug consumption rooms. A range of offences are likely to be committed in the operation of drug consumption rooms. It is for local police forces to enforce the law in such circumstances and, as with other offences of this type, we would expect them to do so.

The Government has responded to the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on Opioid-related deaths. The Government response is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drug-misuse-and-dependency-government-responses-to-acmd-reports.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 October 2017
Cabinet Office
Absent Voting
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 October 2017 to Question 9559, on electronic voting, whether he plans to trial postal votes only for parish or town council elections.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 30 November 2017

The Government has no intention of mandating postal votes for local and parish council elections. It is the Government’s position that electors should have the choice between voting in person, by proxy or through a postal vote.

Furthermore, mandating postal voting in any poll would require all electors to provide ‘postal vote identifiers’ (e.g. signature and date of birth as are used now) to support voters securely casting a postal ballot. The Government is concerned that this would suppress turnout, and that mandating postal voting for a particular type of poll would ultimately prejudice some electors by making it harder for them to vote.

Q
(Easington)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
Shipping: Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2017 to Question 113639, on shipping: ownership, how many of the vessels on each of the three routes in the table are in company groups which qualify for the Tonnage Tax scheme.
 
Withdrawn
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