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
(Nottingham South)
[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 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) people whose primary medical condition is difficulty in hearing and (b) other recipients of Access to Work grants (i) are still in receipt of awards above £42,800 during the transition period for the cap on awards and (ii) have been given awards at the level of the cap since its introduction in April 2015.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 17 October 2017

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department has provided to Access to Work recipients whose grants will be reduced in April 2018 due to the end of the transition period for the cap on awards.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 17 October 2017

Access to Work customers identified as being affected by the award limit have been contacted each year by specialist advisers to review and discuss their needs and progress towards managing within the cap amount once their transitional protection ends.

Advisers have promoted workplace assessments and technological solutions; we will also be inviting affected customers to take part in a trial of Personalised Budgets in order to give grant recipients greater choice and control in meeting their needs from their grants.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many station upgrades are due to start before April 2019 under the Network Rail Access for All scheme.
Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been spent on improving the accessibility of train stations for disabled people under Network Rail's Access for All scheme since 2014 in each region.
Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 16 October 2017
Department for Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many planned station upgrades under Network Rail's Access for All scheme have been (a) cancelled during rail control period 5 and (b) deferred to rail control period in each region.
Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 September 2017
Department for Education
Classroom Assistants: Average Earnings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2017 to Question 61630, on classroom assistants: average earnings, if she will provide the same salary data for 2016.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The following table shows the average salary for all full-time teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants, and all teaching assistants in local authority maintained schools, academy schools and free schools in England, as at November 2016.

Full-time Teaching Assistants

Full-time Higher Level Teaching Assistants

Full-time All Teaching Assistants

2016

Local Authority Maintained Schools

£19,300

£22,500

£19,700

Academies

£19,000

£21,800

£19,300

Free Schools

£16,900

£19,400

£17,000

All Schools

£19,100

£22,300

£19,400

Source: School Workforce Census

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 September 2017
Department for Transport
Rolling Stock: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the rail industry's preparedness for all UK rolling stock to be compliant with the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability by 31 December 2019.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 07 September 2017

This Government recognises how important improving access to public transport is for disabled people and is committed to making transport more inclusive. However, it is the responsibility of the rolling stock operator to ensure its trains meet modern accessibility standards by 31 December 2019, including the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability. The Department is liaising regularly with the industry on the progress being made on upgrading stock built before 1999 and currently 70% of all trains in operation were either built to or have been refurbished to meet accessibility standards.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 10 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (ii) officials of HM Treasury on rail fares policy since 13 June 2017.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 13 July 2017

There have been no discussions between the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Rail Fares policy since the 13 June 2017.

Officials from the Department of Transport and HM Treasury officials have regular working level coordination meetings covering a range of issues including rail fares policy.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: East Midlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his oral contribution of 4 July 2017, Official Report, column 1137, which routes currently operated under the East Midlands franchise are anticipated to benefit from a significantly shorter journey time as a result of the new Thameslink timetable; and what those changes in journey times will be.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Network Rail and the train operators are currently undertaking the detailed work to develop the 2018 timetable for the Midland Main Line.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page five of High Speed Two Limited's Initial Framework Agreement with the TUC, published on 8 April 2016, if he will list the dates on which the joint committee has met.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

Work on establishing a full Joint Committee is in process. There have been five meetings with the TUC in the last year to work on establishing the full committee. Those meetings are proving constructive and as HS2 moves into the first construction phase later this year, dates and arrangements for the full Joint Committee will be formalised.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
National Air Traffic Services: Government Shareholding
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2016 to Question 33920, on National Air Traffic Services: Government shareholding, if it remains his policy to sell the Government's shareholding in the National Air Traffic Service.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 July 2017

At the 2015 Spending Review, the Chancellor announced we were considering a potential sale of the Government’s 49% shareholding in NATS. Since then, HMG has indicated that no final decisions have been taken and HMG will continue to keep its investment under review.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Railways: Fares
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2017 to Question 1538, on railways: fares, what plans he has to increase the cost of regulated rail fares by RPI plus zero per cent in 2018.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 12 July 2017

The Government recognises that the cost of travelling for rail passengers can seem high – this is why since 2014 we have taken action and capped the regulated rail fares at RPI+0%. Train fare revenue is crucial to funding day-to-day railway operations and delivering the investment and massive upgrade programme currently underway, all of which passengers demand and expect.

We of course keep policies under review.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 07 July 2017
Department for Transport
Aviation: Egypt
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of the airline industry and other key stakeholders on the resumption of direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 12 July 2017

My officials have regular discussions with UK airlines and others about flights from Sharm el-Sheikh.

DfT aviation security experts continue to work closely with their Egyptian counterparts on the ground, sharing their expertise in establishing effective security arrangements.

We look forward to achieving the return of flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, once we can be assured of there being the necessary secure and sustainable security situation.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Direct Rail Services: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the one per cent public sector pay cap applies to employees of Direct Rail Services Ltd.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 11 July 2017

The public sector pay cap does not apply to employees of Direct Rail Services Ltd.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 2017
Department for Transport
East Coast Railway Line: Franchises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Stagecoach Group PLC's press release dated 28 June 2017, preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2017, what assessment he has made of the effect of Network Rails' reprioritised infrastructure programme on the finances of the InterCity East Coast franchise.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 10 July 2017

Delivery dates for certain planned enhancements to the East Coast Mainline are due after the end of Control Period 5 (2019). If this affects Virgin Train East Coast’s track access rights beyond 2019, this may lead to financial impacts on the franchise. We regularly update our forecasts of franchise finances as part of our management processes.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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 2017
Department for Transport
Southern: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost to his Department was of the Gibb Report, published on 22 June 2017 (a) in total, (b) on staffing and (c) on externally commissioned work.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 10 July 2017

The independent Gibb report cost £130,800 to complete. Staff costs and externally commissioned work were not itemised. Chris Gibb reported directly to the Secretary of State for Transport, and delivered his report on 30 December 2016.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Highways England
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to require Highways England to publish the minutes of its board meetings.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2017

There are currently no plans to require Highways England to publish the minutes of its Board meetings.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Public Sector: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the one per cent public sector pay cap applies to employees of (a) Highways England, (b) Network Rail, (c) the Civil Aviation Authority, (d) the investigation branches for air, marine and rail accidents and (e) HS2 Ltd.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 06 July 2017

The one percent pay cap applies to the accident investigation branches. It does not apply to the CAA, which is a public corporation and is not covered by public sector pay arrangements.

Highways England and HS2 Ltd have agreed separate pay flexibilities outside of the one percent cap with HM Treasury.

From its creation in 2002 as a company classified to the private sector Network Rail did not have a public sector pay cap and since its reclassification to the public sector Network Rail has agreed separate pay flexibilities outside of the one percent cap with HM Treasury.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Network Rail: Assets
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page 5 of the minutes of Network Rail's Board meeting of 28 September 2016, what the accounting reason referred to is which requires HM Treasury in turn to require the proceeds from asset sales to count towards general deficit reduction; and what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the proceeds of Network Rail's asset sales programme.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 06 July 2017

As a government organisation, Network Rail’s expenditure is recorded following rules in the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA10). My Department has agreed with HM Treasury that those asset sales classified as deficit-reducing under ESA10 definitions can fund expenditure on rail enhancements (expenditure which in turn classifies as deficit-increasing under ESA10 definitions).

The Department holds regular discussions with HM Treasury on a wide range of topics, including Network Rail’s asset sales programme.

Q
(Nottingham South)
[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: 03 July 2017
Department for Transport
Cycling and Walking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 30 June 2016 to Question 41299, on cycling and walking, and the Answer of 13 June 2016 to Question 39847, on travel, what the potential effects are of the cycling and walking investment strategy on the figures given in the Answer to Question 39847.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 July 2017

The Department is in the process of producing new Road Traffic Forecasts to inform the development of the 2nd Roads Investment Strategy. These forecasts will reflect the impact of all major transport investment decisions made by the government since the last forecasts were produced in 2015, including the cycling and walking investment strategy. The new Road Traffic Forecasts will be published in due course.

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