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
(Tewkesbury)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Rural Areas: Crime Prevention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on reducing the incidence of rural crime.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 December 2017

My Department works closely with the Home Office and is also engaged with the National Police Chiefs’ Council on Wildlife Crime and Rural Affairs and the National Rural Crime Network.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 07 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what targets his Department has set for tree planting.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The government is committed to planting 11 million trees and to plant 1 million urban trees in England.

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
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[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
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency: Inland Waterways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 12 October 2017 to Question 105954, what progress has been made on the development of proposals to transfer navigation responsibilities and assets from the Environment Agency to the Canal and River Trust since that Answer was given; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Following my meeting with the Chair and Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust, we have been looking carefully at the proposals made by the Trust to transfer navigation responsibilities and assets from the Environment Agency. We will be holding discussions with the Trust and the Environment Agency over the coming months.

In looking at the proposals, we must balance the need to secure the long term future of our managed waterways against the need to ensure that any final agreement offers the best deal for the public purse, and for those who currently work on these waterways. We are analysing the Trust’s proposal to see whether it would provide the benefits the Government wants to derive from a potential transfer.

Q
Asked by Mark Menzies
(Fylde)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of public spending on flood prevention in (a) Fylde constituency and (b) the UK in each of the (i) next and (ii) last five years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 13 December 2017

The table below summarises Government investment (Flood Defence Grant in Aid or FDGiA) to flood and coastal risk management schemes in the Fylde constituency and England between April 2012 and March 2021.

Year

Fylde FDGiA (£k)

England FDGiA (£m)

2012/13

210

269

2013/14

595

315

2014/15

112

479

2015/16

0

403

2016/17

657

447

2017/18

15,100

413

2018/19

6,317

450

2019/20

84

490

2020/21

79

459

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ivory: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many import permits for ivory have been issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency in each of the last five years; and what the ivory and import types were which were covered by those permits.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

01/01/2012 – 31/12/2012

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

7

0

Personal use

5

2

Educational use

2

0

Carvings

Commercial use

267

6

Personal use

28

10

Exhibitions

43

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

1

0

01/01/2013 – 31/12/2013

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

9

2

Personal use

1

0

Educational use

2

0

Carvings

Commercial use

352

2

Personal use

25

9

Exhibitions

64

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2014 – 31/12/2014

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

0

3

Personal use

0

2

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

265

6

Personal use

15

2

Exhibitions

20

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2015 – 31/12/2015

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

15

0

Personal use

0

2

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

67

1

Personal use

25

1

Exhibitions

12

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2016 – 31/12/2016

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

5

0

Personal use

1

1

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

207

2

Personal use

75

4

Exhibitions

24

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2017 –05/12/2017

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

0

0

Personal use

0

0

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

48

0

Personal use

10

0

Exhibitions

0

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

This data is for confirmed import permits that covers the previous five calendar years including data this year up to 5th December.

Grouped Questions: 117188
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ivory: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many requests for the importation of ivory have been rejected in the last five years; and what the reasons were for refusing those requests.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

01/01/2012 – 31/12/2012

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

7

0

Personal use

5

2

Educational use

2

0

Carvings

Commercial use

267

6

Personal use

28

10

Exhibitions

43

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

1

0

01/01/2013 – 31/12/2013

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

9

2

Personal use

1

0

Educational use

2

0

Carvings

Commercial use

352

2

Personal use

25

9

Exhibitions

64

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2014 – 31/12/2014

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

0

3

Personal use

0

2

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

265

6

Personal use

15

2

Exhibitions

20

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2015 – 31/12/2015

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

15

0

Personal use

0

2

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

67

1

Personal use

25

1

Exhibitions

12

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2016 – 31/12/2016

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

5

0

Personal use

1

1

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

207

2

Personal use

75

4

Exhibitions

24

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

01/01/2017 –05/12/2017

Ivory Type

Import Type

Number of permits issued

No of applications rejected

Raw tusks

Hunting trophies

0

0

Personal use

0

0

Educational use

0

0

Carvings

Commercial use

48

0

Personal use

10

0

Exhibitions

0

0

Educational use

0

0

Ivory pieces

Enforcement

0

0

This data is for confirmed import permits that covers the previous five calendar years including data this year up to 5th December.

Grouped Questions: 117187
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Incinerators
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much waste the UK is currently capable of incinerating; and what estimate he has made of the waste incineration capacity that will be required in 2030.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The latest figures available for incineration capacity are from 2016 for England when there was a throughput of 9,630,000 tonnes. There is permitted capacity for 11,360,000 tonnes for municipal and/or commercial and industrial waste.

Defra is currently looking at the overall capacity that may be needed to deal with England’s waste that remains after recycling and reuse, but this analysis is ongoing and does not specifically focus on waste incineration.

Any assessment of future capacity needs will be further informed by our new Resources and Waste Strategy which is being developed.

Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Clothing: Marine Environment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of washing synthetic clothing on to our oceans and marine life as set out in the 2017 report by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation on a new textiles economy: redesigning fashion's future.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

This report is consistent with growing evidence that microplastics reach the marine environment and come from many sources. We welcome the report as an important contribution to the debate on the issue.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the amount of (a) food waste and (b) total bio-degrable waste that goes to (i) incineration and (ii) landfill in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Data for waste arisings and treatment are not structured specifically around material streams so we cannot provide detailed information on the destination of total food waste. Large tonnages of both incinerated and landfilled waste are reported as “mixed” waste categories, for which we do not currently have estimates of food waste content.

Estimates of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled are published in the Defra UK Statistics on Waste publication, with the latest release containing data for 2010-2015. The estimated tonnages of biodegradable municipal waste landfilled in the UK in 2013, 2014 and 2015 were 9.3 million, 8.7 million and 7.7 million tonnes respectively.

We do not publish data on the composition of municipal solid waste that is received at incineration. However, it is estimated that the amounts of biodegradable municipal waste incinerated in England in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 3.8 million, 4.6 million and 5.6 million tonnes respectively.

Q
Asked by Dan Jarvis
(Barnsley Central)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Tree Planting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of tree planting rates.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Forestry Commission publishes progress against the 11 million trees target quarterly. Woodland created so far using CAP funding during the course of this Parliament (counted from April to September 2017 - the most recent assessment) equates to 692 hectares, or approximately 1,074,000 trees. Woodland created during the previous Parliament (2015 to 2017) amounted to 1,104 hectares, or approximately 1,502,000 trees.

The government was concerned about planting rates in the previous Parliament and has taken action to stimulate additional planting.

Forestry is a devolved matter and this answer refers to England only.

Q
(Washington and Sunderland West)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Waste Disposal: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2017 to Question 115795, if he will provide a breakdown of breaches of permits in each of the Environment Agency’s 14 operational areas in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

This table shows the breaches of waste sites for all 14 Environment Agency areas for the last 5 years. Some areas have many more permitted facilities than others and will consequently have more breaches. This table shows the total number of breaches.

Environment Agency Area

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Cambs and Bedfordshire

482

597

994

735

772

Cumbria and Lancashire

303

490

943

691

407

Derbys Notts and Leics

699

1153

1084

673

591

Devon and Cornwall

569

742

1017

761

714

Essex Norfolk and Suffolk

602

781

1035

846

910

Gtr Mancs Mersey and Ches

848

1192

1714

1051

994

Herts and North London

1050

1162

1391

1120

636

Kent and South London

886

1168

1538

1141

935

Lincs and Northants

709

1095

1093

600

446

Northumberland Durham and Tees

482

713

1263

1089

821

Shrops Heref Worcs and Glos

299

407

600

524

432

Solent and South Downs

329

395

485

372

444

Staffs Warks and West Mids

1166

1720

1773

1302

1088

Wessex

497

887

957

703

512

West Thames

726

676

795

718

601

Yorkshire

1459

1862

2268

1891

1361

Total

11106

15040

18950

14217

11664

Q
Asked by Mark Menzies
(Fylde)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Flood Control: Lancashire
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prevent coastal flooding in Lancashire.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

Between April 2015 and March 2021, the Government plans to invest approximately £120 million on coast protection schemes in Lancashire. The Environment Agency is currently working in close partnership with a number of the Lancashire Coast Protection Authorities in delivering this ambitious capital investment programme to better protect 26,000 properties. This includes:

  • Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme, which was completed in November 2017 at a cost of £27.1 million and will better protect 4,800 properties.
  • Rossall Coast Protection Scheme, which is expected to be completed at a cost of £63 million by summer 2018 and will better protect 7,500 properties.
  • Morecambe Wave Reflection Wall, which is expected to be completed at a cost of £10.5 million by winter 2018 and will better protect 11,400 properties.
  • Fairhaven to Church Scar Coast Protection Scheme, which is expected to be completed at a cost of £19.8 million by spring 2020 and will better protect 2,300 properties.

The Environment Agency, Coast Protection Authorities and third party owners also carry out ongoing routine annual revenue maintenance works for their respective assets.

The Environment Agency also issues flood warnings to vulnerable communities on the coast when weather and tidal conditions have the potential to cause flooding.

Q
Asked by Mark Menzies
(Fylde)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency: North West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff were employed by the Environment Agency in (a) Cumbria and (b) Lancashire in each year since 1 January 2012.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The table below provides details of Full time equivalent (FTE) employee numbers in the Cumbria and Lancashire Area of the Environment Agency for each financial year from 2011/12 to 2016/17.

The Environment Agency does not maintain separate records of employees in Cumbria and employees in Lancashire as they operate as one combined Area.

Year

Payroll employees

FTE

31 March 2012

373

31 March 2013

377

31 March 2014

404

31 March 2015

370

31 March 2016

365

31 March 2017

389

Q
Asked by Mark Menzies
(Fylde)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Floods: Fylde
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Environment Agency has made of the effect of new housing developments on the risk of flooding in Fylde constituency.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The local planning authority consults the Environment Agency on planning applications for developments located within Flood Zone 3, an area having a high probability of flooding. Developers of land in Flood Zone 3 must submit a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) with their planning application. The Environment Agency reviews the FRAs, assessing the impact of the development on flood risk. FRAs are used to demonstrate that developments will not be at an unacceptable risk of flooding or increase flood risk elsewhere. If the FRA cannot demonstrate this, the Environment Agency will object to the planning application until a satisfactory FRA has been submitted.

The final decision on whether or not to grant planning permission is made by the local planning authority.

Q
(Salford and Eccles)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Industry: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page 148 of the Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the new strategy for resources and waste.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Resources and Waste Strategy will be published in 2018.

Q
Asked by Dr Rupa Huq
(Ealing Central and Acton)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lions: South Africa
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of trophy hunting in South Africa for the local population of African lions.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

International trade in hunting trophies is controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which is implemented in the UK through EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

With respect to African lions, the Government commissioned a report on lion conservation from Professor David MacDonald with particular respect to the issue of trophy hunting. This report is available online at https://www.wildcru.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Report_on_lion_conservation.pdf. In addition, the JNCC participated in an EU mission to Tanzania in August 2016 to examine the governance and management of trophy hunting of African lions and elephants there. The report of the mission fed into considerations by the EU CITES Scientific Review Group (SRG) of the import into the EU from Tanzania of African lion and elephant trophy hunting imports. Imports of hunting trophies of African elephants from various countries have been assessed regularly at meetings of the SRG, most recently at their 79th meeting in June.

The UK has been party to assessments of hunting trophy imports of white rhinoceros from South Africa at the SRG. The UK has not assessed imports of hunting trophies of black rhinoceros; there have been no recent applications for imports to the UK.

Grouped Questions: 117690 | 117691 | 117692 | 117694 | 117697
Q
Asked by Dr Rupa Huq
(Ealing Central and Acton)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lions: Tanzania
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of trophy hunting in Tanzania for the local population of African lions.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 12 December 2017

International trade in hunting trophies is controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which is implemented in the UK through EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

With respect to African lions, the Government commissioned a report on lion conservation from Professor David MacDonald with particular respect to the issue of trophy hunting. This report is available online at https://www.wildcru.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Report_on_lion_conservation.pdf. In addition, the JNCC participated in an EU mission to Tanzania in August 2016 to examine the governance and management of trophy hunting of African lions and elephants there. The report of the mission fed into considerations by the EU CITES Scientific Review Group (SRG) of the import into the EU from Tanzania of African lion and elephant trophy hunting imports. Imports of hunting trophies of African elephants from various countries have been assessed regularly at meetings of the SRG, most recently at their 79th meeting in June.

The UK has been party to assessments of hunting trophy imports of white rhinoceros from South Africa at the SRG. The UK has not assessed imports of hunting trophies of black rhinoceros; there have been no recent applications for imports to the UK.

Grouped Questions: 117689 | 117691 | 117692 | 117694 | 117697
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