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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Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether data transferred from local authorities to the Department for Education (DfE) in the Alternative Provision census is named data; and if so, what regions in the UK such transfers to the DfE applies to; and why the transfer of such data to the DfE is considered to be necessary.
Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish a response to the consultation on fixed recoverable costs for clinical negligence claims.
Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action has been taken in response to the Lord Justice Jackson review on fixed recoverable costs.
Q
Asked by Lord Colwyn
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the expected timescales are for introducing legislation to amend the Damages Act 1996 with regard to how the discount rate is set.
Q
Asked by Lord Empey
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the threat posed by Russian forces to the undersea cables linking the defence and commercial networks of NATO countries; and what steps are being taken to secure those vital communication links.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, whether in their assessment of the case for reducing the drink drive limit they took account of the fall in drink drive law enforcement levels in the last five years set out in the report from the Institute of Alcohol Studies.
Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for International Development
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure that a proportion of their aid for refugees, together with that of the EU and other international partner donors, goes to Middle Eastern and other refugees now in Greece, and in particular on the Aegean Islands; and if so, what proportion of that aid they intend to provide to those refugees.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people the leasehold advisory service has advised in the last two years.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many actions the Homes and Communities Agency has taken against social housing providers in the last five years.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schemes have received funding through the Homes Building Fund to date.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the regulations that prevent the burning of unauthorised fuel in smoke control areas.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the procedures in place regarding high hedges, high hedge remedial notices, and appeals.
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of unadopted roads in England.
Q
Asked by Lord Warner
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government who is accountable under current NHS legislation for alternating or relaxing the delivery of service targets provided for in the NHS Constitution; and whether those targets have the force of a legal obligation on either the Secretary of State or NHS England.
Q
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 December (HL4022), whether they will place a copy of the Authorised Professional Practice for Domestic Abuse in the Library of the House.
Q
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Home Office
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 December (HL4020), whether they will now answer the question put, namely which police forces in England and Wales use drones for operational purposes.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Transport
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Aviation Safety Agency and Eurocontrol.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Environment Agency.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department of Health
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Food Safety Agency.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Chemicals Agency.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between (1) UK public agencies, and (2) UK industry, and the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work.
Q
Asked by Lord Whitty
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for future relationships post-Brexit between Ofgem and the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.
Q
(Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Asked on: 04 September 2017
Ministry of Justice
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department plans to review the period of tie during which valid claims can be made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority following the reporting of an incident to the police.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 (the Scheme) is a government funded scheme which is designed to compensate victims of violent crime in Great Britain.

The rules of the Scheme and the tariff for awards paid under it are approved by Parliament. The current Scheme was introduced in 2012 following consultation and saw reforms to the tariff of injuries and some eligibility criteria but not to the time limits for claims.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) administers the Scheme and decides all claims independently of Ministers and Parliament. The Scheme requires that applicants submit a claim so that that it is received as soon as reasonably practicable after the incident, and in any event no later than two years after the date of that incident. There is additional provision in the Scheme for applicants who were aged under 18 at the time of the incident. Further, the CICA can extend the time limits, but only where due to exceptional circumstances an application could not have been made earlier; and the evidence provided in support of the application means that it can be determined without further extensive enquiries by a claims officer.

CICA issued new guidance in October to its staff on compensating young victims of sexual abuse to improve the way that applications involving claims of child sexual abuse are handled and to ensure every victim gets the compensation to which they are entitled. Wider issues about rules of the compensation scheme will be looked at as part of my Department’s work to develop a strategy for victims, and will take into account the findings and recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Q
Asked by Jim McMahon
(Oldham West and Royton)
[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: 15 November 2017
Ministry of Justice
Council Tax: Prosecutions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were charged with non-payment of council tax in each year from 2010 to date; and how many of those people served a custodial sentence as a result of that non payment.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Non-payment of council tax is not a criminal offence. Where a person fails to pay the council tax after it has been demanded, the local authority may apply to the magistrates’ court for a liability order. Liability orders are granted for the amount owed plus reasonable costs. If they are still not paid the local authority can apply for a warrant committing an individual to prison; an individual cannot be fined for non-payment of council tax.

The number of people imprisoned following non-payment of council tax in England and Wales, by financial year from 2010/11 to 2016/16 can be viewed in table below.

National

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

Number of Committals to Prison

111

116

98

110

86

65

106

Number of Suspended Committal Orders

1,087

1,283

1,120

1,212

1,182

1,089

1,017

Number of Suspended Committal Orders further Suspended

607

566

357

457

357

319

299

Source: HMCTS management information

Notes:

Data are taken from a live management information system and can change over time.

Data are management information and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics.

The data provided is the most recent available and for that reason might differ slightly from any previously published information.

The report assumes that 'prosecutions' is a count of the number of Council Tax cases where the following results were applied: CDIMPS (Suspended Committal Order) SC (UPD - Suspended Imprisonment to enforce money owed) SUSPS (Suspended sentence order - imprisonment) CDIMPSF (Further Suspended Committal Order) CDLTI (Civil Debt etc Committal to Prison, Imprisonment (Effective Sentence) CW (UPD - Imprisonment in Default Subsequent to Imposition) IMP (Imprisonment Effective)
Where a Case is subject to a Suspended Committal Order, a new Case may have been created for the same Council Tax Case, which then resulted in a Suspended Committal Order being further suspended and/or an imprisonment result being applied.

The issuing of a Committal Warrant does not necessarly mean that someone served a custodial sentence, as they may have paid the outstanding Council Tax at any point up to being arrested and physically taken to prison or the Committal Warrant may remain unexecuted where, for example, the defaulter cannot be traced.

The data is based on the case hearing date.

Data has not been cross referenced with case files.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
[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: 22 November 2017
Home Office
Forensic Science
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 November 2017, HCWS265, on toxicology, whether (a) Randox Testing Services and (b) Trimega are currently being commissioned by (i) Departments, (ii) local authorities and (iii) police forces to provide forensic services; and if she will set out those services.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 14 December 2017

There is no centrally held information on possible commissioning by government departments from Randox Testing Services (RTS). The commissioning of forensic tests is an operational matter for local authorities.

The Department for Education has informed all local authorities of the police investigation and asked them to take action to ensure that their safeguarding responsibilities are met. All police contracts with RTS have been suspended pending the ongoing investigation.

Trimega went into liquidation in 2014 and ceased trading.

Asked on: 27 November 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
UK Trade with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the feasibility of different models for a future trading relationship with the EU if the UK pursues a policy of regulatory divergence following withdrawal and during any time-limited transitional period.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We are fully focused on making the UK’s exit from the EU, and our new trading relationship with the world, a success. We have set out proposals for an ambitious future trade and customs relationship with the EU, in which we will look to minimise the regulatory barriers for both goods and services between the UK and the EU.

The Government has been undertaking rigorous and extensive analysis work to support our exit negotiations, as any responsible Government should, in order to inform our understanding of how EU exit will affect the UK’s domestic policies and frameworks. We have been engaging with businesses and industry bodies from all sectors of the economy and all regions of the UK as part of this process, and we will continue to do so as we move forward.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Police
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the government of Bahrain over the police blockade of the village of Diraz since June 2016.
A
Answered on: 14 December 2017
We have raised the issue of Diraz with the Bahraini authorities and have been reassured that there is currently no blockade in place.
Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[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
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his overseas counterparts on the efficacy of ActiPhage novel technology for testing for bovine TB.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Actiphage test is not used for TB testing in any other country and the only scientific paper published on the performance of the Actiphage test in a small number of cattle is based on UK data.

Officials frequently discuss all aspects of TB control with overseas counterparts and the wider expert community. The most recent opportunity was at the ERADbTB (Eradication of bovine tuberculosis through basic research and discovery) and GRAbTB (Global Research Alliance on bovine tuberculosis) Workshop in Birmingham on 11 and 12 December 2017. In the event that any other country were to begin to use the Actiphage test we would discuss their experience of using the test and its effectiveness. My department has informed the manufacturers of the test that it needs to be validated to OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards before it can be considered for official use in England.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Attorney General
Attorney General: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the oral contribution of the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union to the House of Lords European Union Committee on 31 October, how many civil servants his Department (a) has recruited and (b) expects to recruit to work on leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Exit is an all-of-government operation. The Department for Exiting the European Union is doing detailed work with departments to prepare for the upcoming negotiations by understanding the risks and opportunities of leaving the EU and coordinating planning.

Members of staff across the Law Officers’ Departments provide advice and analysis on EU Exit issues as required. Given the interactions between EU exit work and the Departments’ other priorities, it would not be possible to give an accurate figure.

Q
Asked by Liam Byrne
(Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Attorney General
Attorney General: Legatum Institute
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what meetings he has had with representatives of the Legatum Institute in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Neither I nor the Solicitor General have had any meetings with representatives of the Legatum Institute in the last 12 months.

Q
(Feltham and Heston)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Attorney General
Attorney General: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of officials to be employed by his Department and (b) his Department's payroll in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021 and (v) 2022 as a result of the UK leaving EU.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Exit is an all-of-government operation. The Department for Exiting the European Union is doing detailed work with departments to prepare for the upcoming negotiations by understanding the risks and opportunities of leaving the EU and coordinating planning.

Members of staff across the Law Officers’ Departments provide advice and analysis on EU Exit issues as required. Given the interactions between EU exit work and the Departments’ other priorities, it would not be possible to give an accurate figure.

Q
Asked by Earl Attlee
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Cabinet Office
Acts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what precedents there are for undertaking a consultation exercise before commencing a section of an act of Parliament, other than one dealing with secondary or delegated legislation under the relevant act.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 14 December 2017

A revised set of consultation principles was published in 2016 to give clear guidance to government departments on consultations. These principles are attached to this answer.

These do not provide exact criteria for when consultations should and should not be undertaken, as it is important to consider the specific circumstances for each policy. The Government is committed to engaging with the public and other interested parties through formal and informal consultation, in the most appropriate manner for the policy in question.

Consultation Principles 2016 (PDF Document, 79.88 KB)
Q
Asked by Lord Berkeley
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
East Coast Rail Franchise
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much premium they expect to receive from the franchisee of the East Coast Main Line as a result of shortening the franchise period by three years.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We currently receive premiums in line with their contractual obligations. From 2020 we intend to commence the East Coast Partnership, one of the first of a new generation of integrated regional rail operations. This will include appropriate contributions from the new private partner under a long-term competitively procured contract.

We are always looking for the best ways to achieve value for money for the taxpayer alongside the best results for passengers. Reforms will build on the best of the public and private sectors, with private sector involvement bringing innovation, investment and competition.

Q
Asked by Lord Blunkett
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Department for Education: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any major infrastructure projects were invited to send a representative to the seminar on skills held by the Department for Education on 30 November; and if so, which.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

My Rt. hon Friend the Secretary of State hosted The Skills Summit on 30 November which was attended by a number of Britain’s business and education experts. The Summit signalled the start of a new partnership between employers and government to drive a skills revolution.

The department invited representatives from all 15 technical routes, and over 100 organisations attended the Summit. HS2 and Crossrail were invited to the Summit, as well as companies in the transport, engineering and construction sectors.

We were pleased that Colas Rail, HS2, Kier, Severn Trent, Tarmac and Tomlinson were among the 30 founding Skills Partners announced at the Summit. Skills Partners commit to working with the government to develop the skills of young people from all backgrounds from across the country, offering apprenticeships and work placements to provide a route to employment for people of all ages.

Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department of Health
Cancer: Screening
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to make colonoscopies available through the NHS as a method of screening for pre-symptomatic cancers.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Colonoscopy is currently used in the National Health Service bowel cancer screening programme as a diagnostic tool to look at the bowel following a positive screen test for bowel cancer and to remove any polyps (growths) if detected.

The aim of a screening programme is to offer a safe and simple test to a large defined population who are at an average risk of developing the condition and to provide early intervention. Colonoscopy is an invasive procedure which in some cases can cause bleeding and discomfort and does not meet the United Kingdom National Screening Committee’s test criteria as noted.

Q
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for International Development
Non-governmental Organisations: Licensing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to promote international harmonisation of licensing of NGOs through a system of mutual recognition and notification.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Sanctions and Anti Money Laundering Bill enables the government to draft exceptions and issue general licenses. My department will continue to work across government as the Bill progresses through parliament and with international partners to ensure that where appropriate we are taking a joined-up approach.

Enforcing strict sanctions ensures that funding flows are cut off to terrorists and violent regimes whilst on the other hand our world leading charities, protected from financial abuse, help to alleviate the desperate conditions under which extremism can thrive.

Q
Asked by Lord Grocott
Asked on: 30 November 2017
HM Treasury
EU Budget: Contributions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 28 November (HL3261), whether the Answer indicated that they accept the calculations of the total annual UK contributions to the EU and its predecessors since 1973 in real (2016) prices set out in the House of Commons Library briefing paper The UK’s contribution to the EU Budget; whether they maintain their own statistics on those contributions; and if so, where those statistics are published.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government provides cash figures for the UK contribution to the EU budget, through HM Treasury’s annual publication European Union Finances (previously HM Treasury’s Statement on the 19XX Community Budget). The Government do not maintain real price statistics of historical EU contributions.

The Government’s cash figures have been used in the House of Commons Library briefing paper The UK’s contribution to the EU Budget in the calculation to determine the real price equivalents. The Government has not reviewed this calculation.

Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Out-of-school Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken to safeguard children in premises that have been confirmed by Ofsted as unregistered schools.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

In January 2016, we announced funding for Ofsted to establish a dedicated team of specialist inspectors to identify and inspect those suspected of operating unlawfully and take action to bring them into compliance with the law, including closing the school, or working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service as necessary.

Local councils have overarching responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people, and, together with local safeguarding children board partners, they should be assessing any risks to children wherever they are educated. Statutory guidance outlining the responsibilities of local councils is attached and can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education.

The government has been working with Directors of Children’s Services on the issue of unregistered schools, and in collaboration with them and with Ofsted have drawn up guidance on joint working between Ofsted, the department and local councils on tackling unregistered schools. We intend to publish the guidance in the near future. Where an unregistered school is identified, Ofsted take steps to share this information with the department and the local council. The department supports councils to use their powers under safeguarding or health and safety legislation to disrupt and tackle unregistered independent schools. Local councils have a duty to investigate where they suspect that a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, harm. Where unregistered independent schools are identified, it is likely to be in the children’s best interests, in terms of both education and safety, for them to move as quickly as possible into properly regulated schools.

Children Missing Education (PDF Document, 349.48 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL3783 | HL3786
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Out-of-school Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to identify the number of unregistered schools.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

In January 2016, we announced funding for Ofsted to establish a dedicated team of specialist inspectors to identify and inspect those suspected of operating unlawfully and take action to bring them into compliance with the law, including closing the school, or working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service as necessary.

Local councils have overarching responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people, and, together with local safeguarding children board partners, they should be assessing any risks to children wherever they are educated. Statutory guidance outlining the responsibilities of local councils is attached and can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education.

The government has been working with Directors of Children’s Services on the issue of unregistered schools, and in collaboration with them and with Ofsted have drawn up guidance on joint working between Ofsted, the department and local councils on tackling unregistered schools. We intend to publish the guidance in the near future. Where an unregistered school is identified, Ofsted take steps to share this information with the department and the local council. The department supports councils to use their powers under safeguarding or health and safety legislation to disrupt and tackle unregistered independent schools. Local councils have a duty to investigate where they suspect that a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, harm. Where unregistered independent schools are identified, it is likely to be in the children’s best interests, in terms of both education and safety, for them to move as quickly as possible into properly regulated schools.

Children Missing Education (PDF Document, 349.48 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL3782 | HL3786
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Schools: Registration
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) shortest, (2) longest, and (3) average, time taken to determine an application to register a school.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The department’s guidance advises applicants that the process of registering an independent school can take around six months. The department does not hold records of the time taken to determine an application to register an independent school for all historical cases. However, for schools where the department has made a final decision on registration in 2017, the shortest timeframe was 10 weeks, the longest was 143 weeks, and the median average was 23 weeks. Applications can only be taken forward once they contain all the required information and can only be approved if the independent school standards are likely to be met once the school opens.

By law, free schools (both ‘presumption’ free schools and central free schools) must also be named on the independent schools’ register before they can open. In order to be added to the independent schools’ register, the Secretary of State must decide whether or not the school is likely to meet the relevant independent schools’ standards once it is open. To enable the Secretary of State to make this decision, Ofsted carries out a “pre-registration inspection” two or three months before the opening date. Schools cannot legally open unless they are registered.

Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Out-of-school Education: Teachers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks are carried out on teachers working in unregistered schools to ensure that those teachers are suitable people to work with children.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Anyone who teaches, trains, instructs, cares for, or supervises children should have appropriate background checks undertaken by employers as part of their recruitment process, and would be eligible for a criminal records check. An unsupervised person undertaking these activities on a regular basis would also be eligible for a barred list check, as part of this process; and it is an offence for an employer to knowingly employ someone in such a role if they have been barred. It is equally an offence for that individual to undertake such activities.

In addition to a criminal records check, consideration of other available information, such as references from previous employers, would be considered good practice as part of any organisation’s recruitment decision and as part of their broader safeguarding policies.

Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Education
Out-of-school Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support local authorities in fulfilling their duties under section 436A of the Education Act 1996, in respect of children attending unregistered schools.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

In January 2016, we announced funding for Ofsted to establish a dedicated team of specialist inspectors to identify and inspect those suspected of operating unlawfully and take action to bring them into compliance with the law, including closing the school, or working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service as necessary.

Local councils have overarching responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children and young people, and, together with local safeguarding children board partners, they should be assessing any risks to children wherever they are educated. Statutory guidance outlining the responsibilities of local councils is attached and can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education.

The government has been working with Directors of Children’s Services on the issue of unregistered schools, and in collaboration with them and with Ofsted have drawn up guidance on joint working between Ofsted, the department and local councils on tackling unregistered schools. We intend to publish the guidance in the near future. Where an unregistered school is identified, Ofsted take steps to share this information with the department and the local council. The department supports councils to use their powers under safeguarding or health and safety legislation to disrupt and tackle unregistered independent schools. Local councils have a duty to investigate where they suspect that a child in their area is suffering, or likely to suffer, harm. Where unregistered independent schools are identified, it is likely to be in the children’s best interests, in terms of both education and safety, for them to move as quickly as possible into properly regulated schools.

Children Missing Education (PDF Document, 349.48 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL3782 | HL3783
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kosovo: Travellers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they have given, through the UN’s voluntary trust fund or other channels, to the Roma families who were victims of lead contamination while in UN camps during the civil war in Kosovo.
A
Answered on: 14 December 2017

In 2010, Roma families who were the victims of lead contamination while in the UN camps were resettled in Roma Mahalla and Fidanishte. The UK deployed three experts to test the air, soil and water in Roma Mahalla and Fidanishte to ensure that it was safe to relocate the Roma families to these areas.

Through our Embassy in Pristina, we support the return of displaced families from all communities, including Roma, to their place of origin. This financial year, the British Embassy’s Returns Project is supporting the return of five Roma families with housing and support packages.

Q
Asked by Lord Bird
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Preventive Medicine: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following comments by Mr Brian Ferguson, Chief Economist of Public Health England, in his blog Investing in prevention: the need to make the case now, what (1) amount, and (2) proportion, of each ministerial departmental budget was (a) allocated to, and (b) spent on, preventive activities in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Data on the amount and proportion of each ministerial departmental budget allocated to, and spent on, preventive activities are not centrally collected.

Improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities are not just the preserve of the health system. Most Government Departments can have a significant impact on population health and wellbeing. Being in quality employment, having warm homes, access to green space and safe roads are just some of the wider determinants of health where other government departments have potential to impact on societal health and wellbeing.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
NHS: Pensions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many NHS employees in England there were who did not pay into the NHS Pension Scheme in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The following table provides an estimate of the number, and percentage, of National Health Service staff in England on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) who did not pay into the NHS Pension Scheme as at April of each year since 2010.

Year

Scheme non-members

estimated from

ESR data 1,2,3,5

Estimated scheme non-members in NHS trusts and

clinical commissioning

groups (CCGs) 4,5

2010

14%

169,000

2011

15%

171,000

2012

15%

167,000

2013

15%

165,000

2014

11%

123,000

2015

11%

128,000

2016

11%

130,000

2017

11%

128,000

Notes:

1The percentage of scheme non-members is based on staff identified on the ESR Data Warehouse with no employers’ pension contribution made on their behalf in the March of each year.

2Percentages do not cover general practices and other organisations that are excluded from or choose not to use ESR for payroll functions.

3The ESR Data Warehouse is a monthly snapshot of the local ESR payroll systems. The ESR Data Warehouse is unvalidated.

4The number of scheme non-members is estimated by multiplying NHS Digital’s published headcount of staff in NHS trusts and CCGs at 31 March each year by the percentage of scheme non-members estimated from ESR data.

5It should be noted that it is not appropriate to conflate these estimates with NHS Pension Scheme membership counts derived from NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) data. The NHSBSA collates active membership data on all NHS pension scheme members across primary care in England and Wales. The ESR Data Warehouse is a monthly snap shot of the live ESR system. This is the HR and payroll system that covers all NHS employees other than those working in general practice, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and organisations to which functions have been transferred, such as local authorities. Figures are for England only.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
NHS: Pensions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they give to staff of the NHS on the merits of the NHS Superannuation Scheme.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Department, NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) which administers the NHS Pension Scheme (NHSPS) on behalf of the Secretary of State and National Health Service employers are not authorised to provide advice to staff on the merits of the NHS Superannuation Scheme. However, the NHSBSA provides comprehensive online only information to members, potential members, and employers about the NHSPS covering the following:

- Joining the Scheme;

- Membership of the NHS Pension Scheme;

- Cost of being in the Scheme;

- Transferring into the Scheme;

- Increasing your pension;

- Getting an estimate of your pension;

- Family and your pension;

- Applying for your pension;

- Leaving or taking a break from the Scheme;

- Divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership and your pension;

- Annual Allowance;

- Lifetime Allowance; and

- Information for Practitioner, locum and non-general practitioner members.

In addition, the NHSBSA provides scheme members with an annual total reward statement, which outlines their pension savings to date.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Education
Home Education
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Ofsted asks schools about pupils who have been removed from the school roll to be home-schooled.
A
Answered by: Lord Agnew of Oulton
Answered on: 14 December 2017

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Drugs: Misuse
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the publication in 2016 by the ONS of statistics showing the highest rate of drug-related deaths amongst women since records began in 1993, what steps they have taken to tackle the specific issues faced by female drug misusers and to reduce any barriers to accessing treatment.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government is investing over £16 billion over the Spending Review period for local authorities (LAs) to spend on public health. LAs are responsible for making decisions on how to spend their local allocation but the public health grant conditions make it clear that they must have regard for the need to improve the take up of, and outcomes from, their drug and alcohol misuse treatment services.

Public Health England supports LAs to commission effective drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services to meet the needs of their local population, and in working to reduce drug related deaths. This includes guidance developed with drug service providers with a focus on ensuring that women can access quality drug treatment and recovery services and interventions. A copy of Improving Clinical Responses to Drug-Related Deaths: A summary of best practice and innovations from drug treatment providers is attached.

Improving Clinical Responses (PDF Document, 409.66 KB)
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Fractures
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure that all NHS users over 50 years old have access to Fracture Liaison Services to identify the link between any fracture and the bone health of the patient.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Fracture liaison services (FLS) provide secondary prevention for fragility fractures. These services identify patients in secondary and/or primary care who have suffered a fragility fracture and assess the patient’s risk of future fragility fracture in a timely fashion. A FLS then provides advice and/or therapy to reduce that risk.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) evidence based guideline Osteoporosis: assessing the risk of fragility fracture, updated in February 2017, sets out best practice on management of fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis. A copy of the guideline is attached. The guidance recommends that clinicians consider assessment of fracture risk in all women aged 65 years and over and all men aged 75 years and over. Women aged less than 65 years and men aged less than 75 years should be considered for assessment in the presence of certain risk factors, such as a family history of hip fracture or low body mass index.

Regarding bone density scanning, NICE recommends it be considered after patients have first been assessed using a validated risk assessment tool, such as FRAX, which clinicians can use to evaluate the 10-year probability of bone fracture risk in patient. The guidance also recommends other circumstances where bone density scanning should be considered, including for patients who are to undergo treatment which may affect bone density, such as certain treatments for breast or prostate cancer.

Osteoporosis (PDF Document, 109.19 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL3853
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department of Health
Osteoporosis
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure that women over 60 years old are routinely offered bone density scans to ascertain bone health.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Fracture liaison services (FLS) provide secondary prevention for fragility fractures. These services identify patients in secondary and/or primary care who have suffered a fragility fracture and assess the patient’s risk of future fragility fracture in a timely fashion. A FLS then provides advice and/or therapy to reduce that risk.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) evidence based guideline Osteoporosis: assessing the risk of fragility fracture, updated in February 2017, sets out best practice on management of fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis. A copy of the guideline is attached. The guidance recommends that clinicians consider assessment of fracture risk in all women aged 65 years and over and all men aged 75 years and over. Women aged less than 65 years and men aged less than 75 years should be considered for assessment in the presence of certain risk factors, such as a family history of hip fracture or low body mass index.

Regarding bone density scanning, NICE recommends it be considered after patients have first been assessed using a validated risk assessment tool, such as FRAX, which clinicians can use to evaluate the 10-year probability of bone fracture risk in patient. The guidance also recommends other circumstances where bone density scanning should be considered, including for patients who are to undergo treatment which may affect bone density, such as certain treatments for breast or prostate cancer.

Osteoporosis (PDF Document, 109.19 KB)
Grouped Questions: HL3852
Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Attorney General
Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, how many sentences broken down by offence were referred to him for being unduly lenient fell outside the Unduly Lenient Scheme in the latest year for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 14 December 2017

837 cases were referred to the AG in 2016. 256 of the 837 cases did not fall within the ULS scheme because they were not imposed in the Crown Court following conviction for an offence within the scheme.

A case will be recorded as not falling within the ULS scheme if the offence is outside the ULS scheme, the defendant is not convicted, or they are not sentenced in the Crown Court.

The Attorney General’s Office records the cases which do not fall within the ULS scheme primarily by “offence type”. The 256 cases were recorded in the following offence categories:

Offence type:

Number of cases:

Arson

1

Burglary

10 (8 of these sentences were for offences not in the ULS scheme and 2 defendants were acquitted of offences within the ULS scheme)

Death by careless driving

13

Death by dangerous driving

2 (both these defendants were acquitted)

All other driving - total

21

Causing serious injury by dangerous driving

8

Dangerous driving

6

Driving with excess alcohol

3

Driving while disqualified

2

Driving without due care and attention

1

Driving over the speed limit

1

Fraud

19

Hate crime

3 (these defendants were sentenced in the magistrates’ court)

Other - total

67

Offences relating to animals

19

Assault offences (other than under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861)

11

Assisting an offender

2

Assisting unlawful immigration

1

Child abduction

2

Breaching a court order

4

Breaching of health and safety law

1

Criminal damage

1

Harassment and stalking

4

Miscellaneous

9

Terrorism offences

4

Sending a threatening communication

1

Weapons offences

4

Witness intimidation

4

Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

1 (this sentence was imposed after the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial)

Section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

34

Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

32

Sexual Offences Act 1956

1 (this defendant was found unfit to plead and the indictment stayed)

Sexual Offences Act 2003

10 (4 of these sentences concerned abuse of trust offences, 2 of these sentences were imposed in the youth court, and 1 of these sentences was imposed in Scotland)

Indecent images of children

30

Theft

11

Total:

255[1]

[1] There is 1 case for which the Attorney General’s Office has not recorded the offence category.

Q
(Derby North)
Asked on: 04 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fireworks: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will make an assessment of the merits of lowering the net explosive content a person can obtain when purchasing fireworks without a licence; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government has no plans to make such an assessment. Certain classes of fireworks (display fireworks) can only be supplied to a person with specialist knowledge. Experience has shown that the current regulations strike the right balance between the enjoyment of fireworks by the public and restricting the sale of fireworks for public safety reasons.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Iran: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN Weapons Embargo against Iran in preventing Iran from exporting weapons and advancing its ballistic missile programme.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 December 2017

UN mechanisms are crucial to preventing Iran from exporting weapons and advancing its ballistic missile programme and it is essential that the UN investigate concerns where they are raised. We have consistently made clear our concerns to Iran about its ballistic missile programme and the supply of weapons to neighbouring countries. We continue to raise our concerns under United National Security Council Resolutions 2231 and 2216, including with France, Germany, the US and the relevant UN bodies. The British Government condemned the Houthi missile attack on Riyadh on 4 November, which deliberately targeted a civilian area and was intercepted over an international airport. The supply of ballistic missiles to the Houthis threatens regional security and prolonging the conflict. In his recent visit to Iran the Foreign Secretary pressed his Iranian counterparts to use their influence to ensure that these indiscriminate and dangerous attacks come to an end.

Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Shared Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that there is adequate private investment in shared ownership accommodation.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We believe that Shared Ownership has an important role to play as part of a diverse and thriving housing market and since 2010 around 54,000 new Shared Ownership homes have been delivered.

We continue to work with the sector and lenders to ensure that Shared Ownership continues to be attractive to investment and have made a number of changes to support this, including expanding the Affordable Homes Programme from £7 billion to over £9 billion, standardising eligibility for buyers and extending funding for development to private providers.

Q
Asked by Conor McGinn
(St Helens North)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Personal Injury: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Government plans to publish its response to the recommendations made in the Insurance Fraud Taskforce report of January 2016; and what steps he is taking to reduce fraudulent personal injury claims while ensuring appropriate compensation for genuine claimants.
A
Answered by: Dominic Raab
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government published its response to the Insurance Fraud Taskforce’s report on 26 May 2016 (HCWS28), accepting each of the recommendations. We have introduced a number of reforms to reduce fraudulent personal injury claims. We are taking action on package holiday sickness claims, and have commissioned the Civil Justice Council to consider the rules around low value personal injury claims generally so that we can address the incentives to bring unmeritorious claims.

The Government’s whiplash reform programme will help to combat fraudulent personal injury claims, whilst ensuring that genuinely injured claimants are appropriately compensated. Further announcements about these reforms will be made in due course.

Q
(Rushcliffe)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department or other Government departments or agencies have had access to a full copy of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not itself requested or had access to the full report. We are not aware of any government department or agency having seen the full report.

Q
(Rushcliffe)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department or other Government departments or agencies have requested a full copy of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not itself requested or had access to the full report. We are not aware of any government department or agency having seen the full report.

Q
(North Durham)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Babcock International: Redundancy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support his Department plans to offer to Babcock employees at Rosyth dockyard who are to be made redundant as a result of the completion of work on the UK’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier programme.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Ministry of Defence will remain closely engaged with Babcock throughout the consultation period to understand the impact of the potential reductions. Support to those facing redundancy will be provided by the Department for Work and Pensions Rapid Response service through the Scottish Government's Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2017 to Question 116535, on Armed Forces: Compensation, what the considerations are which his Department makes before a payment will be made.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 December 2017

As part of the Joint Personnel Administration system and payment processes, requests for payment are subject to a number of automatic checks, such as confirming the Service number is correct or the minimum payment amount has not been breached. Once a payment has been made as a result of a final appeal, the Ministry of Defence has no further responsibility in the matter.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2017 to Question 116535, on Armed Forces: Compensation, what the exceptional circumstances are in which his Department delays payments in the case of an appeal before the Army Board.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Financial payments arising from the determination of an Army Board Appeal are payable from the point at which the Appeal Body's decision is published, concluding the Service Complaint's process. If an individual is unhappy with the determination they can refer it to the Service Complaints Ombudsman but this would not delay payment.

A delay to payment could occur where for example, the Department is waiting for the recipients account details or the amount has been queried by the complainant. Once any outstanding matters have been resolved in relation to those elements the Department is responsible for, the payment will be made without delay.

Grouped Questions: 117679
Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2017 to Question 116535, on Armed Forces: Compensation, for what reasons his Department cannot delay payment in the case of an uncompleted appeal.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Financial payments arising from the determination of an Army Board Appeal are payable from the point at which the Appeal Body's decision is published, concluding the Service Complaint's process. If an individual is unhappy with the determination they can refer it to the Service Complaints Ombudsman but this would not delay payment.

A delay to payment could occur where for example, the Department is waiting for the recipients account details or the amount has been queried by the complainant. Once any outstanding matters have been resolved in relation to those elements the Department is responsible for, the payment will be made without delay.

Grouped Questions: 117678
Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
[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: 05 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Reindeer: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 30 November to Questions 114885 and 114886, how many of the reindeer imported into the UK in 2016 were (a) females, (b) intact males and (c) castrated males; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 14 December 2017

119 reindeer were imported into the UK in 2016; 51 were female and 68 were male.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is unable to break down imported males into castrated and intact, because this information is not recorded on TRACES.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces: Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using hybrid air vehicles in the UK military.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 14 December 2017

At present the Ministry of Defence has no defined military requirement for a Hybrid Air Vehicle capability. We continue to monitor the development of a number of technologies that may offer capabilities of interest in the future, including manned, unmanned and hybrid platforms.

Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Drugs: Rehabilitation
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they propose to take on the findings of the Care Quality Commission report Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

It is for local authorities to commission these services, supported by expert advice from Public Health England. We expect local authorities to take the findings of the Care Quality Commission’s report very seriously.

Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Home Office
Detainees: Commonwealth
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each of the last five years including this year to date, how many Commonwealth citizens have been detained following residence in the UK for over (1) 30, (2) 40, and (3) 50, years, (a) following a criminal conviction, (b) after a failure to provide sufficient evidence showing proof of residence, and (c) for other reasons; and in each case how many were subsequently deported.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Providing the information requested would require a manual check of individual records which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Lord Greaves
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Home Office
Detainees: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many EU citizens have been detained in the UK, in each of the last five years including the present year to date, on the grounds of being (1) homeless, and (2) unable to support themselves; of those, how many have subsequently been deported; and how many of those (a) detained, and (b) deported, were children.
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Home Office does not hold the information requested in a reportable format. As such the information requested could only be supplied at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Lord Turnberg
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Dental Health: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the incidence of childhood dental decay in (1) those regions where the water supply is fluoridated, and (2) those where it is not.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Public Health England’s Water fluoridation Health monitoring report for England 2014 compared a range of dental and non-dental health indicators in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

The report concluded that, when deprivation and ethnicity were taken into account, five year-old children in areas with a fluoridated water supply were 28% less likely to have tooth decay than those in non-fluoridated areas, and 12 year-old children in areas with a fluoridated water supply were 21% less likely to have had tooth decay in permanent teeth than children living in non-fluoridated areas. A copy of Water fluoridation Health monitoring report for England 2014 is attached.

Water fluoridation (PDF Document, 1.5 MB)
Q
Asked by Lord Turnberg
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Health Professions: Vacancies
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current vacancy rate for nurses and midwives in the UK.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Management information data collected by NHS Improvement estimates that as at September 2017, around 36,000 registered nursing and midwifery posts are not filled by a substantive member of staff - 33,000 of these are covered by bank and agency staff. This is management information data that continues to be developed.

Q
Asked by Lord Turnberg
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Health Professions: Migrant Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they anticipate a reduction in the number of nurses and midwives from EU countries coming to the UK after Brexit; if so, by how much; and what assessment they have made of the impact on the NHS of any such reduction.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government hugely values the contribution of all the European Union staff working across the National Health Service and social care, including nurses and midwives. The Government is committed to ensuring a clear pathway to permanent residency for these EU citizens.

The Department continues to monitor and analyse overall staffing levels across the NHS and social care, and we are working across Government to ensure there will continue to be sufficient staff to deliver the high quality services on which patients rely following the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU.

We are also working hard to improve our domestic supply of nurses and midwives. This year there are more nurses on our wards than last year and numbers will continue to increase in future because of a 25% increase in training places, the introduction of new routes into the profession through the Nursing Degree Apprenticeship, and an increase in the number of nurse associates.

Q
Asked by Lord Turnberg
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department of Health
Health Professions: Migrant Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of nurses and midwives from other EU countries who have returned to their country of origin in the last two years.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The information requested is not collected by the Department.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
HM Treasury
Taxation: Self-assessment
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people paid their self-assessment tax demand at a branch of the Post Office in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 14 December 2017

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are not able to identify the exact number of people who paid their self assessment tax demand at a branch of the post office in the last 12 months. Individuals can make payments to HMRC multiple times a year, and sometimes do so using different payment methods.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
HM Treasury
Taxation: Self-assessment
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department undertook a consultation on the use of the Post Office to pay self assessment tax bills ahead of the decision to remove that service on 15 December 2017.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The facility to pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at the Post Office in its current format is being withdrawn by the service provider Santander. HMRC are not the only users of this service and had no influence on this decision or the timing of the withdrawal.

Q
(Tooting)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Sexual Offences: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to survivors of sexual assault in London when services are over-subscribed.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Allocations for Sexual Assault Referral Centres have increased this year. This has enabled NHS England to increase the number of specialists working across the London Havens, specialist centres supporting survivors of sexual assault in the London area. This includes an increase in counselling and therapy team capacity, and the creation of social work liaison posts.

Together with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, NHS England have been working on a Child House pilot. This is a new integrated health, social care and criminal justice service for child victims of sexual abuse in the north central London area. This service is expected to open in 2018. The pilot will evaluate whether the Child House model is effective in the London context and explore whether the model should be rolled out across the whole of London.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Bell Pottinger Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations any Minister of her Department has received from Bell Pottinger on behalf of (a) Atos IT Services UK Limited, (b) British Horseracing Authority, (c) Centrica PLC, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Heads of the Valleys Development Company Limited and (f) Waitrose Limited.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We have not received any such representations from Bell Pottinger.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Bell Pottinger Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations any Minister of his Department has received from Bell Pottinger on behalf of (a) Atos IT Services UK Limited, (b) Centrica PLC, (c) Ernst & Young and (d) Monarch Holdings Limited.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 14 December 2017

​No written ministerial correspondence has been received in 2017 from Bell Pottinger on behalf of Atos IT Services UK Limited, Centrica Plc, Ernst & Young and Monarch Holdings Limited.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Department of Health: Bell Pottinger Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations any Minister of his Department has received from Bell Pottinger on behalf of (a) Atos IT Services UK Limited, (b) Centrica PLC and (c) Ernst & Young.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We have no record of any such representations.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice: Bell Pottinger Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what representations any Minister of his Department has received from Bell Pottinger on behalf of (a) Atos IT Services UK Limited, (b) Centrica PLC, (c) Ernst & Young and (d) Heads of the Valleys Development Company Limited,
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We have not received any representations from Bell Pottinger.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
HM Treasury
Treasury: Bell Pottinger Group
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations any Minister of his Department has received from Bell Pottinger on behalf of (a) Atos IT Services UK Limited, (b) Centrica PLC, (c) Ernst & Young and (d) Monarch Holdings Limited.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government receives representations on a wide range of issues. It is not normal practice to release details of representations regarding specific cases

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
HM Treasury
Multinational Companies: Taxation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he will take steps to require multinational companies to set out in their annual report how much tax they would owe the Exchequer if they were to subtract costs incurred solely in the UK from their revenues generated solely in the UK.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Along with most major economies in the world, the UK levies corporation tax on the basis of the profits generated by economic activity and assets held here.

The Government introduced country-by-country reporting which requires multinationals to provide HMRC with comprehensive information about global activities, profits and taxes. This enables HMRC to better assess where risks lie and where their efforts to counter aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance should be focused.

The UK is committed to a multilateral model of public country-by-country reporting and we will continue to engage with our international partners on this issue.

Q
(East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Refuges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on women's refuges of proposals to delegate funding for supported housing from central Government to local authorities.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Government is currently consulting on these proposals. We have also committed to review the locally led approach to refuge provision in our Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. This review will cover funding for refuges, including the critical care and support costs, and will take place by November 2018 so that our findings can be taken into consideration prior to implementing the new funding model for short term supported housing in 2020.

We are continuing to explore all options for future delivery of refuge services, including a national model for refuges.

Q
Asked by Chris Green
(Bolton West)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Public Health Functions) Order 2017
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations his Department received from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the draft Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Public Health Functions) Order 2017; and what response his Department made to those representations.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Following a consultation conducted by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and its constituent local authorities in 2016, the Department had discussions with GMCA and partner organisations about the order that confers, rather than transfers, certain local authority public health functions on the GMCA, to be exercised concurrently with the constituent local authorities. In line with statutory requirements, the GMCA and constituent local authorities all provided written consent to the order.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Industry: Urban Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what benefits he plans to accrue to town economies as a result of implementing the Industrial Strategy.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Government’s ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

The Government is committed to supporting the regeneration of our towns across the country. The Government is currently working with a range of local partners to explore new approaches, including on a pilot Town Deal with Grimsby. This approach is based on a very strong private-public sector partnership.

The Industrial Strategy also recognises the importance of infrastructure investment, particularly in transport, to improve productivity. The Transforming Cities Fund will provide £1.7bn to support investment programmes targeted at improving connectivity between cities and their neighbouring towns.

Q
Asked by Martyn Day
(Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nabeel Rajab
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Government of Bahrain on Nabeel Rajab’s unsuccessful appeal against a two-year prison sentence for speaking to journalists.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 December 2017
​We continue to closely monitor the case of Nabeel Rajab and have raised it with the Bahraini Government at the highest levels. The British Government continues to emphasise to the Government of Bahrain the need to respect the rights of all citizens, including freedom of expression.
Q
Asked by Martyn Day
(Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Ministry of Defence
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for UK policy on publishing radar tracking data of the US Government's decision to declassify and publish such data on a Syrian aircraft used in a chemical weapon attack against civilians in April 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Policy on use and publication of data that the US may hold is a matter for them.

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2017 to Question 111078, how many mental health staff, excluding support to ST&T staff, senior managers and managers, central functions and hotel, property and estates staff have been employed in the NHS in in (a) 2012-13; (b) 2013-14; (c) 2014-15; (d) 2015-16; and (e) 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

NHS Digital publishes workforce statistics and the following table shows full time equivalent figures for the specified mental health staff groups working in mental health and learning disability trusts in England from 31 July 2013 to 31 July 2017.

NHS Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): Specified staff working in the National Health Service at mental health and learning disability trusts or clinical commissioning groups as at 31 July each specified year (full time equivalent).

July 2013

July 2014

July 2015

July 2016

July 2017

130,209

130,650

130,639

132,314

133,497

Source: NHS Digital monthly HCHS workforce statistics

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Mental Health Services: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to young people who are transitioning from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services?
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Some young people need ongoing support into young adulthood, after they leave children and young people’s mental health services. This point of transition is an important stage for young people, and it is not always easy.

That is why, in January 2015, NHS England published a Model Specification for Transitions from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, to support better transition planning and delivery by local providers. Transition from children and young people’s mental health services has also been included as one of 13 mandatory national indicators in the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme (2017/19), which offers financial incentives to local areas to encourage improved transition planning for children and young people.

To address issues of transition, some areas have already adopted a mental health service which supports young people from ages 0-25. Phase two of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) thematic review of children’s and young people’s mental health services will help to identify examples of good practice and the enablers and barriers to high-quality care. This may include insights into how effectively mental health services meet the needs of young people moving on from children’s health and care services.

Next year, we will draw on the findings of the CQC thematic review, and data from the CQUIN initiatives, to assess whether further action is required to improve the experience and outcomes of transition.

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Eating Disorders: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what training his Department provides to General Practitioners on the treatment of eating disorders.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Standards of medical education are overseen by the General Medical Council, which is an independent statutory body. For children and young people, NHS England’s Commissioning Guide for the Access and Waiting Time Standard for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder recognises that “primary care is capable of providing good outpatient support for children and young people with a manageable eating disorder. Where this happens, general practitioners and associated practitioners need to be appropriately trained and supported in both child mental health care as well as eating disorder treatment by the local community eating-disorder service for children and young people”. This document is available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/cyp/eating-disorders/

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Eating Disorders: Medical Treatments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much of the funding allocated by NHS England to services for disorder services has been spent in the last 12 months; and which services received that funding.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

We have interpreted this question to refer to funding allocated by NHS England for the commitment in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health to expand and improve community based eating disorder services for children and young people.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health dashboard publishes spend for eating disorders. In 2016/17, this showed that, for children and young people, the total spend for eating disorders across all clinical commissioning groups was £40.5 million. The dashboard is available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/taskforce/imp/mh-dashboard/

Q
(Worsley and Eccles South)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Offenders: Mental Illness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to collect and publish information centrally on the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition who receive a custodial sentence.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

There are currently no plans to collect and publish information centrally on the number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition who receive a custodial sentence.

NHS England collects information about people in prison with a mental health condition as part of the Health and Justice Indicators of Performance (HJIP). The quarterly HJIP data is currently distributed and shared with health commissioners who share with providers and prison governors, but it is not published on the NHS England website.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
HM Treasury
Infrastructure: Leigh
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2017 to Question 115972, what proportion of the £243 million allocated to Greater Manchester, from the Transforming Cities Fund, Leigh constituency will benefit from.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Greater Manchester will receive an allocation of £243 million from the Transforming Cities Fund which will benefit residents across Greater Manchester, including those in the Leigh constituency. Decisions on how this money is spent will be made at a local level, and so it will be for the Mayor and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to decide which transport projects to support.

Q
Asked by Jared O'Mara
(Sheffield, Hallam)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department has issued on the provision and supervision of prisoners' family contact.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Prison Rules 1999 require Governors to actively encourage prisoners to maintain outside contacts and meaningful family ties, where appropriate. This is integral to the prisoner’s right to family life as well as their rehabilitation. Visits are seen as crucial to sustaining relationships with close relatives, partners and friends, where appropriate, and help prisoners maintain links with the community.

The following details the guidance that has been issued to date on the provision and supervision of family contact:

  • Prison Service Instruction 49/2011 (Prisoner Communication Services) – this policy details the statutory entitlement of prisoners to send and receive letters and sets out that they must have opportunity to make telephone calls;
  • Prison Service Instruction 16/2011 (Providing Visits and Services to Visitors) – gives details of statutory entitlements to visits and the environment that these take place in, as well as who is eligible, and provides guidance on examples of good practices to be adopted by prisons;
  • Prison Service Instruction 15/2011 (Management and Security at visits) – details the policy around management of security at visits. It details who can visit, provision for searches and security and also policy for visit that take place in a special or closed visiting room or a similar closed environment, where necessary, and
  • Prison Service Instruction 30/2013 (Incentives and Earned Privileges) – details, how in accordance with the Prison Rules 1999, prisoners can earn additional social visits (above the statutory minimum set out in the Prison Rules).

The government is committed to supporting prisoners to establish or maintain relationships with their families and significant others where appropriate. The Lord Farmer, published his report in August, produced on behalf of the Government, which we have warmly welcomed. Work has already commenced on taking forward some of the important recommendations from this review.

Q
Asked by Ian C. Lucas
(Wrexham)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Wales Office
Child Abuse in North Wales Judicial Inquiry Review
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what the criteria was for the removal of certain redactions from the Macur Review,published on 5 December 2017.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Report of the Macur Review published on 17 March 2016 contained a number of redactions to avoid prejudicing ongoing and upcoming criminal prosecutions and trials. Most of the redactions in this category concerned the former North Wales Police superintendent, Gordon Anglesea.

The revised report, published on 5 December 2017, reinstates references to Gordon Anglesea except where there is any risk that victims, witnesses or other individuals might be identified.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Cabinet Office
Official Secrets
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what data is held by his Department's Foxhound data service by each Government department and data category.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 14 December 2017

FOXHOUND is a Cabinet Office-led, cross-government IT programme to develop a new secure capability for managing sensitive information, including that which is classified as SECRET. The aim is to bear down on the growing information and cyber risk, whilst improving scope for collaboration across the National Security Council departments in particular and other relevant organisations. The nature of the information in question is therefore by definition security-related or otherwise sensitive.

Q
(Tewkesbury)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Slaughterhouses: Animal Welfare
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that farmers know the method of proposed slaughter for their animals before they agree to sell them.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Factors that a farmer takes into account when deciding where to send stock may include the proposed method of slaughter. Where a farmer has signed up to an assurance scheme, there will be some additional assurance as to the slaughter methods being used under those schemes.

Where farmers want to know the method of slaughter used at a particular plant, the information should normally be provided by the plant and it would be the farmer’s choice if they sell their stock to that abattoir.

In all slaughterhouses there are strict rules that govern the slaughter of animals in England and the Government will take robust enforcement action against animal welfare breaches when they are identified.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Codes of Practice
Commons
To ask the secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer 28 November to Question 113183, how her Department plans to monitor uptake and observance of the code of practice for social media companies provided for in the Digital Economy Act 2017.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Internet Safety Strategy consultation closed on 7 December. We are now analysing the responses and we will be working with technology companies, charities and other interested stakeholders to develop the code of practice. We will consider plans to monitor uptake and observance of the code of practice ahead of its publication in 2018.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department of Health
Incontinence: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will instruct NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to start compiling data on the numbers of children with incontinence problems.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 14 December 2017

There are no plans to instruct National Health Service trust and clinical commissioning groups to collect data on the children with incontinence problems.

However, as part of business planning for 2018/19, Public Health England is reviewing whether the new section dedicated to child and maternal health on their Fingertips digital platform would be a suitable place to make data about childhood continence available at a local level.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Compulsory Purchase
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to review and enhance local authorities' compulsory purchase powers.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 14 December 2017

Local authorities already have very broad compulsory purchase powers, which can be used to support the delivery of a range of development and infrastructure projects. Through both the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, the Government is taking forward a substantial package of reforms to make the compulsory purchase process clearer, fairer and faster for all.

We are keen for local authorities to make use of these new provisions, which include replacing often conflicting case law on compulsory purchase compensation with a clearer basis for identifying market value. This will allow negotiations on compensation to proceed with more speed and certainty. We will keep the operation of these reforms under review and consider whether further reforms are necessary.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for International Trade
Foreign Investment in UK: North of England
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps he is taking to increase the amount of foreign direct investment in the North of England.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Northern Powerhouse (NPH) Investment Taskforce, established in 2016 after consultation with partners in the north, undertakes three primary activities: its 5 sector specialists research and collate the commercial strengths of the north and showcase these to target investors; it briefs DIT’s network in 108 countries on these NPH strengths, through webinars and inward visits, so the network can talk knowledgeably and passionately about the NPH with investors; and it supports existing foreign investors in growing their business in the UK by providing a framework and funding for local partners to key account manage companies which are not already on DIT’s key account management framework.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for International Trade
Foreign Investment in UK
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how his Department is working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to attract foreign direct investment into the Industrial Strategy.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The Department for International Trade (DIT) leads on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy.

DIT has been working closely with colleagues in the BEIS Industrial Strategy team, to ensure the closest possible alignment of activity to support the Strategy’s initiatives around growing clusters and sectors, and the promotion of FDI through DIT’s FDI strategy.

This will deliver a more targeted approach to promotion and investor support, and better address market failures to maximise wealth creation across the UK. From April 2018, we will change our measure of performance from the volume of projects landed to a comprehensive measure of economic impact.

Alongside this DIT will work with local partners to identify High Potential Opportunities that are currently overlooked, misunderstood, or underestimated, and therefore not achieving their full potential. Targeted promotion and support around these opportunities will help to address the market failures that leave these places at a disadvantage, by presenting investors with a more complete picture of supply.

Q
Asked by Priti Patel
(Witham)
Asked on: 06 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to issue new guidance in relation to the protection of sites located in the countryside outside of settlement boundaries from new housing in instances where a local authority (a) can and (b) cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable sites.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 14 December 2017

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out (at paragraph 55) that to promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities. New garden communities have an important role to play in meeting local housing needs over the medium and long term.

If an area cannot demonstrate a five year land supply the relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up to date. In this circumstance permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. Exceptions where development should be restricted include land designated as Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The need for new or revised Planning Guidance is kept under review.

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