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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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
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Shipping
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of leaving the EU on the operation of the marine and recreational boating sectors.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 11 December 2017

As part of our work preparing to make a success of our departure from the European Union we are carrying out a full suite of analysis as you would expect a responsible Government to do. This analysis covers 58 sectors as well as cross-cutting regulatory, economic and social issues to help inform our negotiation positions.

We are examining all areas of the UK economy from a number of perspectives and seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders. This sectoral analysis sits alongside regional and small business engagement across the UK.

The Government’s Maritime and Ports sectoral report sets out a description of the sector, the current EU regulatory regime, existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries in this sector and sector views. This report has been made available for members of both Houses to read in a secure reading room.

We are committed to the best possible deal for the United Kingdom - a deal that works for the entirety of the UK economy. We have been engaging with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and parts of the UK in order to inform our negotiations with the EU.

Grouped Questions: 116190 | 116203
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Shipping: Coastal Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the viability of (a) coastal communities and (b) local economies with a significant marine sector of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 11 December 2017

As part of our work preparing to make a success of our departure from the European Union we are carrying out a full suite of analysis as you would expect a responsible Government to do. This analysis covers 58 sectors as well as cross-cutting regulatory, economic and social issues to help inform our negotiation positions.

We are examining all areas of the UK economy from a number of perspectives and seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders. This sectoral analysis sits alongside regional and small business engagement across the UK.

The Government’s Maritime and Ports sectoral report sets out a description of the sector, the current EU regulatory regime, existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries in this sector and sector views. This report has been made available for members of both Houses to read in a secure reading room.

We are committed to the best possible deal for the United Kingdom - a deal that works for the entirety of the UK economy. We have been engaging with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and parts of the UK in order to inform our negotiations with the EU.

Grouped Questions: 116187 | 116203
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Boats
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the market for second-hand recreational boats of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 11 December 2017

As part of our work preparing to make a success of our departure from the European Union we are carrying out a full suite of analysis as you would expect a responsible Government to do. This analysis covers 58 sectors as well as cross-cutting regulatory, economic and social issues to help inform our negotiation positions.

We are examining all areas of the UK economy from a number of perspectives and seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders. This sectoral analysis sits alongside regional and small business engagement across the UK.

The Government’s Maritime and Ports sectoral report sets out a description of the sector, the current EU regulatory regime, existing frameworks for how trade is facilitated between countries in this sector and sector views. This report has been made available for members of both Houses to read in a secure reading room.

We are committed to the best possible deal for the United Kingdom - a deal that works for the entirety of the UK economy. We have been engaging with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and parts of the UK in order to inform our negotiations with the EU.

Grouped Questions: 116187 | 116190
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on how many occasions a representative from the Local Government Association has discussed air quality with the Government at the Central Local Information Partnership in each of the last 8 years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the secretariat for the Environment subgroup of the Central Local Information Partnership. The focus of the subgroup is to ensure that data provided by local authorities to central government is provided in the most efficient and least burdensome manner.

The Department’s records consist of subgroup meeting correspondence from the past five years. These records indicate there have been no specific agenda items tabled or discussions held on air quality at the subgroup’s meetings, which cover a wide range of environmental data collections. There was out-of-meeting correspondence in October 2013 in which the reporting of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register was discussed. Air quality is one component of this environmental reporting tool.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
HM Treasury
Boats: Customs Unions
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department plans to ensure that recreational boats placed on the market can attain Union Goods status after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The future customs rules for goods moving between the UK and the EU, including for arrangements relating to recreational boats, will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the EU. The Government is engaging with stakeholders affected by EU Exit in every sector and region of the UK economy to assess the effect of EU Exit on them.

Grouped Questions: 116207 | 116210
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
HM Treasury
Boats: Customs Unions
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how the Department plans to ensure that recreational boats travelling from the UK to the EU with non-Union goods status can benefit from temporary admission relief on VAT and duty after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The future customs rules for goods moving between the UK and the EU, including for arrangements relating to recreational boats, will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the EU. The Government is engaging with stakeholders affected by EU Exit in every sector and region of the UK economy to assess the effect of EU Exit on them.

Grouped Questions: 116206 | 116210
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Magistrates' Courts: City of Westminster
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what monitoring his Department has in place to ensure that Westminster Magistrates Court is compliant with disability access legislation.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 01 December 2017

HM Courts & Tribunals Service has a programme of monthly inspections which are undertaken across the estate, including at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, to ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010. Westminster Magistrates’ Court is currently compliant.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
HM Treasury
Bank Services: Fraud
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the conviction rate for bank fraud against an individual was in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 29 November 2017

The information requested is not held by the Treasury.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Magistrates' Courts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reasons his Department uses the Witness Service to supply drinking water to victims at magistrates courts.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The Ministry of Justice grant funds the court based Witness Service for the provision of emotional and practical support to witnesses giving evidence in criminal courts in England and Wales. The Witness Service does not have a specific responsibility to provide drinking water in courts but has, in the past, put in place arrangements for the provision of drinking water in a number of witness waiting areas where they did not exist as this is an element of supporting witnesses as they prepare to give evidence.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
HM Treasury
Boats: Customs Unions
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to ensure that recreational boaters whose vessels have Union Goods status are able to prove that status when travelling between the UK and EU member states after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The future customs rules for goods moving between the UK and the EU, including for arrangements relating to recreational boats, will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the EU. The Government is engaging with stakeholders affected by EU Exit in every sector and region of the UK economy to assess the effect of EU Exit on them.

Grouped Questions: 116206 | 116207
Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Home Office
Bank Services: Fraud
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many acts of bank fraud against an individual were recorded in each year since 2012.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 27 November 2017

Data for banking and credit card industry fraud are published by ONS on a quarterly basis. These data will cover frauds against individuals as well as industry bodies. The latest data are for year to June 2017 and are available in Table A5 at the link below:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables

The way in which fraud offences are reported and subsequently recorded has changed in recent years. Previously, police forces were responsible for recording fraud offences, however, from April 2011 Action Fraud began gradually taking over the recording of fraud offences on behalf of individual police forces, completing in March 2013. Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. The industry bodies Cifas and FFA UK also record data on fraud offences committed against their members.

Information on fraud offences prior to the switch to Action Fraud can be found in Table A4 in the same link as provided above.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Home Office
Visas: Married People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress UK Visas & Immigration has made on clearing the backlog of applications for spouse visas as a result of the Supreme Court ruling in February 2017.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 23 November 2017

Significant progress has been made in taking decisions on applications affected by the MM Lebanon Supreme Court ruling and there remain very few applications awaiting assessment.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Home Office
Visas: Married People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time is for applicants waiting for decisions on spouse visa applications.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 23 November 2017

The specific data requested is not published by the Home Office.

Published data on visa processing times, including the percentage of visas processed within published service standards, is published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data (then listed by publication date under ‘UK Visas & Immigration’).

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 21 November 2017
Home Office
Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long the average wait time is for immigration applicants using the priority service.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 23 November 2017

The specific data requested is not published by the Home Office.

Published data on visa processing times, including the percentage of visas processed within published service standards, is published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data (then listed by publication date under ‘UK Visas & Immigration’).

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 07 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Research: Europe
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the capacity within UK universities and research institutes to continue to investigate the European geo-political area after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 13 November 2017

The Department has made no such assessment but the Prime Minister explained in her Florence Speech that the UK will continue to take part in those specific policies and programmes which are greatly to the UK and the EU’s joint advantage, such as those that promote science, education and culture.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 31 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Recycling: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the level of recycling rates in each London Borough.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 08 November 2017

No estimates are made on the level of recycling rates in each London Borough. The 2015/16 published household waste recycling rate for each London Borough is shown in the table below:

Authority

Authority type

Percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting

Barking and Dagenham LB

Collection

18.9%

Barnet LB

Collection

36.8%

Bexley LB

Collection & Disposal

52.0%

Brent LB

Collection

35.8%

Bromley LB

Collection & Disposal

46.3%

Camden LB

Collection

24.8%

City of London

Collection & Disposal

30.8%

Croydon LB

Collection & Disposal

37.8%

Ealing LB

Collection

43.0%

Enfield LB

Collection

35.9%

Greenwich LB

Collection & Disposal

34.8%

Hackney LB

Collection

24.8%

Hammersmith and Fulham LB

Collection

22.0%

Haringey LB

Collection

36.2%

Harrow LB

Collection

40.9%

Havering LB

Collection

31.8%

Hillingdon LB

Collection

44.1%

Hounslow LB

Collection

33.8%

Islington LB

Collection

29.4%

Lambeth LB

Collection

28.7%

Lewisham LB

Collection & Disposal

18.0%

Merton LB

Collection & Disposal

34.8%

Newham LB

Collection

14.7%

Redbridge LB

Collection

27.7%

Richmond upon Thames LB

Collection

40.5%

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Collection

25.9%

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Collection & Disposal

45.8%

Southwark LB

Collection & Disposal

35.0%

Sutton LB

Collection & Disposal

34.7%

Tower Hamlets LB

Collection & Disposal

26.7%

Waltham Forest LB

Collection

34.6%

Wandsworth LB

Collection

21.1%

Westminster City Council

Collection & Disposal

17.3%


Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 16 October 2017
Attorney General
David Kelly
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, if he will consider overturning the decision to classify documents about the death of Dr David Kelly; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 31 October 2017

The circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly were considered extensively by my predecessor in 2011. The investigation that he commissioned reviewed all of the relevant documents and evidence. The then Attorney General’s conclusion at the end of that process was that a fresh inquest or inquiry into the death was not warranted. A written statement setting out the detailed reasons for the Attorney’s decision was placed in the House of Commons library in June 2011. That statement was accompanied by a good deal of additional material, including the independent reports that were commissioned.

I am not persuaded there is any reason to re-visit the matter.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 23 October 2017
HM Treasury
Coastal Areas
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total amount of central Government spending was on initiatives focusing on marine and coastal communities in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 31 October 2017

The Coastal Communities Fund encourages economic development through sustainable economic growth and jobs. Between 2012-13 and 2016-17, spend was £15,538,789, £2,936,246, £19,258,377, £39,237,505 and £15,189,904. Coastal Community Teams are local partnerships that develop forward plans for their community. In 2015-16 and 2016-17, spend was £1,180,000 and £280,000. The Coastal Revival Fund supports unlocking the heritage economy and businesses seeking to grow with the revival of coastal sites. In 2015-16 and 2016-17, spend was £3,000,000 and £700,000.

Other programmes that have delivered additional benefits to these communities include:

- European Maritime Fisheries Fund (£15.6m from 2013 to date)

- Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme (£2.5bn to be spent between 2015 and 2021)

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 23 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nitrogen Dioxide: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many UK air quality monitoring sites have reported higher annual nitrogen dioxide levels in the air than are permitted under the EU's 2007 Ambient Air Quality Directive in the last three years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 31 October 2017

The limit value specified by the Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) for annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide is 40 µg/m3. 26 UK monitoring sites reported an annual measured concentration of nitrogen dioxide greater than 40 µg/m3 in 2014, 2015 or 2016. Some sites report exceedances of the limit value in multiple years.

Our modelling indicates that only 8 percent of road kilometres will be in exceedance of the average annual concentration limits next year. Average measurements of nitrogen dioxide at roadside locations outside London have fallen by 16 to 18 percent since 2010.

Defra’s national network of air quality monitors includes 279 sites across the UK. These are organised into networks that gather information for a wide range of pollutants on the state of the air in towns and cities as well as in rural areas. Some monitoring sites are also focused on measuring specific sources – e.g. road traffic or industry. All monitoring data is available on the UK Air website and is used to report levels of pollutants that impact on human health and ecosystems.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 23 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to publish the 25 year Environmental Plan announced in 2015.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 31 October 2017

The Government will publish its 25 year environment plan in due course.

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