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: 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.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Drugs: Festivals and Special Occasions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps his Department has taken to provide police forces with guidance on the legality of drug safety testing at music festivals.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 19 December 2018

Drugs are controlled where there is scientific and medical evidence that they are harmful to health and society. The possession of any amount of a controlled drug is a criminal offence and the supply of a controlled drug is an even more serious offence. No illegal drug-taking can be assumed to be safe and there is no safe way to take them.

The Government’s approach remains clear: we must prevent illicit drug use in our communities and help those dependent on drugs to recover while ensuring our drug laws are enforced. In relation to drug testing at events, chief constables are responsible for operational decisions in their local area and we are not standing in their way.

The National Policing Lead for Drugs provided updated advice in the summer to all Chief Constables to make them aware of matters that they should consider if working with event organisers who may wish to use drug testing services. He is currently considering this issue further in conjunction with forces and will produce further advice for police forces in the spring.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Detainees: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were referred for assessment under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 in each month of 2018 up to 2 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments.

Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 reports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001. This information is published quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201161
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Detainees: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been referred for assessment under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 in each month in 2018 since 2 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments.

Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 reports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001. This information is published quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201160
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Detainees: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people referred for assessment under Rule 35 of Detention Centre Rules 2001 during each of the first six months in 2018 were identified as victims of torture by a Rule 35 report.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments. Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office also do not hold central records which make the distinc-tion between those accepted/not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process under the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

We therefore cannot currently report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were identified as victims of torture, or the number of individuals identified as victims of torture that were released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report without reviewing individual cases. In any event, it cannot be said that those released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report were released solely because of a claim of torture.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 re-ports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and the number of those who were released as a result. This information is pub-lished quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201221 | 201222 | 201223
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Detainees: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people identified as a victim of torture by a Rule 35 report were subsequently released within 28 days of that report being made in each of the first six months of 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments. Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office also do not hold central records which make the distinc-tion between those accepted/not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process under the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

We therefore cannot currently report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were identified as victims of torture, or the number of individuals identified as victims of torture that were released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report without reviewing individual cases. In any event, it cannot be said that those released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report were released solely because of a claim of torture.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 re-ports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and the number of those who were released as a result. This information is pub-lished quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201220 | 201222 | 201223
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Detainees: Medical Examinations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people referred for assessment under Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 as amended by Detention Centre Rules (Amendment) 2018 were identified as being victims of torture in each month since 2 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments. Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office also do not hold central records which make the distinc-tion between those accepted/not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process under the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

We therefore cannot currently report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were identified as victims of torture, or the number of individuals identified as victims of torture that were released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report without reviewing individual cases. In any event, it cannot be said that those released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report were released solely because of a claim of torture.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 re-ports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and the number of those who were released as a result. This information is pub-lished quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201220 | 201221 | 201223
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration detention identified as a victim of torture by an assessment under Rule 35 of Detention Centre Rules 2001 as amended by the Detention Centre Rules (Amendment) 2018 were subsequently released within 28 days of the Rule 35 report being made in each month since 2 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office do not hold central records of the number of individuals in Immigration detention that are referred for, or that self-refer for Rule 35 assessments. Medical records for individuals in Immigration detention are confidential and are not routinely shared with the Home Office unless the individual has consented to share this information. This includes appointments and assessments with a medical practitioner. Notification of Rule 35 assessments, which are carried out by Doctors, are therefore not routinely shared with the Home Office.

The Home Office also do not hold central records which make the distinc-tion between those accepted/not accepted as being victims of torture within the Rule 35 process under the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

We therefore cannot currently report on the number of individuals referred for a Rule 35 assessment that were identified as victims of torture, or the number of individuals identified as victims of torture that were released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report without reviewing individual cases. In any event, it cannot be said that those released within 28 days of a Rule 35 report were released solely because of a claim of torture.

The Home Office do however, centrally record the number of Rule 35 re-ports raised by Doctors under the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and the number of those who were released as a result. This information is pub-lished quarterly in Immigration Enforcement Transparency data found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-november-2018.

Grouped Questions: 201220 | 201221 | 201222
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: Detainees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to assess the effect of the Detention Centre Rules (Amendment) 2018 on victims of torture in immigration detention centres.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 19 December 2018

The Home Office keeps its policies and processes relating to immigration detention and the detention of vulnerable persons under regular review to ensure they are both appropriate and effective.

As part of the Government’s response to Stephen Shaw’s review into the welfare of vulnerable people in detention, the Home Office is looking at improvements to the rule 35 consideration process to ensure that the most vulnerable and complex cases get the attention they need, while preventing abuse of this important safeguard.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Access to Work Programme: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Access to Work Hidden Impairment Specialist Team in (a) advising employers on supporting employees diagnosed with autism, (b) offering autistic people an assessment of their needs at work and (c) helping to develop support plans for those people.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 18 December 2018

Last year, the Access to Work Hidden Impairment Specialist team helped 2,150 people, which includes people with Autism. This number has been continually increasing since the team was introduced in 2014/2015, when 1,160 people were helped.

People with hidden impairments are offered an Access to Work holistic workplace assessment to identify the type of help they require in the workplace. Following this assessment, the Access to Work adviser will work with both the employer and customer to develop support plans where appropriate

In November, we published Access to Work: Qualitative research with applicants, employers and delivery staff, which found that workplace assessment experiences tended to be very positive. Although we don’t have separate findings for autistic people, employers and applicants felt that assessments were comprehensive and appropriate, and conducted sensitively. Many applicants talked about how the recommendations and advice given during the assessment alone had enlightened them about the support available for their condition and small changes they could make in the workplace which went a long way in improving their workplace experience. Applicants that were previously too nervous to ask their employer for (even ‘light touch’) adjustments felt the expert ‘stamp of approval’ via the assessment helped them to approach their employer and empowered them to ask for changes.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2018
Department for Transport
Taxis: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report entitled Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing: recommendations for a safer and more robust system, published on gov.uk on 24 September 2018, what the timetable is for implementing the recommendations of that report.
A
Answered by: Ms Nusrat Ghani
Answered on: 18 December 2018

Ministers are considering the recommendations made by the Chair of the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing. A Government response will be issued in due course.

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: 17 December 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Finance
Commons
What assessment he has made of the sustainability of the current level of funding for schools.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 17 December 2018

With the additional £1.3 billion the Government has invested across this year and next, the core schools and high needs budget will increase from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion by 2019-20. The Government is committed to securing the right deal for education in the upcoming Spending Review.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2018 to Question 159646 on Energy: Housing, how many applications for feed-in tariffs were (a) made and (b) approved for of properties with an energy performance certificate of D and above between June 2016 and June 2017.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 03 December 2018

The central Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) register does not record the number of applications made. Between 1 June 2016 and 31 May 2017 there were 17,132 installations with an energy performance certificate of D and above accredited under the scheme.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Public Health: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated to local authorities for the local authority public health grant in each year between 2014 and 2020.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 30 November 2018

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Year

Public Health Grant Allocation (£ billion)

2013/14

2.663

2014/15

2.795

2015/161

3.031

2016/17

3.387

2017/182

3.304

2018/19

3.219

Notes:

1Funding public health services for children aged 0-5 was transferred from the NHS to local authorities from October 2015.

2Includes funding retained by the Greater Manchester local authority as part of a business rate retention pilot not allocated as grant.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Ministry of Justice
Legal Aid Scheme: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the Legal Aid Scheme on the right to a family life for people seeking asylum.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 30 November 2018

Legal aid has always been and will continue to be available for asylum cases. For matters not within the scope of scheme, Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) may be available where there is a breach or risk of breach of ECHR rights, subject to means and merits tests.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the level of UK carbon emissions of fugitive emissions from fracking.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 29 November 2018

Management of fugitive emissions is covered by the Environment Agency permit. As part of the permit application, the operator will need to describe the management of fugitive emissions in an ‘emissions management plan’.

During operations the operator will be required to undertake environmental monitoring, including emissions monitoring, to demonstrate compliance with their permits. In some cases, depending on the risks presented by a site or community concerns, the Environment Agency may carry out extra monitoring themselves.

As a further safeguard, the Infrastructure Act 2015 makes it clear that hydraulic fracturing activities cannot take place unless appropriate arrangements have been made for monitoring emissions of methane into the air.

In addition, the Government is grant funding an environmental monitoring programme led by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in the Fylde (Lancashire) and Kirby Misperton (North Yorkshire), where applications for shale gas wells have been made.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 22 November 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2018 to Question 159646 on Energy: Housing, how many applications for feed-in tariffs were (a) made and (b) approved in respect of properties with an energy performance certificate of D and above between June 2015 and June 2016.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 29 November 2018

The central Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) register does not record the number of applications made. Between 1 June 2015 and 31 May 2016 there were 140,014 installations with an energy performance certificate of D and above accredited under the scheme.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Energy Performance Certificates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many houses in the UK have an energy performance certificate of (a) E or lower and (b) D or higher.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 28 November 2018

At the end of September 2018, the number of houses in England and Wales which had a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) rated at E or lower was 3,177,158 and D or higher was 8,169,369. Additionally, other types of domestic dwellings, including flats, bungalows and maisonettes, which had a valid EPC rated at E or lower was 1,229,051 and D or higher was 5,584,059.

This information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-performance-of-buildings-certificates

EPCs for domestic dwellings in Scotland and Northern Ireland are a devolved matter.

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