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
(West Dunbartonshire)
[N]
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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: 09 January 2018
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Living Overseas Allowance for each station.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Local Overseas Allowance is paid to cover the additional local day to day living costs of service personnel when serving overseas. The current rates of Local Overseas Allowance for Main Stations are attached. Rates are updated periodically to reflect changes to currency exchange rates which affect the Forces Fixed Rate. I am withholding information regarding the rates of Local Overseas Allowance for Small Stations as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests and release information provided in confidence.

121834 - MOD Local Overseas Allowance (PDF Document, 1008.95 KB)
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 15 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Mobile Phones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress GovCoin, Barclays, RWE npower and University College London on behalf of the Department have made in developing technology that welfare claimants can easily adopt to handle their payments through a mobile app.
Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to paragraph 4.61 of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, what the reason was for the increase of 710 civilians employed by his Department as set out in the Quarterly Location Statistics of 1 October 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 20 December 2017

The Ministry of Defence has made a robust start in delivering the ambitious headcount and financial targets set in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and 2015 Spending Review, and has a number of programmes and projects currently under way, as part of the Department’s commitment to improving the efficiency of Defence business. There have, however, been recent manpower increases for value for money reasons; for example, to reduce costs in Defence Equipment and Support, more expensive private sector support partners are being replaced by appropriately trained, but significantly less costly, civil servants. The underlying trend on Civil Service headcount across Defence as a whole is firmly downward.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Military Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the evidence given to the Defence Select Committee on Tuesday 17 October 2017, if he will make a statement on his Department's proposal to fit Multifunction Advanced Data Link on platforms other than the F35 Joint Strike Fighter.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 19 December 2017

The Ministry of Defence, alongside US Services, is continuing to explore the value of exchanging the data carried on the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) with other platforms through the classified series of Babel Fish trials. If these trials identify benefits, we will look to set requirements for, and invest in, these types of technologies, noting that other vendors offer capabilities similar to MADL.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Maritime Patrol Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many maritime patrol aircraft from (a) the US, (b) Canada, (c) France and (d) Germany were temporarily deployed to RAF Lossiemouth in (i) 2016 and (ii) 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 19 December 2017

The country and number of maritime patrol aircraft temporarily deployed to RAF Lossiemouth from 1 January 2017 to 30 November 2017 is given below.

Country from

Number of Aircraft

United States

8

Canada

5

France

2

Germany

1

Norway

1

For figures for 2016, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the Under Secretary of State and Minster of Defence People and Veterans (Tobias Ellwood) on 20 July 2017 to question 5107.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Army: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many recruits who applied to the Army Careers Service with an address in Scotland in the last year were subsequently deployed to regiments other than the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 19 December 2017

As of 30 September 2017 of those recruits who applied to join and completed their training between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017 with an address in Scotland, 10 have joined units other than the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The majority of those who applied in that year, including those with a Scottish address will not have completed their training and therefore have not deployed to their Regiment. All applications to join the Army are initiated through the Army website.

Notes: The figure has been rounded to the nearest 10; numbers ending in "5" will be rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias. The figure is a single service estimate that has not been validated or subject to the same level of quality checks as official defence statistics.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Officers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officers from each of the three services in each rank between OF6 and OF10 are based in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 19 December 2017

The information requested is presented below:

Officers Ranked OF-6 to OF-9 broken down by Location, Service and Rank as at 1 October 2017

RN/RM

Army

RAF

Total

England

100

160

100

370

OF-6

70

120

70

260

OF-7

20

30

20

80

OF-8

10

10

~

20

OF-9

~

~

~

10

Scotland

~

10

-

10

OF-6

~

~

-

10

OF-7

~

~

-

~

OF-8

-

-

-

-

OF-9

-

-

-

-

Wales

-

~

-

~

OF-6

-

~

-

~

OF-7

-

-

-

-

OF-8

-

-

-

-

OF-9

-

-

-

-

Northern Ireland

-

~

-

~

OF-6

-

~

-

~

OF-7

-

-

-

-

OF-8

-

-

-

-

OF-9

-

-

-

-

Total

110

170

100

380

Key

- Zero

~ Five or fewer


Notes

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10, though numbers ending in a “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias caused by rounding numbers upwards.

2. Totals and sub-totals are rounded separately and so may not equal the sums of their rounded parts.

3. Figures provided are for Regulars only and do not include Full Time Reserve Service.

4. There are no senior serving officers at OF10.

5. OF-6 = Commodore /Brigadier / Air commodore

OF-7 = Rear Admiral / Major General / Air Vice-Marshal

OF-8 = Vice Admiral / Lieutenant General / Air Marshal

OF -9 = Admiral / General / Air Chief Marshal

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Rivet Joint Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans his Department has for future basing options for the RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 18 December 2017

There are no plans to move the UK Airseeker Rivet Joint Force from RAF Waddington.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ukraine: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will clarify the statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on 18 September 2017 that Canada and the UK will continue to partner in Ukraine to support Defence reform and institutional capacity building.
A
Answered by: Gavin Williamson
Answered on: 13 December 2017
Holding answer received on 06 December 2017

The UK and Canada, as well as other partner nations, are working closely together, providing advice on strategic defence reform in Ukraine through our respective representatives on the Defence Reform Advisory Board. The UK and Canadian representatives have developed a particularly effective working relationship and are currently pursuing initiatives that could lead to even closer co-operation and co-ordination.

Alongside this, the UK and Canada have both had military training missions supporting the Ukrainian Armed Forces in-country since 2015 and, as the Prime Minister announced in Ottawa, we have agreed with the Canadians to conduct joint training of the UAF from the beginning of 2018, focusing on capabilities including joint reconnaissance, counter-sniper and military policing. This will be complementary to the wider range of defensive, non-escalatory military training delivered by the UK through Operational ORBITAL.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Type 45 Destroyers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for how many days all six Daring-class Type 45 destroyers have been berthed together at HMNB Portsmouth during 2017.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 13 December 2017

Every ship involves them entering different readiness levels depending on their programmes and Departmental planning requirements together.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
France: Military Alliances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he last had discussions with his French counterpart on the UK-French Joint Expeditionary Force.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

I discussed the development of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force concept with my French counterpart, Mme. Florence Parly, when we met in London on 20 November 2017.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Type 45 Destroyers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Type 45 destroyers have had to be under tow since November 2016.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 12 December 2017

No Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyers have been under tow since November 2016, except for routine harbour navigation assistance.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
HMS Diamond
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons HMS Diamond aborted her most recent deployment.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 12 December 2017

HMS DIAMOND has returned to Portsmouth after she experienced technical issues en route to the Gulf.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Middle East: Peacekeeping Operations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Royal Navy surface vessels have fulfilled Operation Kipion responsibilities since 2014.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 12 December 2017

The Royal Navy vessels which have fulfilled Operation Kipion responsibilities are as follows:

HMS ATHERSTONE

HMS BANGOR

HMS BLYTH

HMS CHIDDINGFOLD

HMS DARING

HMS DAUNTLESS

HMS DEFENDER

HMS DUNCAN

HMS ECHO

HMS ENTERPRISE

HMS KENT

HMS LEDBURY

HMS MIDDLETON

HMS MONMOUTH

HMS MONTROSE

HMS NORTHUMBERLAND

HMS PENZANCE

HMS PORTLAND

HMS QUORN

HMS RAMSEY

HMS RICHMOND

HMS SHOREHAM

HMS SOMERSET

HMS ST ALBANS

HMS WESTMINSTER

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary has also fulfilled Operation Kipion responsibilities. The ships involved were:

RFA CARDIGAN BAY

RFA DILIGENCE

RFA FORT AUSTIN

RFA FORT ROSALIE

RFA FORT VICTORIA

RFA LYME BAY

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications for full onshore wind station accreditation were unsuccessful between July 2016 and October 2016.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 12 December 2017

I refer the Hon Member to the reply I gave to UIN 106075.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications were made for full onshore wind station accreditation between July 2016 and October 2016.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 11 December 2017

Across Great Britain, 19 onshore wind farms applied for accreditation under the Renewables Obligation between July and October 2016. Of these, 8[1] were in England, 1 in Wales, and 10 in Scotland.

[1] This figure includes 2 applications made between 1 July and 31 October 2016 but subsequently cancelled by the applicant.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many certificated G59 commissioning engineers who were not embedded within (a) power supply companies and (b) district network operations were available to sign off a wind station accreditation between July 2016 and November 2016.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 11 December 2017

I refer the Hon Member to the reply I gave to UIN 106077.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applicants for wind station accreditation between July and October 2016 were on request afforded an extension of time or grace period by Ofgem to allow for successful conversion to full accreditation.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 11 December 2017

Across Great Britain, 15 onshore wind farms that applied for accreditation under the Renewables Obligation between July and October 2016 have been granted a grace period. Of these, 6 were in England, 8 in Scotland, and 1 in Wales. A further 2 applications (both in Scotland) have not yet been determined[1].

[1] Applications still being assessed by Ofgem where the later of the application date and commissioning date falls between 1 July and 31 October 2016 (their expected accreditation effective date if granted).

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ukraine: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what consideration his Department has given to supplying the Government of Ukraine with non-lethal military equipment, which is no longer in operational use but good working order.
A
Answered by: Gavin Williamson
Answered on: 08 December 2017
Holding answer received on 06 December 2017

In 2016 surplus equipment was supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in addition to other, purchased items.

More recently, when President Poroshenko visited the UK in April 2017, he presented the Prime Minister with a list of Ukrainian equipment requirements, seeking UK assistance where possible. In light of this request, the head of the Defence Equipment Sales Authority, visited Ukraine to clarify Ukrainian requirements and establish the most appropriate UK surplus assets.

A Ukrainian delegation visited the UK from 28 November to 1 December and reviewed a range of land and maritime equipment. The Ukrainians are now considering their options.

Q
(West Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Surrey Satellite Technology
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to the public purse is of his Department's stake in Surrey Satellite Technology.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 07 December 2017

The Department has committed £4.5 million to the programme.

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