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 2015-16 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 06 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dogs: Sheep
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information her Department holds on the number of dog attacks on sheep flocks in each of the last four years.
A
Corrected answer by: George Eustice
Corrected on: 24 March 2017
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 14 March 2017.
The correct answer should have been:

Information on dog attacks on sheep and other livestock is not routinely collated by Defra. However, details of the number of people prosecuted under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 for each of the last four years for which details are available can be found in the attached table.

Defra and the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) recently met police forces, farming and rural interests to discuss the situation. Under the auspices of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, five police forces are collaborating to pilot more systematic data collection of incidents and good response practices

A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 14 March 2017

Information on dog attacks on sheep and other livestock is not routinely collated by Defra. However, details of the number of people prosecuted under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 for each of the last four years for which details are available can be found in the attached table.

Defra and the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) recently met police forces, farming and rural interests to discuss the situation. Under the auspices of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, five police forces are collaborating to pilot more systematic data collection of incidents and good response practices

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Work Experience
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people undertook an unpaid work placement in his Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many such placements lasted for longer than one month.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office and is included in this reply.

There is no centrally held record of unpaid work placements in the Cabinet Office. Therefore, it is not possible to provide information on the number of people that undertook an unpaid work placement in the department in each of the last five years. An attempt to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 66901
Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 07 March 2017
Cabinet Office
Prime Minister: Work Experience
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people undertook an unpaid work placement in 10 Downing Street in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many such placements lasted for longer than one month.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office and is included in this reply.

There is no centrally held record of unpaid work placements in the Cabinet Office. Therefore, it is not possible to provide information on the number of people that undertook an unpaid work placement in the department in each of the last five years. An attempt to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 66889
Asked on: 10 March 2017
HM Treasury
VAT
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many businesses are likely to be affected by the introduction of the flat rate for limited cost businesses in the VAT Flat Rate Scheme; and what estimate they have made of the proportion of these that are operated by self-employed individuals.
A
Answered by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Answered on: 24 March 2017

Of the 411,000 businesses that use the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS), we estimate that 128,000 have limited costs. We have not estimated how many of these businesses are operated by self-employed individuals. Of the FRS population as a whole, around 87% are incorporated companies, 11% are sole proprietors and 2% are partnerships.

Q
Asked on: 13 March 2017
Department for Transport
Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Road Traffic Offences
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of EU regulations requiring HGV drivers to have a 45 hour break every week, what plans they have to introduce criminal penalties for lorry drivers who sleep in their cabs during breaks.
A
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The EU drivers’ hours regulations allow HGV drivers to take a daily rest or a reduced weekly rest in their vehicle, provided the vehicle is stationary and is fitted with suitable sleeping facilities. However, the regulations do not allow a regular weekly rest period of 45 hours to be taken in the vehicle. Subject to stakeholder views, the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency will be enforcing this through a £300 fixed penalty notice/financial penalty deposit.

Q
(Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
[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: 14 March 2017
Department of Health
Medway Maritime Hospital
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that Medway Maritime Hospital has capacity to meet the needs of the local population.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

Capacity planning is a matter for NHS England. Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the lead commissioner for Medway Maritime Hospital and we are advised that local health and care leaders are working through the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) to ensure that capacity across the STP footprint will meet future need.

The CCG advises that there are currently no commissioning plans, as part of the STP, to reduce capacity at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Q
Asked by Lord Laird
Asked on: 14 March 2017
Northern Ireland Office
Armed Forces: Northern Ireland
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Executive about extending the amnesty against prosecution accorded to members of the IRA to include British Service personnel charged with offences in Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Lord Dunlop
Answered on: 24 March 2017

There is no amnesty, immunity, or exemption from prosecution. This Government is clear that the rule of law applies to everyone equally and where there is evidence of wrongdoing this should be pursued. The UK Government remains committed to the establishment of the new bodies proposed in the Stormont House Agreement, which will address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland in ways that are fair, balanced and proportionate.

Q
(Wimbledon)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Cabinet Office
Self-employed
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people are registered as self-employed in (a) Wimbledon constituency, (b) London and (c) the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Response to PQ68081 (PDF Document, 150.1 KB)
Q
(Wimbledon)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
HM Treasury
Housing: Sales
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many residential property transactions valued at (a) £125,000.01 to £250,000, (b) £250,000.01 to £925,000.01, (c) £925,000 to £1.5 million and (d) over £1.5 million there have been in Wimbledon constituency since 2012; and what the total stamp duty land tax revenue generated by those transactions was in (i) 2012, (ii) 2013, (iii) 2014, (iv) 2015 and (v) 2016 in each of those price bands.
A
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The figures asked for are not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Annual statistics on the total number of transactions and total Stamp Duty Land Tax receipts by Parliamentary Constituency (including Wimbledon) are published by HM Revenue and Customs in the annual ‘UK Stamp Tax Statistics’. These publications cover the financial years from 2012-13 to 2015‑16. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-stamp-tax-statistics

Table 3.6 of the latest release, for 2015-16, also contains statistics broken down by the price band of the property and the region (eg London).

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556350/AnnualStampTaxes-Release-Sep16.xlsx

Statistics relating to 2016-17 are due to be published in September

Q
Asked by Rachel Reeves
(Leeds West)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Non-domestic Rates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether shared workspaces for the self-employed and small businesses will be eligible for the proposed business rate relief discretionary support.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 24 March 2017

My Department is currently consulting on the £300 million discretionary relief scheme. The scheme will enable local authorities to help those individual businesses that are facing increased rates bills. Local authorities will be responsible for the design of local schemes which will include setting the eligibility criteria that will apply. The consultation is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/discretionary-business-rates-relief-scheme

Additionally, the £110 million Supporting Small Business Relief Scheme will also be available to assist those ratepayers losing small business rates relief or rural rate relief as a result of revaluation.

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Communities and Local Government: Freedom of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the average response rate was of his Department to individual Freedom of Information requests in each month since July 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 24 March 2017

FOI statistics are Official Statistics and as such are governed by the standards set out by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) in their Code of Practice. To publish information outside of the release timetable would be a breach of Protocol 2 of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The latest Freedom of Information statistics were published in December 2016 and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/freedom-of-information-statistics-july-to-september-2016--2

Q
Asked by Michael Gove
(Surrey Heath)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Education
Department for Education: Third Sector
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2017 to Question 63174, on Department for Education: third sector, what information her Department holds on which charitable and voluntary organisations are in receipt of grants from her Department; what the value of each such grant is; and how each such grant was allocated.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The Department publishes details of all expenditure exceeding £25,000 and they are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-department-and-executive-agency-spend-over-25-000 .

This information is taken directly from our financial systems where reported expenditure includes all payments made to organisations. However, those systems do not distinguish between payments made to charitable and voluntary sector organisations and those made to the private sector. We have attempted to consider alternative sources of information.

The DfE Grants Register (in Excel format) covers grants awarded and the planned allocation of funds including to organisations in the charitable and voluntary sectors. An extract of the information held is attached, though this does not give the total picture as we are updating the data as part of a migration process to a new system.

To provide information on all grants actually paid would incur a disproportionate cost.

Excerpt of Grants Register (PDF Document, 240.29 KB)
Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the UK has received through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 24 March 2017

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), as with all European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), run on a seven year cycle. The predecessor to the EMFF was the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), which ran from 2007 – 2013. A breakdown of payments received by the UK, for each fund are given below. The EMFF did not open for applications until January 2016 and payments for projects did not commence until later that year. Therefore, the figure for 2015 and most of that for 2016 comprise of the pre-financing element that is provided by the European Commission.

UK European Fisheries Fund (EFF) payments 2008-2016

Payment Year

Sum of EFF Payments (£)

Sum of EFF Payments (€)

2008

16,454,572.42

19,295,904.46

2012

27,267,995.24

32,650,846.26

2013

8,964,246.85

10,392,606.72

2014

25,491,459.22

32,251,658.18

2015

20,712,212.30

28,563,761.14

Total

98,890,486.03

123,154,776.76

Payment Year

Sum of EMFF Payments (£)

Sum of EMFF Payments (€)

2015

3,573,295.44

4,571,021.42

2016

5,334,537.42

6,856,532.13

Total

8,907,832.86

11,427,553.55

Q
Asked by Andrew Gwynne
(Denton and Reddish)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Freedom of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the average response rate was of her Department to individual Freedom of Information requests in each month since July 2016.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 24 March 2017

Response rates for Freedom of Information requests received by Defra are published quarterly on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-foi-statistics

Information has been published up to September 2016 and subsequent figures will be published in due course.

Q
Asked by Corri Wilson
(Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policies of the report by Sense on 2 March 2017 on reductions in the number of people receiving sensory support in the last year; and what steps he is taking to ensure that such disabled people receive support.
A
Answered by: David Mowat
Answered on: 24 March 2017

Clinical commissioning groups and local authorities must work together to meet the needs of people with disabilities, such as sensory impairment, to enjoy independent lives. The Sense report calls for investment in social care.

The Government is giving local authorities in England an additional £2 billion for social care, to help them meet their duties under the Care Act 2014 to determine the social care needs of people, including those with sensory impairment, and to arrange provision accordingly. £1 billion will be provided in 2017-18, ensuring that councils can start to fund more care packages immediately.

The Disabled Facilities Grant allocation is also increasing – from £220 million in 2015-16, to £394 million in 2016-17; this is integrated into the Better Care Fund to support joint planning across housing, health and care for people with disabilities.

Q
(Tooting)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Heart Diseases: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cost to the public purse has been of the NHS review of children's congenital cardiac services in England and its legacy programmes to date.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

NHS England spent £808,039 between August 2015 and January 2017 developing its proposals for implementing the new standards for children and adults with congenital heart disease, including preparing for and launching the consultation. The full costs of consultation will not be known until after the close of consultation.

Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, who has responsibility for (a) auditing returned medical equipment and (b) assessing whether such equipment can be reused by NHS trusts.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

There is a responsibility on the National Health Service to make the very best use of all resources, including items of medical equipment, which are safe and legally reusable and returnable. Policy on the return of medical equipment is a matter for each individual organisation and should be included in their Sustainable Development Management Plan. NHS England has no generic policy in place for dealing with such matters or for the facilitation of transport to return medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Typically around 60% of medical equipment issued is recovered and reused. However, not all medical equipment is recovered and not all recovered is suitable for reuse. Information about the costs of medical equipment is not collected centrally as many areas have local arrangements for pooled budgets with the local authority under Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 for an integrated community equipment service. No estimate has been made of the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

Grouped Questions: 68158 | 68159 | 68152 | 68154
Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether (a) NHS England and (b) any individual NHS trust has a system in place for receiving used medical equipment from patients.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

There is a responsibility on the National Health Service to make the very best use of all resources, including items of medical equipment, which are safe and legally reusable and returnable. Policy on the return of medical equipment is a matter for each individual organisation and should be included in their Sustainable Development Management Plan. NHS England has no generic policy in place for dealing with such matters or for the facilitation of transport to return medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Typically around 60% of medical equipment issued is recovered and reused. However, not all medical equipment is recovered and not all recovered is suitable for reuse. Information about the costs of medical equipment is not collected centrally as many areas have local arrangements for pooled budgets with the local authority under Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 for an integrated community equipment service. No estimate has been made of the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

Grouped Questions: 68157 | 68159 | 68152 | 68154
Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether NHS England makes provision to facilitate the transport of returned medical equipment from patients to hospitals.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

There is a responsibility on the National Health Service to make the very best use of all resources, including items of medical equipment, which are safe and legally reusable and returnable. Policy on the return of medical equipment is a matter for each individual organisation and should be included in their Sustainable Development Management Plan. NHS England has no generic policy in place for dealing with such matters or for the facilitation of transport to return medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Typically around 60% of medical equipment issued is recovered and reused. However, not all medical equipment is recovered and not all recovered is suitable for reuse. Information about the costs of medical equipment is not collected centrally as many areas have local arrangements for pooled budgets with the local authority under Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 for an integrated community equipment service. No estimate has been made of the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

Grouped Questions: 68157 | 68158 | 68152 | 68154
Q
Asked by Mrs Anne Main
(St Albans)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Department of Health
Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many pieces of medical equipment were (a) unreturned by patients and (b) discarded by the NHS in England in each year since 2014; and if he will estimate the cost of such equipment to the NHS in each such year.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 24 March 2017

There is a responsibility on the National Health Service to make the very best use of all resources, including items of medical equipment, which are safe and legally reusable and returnable. Policy on the return of medical equipment is a matter for each individual organisation and should be included in their Sustainable Development Management Plan. NHS England has no generic policy in place for dealing with such matters or for the facilitation of transport to return medical equipment from patients to hospitals.

Typically around 60% of medical equipment issued is recovered and reused. However, not all medical equipment is recovered and not all recovered is suitable for reuse. Information about the costs of medical equipment is not collected centrally as many areas have local arrangements for pooled budgets with the local authority under Section 75 of the National Health Service Act 2006 for an integrated community equipment service. No estimate has been made of the cost to NHS trusts of unreturned crutches since January 2016.

Grouped Questions: 68157 | 68158 | 68159 | 68154
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