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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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 Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Home Office
Home Office: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2017 to Question HL3576, what steps her Department is taking to strengthen families.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The Home Office has a comprehensive range of policies and measures to strengthen families. These include:Ability to marry and forced marriage prevention policies that directly support healthy couple formation, facilitating civil ceremonies beyond register offices, marriages in accordance with religious beliefs, same sex marriage, data sharing on marriage services, and protection against coercion.

Birth and marriage registration policies that directly support co-parenting, facilitating both parents being able to acknowledge parental responsibility in a range of scenarios, and which allow children to know both their parents.

Birth legislation and policy that supports the inclusion of fathers’ details in all birth registrations, as far as practicable. Immigration family policy that helps avoid family breakdown by allowing non-EEA partners, children, parents and adult dependents to join or remain in the UK with a British citizen or person settled in the UK.

Domestic abuse policy that indirectly helps reduce family breakdown, supporting victims and their families who have suffered abuse, and ensuring perpetrators are dealt with effectively. Until 2020, the Government is providing £100 million of dedicated funding for tackling violence against women and girls, and the number of domestic abuse victims across the country has been steadily falling.

Q
Asked by Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Home Office
Home Office: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to which legislation her Department has applied the Family Test, published in August 2014.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The Home Office applies the Family Test, if sensible and proportionate, to new policies and legislation that might have an impact on the family, to ensure strong and stable family relationships are supported, not undermined. The Government's guidance on the family test is available on Gov.uk.

Q
(Newport East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 February 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Biometrics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people born outside the EU who have been residing in the UK since before 2008 who have settlement visas but do not have biometric residency permits.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

We have no current estimate for the number of non-EU nationals born outside the UK who have been residing here since before 2008 with settlement visas but who have not obtained a biometric residence permit (BRP).

The fees for immigration documents are set out in schedule 3 to The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2018.

Foreign nationals who are eligible to apply under the domestic violence provisions may, if proven to be destitute, apply for a fee waiver to lodge an application which, if granted, will result in a BRP without being charged.

Grouped Questions: 128858 | 128865
Q
(Newport East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 February 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Biometrics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department’s policy is on providing biometric residency permits to UK residents who are victims of domestic violence and have indefinite leave to remain but have had their proof of identity and passport vignette destroyed by their ex-partner and as a result are unable to receive benefits or be employed.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

We have no current estimate for the number of non-EU nationals born outside the UK who have been residing here since before 2008 with settlement visas but who have not obtained a biometric residence permit (BRP).

The fees for immigration documents are set out in schedule 3 to The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2018.

Foreign nationals who are eligible to apply under the domestic violence provisions may, if proven to be destitute, apply for a fee waiver to lodge an application which, if granted, will result in a BRP without being charged.

Grouped Questions: 128846 | 128865
Q
(Newport East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 February 2018
Home Office
Immigration: Biometrics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department’s policy is on assistance with the fee for processing a biometric residency permit where the person has indefinite leave to remain.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

We have no current estimate for the number of non-EU nationals born outside the UK who have been residing here since before 2008 with settlement visas but who have not obtained a biometric residence permit (BRP).

The fees for immigration documents are set out in schedule 3 to The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2018.

Foreign nationals who are eligible to apply under the domestic violence provisions may, if proven to be destitute, apply for a fee waiver to lodge an application which, if granted, will result in a BRP without being charged.

Grouped Questions: 128846 | 128858
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Ministry of Justice
Glen Parva Prison
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the new prison scheduled to be built at Glen Parva will be financed through a private finance initiative.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 18 June 2018

We are committed to transforming all prisons into places of decency, safety and reform, and as part of our wholescale reforms there will be an investment of £1.3bn to modernise the prison estate.

No decision has yet been made on whether there is a role for private finance in the building of new prisons.

Grouped Questions: 136396
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Ministry of Justice
Wellingborough Prison
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the new prison scheduled to be built at Wellingborough will be financed through a private finance initiative.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 18 June 2018

We are committed to transforming all prisons into places of decency, safety and reform, and as part of our wholescale reforms there will be an investment of £1.3bn to modernise the prison estate.

No decision has yet been made on whether there is a role for private finance in the building of new prisons.

Grouped Questions: 136395
Q
Asked by Gareth Snell
(Stoke-on-Trent Central)
Asked on: 27 April 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Caribbean
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department sought advice from the National Archives in advance of the destruction of records on the Windrush generation.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

No decision was taken to destroy ‘Windrush migrant’ information specifically and records were not categorised as being related to a ‘Windrush migrant’ or the ‘Windrush generation’. Any Windrush papers would have been destroyed in line with the retention and disposal periods set for the wider records collections in which they were located.

Q
Asked by Gareth Snell
(Stoke-on-Trent Central)
[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: 27 April 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Caribbean
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice her Department requested from the National Archives on the (a) disposal and (b) destruction of Windrush generation records in advance of the destruction of those records.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

No decision was taken to destroy ‘Windrush migrant’ information specifically and records were not categorised as being related to a ‘Windrush migrant’ or the ‘Windrush generation’. Any Windrush papers would have been destroyed in line with the retention and disposal periods set for the wider records collections in which they were located.

Q
Asked by Gareth Snell
(Stoke-on-Trent Central)
[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: 27 April 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Caribbean
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who ordered a review of the Windrush papers prior to their disposal; when that review was carried out; and what the criteria for that review were.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 18 June 2018

No decision was taken to destroy Windrush information specifically. Immigration records are destroyed in line with the retention and disposal policy. Retention and disposal periods are set on the basis of business need and whether they are likely to be of historical interest.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 30 April 2018
Ministry of Justice
Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what offences were committed by each of the prisoners released from prison on temporary licence to work in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 18 June 2018

Public protection is our priority. All offenders must meet strict criteria and pass a full-risk assessment before being considered for Release on temporary licence (ROTL).

ROTL is used to prepare prisoners for their eventual release from custody and helps with finding work and stable accommodation, and to build and maintain family ties, all of which helps reduce reoffending. Evidence shows the vast majority abide by their ROTL conditions, with the compliance rate standing at well over 99%. Non-compliance is dealt with robustly

The table below shows the principal offence for which prisoners were serving a sentence while released on ROTL for work purposes in the last 12 months for which data is available.

Table 1: Individuals released on temporary licence for work related purposes by offence group, January 2017 – December 2017, England and Wales

Offence Group

% of Total

Violence against the person

28%

Sexual offences

1%

Robbery

7%

Theft Offences

8%

Criminal damage and arson

1%

Drug offences

38%

Possession of weapons

4%

Public order offences

>0%

Miscellaneous crimes against society

4%

Fraud Offences

8%

Summary Non-Motoring

>0%

Offence not recorded

>0%

Total

100%

Data sources and quality

The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 02 May 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prison Sentences
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of offenders who received a custodial sentence have previously served (a) no, (b) between one and four, (c) between five and nine and (d) more than 10 community sentences in the most recent year for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The proportion of offenders who received a custodial sentence who had previously served (a) no, (b) between one and four, (c) between five and nine and (d) more than 10 community sentences in 2016 can be viewed in the attached table.

Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 12.94 KB)
Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[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 May 2018
Cabinet Office
Cyber Innovation Fund: National Security Strategic Investment Fund
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2018 to Question 143809, when the decision was taken to merge the Cyber Innovation Fund with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 18 June 2018

During conversations with potential private sector investment partners and the British Business Bank over the course of 2017 on how best to deliver the Cyber Innovation Fund, the decision was taken to integrate the funding available into the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF).

The objectives were aligned and this approach will deliver greater economies of scale and return on investment. The original £10m allocated is still available and will be invested in addition to the NSSIF funding. There were no conversations with the Secretary of State for Defence prior to this decision being taken.

Grouped Questions: 146784 | 146785
Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[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 May 2018
Cabinet Office
Cyber Innovation Fund: National Security Strategic Investment Fund
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2018 to Question 143809, what discussion his Department had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the decision to merge the Cyber Innovation Fund with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund prior to that decision formally being made.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 18 June 2018

During conversations with potential private sector investment partners and the British Business Bank over the course of 2017 on how best to deliver the Cyber Innovation Fund, the decision was taken to integrate the funding available into the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF).

The objectives were aligned and this approach will deliver greater economies of scale and return on investment. The original £10m allocated is still available and will be invested in addition to the NSSIF funding. There were no conversations with the Secretary of State for Defence prior to this decision being taken.

Grouped Questions: 146783 | 146785
Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[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 May 2018
Cabinet Office
Cyber Innovation Fund
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2018 to Question 143809, whether the £10 million previously allocated to establish a Cyber Innovation Fund was spent; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 18 June 2018

During conversations with potential private sector investment partners and the British Business Bank over the course of 2017 on how best to deliver the Cyber Innovation Fund, the decision was taken to integrate the funding available into the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF).

The objectives were aligned and this approach will deliver greater economies of scale and return on investment. The original £10m allocated is still available and will be invested in addition to the NSSIF funding. There were no conversations with the Secretary of State for Defence prior to this decision being taken.

Grouped Questions: 146783 | 146784
Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
[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 May 2018
Cabinet Office
Cyber Innovation Fund: National Security Strategic Investment Fund
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2018 to Question 143809, whether any of the £165 million Defence and Cyber Innovation Fund was merged with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The £165 million Defence and Cyber Innovation Fund is comprised of a £155 million Defence Innovation Fund and a £10 million Cyber Innovation Fund. The £10 million Cyber Innovation Fund has been merged with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund. None of the £155 million Defence Innovation Fund has been merged with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.

Asked on: 24 May 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prison Officers: Recruitment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many more prison officers are currently needed in the UK; how they plan to recruit the necessary prison officers; and what success the Unlocked programme has had in contributing to increasing recruitment.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Keen of Elie
Corrected on: 18 June 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 07 June 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

Following their introduction in July 2015, there have been 222 applications and 205 orders made for Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders, up to 31 December 2017.

In this period no breaches of an FGM Protection order have been dealt with in the criminal courts. In the Family Courts, proceedings for breach would be dealt with as a contempt of court matter and are not recorded separately. The information could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Statistics on FGM Protection Orders are publicly available as part of the Family Courts Statistics Quarterly series at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/family-court-statistics-quarterly. The next publication of Family Court Statistics Quarterly is due on 28 June 2018. This will provide data up to the end of March 2018.

As part of the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper published in November 2016, the Government committed to an increase of 2,500 Prison Officers by the end of 2018.

Between the end of October 2016 (the closest data point in time to when the commitment was made) and the end of March 2018, the number of Band 3 to 5 prison officers (headcount) increased from 18,713 to 21,824; a net increase of 3,111.

It is anticipated that 90 per cent of the new recruits will be on the landings by the summer and all of them will be operational by the end of the year.

The first cohort of 52 graduates from the Unlocked scheme, which encourages the brightest graduates to consider a career in HMPPS, entered the HMPPS workforce in August last year – 15% higher than had been anticipated. Due to the popularity of the programme, up to 115 candidates will be recruited for the 2018 cohort. They are due to join the service in July 2018.”

Under the Prison Safety and Reform agenda, Governors have been given greater responsibility for workforce planning and determining their local organisational structure. This includes the number of officers they employ and Governors can implement changes to shift arrangements and resource deployment providing they remain within the agreed funding envelope.

This empowerment of the Governor’s position is intended to enable them to make best use of resources to support prison safety and develop strategies to reduce reoffending. HMPPS does not set workforce planning arrangements for Scotland and Northern Ireland, as this is a matter for devolved Governments.

The recruitment drive continues across the prison estate, with the same urgency that has secured this remarkable influx of new staff.

A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 07 June 2018

Following their introduction in July 2015, there have been 222 applications and 205 orders made for Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders, up to 31 December 2017.

In this period no breaches of an FGM Protection order have been dealt with in the criminal courts. In the Family Courts, proceedings for breach would be dealt with as a contempt of court matter and are not recorded separately. The information could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Statistics on FGM Protection Orders are publicly available as part of the Family Courts Statistics Quarterly series at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/family-court-statistics-quarterly. The next publication of Family Court Statistics Quarterly is due on 28 June 2018. This will provide data up to the end of March 2018.

As part of the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper published in November 2016, the Government committed to an increase of 2,500 Prison Officers by the end of 2018.

Between the end of October 2016 (the closest data point in time to when the commitment was made) and the end of March 2018, the number of Band 3 to 5 prison officers (headcount) increased from 18,713 to 21,824; a net increase of 3,111.

It is anticipated that 90 per cent of the new recruits will be on the landings by the summer and all of them will be operational by the end of the year.

The first cohort of 52 graduates from the Unlocked scheme, which encourages the brightest graduates to consider a career in HMPPS, entered the HMPPS workforce in August last year – 15% higher than had been anticipated. Due to the popularity of the programme, up to 115 candidates will be recruited for the 2018 cohort. They are due to join the service in July 2018.”

Under the Prison Safety and Reform agenda, Governors have been given greater responsibility for workforce planning and determining their local organisational structure. This includes the number of officers they employ and Governors can implement changes to shift arrangements and resource deployment providing they remain within the agreed funding envelope.

This empowerment of the Governor’s position is intended to enable them to make best use of resources to support prison safety and develop strategies to reduce reoffending. HMPPS does not set workforce planning arrangements for Scotland and Northern Ireland, as this is a matter for devolved Governments.

The recruitment drive continues across the prison estate, with the same urgency that has secured this remarkable influx of new staff.

Q
Asked by Cat Smith
(Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Asked on: 01 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Electoral Register: Internet
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people with no (a) fixed and (b) permanent address will be able to register to vote using the online registration service.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 18 June 2018

People with no fixed or permanent address can register to vote at an address or place where they spend a large part of their time. The Government has worked, and will continue in the future to work, with homeless charities to make sure that the paperwork required to register without a fixed address can be readily accessed. Citizens can access the paper application to register to vote if they don’t have a fixed abode at the following url; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-to-vote-if-you-havent-got-a-fixed-or-permanent-address.

Q
Asked by Laura Smith
(Crewe and Nantwich)
Asked on: 01 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much has accrued to the public purse in capital receipts from estate disposals since the publication of the Government's Estate Strategy in October 2014.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The annual breakdown of receipts raised since 2014 is:

Financial Year

Receipts (£ billion)

2014/15

0.22

2015/16

1.06

2016/17

0.6

Total

1.88


The 2014/15 receipts number is embedded in the total of the sales for the period 2010-2015. The total number for 2010-2015 is £1.8 billion and this number has been published in the State of the Estate 2014-15 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/497449/2014-15_State_of_the_Estate_accessible.pdf) and the reference can be found on page 31.

The 2015/16 and the 2016/17 receipts have been published in the Transparency Report: Government’s land and property disposals in 2015-16 and 2016-17 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sales-of-government-assets). The total numbers for 2015/16 and 2016/17 can be found on page 9 of the report. The report lists all individual asset sales from page 10 onwards. The full list of asset sales can also be found on the same link in CSV format.

The 2017/18 asset sales are in the process of being validated and will be published in the next Transparency Report.

Q
Asked by Laura Smith
(Crewe and Nantwich)
Asked on: 01 June 2018
Cabinet Office
Government Departments: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much has accrued to the public purse in capital receipts from the disposal of government property in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 18 June 2018

The annual breakdown of receipts raised since 2015 is:

Year (FY)

Receipts (£ billion)

2015/16

1.06

2016/17

0.6

Total

1.66

The 2017/18 asset sales are in the process of being validated and will be published in the next Transparency Report.

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