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
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding he plans to make available for the delivery of the forthcoming green paper on prevention.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the forthcoming green paper on prevention will include (a) a full analysis of the budget needed to implement the content of that paper and (b) an indication of the sources of funding to deliver the content of that paper.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the forthcoming green paper on prevention will include a commitment to fully fund local authority public health services.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the forthcoming green paper on prevention will include commitments on (a) HIV infection and (b) sexual health.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase the take-up of the flu vaccination among people most at risk of flu.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to publish its green paper on prevention.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) NHS England and (b) Bristol City Council on the routine commissioning of PrEP in Bristol.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs per 1000 of population there were in Bristol West in each year since 2010.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that public health funding is increased as part of the Government’s spending review.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 11 July 2019

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be considered carefully in the next spending review, taking full account of the available evidence.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Housing: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the effect of house building on (a) air and (b) soil pollution.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 10 July 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is responsible for the Government’s planning policies for England and how these should be applied. Defra works with MHCLG to ensure policies relating to air quality management are embedded in their National Planning Policy Framework. We are exploring options to address emissions from construction materials as announced in the Clean Air Strategy.

Defra’s Construction Code of Practice for the Sustainable Use of Soil on Construction Sites is a practical guide to assist anyone involved in the construction industry to protect the soil resources with which they work. The Environment Agency have published a guide Land contamination: risk management that can be used in the in the planning regime to ensure existing land contamination is dealt with appropriately during the development process.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Barbecues
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to ban disposable barbecues.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 10 July 2019

We have not made an assessment of the impact of disposable barbecues on the environment, nor do we have plans to ban them.

The Government is working to raise awareness of the impacts of domestic burning and has produced guidance which also asks people to be considerate towards others when using barbecues. The guidance can be found here: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1901291307_Ready_to_Burn_Web.pdf.

Grouped Questions: 271480
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Barbecues
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the effect on the environment of the use of disposable barbecues; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 10 July 2019

We have not made an assessment of the impact of disposable barbecues on the environment, nor do we have plans to ban them.

The Government is working to raise awareness of the impacts of domestic burning and has produced guidance which also asks people to be considerate towards others when using barbecues. The guidance can be found here: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1901291307_Ready_to_Burn_Web.pdf.

Grouped Questions: 271453
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 04 July 2019
Prime Minister
Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2019 to Question 270779 on Climate Change and with reference to with reference to her oral contribution of 26 June 2019, Official Report, column 650, what the evidential basis is for the statement that a regret motion in the House of Lords has the effect of blocking a Statutory Instrument.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 09 July 2019

I have nothing further to add to my answer to the Hon Member during my oral statement of 3 July.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
UK Visas and Immigration: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many full-time equivalent employees there were in UK Visas and Immigration and its predecessor bodies in each of the last 10 financial years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) was formed in April 2013. From June 2014, UKVI figures on staffing are published quarterly on gov.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/search?q=Border+and+immigration+cross+cutting+data”. Staffing figures prior to this are not published.


UKVI regularly reviews its capacity plans and resources, redeploying and recruiting staff where necessary to help meet and maintain service standards for individual services”.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
UK Visas and Immigration: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were employed by UK Visas and Immigration in assessing and processing claims for asylum in each of the last 10 financial years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The number of people who were employed by UK Visas and Immigration in assessing and processing claims for asylum in each of the last 10 financial years, is not held in a way that can be easily aggregated. To obtain this information would require detailed reporting against multiple cost centres and could only be obtained at disproportionate costs.


Decisions on asylum claims are made by decision makers in Asylum Operations. There are recruitment strategies in place to maintain staffing at the required levels to allow us to manage asylum intake and reduce the overall time to make initial asylum decisions.

All asylum claims lodged in the UK are carefully considered on their individual merits against a background of relevant case law and up to date country information.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people at Full Time Equivalent have been employed to establish and administer the system for compensation for victims of the Windrush scandal in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The number of FTE employed to establish and administer the Windrush Compensation Scheme has fluctuated according to business need. A small, dedicated development team was set up to establish the scheme, averaging around 20 FTE. Now that the scheme is open for claims we have a budgeted complement for the policy and operational teams of up to 135

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Overseas Visitors: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for visitor visas have been received, by nationality of country of origin, in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Information on the amount of visit visa applications received for the purposes of visiting family is not available. The standard visit visa has replaced a range of previous visas including the family visit visa (see https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa )

Information on the number of total visa applications, grants and refusals, by nationality, the large majority of which are visit visas, can be found in table vi_02_q in volume 1 of our visas tables, the latest of which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables#visas

Grouped Questions: 273414
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Overseas Visitors: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications there have been for visitor visas for the purposes of visiting family, by country of origin of applicant, in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Information on the amount of visit visa applications received for the purposes of visiting family is not available. The standard visit visa has replaced a range of previous visas including the family visit visa (see https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa )

Information on the number of total visa applications, grants and refusals, by nationality, the large majority of which are visit visas, can be found in table vi_02_q in volume 1 of our visas tables, the latest of which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019/list-of-tables#visas

Grouped Questions: 273413
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Detention Centres: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average ratio is of detainees to detention officers at (a) Colnbrook and (b) Harmondsworth immigration removal centres in the most recent period for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Home Office does not specify a ratio of detainee to detainee custody
officer (DCOs) within immigration removal centres (IRCs) and this information is therefore not recorded. Instead, IRC suppliers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for detainees in their care and all IRC contracts require a minimum staffing level based on the size and layout of each individual centre. The Home Office and its suppliers do not release information on staff deployment as doing so could compromise security of the removal estate.

In the period ahead, new contracts will set high expectations for the quality of the management and staffing in IRCs. The current re-procurement of the contract for the Gatwick IRCs includes provision for increased staffing in key areas, including residential units, to improve welfare and safety.

The dignity and welfare of detainees across the entire detention estate is of the utmost importance and the use of periods of time where detainees’ freedom of movement is restricted contributes to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in our centres.

Detainees at both Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRC) have a rest period following lunch and curfew period at night, where the total hours of confinement cannot exceed 12 hours a day during the week and 12.5 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

Information on the number of people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs on the last day of each quarter is available in table dt_12_q of the detention tables in the latest release of ‘Immigration Statistics, year ending March 2019’.

Grouped Questions: 273416 | 273417 | 273418
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Detention Centres: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the ratio of detainees to detention officers in immigration removal centres that is considered to be safe.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Home Office does not specify a ratio of detainee to detainee custody
officer (DCOs) within immigration removal centres (IRCs) and this information is therefore not recorded. Instead, IRC suppliers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for detainees in their care and all IRC contracts require a minimum staffing level based on the size and layout of each individual centre. The Home Office and its suppliers do not release information on staff deployment as doing so could compromise security of the removal estate.

In the period ahead, new contracts will set high expectations for the quality of the management and staffing in IRCs. The current re-procurement of the contract for the Gatwick IRCs includes provision for increased staffing in key areas, including residential units, to improve welfare and safety.

The dignity and welfare of detainees across the entire detention estate is of the utmost importance and the use of periods of time where detainees’ freedom of movement is restricted contributes to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in our centres.

Detainees at both Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRC) have a rest period following lunch and curfew period at night, where the total hours of confinement cannot exceed 12 hours a day during the week and 12.5 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

Information on the number of people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs on the last day of each quarter is available in table dt_12_q of the detention tables in the latest release of ‘Immigration Statistics, year ending March 2019’.

Grouped Questions: 273415 | 273417 | 273418
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many hours per day are detainees in (a) Harmondsworth and (b) Colnbrook immigration removal centres routinely locked in their rooms.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Home Office does not specify a ratio of detainee to detainee custody
officer (DCOs) within immigration removal centres (IRCs) and this information is therefore not recorded. Instead, IRC suppliers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for detainees in their care and all IRC contracts require a minimum staffing level based on the size and layout of each individual centre. The Home Office and its suppliers do not release information on staff deployment as doing so could compromise security of the removal estate.

In the period ahead, new contracts will set high expectations for the quality of the management and staffing in IRCs. The current re-procurement of the contract for the Gatwick IRCs includes provision for increased staffing in key areas, including residential units, to improve welfare and safety.

The dignity and welfare of detainees across the entire detention estate is of the utmost importance and the use of periods of time where detainees’ freedom of movement is restricted contributes to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in our centres.

Detainees at both Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRC) have a rest period following lunch and curfew period at night, where the total hours of confinement cannot exceed 12 hours a day during the week and 12.5 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

Information on the number of people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs on the last day of each quarter is available in table dt_12_q of the detention tables in the latest release of ‘Immigration Statistics, year ending March 2019’.

Grouped Questions: 273415 | 273416 | 273418
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the highest number of detainees was in (a) Harmondsworth and (c) Colnbrook immigration removal centres in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Home Office does not specify a ratio of detainee to detainee custody
officer (DCOs) within immigration removal centres (IRCs) and this information is therefore not recorded. Instead, IRC suppliers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for detainees in their care and all IRC contracts require a minimum staffing level based on the size and layout of each individual centre. The Home Office and its suppliers do not release information on staff deployment as doing so could compromise security of the removal estate.

In the period ahead, new contracts will set high expectations for the quality of the management and staffing in IRCs. The current re-procurement of the contract for the Gatwick IRCs includes provision for increased staffing in key areas, including residential units, to improve welfare and safety.

The dignity and welfare of detainees across the entire detention estate is of the utmost importance and the use of periods of time where detainees’ freedom of movement is restricted contributes to the maintenance of a safe and secure environment in our centres.

Detainees at both Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres (IRC) have a rest period following lunch and curfew period at night, where the total hours of confinement cannot exceed 12 hours a day during the week and 12.5 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

Information on the number of people detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs on the last day of each quarter is available in table dt_12_q of the detention tables in the latest release of ‘Immigration Statistics, year ending March 2019’.

Grouped Questions: 273415 | 273416 | 273417
Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 04 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Detention Centres
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many mental healthcare professionals are employed in (a) Harmondsworth and (b) Colnbrook immigration removal centres.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 09 July 2019

From 1 April 2019, the number of whole time equivalent (WTE) posts, across both centres, was increased from 11.6 to 19.8 – including a new senior nursing role and 7.2 WTE registered mental health nurse roles. The increase in staff numbers will enable the provision of 24 hours, seven days a week nursing care.

The number of mental healthcare professionals employed as at the end of June 2019 was 8.6 WTE. These staff work across both the Harmondsworth and the Colnbrook immigration removal centres.

Recruitment to the newly created posts is ongoing.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to reduce the number of people held in UK immigration removal centres.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

In the year ending March 2019 24,333 individuals entered the detention estate which is the lowest level since comparable records began in 2009. In the same period 71% of detainees were held for 28 days or less and 93% for less than four months.

The Government expects that changes in policy and operational approaches will lead to a reduction in the number of those detained, and the duration of detention before removal, in turn improving the welfare of those detained.

The Government is committed to using detention sparingly and only when necessary. The Home Office has taken a systematic approach to modernising and rationalising the immigration detention estate, ensuring the geographical footprint and resilience required to meet our future needs. By this summer the estate will be almost 40% smaller than it was four years ago and of significantly higher quality.

Grouped Questions: 273421
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Detention Centres
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to change the provision of immigration removal centres in the UK; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

In the year ending March 2019 24,333 individuals entered the detention estate which is the lowest level since comparable records began in 2009. In the same period 71% of detainees were held for 28 days or less and 93% for less than four months.

The Government expects that changes in policy and operational approaches will lead to a reduction in the number of those detained, and the duration of detention before removal, in turn improving the welfare of those detained.

The Government is committed to using detention sparingly and only when necessary. The Home Office has taken a systematic approach to modernising and rationalising the immigration detention estate, ensuring the geographical footprint and resilience required to meet our future needs. By this summer the estate will be almost 40% smaller than it was four years ago and of significantly higher quality.

Grouped Questions: 273420
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have applied for compensation from the Windrush compensation scheme to date.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

We will publish information on the number of claims submitted, number of claims paid and the overall amount paid out by the scheme in due course as part of our regular reporting to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of a wrong decision being made denying a person the right to re-enter the UK under the Windrush scandal on eligibility for benefits and tax credits which require residency in the UK for the last two years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Officials in the Home Office continue to work closely with the DWP and HMRC on the design and delivery of the compensation scheme but also on individual cases through the Taskforce. The joint working has enabled those with a right to benefits to have them re-instated.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 July 2019
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for compensation by people affected by the Windrush scandal have been successful, and how many of those successful applicants have received compensation.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 09 July 2019

We will publish information on the number of claims submitted, number of claims paid and the overall amount paid out by the scheme in due course as part of our regular reporting to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 09 July 2019
Ministry of Justice
Bristol Prison: Safety
Commons
What steps he is taking to help ensure a safe regime for (a) staff and (b) prisoners in Horfield prison in Bristol.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 09 July 2019

An Urgent Notification was invoked at HMP Bristol on 13th June 2019. There has been some progress at HMP Bristol under Special Measures to bolster staff to a sufficient level, reduce illicit drug use and improve living conditions by refurbishing a wing and a number of the showers. However, we know more support is needed. The Secretary of State will publish his response and an initial action plan within 28 calendar days (on 11th July) in response to the most serious and urgent concerns raised.

Immediate action has been taken to ensure prisoners can speak to Samaritans on their in-cell phones. In addition, action has been taken to address issues raised regarding the safer custody hotline and prevent issues from recurring, so prisoners’ family and friends can report any concerns about a prisoner’s welfare directly to the prison.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Education
Carers: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that local authorities fulfil their statutory duties under section 63 of the Care Act 2014 to provide transition assessments for young carers.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 08 July 2019

The government remains committed to continuing to support all carers to provide care as they would wish in a way that supports their own health, wellbeing and life chances. In June 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published the Carers Action Plan, a cross-government programme of targeted work to support all carers, including young carers.

DHSC has been working with The Children’s Society to identify and publicise effective practices to local authorities to support young adult carers to make positives transitions between the ages of 16-24. To this end, ‘Shaping our Future: Improving Assessment and Support for Young Carers’ Transition to Adulthood’ was published in June 2019.

Further to the reply to PQ 237696, the government is clear that the Care Act (2014) does place duties on local authorities to undertake transition assessments, and that Care and Support Statutory Guidance sets out how these duties should be met.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdullah Öcalan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 May 2019 to Question 248721, whether he has had meetings with the Turkish Government since 2 May 2019 to raise the issue of Abdullah Öcalan's access to lawyers and family visits; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 July 2019

​The UK Government has raised Mr Öcalan’s case with the Turkish authorities a number of times. I raised the issue with the Turkish Ambassador on 13 May. I welcome the fact that Mr Öcalan has since been granted access to lawyers on at least two separate occasions and that the hunger strikes undertaken by some of his supporters have now come to an end. I also note that the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture paid a further visit to Imrali prison in mid-May, and that the Turkish Minister of Justice recently lifted the court restriction on lawyers' visits there. Whilst I welcome these positive developments, it is important to reiterate that Mr Öcalan remains in our view a convicted terrorist and we condemn the acts of violence perpetrated by the Kurdish Workers’ Party as we condemn all forms of terrorism.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 26 June 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to regulate online activity to bring it into line with activity that would be considered to be illegal if it were conducted offline.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 04 July 2019

Our view is that behaviour which is illegal or unacceptable offline should be treated the same online. The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, through establishing a statutory duty of care that will be enforced by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms, both those which are illegal and also behaviours that may not be illegal but are nonetheless highly damaging to individuals and society.

We are also ensuring that the criminal law is fit for purpose to deal with online harms. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport and the Ministry of Justice have now engaged the Law Commission on a second phase of their review of abusive and offensive online communications. The Law Commission will review existing communications offences and make recommendations about options for reform. This will include considering whether co-ordinated harassment by groups of people online could be more effectively dealt with by the criminal law. The Law Commission will also look at criminal law around non-consensual taking and sharing of intimate images, considering existing offences and identifying whether there are any gaps in the protection already offered to victims. The Law Commission will make recommendations to ensure that criminal law provides consistent and effective protection against such behaviour.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Hedgehogs: Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment there has been of the risk that A24 traps pose to hedgehog populations.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 03 July 2019

The A24 trap is not approved for trapping hedgehogs. We are confident that hedgehogs can be effectively and safely excluded from the Goodnature A24 trap when it is set according to manufacturer’s instructions and, as is required by law, an excluder tunnel is used. We are also not aware of any evidence which suggests the A24 trap or the excluder tunnel has any impact on hedgehogs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Education
Universities: Antisemitism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what monitoring is taking place on university campuses to ensure compliance with the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of anti-semitism.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 03 July 2019

There is no place in our society, including within higher education, for hatred or any form of discrimination or racism, such as antisemitism. This is why I have called on higher education providers to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Higher education providers are autonomous organisations, responsible for the management of their own internal affairs. They should discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, and to investigate and swiftly address all hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

On 16 May 2019, I wrote to all higher education providers to urge them to consider adopting the IHRA definition and set out my view that this is a useful tool which will help front-line services better understand and recognise instances of antisemitism. The government believes that adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism sends a clear message that antisemitic behaviour will not be tolerated, and that any instances of antisemitism will be taken very seriously.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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: 28 June 2019
Prime Minister
Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to her oral contribution of 26 June 2019, Official Report, column 650, what the evidential basis is for her statement that the Labour party in the House of Lords is trying to block the net zero 2050 legislation.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 03 July 2019

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave her during my statement on the G20.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Transport
Transport: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who is responsible for monitoring compliance by transport companies with the law on disability access.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 01 July 2019

This varies according to the mode of transport that each company operates.

The Office of Rail and Road monitors compliance by train operating companies, the Civil Aviation Authority monitors compliance by airports and airlines, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency monitors compliance by maritime operators, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency monitors compliance by bus operators, and each local authority monitors compliance by taxi and private hire vehicle operators in their authority.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Barbecues
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made the effect on the environment of disposable barbecues.
 
Withdrawn
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
VJ Day: Anniversaries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans her Department has to commemorate far east prisoners of war on the anniversary of VJ day.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 10 June 2019

The Government and the nation continue to recognise and be thankful for all those who served in the Far East during the Second World War. We recognise the sacrifices made and the horrors to which our personnel were subjected.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to ensuring that ex prisoners of war from the Far East Campaign remain in the public consciousness as much as those who served in other campaigns. The MOD, in conjunction with The Royal British Legion, will look to mark the 75th anniversary of 'Victory over Japan Day' on 15 August 2020 in an appropriate way.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Property: Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a statutory time limit for property management companies to issue a certificate of ownership to a new owner after selling a property.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 20 May 2019

The Government expects certificates of compliance to be issued within a reasonable period of time. Legislation is already in place specifying the governance of ownership certificates and their use in support of planning applications. Applicants are legally required to notify the owners of a site when they submit their planning application, so that they have the opportunity to comment. An ownership certificate confirming that other owners have been appropriately notified must be signed when submitting a planning application. It is an offence to issue a false ownership certificate knowingly or recklessly under section 65(6) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value was of reductions to the local authority public health grant in each year since 2014; and what estimate he has made of trends in the level of funding for that grant in the next three years.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 20 May 2019

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Year

Public Health Grant Allocation (£ billion)

Change in budget (£billion)

2013/14

2.663

-

2014/15

2.795

+0.128

2015/16*

3.031

+0.236

2016/17

3.387

+0.356

2017/18**

3.304

-0.083

2018/19

3.219

-0.085

2019/20

3.134

-0.085

Notes:

*Funding public health services for children aged 0-5 was transferred from the National Health Service to local authorities from October 2015.

** Figures from 2017/18 include funding retained by the Greater Manchester local authority as part of a business rate retention pilot not allocated as grant.

Future funding for local authority public health function will be a matter for the Spending Review.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Property: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of amending legislation on the transfer of ownership of high hazard sites to third parties.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 20 May 2019

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH) which require the Competent Authority (which is HSE and the relevant environmental body acting jointly) to be notified in the event of certain changes about a site, including its permanent closure or change of operator name.

HSE has no plans to amend this legislation.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she make it her policy to provide autism awareness training for staff in (a) her Department and (b) Jobcentres.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 20 May 2019

DWP has a Diversity and Equality Policy Statement. Every person working for the Department has a personal responsibility for implementing and promoting these commitments in their day-to-day dealings with customers, with each other and with employers and partners. Inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable.

DWP have developed Autism Awareness training for all DWP operational staff, using information from the National Autistic Society. This training explains what Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are and how they may impact on a claimants’ daily life, including how this impacts individuals differently. This helps DWP staff be aware of how they can offer appropriate support. The training also focuses on what support DWP can provide to help customers with ASD secure employment, highlighting the tailored support available and focusing on what positive strengths customers with ASD can offer a prospective employer.

Within the Fundamental Learning Journey for all DWP Operational roles, we have learning for Supporting Vulnerable Adults (hosted by Civil Service Learning), Safeguarding children and for Adults and Equality and Diversity.

There is DWP technical learning specifically for staff who need to look at medical evidence for particular medical conditions as part of their job role. This covers the likely care needs for more common medical conditions and signposts to more detailed guidance.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Mental Illness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what provision her Department makes for universal credit claimants who are held on restriction under the Mental Health Act 1983.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 17 May 2019

Entitlement to Universal Credit (UC) takes into account individual claimant circumstances, such as income, savings, assets and living arrangements. Should a claimant be held under the Mental Health Act 1983 they may not be eligible for UC.

All claimants, including those who with mental health conditions, receive continuous tailored support through their personal work coaches, and all Departmental staff working with claimants complete extensive training that prepares them for their role. Specific training is provided for working with different vulnerable groups, with guidance to signpost claimants to relevant support, and these circumstances will be recorded on a claimant’s online account.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Department for Transport
Bus Service Operators Grant
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 10 July 2018 to Question 159654, what the timescale is for the next phase of the bus service operators grant reform process.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 17 May 2019

It is still our intention to reform the Bus Service Operators Grant when time allows. We are currently in the process of digitalising the existing paper-based claim process in line with Governments Digital by Default agenda.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 27 November 2018 to Question 193494 on Employment: Autism, if she will make it her policy to disaggregate data on Access to Work statistics to identify the number people with Autism Spectrum Disorders in those data sets.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 17 May 2019

We do not currently have plans to make adjustments to the primary medical condition categories used in Access to Work. The categories we use are consistent with the categories used in the Labour Force Survey. This is so we can compare our data to the disability employment rate.

As explained in the Answer of 27 November 2018 to Question 193494, when a person with Autism Spectrum Disorders receives support through Access to Work, it will be for a specific issue or condition – e.g. a Mental health condition, difficulty in speaking, etc. – rather than Autism Spectrum Disorder. Access to Work customers may have more than one disability or condition, and it is the condition for which they are receiving support that is recorded on the Access to Work system as their primary health condition.

The Access to Work statistics have been developed using guidelines set out by the UK Statistics Authority, but are still undergoing development and are therefore designated as experimental statistics. We are exploring the scope for potential modification following user feedback about the usefulness of the data.

Users are invited to comment on the development and relevance of these statistics and can send feedback to: access.toworkstatistics@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 10 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 28 November 2018 to Question 193498 on Employment: Autism, over what time period was the Neurodiversity Toolkit was developed; what processes were used to develop that toolkit; and what assessment she has made of the effect of that toolkit on closing the autism employment gap.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 17 May 2019

In 2016, DWP contracted Autism Alliance UK to assemble an Autism Task Group to develop a new Autism and Neurodiversity Toolkit. Membership of the group comprised people with Neuro-diverse conditions, medical professionals/academics and a number of organisations, including: the National Autistic Society, Autism Alliance UK, Autism Plus and Dyscovery Centre.

Within three months, the toolkit was ready to be quality assured by the Hidden Impairments National Group. The toolkit was launched by Philip Rutnam (Civil Service Disability Champion) during Autism Awareness Week, in April 2017.

The toolkit is available to all Civil Servants; helping them to better understand how to support people with Autism or Neuro-diverse conditions. It is hosted on Autism Alliance UK’s website, and is updated regularly by them with professional help and guidance.

As was explained in the Answer of 27 November 2018 to Question 193495 on Employment: Autism, no formal assessment has been made on the impact of the Toolkit on the autism employment gap.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase the availability of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in (a) Bristol and (b) England.
A
Answered by: Seema Kennedy
Answered on: 16 May 2019

In February 2019, additional HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact trial allocation places were released to those sexual health clinics in Bristol, the Bristol Royal Infirmary and the Concord Clinic participating in the PrEP trial.

These additional places in Bristol are part of the overall expansion of 13,000 additional PrEP trial places across England, increasing the total number of places to 26,000 for participating clinics. The trial website can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/join-the-trial

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to assess the effectiveness of the local supported proof of concept initiative in closing the autism employment gap.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 12 April 2019

Proofs of Concept are not designed to provide evidence of impacts on national employment trends. Rather, they allow us to test whether a policy idea is deliverable.

The Local Supported Employment Proof of Concept is a relatively small scale programme exploring how combining central and local budgets enables Local Authorities to scale up delivery of Supported Employment. The initiative is designed to support people with a learning disability or autism who are known to adult social care, or who are in contact with secondary mental health services. By working with local authorities, there may be an opportunity for DWP to drive a much stronger focus on job outcomes and on evidence-based commissioning using the Supported Employment model.

We are currently considering our next steps to build on this Proof of Concept.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to tackle the underemployment of people diagnosed with autism.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 12 April 2019

DWP is committed to helping people with health conditions and disabilities, including autism move nearer to the labour market and, when ready, into work, by building more personalised tailored employment and health support.

The majority of DWP’s schemes and programmes are focused on helping people, including people diagnosed with autism, prepare for and enter work. For example:

  • The Work and Health Programme, which rolled out between November 2017 and March 2018, will support around 275,000 people over five years - the majority whom (around 220,000) will be disabled people who can volunteer for the programme at any time.

  • The new Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, which is due to be rolled out across England and Wales at the end of 2019, will provide highly personalised packages of employment support for people with both disabilities and complex barriers to employment who are considered by DWP work coaches to be more than 12 months from the labour market without intensive support

  • The Local Supported Employment proof of concept is currently exploring how we can combine central and local budgets to scale up delivery of Supported Employment locally. This initiative is designed to explore how a matched funding model could support people with a learning disability or autism who are known to adult social care, or who are in contact with secondary mental health services.

Disabled people who are already working, or who are about to enter work, can apply for in-work support from Access to Work scheme. The scheme has a Hidden Impairment Support Team that provides advice and guidance to help employers support employees with conditions like autism, as well as offering eligible people an assessment to find out their needs at work and help to develop a support plan.

In addition, DWP is engaging with employers through the Disability Confident scheme - supporting them to feel more confident about both employing disabled people, including autistic people, and supporting disabled employees to realise their potential. Over 11,500 employers have signed up to the scheme so far.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to collect and publish data on the employment status of adults diagnosed with autism.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 10 April 2019

Department for Work and Pensions officials are considering how to robustly measure the employment rate among autistic people, including whether it might be possible to collect this information through the Labour Force Survey.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Transport
Taxis: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of implementing recommendation 11 of the Task and Finish Group report on Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles published in September 2018.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 09 April 2019

As outlined in the Government’s response to the report of the Chair of the Task and Finish Group, published in February 2019, Government is considering carefully how the restriction of out-of-area journeys by taxis and private hire vehicles proposed might work in practice, with a view to legislating.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Transport
Shared Spaces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his provides to local authorities on the development of shared space schemes where pedestrians and cyclists, but not motorists, are required to share pavement space.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 April 2019

The situation in which pavements are shared by cyclists and pedestrians is known as shared use rather than shared space. The Department for Transport issued guidance on the development of these schemes in ‘Local Transport Note 1/12: Shared use routes for pedestrians and cyclists’. It stresses the importance of high quality, inclusive design which addresses the needs of all users, including older people and disabled people. It also emphasises that shared use proposals require careful consideration, and that designers need to ensure that introducing cycling to an existing pedestrian route does not make conditions significantly worse for pedestrians.

Local Transport Note 1/12 is available from the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-use

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 April 2019
Department for Transport
Shared Spaces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on the development of shared space schemes where cyclists and motorists are required to share highway space.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 09 April 2019

The Department for Transport issued guidance on the design of cycling infrastructure in ‘Local Transport Note 2/08: Cycle Infrastructure Design’. This provides advice on a wide range of measures, including how to provide facilities for cyclists on-road.

Local Transport Note 2/08 is available from the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-208

The Department is currently updating 'Local Transport Note 2/08: Cycle Infrastructure Design'.

Guidance on providing for cyclists on the trunk road network is available in ‘Interim Advice Note 195/16: Cycle Traffic and the Strategic Road Network’, which is available at:

http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/ha/standards/ians/pdfs/ian195.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Home Office
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to lengthen the time a refugee family reunion visa is valid for.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 05 April 2019

The Government issues a 30-day visa to all non-EEA nationals coming from overseas to stay in the UK for more than six months to enable them to collect their biometric residence permit from the Post Office, following their arrival in the UK. When a family reunion application is made, individuals can specify within a 90-day window when they would like the visa to be valid from. This is to take account of their need to make the necessary travel arrangements. The Government considers that the existing time periods for family reunion visas remain appropriate and we have no plans to review it.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to families who have been reunited through refugee family reunion to access the social security system.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 April 2019

Those who have joined a family member in the UK through refugee family reunion are entitled to the same support as any other person. As with anyone else, they will be assessed to ascertain whether they have complex needs and whether they require additional support to access DWP services.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on collaboration between the Home Office and her Department to ensure that refugees are able to access the employment support and social security benefits that they are entitled to.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 05 April 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions is working in partnership with the Home Office to improve processes for refugees claiming benefits. In order to achieve this aim we have set up the Post Grant Appointment Scheme (PGAS).

The scheme involves contacting persons at the point when they are granted refugee status to see if they wish to apply for benefits and require assistance to do so. If they say they do, an appointment at a local DWP office is arranged for them.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Home Office
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support his Department provides to families who have been reunited through refugee family reunion.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 04 April 2019

Those granted under refugee family reunion provisions are entitled to work and have access to mainstream benefits on broadly the same basis as British Citizens. Their refugee sponsor can also apply for a refugee integration loan to support their integration into the community and help rebuild their lives here.


On 9 February 2019, the Government published the Integrated Communi-ties action plan, which includes measures to enable integration for recent migrants and refugees.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Waiting Lists
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the statement in the NHS Long Term Plan that four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health teams including for eating disorders will be tested with selected local areas, what the timetable is for those targets to be introduced; and whether funding will be allocated to areas to support these tests.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 04 April 2019

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to “test four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health teams, with selected local areas”.

The ‘Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards’ Interim Report, published in March 2019, states that NHS England will test four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health teams with selected local areas. As part of this work, the report states that NHS England will “consider the interfaces with specialist community mental health services, particularly where there is an existing evidence base for rapid direct access, such as adult eating disorder services, or early intervention in psychosis services, for which there is already a national access and waiting time standard in place.”

The interim report sets out the initial proposals for testing changes to access standards in mental health services, cancer care, elective care and urgent and emergency care. The proposals will be field tested at a selection of pilot sites across England, before wider implementation. The information gathered through field testing and engagement will inform final recommendations from this Review, and ahead of full implementation beginning spring 2020.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Transport
Blue Badge Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2019 to Question 231515 on Blue Badge Scheme, which disability organisations his Department has consulted with on developing the guidance on the expanded eligibility criteria for Blue Badges; and on what date he plans for people with non-physical and hidden disabilities to be able to apply for Blue Badges.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 04 April 2019

The Department for Transport has consulted with the following disability groups Alzheimer’s UK, Disabled Motoring, Scope, Down’s Syndrome Association, Dementia UK, National Autistic Society, Mencap, Parkinson’s UK Anxiety UK and Crohns & Colitis.

The Department hopes to lay these new regulations in Parliament in April 2019, and they will specify when these changes will come into force.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
High Court Enforcement: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the timeliness with which High Court Enforcement Ltd reclaim moneys awarded through a court judgment.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 04 April 2019

While the Ministry of Justice collects statistics about the number of writs that are received and enforced, either in full or in part, by High Court Enforcement Officers, it does not monitor the timeliness with which a High Court Enforcement Officer or company reclaims moneys awarded through a court judgment.

Complaints about a High Court Enforcement Officer can be made to the company employing the High Court Enforcement Officer or to the High Court Enforcement Officers’ Association. Unfortunately, the court cannot guarantee that a creditor will reclaim the payment of a civil judgment, particularly where a debtor goes to great lengths to evade payment or simply does not have the means to pay.

Grouped Questions: 238386
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Judgements: Enforcement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department issued to claimants who wish to make a complaint in the event that moneys owed to them through a court judgment are not reclaimed in full by high court enforcement companies.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 04 April 2019

While the Ministry of Justice collects statistics about the number of writs that are received and enforced, either in full or in part, by High Court Enforcement Officers, it does not monitor the timeliness with which a High Court Enforcement Officer or company reclaims moneys awarded through a court judgment.

Complaints about a High Court Enforcement Officer can be made to the company employing the High Court Enforcement Officer or to the High Court Enforcement Officers’ Association. Unfortunately, the court cannot guarantee that a creditor will reclaim the payment of a civil judgment, particularly where a debtor goes to great lengths to evade payment or simply does not have the means to pay.

Grouped Questions: 238385
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Prosthetics: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department provides to hospitals on the recycling of parts from prosthetic limbs.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 03 April 2019

Prosthetic limbs provided by NHS Limb Centres are bespoke which limits their reusability; whilst individual services may have their own arrangements in place for recycling parts, NHS England and the Department do not issue guidance on this.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Education
Children: Carers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to schools to help them identify young carers so that appropriate support with their education can be provided.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 02 April 2019

​The government is committed to supporting the identification of young carers so that they are properly safeguarded from excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities, and supported to achieve their full potential.

We know that consistent identification of young carers remains challenging which is why we are funding Carer’s Trust, to carry out a review and disseminate best practice in the identification of young carers – this commitment was set out in the Carers Action Plan 2018-20. The Children in Need review is also identifying how to spread best practice on raising educational outcomes of children in need, including those young carers assessed as being in need.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Education
Children: Carers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that local authorities meet their statutory duties to provide transition assessments to young carers.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 02 April 2019

​​There is no statutory duty to carry out a transition assessment for a young carer. However in ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018’, we are clear that known transition points for all children in need, including young carers, should be planned for in advance and where children are likely to transition between child and adult service. The guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children--2.

Ofsted judges children services on how well they meet their statutory duties, and the Department for Education will intervene to improve services, should Ofsted judge them to be inadequate.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Equatorial Guinea: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to respond to concerns about the human rights situation in Equatorial Guinea.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 01 April 2019

​We remain concerned about the human rights situation in Equatorial Guinea including; lack of freedom of expression and assembly, lack of transparency, lack of an independent judiciary, disproportionate punishment, use of torture, and detention conditions.We have no diplomatic mission or resident diplomatic staff in Equatorial Guinea. We use regular visits by our non-resident Ambassador (based in Cameroon) and discussions with the Chargé in London to raise human rights concerns.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the PACE trial of therapies on reducing the effects of (a) myalgic encephalomyelitis and (b) chronic fatigue syndrome.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 20 March 2019

The PACE trial, undertaken by Queen Mary University of London, was the largest ever trial of therapies for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). The trial aimed to test and compare the effectiveness of four of the main treatments available for people CFS/ME. These were adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy, and standardised specialist medical care (SMC).

The five-year trial involved over 600 participants, aged 18 and over, in Scotland and England. The first set of results from the trial were published in 2011 in the Lancet, and a number of other evaluations based on the trial have been published since. The trial results found both CBT and GET were moderately effective when provided alongside SMC and were better than adaptive pacing therapy or SMC alone in improving both symptoms and disability.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): Diagnosis and management of CFS/ME in adults and children’, sets outs best practice for clinicians on the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with the condition. The guideline recommends CBT and GET as appropriate treatments for mild to moderate CFS/ME, in line with the best available evidence.

The NICE guideline acknowledges that there is no one form of treatment to suit every patient and that treatment and care should take into account the personal needs and preferences of the patient. Decisions concerning the appropriateness of treatments should be made on a case by case basis.

On 20 September 2017, NICE announced its decision to undertake a full update of the guideline, following a review of the latest available evidence on the diagnosis and management of CFS/ME and a public consultation. New guidance is expected in October 2020. More information on this decision can be found at the following link:

www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-to-begin-review-of-its-guidance-on-the-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-cfs-me

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Equality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allocate funding for the ten-year review of progress on reducing health inequalities since the publication of the report entitled Fair Society, Healthy Lives, published by Michael Marmot.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 20 March 2019

We have no current plans to allocate funding to the Institute of Health Equity and Health Foundation review of Fair Society, Healthy Lives. We look forward to seeing the review’s conclusions in February 2020. Reducing health inequalities remains a priority for the Department and is central to the NHS Long Term Plan and the Secretary of State’s prevention priority.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadband: Bristol West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the trends in the level of access to superfast fibre broadband in Bristol West constituency; and what steps he is taking to improve access to that service in the constituency.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 March 2019

According to Thinkbroadband, 96.4% of premises in Bristol West constituency have access to superfast broadband. This is up from 93.1% in 2012.

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) have rolled out several schemes to help improve access to broadband services across the UK. Two voucher schemes, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/) and the Better Broadband Scheme (https://basicbroadband.culture.gov.uk/) are accessible to residents in Bristol West Constituency. In fact the Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme was rolled out nationally following a successful trial in four areas of the UK, including Bristol.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will made an assessment of trends in the level of (a) bullying and (b) harassment of people with autism in the workplace.
A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 19 March 2019

We currently have no plans to assess trends in bullying and harassment in the workplace of people with autism.

However, we are committed to supporting people with disabilities or health conditions, including those with autism, to manage issues they may face in employment by offering both them and their employers appropriate support. For example:

  • Access to Work has put in place a Hidden Impairment Specialist Team (HIST) that aims to offer advice and guidance to help employers support employees with conditions such as autism, Learning Disability and/or Mental Health conditions. HIST also offers eligible people an assessment to find out their needs at work and help to develop a support plan.

  • Through the Disability Confident scheme, DWP is engaging with employers and helping to promote the skills, talents and abilities of disabled people, including those with autism and associated conditions. Disability Confident offers advice and support to help employers feel more confident about employing disabled people.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Home Office
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure that people arriving in the UK on a refugee family reunion visa receive a Biometric Residence Permit that contains their National Insurance number.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 March 2019

The Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions are currently developing plans for all migrants who are eligible for a National Insurance number, including those on a refugee family reunion visa, to have this printed on their Biometric Residence Permit as a matter of course.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wood-burning Stoves
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what criteria his Department uses to classify wood-burning stoves as a smoke exempt appliance.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 18 March 2019

An appliance exemption shows that fuel-burning appliances, for example stoves, ovens or boilers, emit smoke below the acceptable limits.

Applicants must be able to prove that their appliance meets the necessary requirements and has been tested using acceptable methods at an accredited test centre.

The emission limits applicable to appliances are dependent on the size of the appliance. Further details are provided in Hetas’ guidance which can be viewed at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/761622/hetas-appliance-exemption-application-pack-181130.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Transport
Cycleways
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2019 to Question 207270 on Cycleways, what representations he has received on commencing provisions in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to allow local authorities in England outside London to enforce moving traffic offences, and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 15 March 2019

The issue of moving traffic enforcement has been raised with the Department for Transport by a number of stakeholders over time, including representatives of local government and transport operators. The Department has no current plans to enable local authorities in England outside London to undertake the civil enforcement of these offences.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Department for Transport
Blue Badge Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to implement the recommendations in the document entitled, Blue Badge consultation: summary of responses and government response, published on 29 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 March 2019

The Department for Transport is currently developing guidance, drawing on expertise from medical and healthcare professionals, as well as various disability organisations and local authorities, so that authorities will be able to assess applications under the expanded eligibility criteria for non-physical and hidden disabilities. The guidance will be published following forthcoming revisions of the statutory regulations, planned for the end of April. The changes will come into force at a later date, to allow time for local authorities to make appropriate arrangements once the guidance is published.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Radioisotopes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations he has received on alternative arrangements for breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures in the event that there is a shortage of radioisotopes in the UK.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 28 February 2019

A search of the Department’s Ministerial correspondence database has identified one item of correspondence received since 1 August 2018 about alternative arrangements for breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures in the event that there is a shortage of radioisotopes in the United Kingdom. This figure represents correspondence received by the Department’s Ministerial correspondence unit only.

We fully recognise that radioisotopes are vitally important to many people in this country including breast cancer patients. HM Revenue and Customs already has a process to identify ‘urgent goods’, such as medical radioisotopes, requiring faster handling to move through customs and border checks promptly. The Department has well established processes to manage and mitigate the small number of medicines shortages that may arise due to manufacturing or distribution issues. These processes include radioisotopes used in breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures.

From January 2019, it became a mandatory requirement that the pharmaceutical industry must report this information to the Department in a timely manner. Following notification and risk assessment, the Department’s medicine supply team will continue to work behind the scenes with relevant stakeholders and use a host of tools to help mitigate and prevent an issue from impacting patients including the consideration of alternative treatment options. The Department is not aware of any significant radioisotope shortages that are currently affecting breast cancer patients.

Grouped Questions: 224533
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Radioisotopes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of a shortage of radioisotopes on the number of breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 28 February 2019

A search of the Department’s Ministerial correspondence database has identified one item of correspondence received since 1 August 2018 about alternative arrangements for breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures in the event that there is a shortage of radioisotopes in the United Kingdom. This figure represents correspondence received by the Department’s Ministerial correspondence unit only.

We fully recognise that radioisotopes are vitally important to many people in this country including breast cancer patients. HM Revenue and Customs already has a process to identify ‘urgent goods’, such as medical radioisotopes, requiring faster handling to move through customs and border checks promptly. The Department has well established processes to manage and mitigate the small number of medicines shortages that may arise due to manufacturing or distribution issues. These processes include radioisotopes used in breast cancer diagnostic and treatment procedures.

From January 2019, it became a mandatory requirement that the pharmaceutical industry must report this information to the Department in a timely manner. Following notification and risk assessment, the Department’s medicine supply team will continue to work behind the scenes with relevant stakeholders and use a host of tools to help mitigate and prevent an issue from impacting patients including the consideration of alternative treatment options. The Department is not aware of any significant radioisotope shortages that are currently affecting breast cancer patients.

Grouped Questions: 223789
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Cancer: Health Professions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Health Education England phase two cancer workforce plan co-ordinates with the workforce implementation plan in the NHS Long Term Plan.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 26 February 2019

Health Education England (HEE) published its first ever Cancer Workforce Plan in December 2017. HEE intended to publish a second phase, longer-term strategy that looked at the cancer workforce needs beyond 2021. This work was started and stakeholders from within the National Health Service and the charitable sector contributed to the early discussions. This work has since been superseded by publication of the NHS Long Term Plan in January 2019.

My Rt. hon. Friend Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has subsequently commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, working closely with Sir David Behan, to lead a number of programmes to engage with key NHS interests to develop a detailed workforce implementation plan. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce rapidly, including staff working on cancer, consider additional staff and skills required, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for NHS staff.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to change the date for graduates with outstanding loans to the Student Loan Company to return information from the month of December to January.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 20 February 2019

The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009 (as amended) make no requirements of borrowers to provide information to the Student Loans Company in December specifically.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 01 February 2019
Department for Transport
Great Western Railway Line: Electrification
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the decision to defer electrification of the Filton Bank section of railway on the health of residents along that line.
A
Answered by: Andrew Jones
Answered on: 11 February 2019

Running in diesel mode, the new Class 800 IEP trains are significantly more efficient, producing lower CO₂ and nitrogen oxides than a legacy intercity diesel train. Their engines meet the latest European emissions standards.

The four-tracking project at Filton Bank has already brought performance improvements, increasing capacity and contributing to reducing end-to-end journey times for Cross Country and Bristol to London services.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Home Office
Letting Agents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) tenants and (b) potential tenants of steps taken by letting agents to establish the right to rent.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The Home Office carried out an evaluation of phase one of the Right to Rent scheme in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton in 2015, published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-the-right-to-rent-scheme

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Allergies: Medical Equipment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2018 to Question 198805, what progress has been made on increasing the supply of Epipens; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 08 February 2019

Supplies of EpiPen and other adrenaline auto-injectors are currently available in volumes that are sufficient to meet United Kingdom requirements. The Department continues to work very closely with all the manufacturers of adrenaline auto-injectors and can confirm that the supply situation continues to improve going forward with further deliveries expected over the coming weeks. All patients who require an adrenaline auto-injector should now be able to obtain a device from their pharmacy.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Bacteriophages
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of phage therapy for tackling antimicrobial resistance.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The Department and the Wellcome Trust sponsored a strategic pipeline briefing into alternatives to antibiotics in 2015. The briefing reviewed the feasibility and potential clinical impact of alternatives to antibiotics, including bacteriophages, and considered approaches that were most likely to deliver new treatments in the next 10 years. The briefing concluded that bacteriophages were possible therapeutics, but too few were being progressed.

The Government continues to invest in research into new and alternative treatments. While there has been increased investment and unprecedented levels of research collaboration on antimicrobial resistance, there are still relatively few projects looking at the use of bacteriophages.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Antibiotics: Drug Resistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to increase the level of investment and funding for training and employing NHS microbiologists on long term contracts to increase diagnostic capacity as part of the government strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 08 February 2019

‘Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (2019-2024): the UK’s five-year national action plan’ includes the commitment to assess current and future workforce needs to ensure capability and capacity for strong infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship. The assessment will cover a range of roles, including microbiology. The results of the assessment will be used to develop further workforce targets.

The NHS England Long Term Plan makes the commitment to implement the human health aspects of the national action plan.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Antibiotics: Drug Resistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to establish an evidential basis on the time taken to diagnose disease in the NHS as part of the Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 08 February 2019

‘Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance (2019-2024): the UK’s five-year national action plan’ recognises that stewardship programmes are needed for both therapeutics and diagnostics. Good diagnostic stewardship promotes appropriate and timely testing.

Evidence suggests that a third of prescriptions in primary care do not have an associated diagnosis recorded. The national action plan sets out an ambition to improve the evidence base about diagnoses and prescriptions by linking and analysing clinical data sets.

Through the joint sepsis/Antimicrobial Resistance Commissioning for Quality Innovation data we know that the number of patients being identified with a suspicion of sepsis or severe infection has increased and that a majority of those patients have their treatment reviewed within 24-72 hours, following the confirmation of diagnostic test results.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Antibiotics: Drug Resistance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Government's strategy entitled Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019–2024: The UK’s five-year national action plan, published in January 2019, what plans his Department has to educate the public on the use and misuse of antimicrobials and their role in tackling antimicrobial resistance.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 08 February 2019

Public Health England has developed a number of initiatives for educating the public which support the Government’s recently published strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance; including a major national campaign, ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’, following a successful pilot in the North West in October 2017, to alert the general public to the issue of antibiotic resistance, with the aim of reducing patient pressure on general practitioners to prescribe. The multi-media campaign, which features advertising on television, radio, outdoor, digital, social media, public relations and extensive partnership support, has run for a consecutive year in 2018. Further information is available at the following link:

https://antibioticguardian.com/keep-antibiotics-working/

The United Kingdom wide Antibiotic Guardian campaign, now in its fifth year, aims to stimulate behaviour change and increase engagement to tackle antimicrobial resistance by healthcare professionals and engaged members of the public. The e-Bug programme, now celebrating its 10th year, aims to educate children, young people and communities about microbes, hygiene, infections and antibiotics. Further information on the e-Bug programme is available at the following link:

www.e-Bug.eu

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to support community energy generation after the closure of the feed-in-tariff scheme in March 2019.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 07 February 2019

The Government is considering its future approach and what measures might be taken to support the efforts of community organisations who want to invest in low-carbon energy installations as part of its consultation on a Smart Export Guarantee which was published on 8 January. The consultation is open until 5 March and can be assessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-small-scale-low-carbon-generation

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Influenza: Vaccination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of availability of the 2018-19 seasonal flu vaccine.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 06 February 2019

Public Health England (PHE) provides influenza vaccines centrally for the children’s influenza programme. Centrally purchased influenza vaccines are carefully monitored by PHE to ensure there is equitable distribution across England and sufficient in-date vaccine for patients who present throughout the season.

General practitioners and other providers are directly responsible for the influenza vaccine supplies used to deliver the national influenza programme to the other eligible groups. PHE maintains oversight to help facilitate a constant supply of vaccine, liaising with vaccine manufacturers to ascertain whether there are any manufacturing problems which could impact the running of the programme at a national level.

This winter, eligible adults aged 18-64 were offered a quadrivalent influenza vaccine, and those aged 65 and over were offered a newly licensed adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV). There were a number of short-term localised shortages of both vaccines reported, particularly for aTIV due to staggered deliveries from the manufacturer between September and November. The NHS managed these shortages locally, but some patients had to wait longer than usual to be vaccinated. However, there was no overall shortage of either vaccine.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Furs: Farms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations his Department has made to foreign Governments on ending the practice of fur farming.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 05 February 2019

Fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2000 making it clear to other countries that that this practice is not consistent with British values on animal welfare.

Once the UK retakes its independent seat on international bodies, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, we will have an opportunity to promote progressive views on animal welfare and to support improved animal welfare standards internationally.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Letting Agents
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to review the practice of letting agencies requiring 12 months' rent in advance from clients who are below a specified minimum income threshold.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 05 February 2019

Landlords and letting agents are free to ask for rent payments upfront if they wish, but very few ask for 12 months' rent upfront.

The Government is determined to ensure that tenants’ rent money held by agents is protected. We will require letting agents to obtain membership of a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme and to repay any client money without delay where it is due to the tenant. We intend this protection to be mandatory from 1 April 2019.

We are also developing a new regulatory regime for letting agents. The Regulation of Property Agents working group, led by Lord Best, will make recommendations about a joined-up framework to guide, monitor and police the actions of letting agents. The working group will report in July 2019.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Welfare State
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Post Grant Appointment Service in ensuring that refugees are able to access the welfare system following a decision to grant asylum.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 25 January 2019

As described by the British Red Cross in their report ‘Still an ordeal: the move-on period for new refugees’, the Post Grant Appointment Service is effective in setting up an early appointment for the refugees with their local Jobcentre, thus enabling them to make an application for mainstream benefits before they leave the asylum support system.

We will provide more information about the service when we respond to the British Red Cross report in due course

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 January 2019
Home Office
Refugees: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the British Red Cross report entitled Still an ordeal: the move-on period for new refugees published in December 2018, if he will increase the period in which refugees continue to receive asylum support after receiving a positive decision on their asylum application to 56 days.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 21 January 2019

Whilst there are currently no plans to extend the period, the Government is working on a number of important initiatives to ensure that refugees are able to access benefits and housing promptly once their Home Office support ends. We are ensuring that this work takes into account the views of the key voluntary sector groups, including the British Red Cross.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 January 2019
Department for Education
Apprentices: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help employers to ensure that apprenticeships provide an effective route into permanent employment for adults diagnosed with autism.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 21 January 2019

We are improving access to apprenticeships for people with learning difficulties or disabilities. For example, we have introduced legislation which allows the minimum English and maths requirements for apprenticeships to be adjusted to entry level 3 for a defined group of people with a learning difficulty or disability. This change will allow more people to benefit from the opportunities available through apprenticeships and work.

Our Pacesetter project is working with local partners to test our policy approaches and deliver tangible progress towards growing numbers of apprentices with learning difficulties or disabilities. Pacesetters include councils, a school and the learning disability charity Mencap, who have themselves hired a number of apprentices with learning difficulties or disabilities.

The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network has been developed to provide insight and guidance on best practice in how to make sure that apprenticeships are undertaken by people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and all members make a commitment themselves to increasing diversity when they join. The network aims to inspire and influence the behaviour of other employers to attract, recruit and support more people from underrepresented groups into apprenticeships. This includes people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBT+, women in science, technology, engineering and maths and members of black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. For example, Health Education England, working with members including Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, have a supported apprenticeship scheme focussing particularly on learners with autism. The National Autistic Society has been invited to attend the network’s next meeting.

Our funding system is intended to encourage the take-up and likely completion of apprenticeships by particular groups, including people with learning difficulties or disabilities. The system is also intended to recognise where additional support is necessary, through extra funding where the costs of supporting an apprentice are higher, and making sure that these costs are met by government and not by the employer.

Our communications and guidance products aim to encourage employers to hire apprentices with a learning difficulty or disability and to demonstrate to people with learning difficulties or disabilities, such as autism, that apprenticeships are an option for them.

We have integrated the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Confident campaign into the apprenticeship recruitment service so that the Disability Confident logo is displayed on apprenticeship vacancies for campaign-registered employers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 January 2019
Department for Education
Work Experience: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the supported internships scheme in helping young people diagnosed with autism achieve sustainable paid employment.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 21 January 2019

Supported internships offer young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities a clear pathway into employment.

A Department for Education led trial of supported internships in 2012 to 2013 was formally evaluated and found that of the 190 young people who completed a supported internship and participated in the research, 36% gained paid employment, including apprenticeships (5%).

Good practice examples of supported internships are also gathered by our delivery partner, the National Development Team for Inclusion, and published on the Preparing for Adulthood website.

We are keen to do more to increase the uptake of supported internships and are considering how we can build the evidence base further.

Q
(Bristol West)
[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 January 2019
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it remains his Department's policy to consider an asylum-seeker's claim for asylum less favourably if that person did not claim asylum in the first safe country they reached; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 January 2019

The United Kingdom has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those in need of protection. Where we are responsible for deciding asylum claims we will consider all cases on their individual merits.

Our domestic legislation and Immigration Rules underline the importance of claiming asylum in the first safe country, which is reflected in section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of claimants etc.,) Act 2004. This clearly states that a failure to take advantage of a reasonable opportunity to claim asylum in a safe country shall be taken into account in assessing the individual’s credibility.

In light of the recent sharp increase in the number of migrants attempting perilous Channel crossings to the UK in small boats, I have asked my officials to look at what more we can do to deter asylum seekers from travelling to the UK – often dangerously – from other safe countries in the first place.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentre Plus: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to make an assessment of the effectiveness of the Autism and Hidden Impairment training for Jobcentre Plus staff in reducing the gap between national employment rates and rates of employment for people on the autistic spectrum.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 08 January 2019

There are currently no robust statistics on employment rates among autistic people, so we have not been able to make any assessment of the effectiveness of the Autism and Hidden Impairment training for Jobcentre Plus staff on employment levels among autistic people.

We are considering how to robustly measure the employment rate among autistic people, including whether it might be possible to collect this information through the Labour Force Survey.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to refugees granted asylum that have made an application for universal credit.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 28 December 2018

Asylum Support is available to newly recognised refugees through the Home Office whilst their status is under consideration. This support continues for 28 days after refugee status is granted. A claim to Universal Credit can be made immediately once refugee status is granted and Asylum Support is not deducted from their Universal Credit award during the 28 days run on period. Work coaches receive training to help them identify and support vulnerable claimants, including refugees, and build supportive relationships with claimants to encourage them to openly discuss any barriers, concerns or problems as they emerge.

Provided the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit is met, we will always offer an advance payment to a refugee when making a new claim, and staff have access to information on a range of services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants, including refugees. This includes Universal Support, which provides help with using online services and budgeting advice. We also have access to a range of translation services to assist, should a claimant need support to overcome any language barriers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to increase the number of languages available on the the universal credit online portal.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 28 December 2018

There are not currently any plans to increase the number of languages available on the online portal above English and Welsh.

When we need to communicate with a claimant who cannot communicate adequately in English or Welsh we use interpreters: this can be a customer’s own interpreter; a local community based interpreting service; a telephone interpretation service or a contracted face to face interpretation service.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Photography
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase promote photography apprenticeships.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 21 December 2018

To promote apprenticeships across all sectors, we are first and foremost ensuring that apprenticeships are a quality product recognised by individuals and employers. Our communications campaign aims to help increase the number of vacancies created by employers and to encourage young people to choose an apprenticeship as a high quality career route, signposting them to new vacancies on offer. We target potential apprentices, employers, parents and teachers using channels such as video adverts for TV, cinema and online channels, a national billboard campaign, digital advertising and social media, as well as through face-to-face engagement activities and events. Our communication continues to support employers to create new vacancies and to publicise them on the Find An Apprenticeship website.

New apprenticeship standards across all levels are being designed and driven by industry; creating higher quality training that will lead to a more skilled and productive economy. All starts will be on the new, high quality standards by the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year.

A level 3 Photographic Assistant standard is currently in development. Employers involved in creating the standard include Defence School of Photography, ScreenSkills, Creative Pioneers and Warwickshire College.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Photography
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of photography apprenticeships.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 21 December 2018

​​There is no apprenticeship framework or standard called ‘photography’. The most relevant framework found was the ‘Photo imaging for Staff Photographers’ framework which is the only apprenticeship framework or standard to contain ‘photo’ or ‘image’ in its title. There were no starts on this framework in the 2017/18 academic year compared to 20 in each of the previous two academic years (2016/17 and 2015/16).

The table below shows apprenticeship starts in the Arts, Media and Publishing sector subject area, along with further subject area breakdowns for the 2017/18 academic year. This sector is most likely to contain frameworks or standards with an element of photography within them. The data is taken from the Individualised Learner Record, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/761151/Monthly-apprenticeship-starts_SSA-Fwk-Std-Age-Level-Fund_Nov2018.xlsx.

Apprenticeship starts in the 2017/18 academic year (August 2017 – July 2018) in the Arts, Media and Publishing sector subject area

Apprenticeship starts in 2017/18 (Aug 2017 – July 2018)

Total starts in Arts, Media and Publishing sector subject area

950

of which Crafts, Creative Arts and Design

380

of which Media and Communication

550

of which Performing Arts

-

of which Publishing and Information Services

20

Notes

  1. Data are based on full final year figures for the 2017/18 academic year (August 2017 to July 2018).

  1. ​Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10, ‘-’ indicates a value of less than 5 starts.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Transport
Large Goods Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department has plans to legalise longer heavier vehicles.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The Department has no plans to increase the maximum length or weight of vehicles allowed in general circulation. The Department is running a trial of longer semi-trailers, which have the same maximum weight as a standard articulated lorry, but are longer. The Department has published annual evaluations of the trial, most recently in September 2018.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 18 December 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Video Games: Prizes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has plans to regulate paid-for random prizes in computer and video games.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 December 2018

We remain committed to ensuring that consumers are properly protected and not exploited by aggressive commercial practices. Game purchasers are protected by general consumer law such as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This includes a requirement on businesses not to subject anyone to misleading or aggressive marketing practices, or, for example, direct exhortation to buy products, including in-game purchases of paid-for random prizes.

The Government is aware of concerns surrounding this issue and will continue to gather and look closely at any evidence. We also welcome the recent introduction by the VSC Ratings Board and PEGI of a new label for video games to warn parents where they include the opportunity to make in-game purchases.

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