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 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Water: Pipelines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has in place to ensure that water utility companies (a) repair leaks in their networks and (b) take other steps to reduce water waste.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government welcomes the water industry commitment of a 50% leakage reduction by 2050. This commitment forms part of a target set by Ofwat which is bound to financial penalties or rewards based upon performance as part of the Price Review (PR) process.

In PR19 Ofwat set out a £51 billion five-year investment package for the 2020-25 period, including requirements for water companies to cut leaks by 16% and reduce mains bursts by 12%

Water companies provide data to the Environment Agency on water losses. In 2018-19 reporting period 1570.5 Ml/d was lost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Treasury
Employment: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his Department's news story entitled, Off-payroll review launched, published on 7 January 2020, what the timeframe is for the publication of the findings of that review.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The Government launched a review of reform to the off-payroll working rules on 7 January 2020 to determine if there were further steps that could be taken to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reform, which will come into force in April 2020.

The review of the off-payroll working reform has now concluded and the outcome of the review was published on 27 February 2020.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Treasury
Employment: Taxation
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) sole traders and (b) people working in the gig economy are not adversely affected by changes to IR35 legislation.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 06 March 2020

The IR35 rules were introduced in 2000. They only apply to individuals who are working like employees under the current employment status tests, and do not apply to the self-employed or sole traders.

The Government will introduce a legal requirement for clients to implement a status disagreement process to allow individuals to challenge their status determination directly and in real time. This right is an additional statutory layer of protection for off-payroll workers.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fresh asylum applications were submitted in 2019 by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Home Office records indicate that a total of 6,273 further submissions were lodged on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.

Home Office records indicate that the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants lodging further submissions on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, and the volume of applications submitted by these nationalities, are:

Nationality

Number of applications

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

985

Pakistan

704

Iraq

680

Bangladesh

510

Afghanistan

433

Total

3,312

When people who have previously been refused asylum in the UK wish to make representations in support of a fresh asylum applications these are recorded as Further Submissions. Only where those submissions have been considered and it has been decided not to grant any leave is it considered whether the Further Submissions amount to a fresh asylum application.

The above data relates to main applicants who lodged Further Submissions between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019 which is the latest reportable period in line with immigration statistics. The data is a count of the number of Further Submissions lodged. Some people may have lodged more than one submission during the period.

Grouped Questions: 9720
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Applications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants making fresh claims to the UK were in 2019; and how many fresh asylum applications those nationalities submitted.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Home Office records indicate that a total of 6,273 further submissions were lodged on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, by individuals who had previously been refused asylum in the UK.

Home Office records indicate that the five most common nationalities of asylum applicants lodging further submissions on protection grounds between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019, and the volume of applications submitted by these nationalities, are:

Nationality

Number of applications

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

985

Pakistan

704

Iraq

680

Bangladesh

510

Afghanistan

433

Total

3,312

When people who have previously been refused asylum in the UK wish to make representations in support of a fresh asylum applications these are recorded as Further Submissions. Only where those submissions have been considered and it has been decided not to grant any leave is it considered whether the Further Submissions amount to a fresh asylum application.

The above data relates to main applicants who lodged Further Submissions between 01/01/2019 and 30/09/2019 which is the latest reportable period in line with immigration statistics. The data is a count of the number of Further Submissions lodged. Some people may have lodged more than one submission during the period.

Grouped Questions: 9719
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 February 2020
Home Office
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of the report entitled A Call to Action for a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Strategy, published in January 2020.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Tackling domestic abuse continues to be a key priority for this Government..

The Domestic Abuse Bill, which we intend to bring forward as soon as practicable, includes provision for new domestic abuse protection orders, placing restrictions and other requirements on perpetrators in order to better protect victims. Such requirements may include engagement with a perpetrator behavioural change programme, an alcohol or substance misuse programme or mental health treatment.

We welcome the work of the expert organisations involved in developing ‘A Call to Action for a Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Strategy’. We are currently considering this as part of our ongoing work to understand what more we can do to tackle perpetrators and their harmful actions.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 26 February 2020
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will include in the Planning White Paper (a) provisions to ensure that new developments are consistent with net zero carbon objectives and (b) all other recommendations made by the Royal Town Planning Institute for inclusion in that White Paper.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 05 March 2020

The White Paper will aim to make the planning system clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including home owners and small businesses. This will include addressing the resourcing and performance of local planning departments. At this stage, however, we are unable to comment on the precise contents of the White Paper.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 February 2020
Department for Transport
Highways England: Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of pay increases for each level of staff employed in Highways England in the last ten years.
A
Answered by: Kelly Tolhurst
Answered on: 05 March 2020

Highways England was established on 1 April 2015. The Department for Transport has not carried out an assessment of the adequacy of pay increases for each level of staff in Highways England over the period since its establishment.

Responsibility for setting pay levels within Highways England sits with the Company, overseen by its Remuneration Committee. Annual pay increases within Highways England are based on a number of factors, including affordability and guidance from the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office.

I would like to assure you that the Secretary of State is placing significant focus on pay in the Department’s arm’s length bodies.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Prerogative of Mercy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Cyprus on a pardon for the woman convicted of lying to police following allegations of rape in Ayia Napa on 17 July 2019; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 25 February 2020

Whilst I am unable to go into the details of the case I can confirm that consular staff continue to provide assistance to the family.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants died after making an application.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants died before receiving compensation.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 January 2020
Home Office
Asylum: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people applied for asylum from detention in 2019.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Migrants, including asylum claimants, may be detained for immigration purposes only in accordance with Home Office detention policy, as set out in Detention general guidance and adults at risk in immigration detention. The detention decision must always be made on the basis of the individual’s particular circumstances and eligibility for detention.

If at any time it is concluded that a particular detainee’s ongoing detention would not be appropriate, the individual must be released, with bail conditions appropriate to their particular circumstances.

Most people detained under immigration powers spend only short periods in detention. At any one time, 95% of those liable to be detained, are instead managed in the community.

We do not currently hold the data in the format you have requested, however published data on the number of Asylum claims made can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2019

The great majority of asylum claims are processed in the non-detained system, with claimants living in the community. Only a small minority of claimants are detained whilst their claim is considered.

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: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her oral contribution of 9 January 2020, Official Report, column 588, whether she has received a response to her letter of 22 October 2019 to the European Commission on arrangements for refugee family reunion from 1 January 2021.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Whilst the Home Secretary wrote to the EU Commission on 22 October 2019, the Commission have not yet responded.

The Prime Minister made clear in his written statement to Parliament on 3 February that the UK is ready to discuss cooperation on asylum, including family reunion, with the EU.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained at immigration detention centres disclosed that they were victims of torture in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Individuals who disclose they are victims of torture whilst in an Immigration Removal Centre are managed under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001. Data on the number of reports made by a medical practitioner under Rule 35 is published quarterly in the Immigration Enforcement transparency data (table DT_03) online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

The Home Office does not however hold central records which make the distinction between those accepted and not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process. We cannot therefore report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were subsequently accepted as victims of torture without reviewing individual case files, which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 11654
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained in immigration detention centres were assessed for being victims of torture in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Individuals who disclose they are victims of torture whilst in an Immigration Removal Centre are managed under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001. Data on the number of reports made by a medical practitioner under Rule 35 is published quarterly in the Immigration Enforcement transparency data (table DT_03) online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data

The Home Office does not however hold central records which make the distinction between those accepted and not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process. We cannot therefore report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were subsequently accepted as victims of torture without reviewing individual case files, which could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Grouped Questions: 11653
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Health and Social Care, how many people detained at an immigration detention centre were assessed for a mental illness in 2019.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 11 February 2020

The information is not available in the requested format.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 03 February 2020
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people detained at an immigration detention centre attempted suicide in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Staff at all immigration removal centres are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self-harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

The Home Office requires immigration removal centre suppliers to record management information on the number of detainees being monitored in line with self-harm and suicide prevention procedures (ACDT) and the number of incidents of self-harm that have required medical treatment. The intent of a self-harm attempt, if disclosed by an individual, is not recorded centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of EU citizens over the age of 65 living in the UK that have not applied for settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications and concluded applications by the applicant’s age to 31 December 2019, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, statistics tables, tables EUSS_02 and EUSS_04 respectively, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-december-2019.

The published figures refer specifically to applications made to the EUSS and cannot be directly compared with Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK. The published EUSS figures include non-EEA family members, Irish nationals, and eligible EEA citizens not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in ONS estimates of the resident EU population. Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 3789 on Immigration: EU Nationals, how many people that applied for settled status have been granted pre-settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) conclusions by outcome type can be found in the Home Office’s fifth ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’, monthly statistics tables, table 2, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019.

Applicants to the EUSS who choose to provide their National Insurance Number as part of the application process are asked to confirm whether they agree with the status that the automated checks with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs confirm they are eligible for.

In cases where the applicant does not agree the level of status offered, caseworkers work with the applicant to identify the evidence needed to be granted the status they claim to be eligible for. Nobody has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status.

With regard to the accuracy of decision making, all cases in which an applicant is being granted a status other than that claimed are subject to a secondary supervisory check.

Grouped Questions: 12353
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 04 February 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 3789 on Immigration: EU Nationals, what assessment her Department has made of the accuracy of decision-making on granting pre-settled status to EU citizens that applied for settled status.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) conclusions by outcome type can be found in the Home Office’s fifth ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’, monthly statistics tables, table 2, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-december-2019.

Applicants to the EUSS who choose to provide their National Insurance Number as part of the application process are asked to confirm whether they agree with the status that the automated checks with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs confirm they are eligible for.

In cases where the applicant does not agree the level of status offered, caseworkers work with the applicant to identify the evidence needed to be granted the status they claim to be eligible for. Nobody has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status.

With regard to the accuracy of decision making, all cases in which an applicant is being granted a status other than that claimed are subject to a secondary supervisory check.

Grouped Questions: 12352
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