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 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Music: Licensed Premises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to monitor the number of closures of live music venues in the UK.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 April 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Music: Licensed Premises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support live music venues in the UK; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 April 2018
Home Office
Avon Fire and Rescue Service: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with Avon Fire Authority on the funding for Avon Fire and Rescue Service.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 April 2018
Home Office
Fires: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fire-related fatalities there have been in (a) the UK and (b) Bristol in each year since 2010.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 17 April 2018
Treasury
Ordnance Survey: Databases
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential economic effect on booksellers of his recent proposal on Ordinance Survey MasterMap data.
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance has been issued to businesses to help them prepare for the effect on their ability to trade with the EU of changes to the regulatory system in the EU after the UK has left the EU.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 04 April 2018

Since the referendum, the Department has engaged with over 2500 businesses and representative organisations across sectors, both here and in Europe, to deepen our understanding of the key business priorities and opportunities after our withdrawal; including on important issues such as the need for an Implementation Period.

Our agreement on the Implementation Period gives business the clarity and confidence that market access and common regulatory rules will remain in place until the end of 2020, meaning businesses will be able to trade on the same terms as now.

The Government recognises the importance of minimising disruption to businesses and will continue to engage on these issues as we progress to negotiating our deep and ambitious future economic partnership with the EU.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Ministry of Justice
Gender Recognition: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what sentencing guidelines have been put in place to provide for the consideration of the specific needs of transgender people.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 04 April 2018

An HMPPS instruction (PSI 17/2016) advises Pre-sentence report (PSR) writers must consider requesting a full adjournment for the preparation of a PSR where a custodial sentence outcome appears likely, and an offender discloses that they are transgender, on the basis that transgender people may have more complex needs. This guidance is included in the Equal Treatment Bench Book chapter on transgender, published by the Judicial Office. Additionally, a local Transgender Case Board should be convened, either during pre-sentence report preparation or within three working days of reception into custody, to assess and determine the most appropriate location and initial care and management plan for the transgender individual in custody.

Regardless of where a transgender individual is being held, we expect that they will be respected and addressed in the gender with which they identify; and we are committed to ensuring that they are treated fairly, lawfully and decently.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Members' Constituency Work
Commons
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if the Committee will make representations to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on the need for additional financial provision to cover the increase in Members' constituency caseloads as a result of preparations for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Charles Walker
Answered on: 28 March 2018

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) regulates and funds MPs’ business costs and expenses. As part of this role, IPSA sets a maximum budget from which MPs can fund their staffing costs. This is based on an average of four full-time-equivalent staff members, although each MP can choose to deploy this budget to suit their own staffing needs.

MPs’ budgets are reviewed each year. In 2012, the staffing budget was increased by 25% for London Area MPs and by 19% for non-London Area MPs, in part to allow MPs to employ more staff to support their work with constituents. In April 2018, the staffing budget will increase by a further 1.8% to allow for staff pay rises.

In addition, MPs may request to increase their budget if they provide evidence of having incurred unforeseen, exceptional costs. Such requests for contingency funding are considered on a case-by-case basis. If any MP finds that their constituency caseload has increased to an unmanageable level as a result of preparations for the UK leaving the EU (or another exceptional issue), they may apply for an increase to their staffing budget in this way.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what estimate he has made of the number of individual pieces of delegated legislation Parliament will be required to consider as a result of the UK leaving the EU in the twelve months between 29 March 2018 and 29 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Suella Fernandes
Answered on: 26 March 2018

The Government expects to make between 800-1,000 Statutory Instruments to ensure a fully functioning statute book when the UK leaves the EU. While the exact number of Statutory Instruments required will vary, the Government is committed to bringing forward the legislation necessary.

Grouped Questions: 133716
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what estimate he has made of the number of individual pieces of delegated legislation Parliament will be required to consider as a result of the UK leaving the EU in the twelve months between 29 March 2019 and 29 March 2020.
A
Answered by: Suella Fernandes
Answered on: 26 March 2018

The Government expects to make between 800-1,000 Statutory Instruments to ensure a fully functioning statute book when the UK leaves the EU. While the exact number of Statutory Instruments required will vary, the Government is committed to bringing forward the legislation necessary.

Grouped Questions: 133715
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 March 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Occupational Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to review the regulatory framework for occupational pension schemes including the Universities Superannuation Scheme.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 21 March 2018

On Monday we published our White Paper; Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes, which sets out our proposals for strengthening the regulatory framework following a thorough review of the current system of pension protection.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 05 March 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Private Rented Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent representations his Department has received on the advertising of private property lettings explicitly to exclude people in receipt of housing benefit.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The Department has received correspondence on this issue. The Government appreciates the problems that some housing benefit claimants can face in finding accommodation in the private rented sector.

We strongly encourage landlords and agents to look at all potential and existing tenants in receipt of housing benefit on an individual basis. We will shortly be publishing a new How to Let guide to help landlords better understand their responsibilities.

Legislation exists to prohibit acts of discrimination against individuals in terms of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 March 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on the resettlement of disabled refugees under the Dubs scheme.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 13 March 2018

Under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (‘Dubs Amendment’), the Government has invited referrals of eligible children from France, Greece and Italy. In line with our published policy statement, each child will have an individual Best Interests Determination. It is the responsibility of participating States to refer eligible children. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policy-statement-section-67-of-the-immigration-act-2016.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency plans his Department has made to manage the teachers' pensions scheme in the event of Capita being unable to fulfil its contractual obligations.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 09 March 2018

The contractual arrangements covering the administration of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme include a requirement to maintain an exit transition ready for use at any point during the contract term, regardless of the reasons for the contract ending. A plan is in place and its effectiveness is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. The plan includes a range of options, including transferring responsibility to a new service provider as nominated by the Department or transferring the service to the Department to operate.

The contract includes additional provisions under which, if Capita is unable to continue to fulfil its contractual obligations, the Department could use existing IT systems, premises and staff resources to maintain service delivery.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Rape: Victim Support Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that rape crisis centres are adequately funded.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 09 March 2018

The Government is committed to making sure that victims of crime have access to a broad range of support services, to help them cope with and, as far as possible, recover from the effects of crime.

We have made a commitment in the 2016–2020 Violence and Women and Girls strategy, to maintain funding for rape support services at 2016/17 levels for the remainder of the spending review period. We continue to meet that commitment.

This year we are providing £12.5m funding for services for victims of sexual violence, which includes £7.2m funding for rape support services.

This is part of the £96m we are spending in 2017/18 to fund support services for victims of crime across England and Wales, including £68m allocated to Police and Crime Commissioners to locally commission or provide support services for victims of crime, including victims of sexual violence.

This year we provided a 4.1% uplift in core funding for rape support centres to help meet increased demand. In Bristol, uplifts were provided to The Green House, Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS) and Kinergy.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment Support Allowance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that recipients of employment support allowance with the severe disability premium do not have payments reduced when they move to an area where universal credit has been implemented.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 09 March 2018

We have always said that claimants who move over to Universal Credit as part of the managed migration process will not see a cash loss as a result of the change. This is provided that their circumstances remain the same.

Claimants who naturally move to Universal Credit will do so because they have had a change of circumstances. In such cases claimants will continue to have their new welfare support entitlement calculated on the rules of their new benefit.

DWP continue to evaluate this policy as it is delivered.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Tidal Power: South West
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the wave and tidal energy sector in the South West.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 08 March 2018

In October 2017, the Government confirmed that up to £557 million of annual support would be available for further Contracts for Difference (including projects such as wave and tidal stream) with the next competitive allocation round planned for Spring 2019. In addition, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy also provides grant funding for the wave and tidal stream sector through the BEIS Energy Entrepreneurs’ Fund.

The Government is currently assessing the Hendry Review into tidal lagoons and is considering how this technology delivers against its priorities, as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy. This will ensure that the response to the Hendry Review takes into account the best interests of the UK as a whole and represents value for money for the UK taxpayer and the consumer.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prisoners: HIV Infection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) availability, (b) quality and (c) effectiveness of HIV testing and treatment in prisons.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 05 March 2018

HIV testing is available in all prisons in England through healthcare services commissioned by NHS England, through both primary care and genitourinary medicine services. Additionally, all adult prisons in England will provide HIV testing through an ‘opt-out’ testing programme at or near reception by the end of the current financial year as part of a wider blood-borne virus opt-out testing programme being delivered in partnership between Public Health England, NHS England and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.

The quality of services is assessed by NHS England on a quarterly basis through the collection of data via the Health and Justice Indicators of Performance (HJIPs), which includes information on the number of people offered HIV tests, those tested and the number of people newly diagnosed with HIV referred for treatment within two weeks of diagnosis.

For quarter one of financial year 2017/18, 10,574 prisoners were tested for HIV, and 197 cases of HIV were diagnosed in this cohort. Of those, 39 were seen by specialist service providers within two weeks of diagnosis. Further information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/666850/BBV_bulletin_Dec_2017.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prisons: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) quality, (b) availability and (c) effectiveness of drug treatment services in prisons.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 05 March 2018

Drug treatment services in prisons have been systematically reviewed over the past 18 months, as a part of the development of a new service specification. NHS England and their partners support development of a new commissioning service specification as part of a quality improvement programme for prison health services. The NHS England teams that commission these assessments also hold quarterly performance review meetings with drug treatment providers, and recommission the services as a part of a three to five year cycle (or earlier if required).

On average, there was no wait for drug treatment services and nearly all (95%) people started their first treatment intervention within three weeks of being assessed but would start immediately if it was clinically appropriate to do so. Regular needs assessments are undertaken by NHS England to identify specific establishment-level needs.

Effectiveness is measured by Public Health England through the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System. In total, 37,330 individuals left treatment between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Of the individuals that left treatment in the year, 10,066 (27%) were discharged as ‘treatment completed’, up from 23% in 2015-16. Further information is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/677500/OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE_secure_setting_annual_report_2016-17FINAL-v1.2.pdf

Q
(Bristol West)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Domestic Violence: Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what types of specific domestic violence perpetrator programmes are available in prisons for men convicted of crimes involving physical violence against their partner or ex-partner to prevent those offenders from re-offending.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 05 March 2018

We are committed to reducing reoffending and addressing the needs of those individuals convicted of an offence involving Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). We keep treatment programmes under constant review to reduce reoffending and protect the public.

Individuals convicted of an offence involving IPV will be assessed for suitability to participate in programmes based on the principles of risk, need and responsivity. Programmes will be offered to individuals on the basis that they meet the selection criteria, and that participating in a programme can support them to reduce their risk of recidivism.

The accredited programmes available for those men convicted of an offence involving IPV are:

  • Building Better Relationships (BBR)
  • Healthy Relationships Programme (HRP)
  • Kaizen (IPV Strand)
  • Specialist programmes for men with learning disabilities are also available.
Q
(Bristol West)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Domestic Violence: Reoffenders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on rates of re-offending of programmes aimed at perpetrators of domestic violence who are serving prison sentences.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 05 March 2018

Tackling domestic violence and abuse is a key priority for this Government. The programme for men convicted of domestic violence replaces and builds on the success of two programmes that achieved a 13 per cent reduction in overall reoffending of participants. The current programme is designed in line with the latest international evidence of the most effective way to tackle reoffending in domestic violence cases, and has been accredited by a panel of independent, international experts. An evaluation of its effectiveness is planned.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Rehabilitation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what programmes are provided in prisons to prevent men convicted of rape from re-offending.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The accredited programmes available in prison for those men convicted of a sexual offence with an element of rape are:

  • Horizon
  • Kaizen (Sexual Offence Strand)
  • Healthy Sex Programme (HSP)
  • Specialist programmes for men with learning disabilities are also available.

Programmes will be offered to individuals on the basis that they meet the selection criteria, and that participating in a programme can support them to reduce their risk of recidivism.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners' Release: Rape
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment tools and processes are used to assess the risk presented by men convicted of rape when due for release from prison.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 05 March 2018

Evidence-based tools are used to assess the risk presented by men who have been convicted of rape. These include statistically- derived measures which indicate the risk of reconviction for a sexual offence and more individualised assessments of the relevant risk which the offender presents and any “protective factors” which will help mitigate those risks. The assessment of risk will include the extent to which offenders can demonstrate insight into their motivations for offending and their ability to manage future risk. Using these various assessments, a probation offender manager, working closely with local police under the statutory Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), will draw up a risk management plan, to supervise the offender on release and so protect the public.

For offenders who are not released automatically, the Parole Board may direct release of a prisoner only if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should remain detained. When making its decision, the Parole Board will consider all evidence presented to it and take into account the nature of the index offence, the prisoner’s offending history, the prisoner’s progress in prison, any statement made by the victim(s), reports by offender managers and prison officers, and all risk assessments provided. Before release is directed, the Parole Board will also satisfy itself that a comprehensive resettlement and risk management plan is in place.

Grouped Questions: 129424
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners' Release: Rape
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what criteria are used to assess the future risk of sexual offending by men convicted of rape when due for release from prison.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 05 March 2018

Evidence-based tools are used to assess the risk presented by men who have been convicted of rape. These include statistically- derived measures which indicate the risk of reconviction for a sexual offence and more individualised assessments of the relevant risk which the offender presents and any “protective factors” which will help mitigate those risks. The assessment of risk will include the extent to which offenders can demonstrate insight into their motivations for offending and their ability to manage future risk. Using these various assessments, a probation offender manager, working closely with local police under the statutory Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), will draw up a risk management plan, to supervise the offender on release and so protect the public.

For offenders who are not released automatically, the Parole Board may direct release of a prisoner only if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should remain detained. When making its decision, the Parole Board will consider all evidence presented to it and take into account the nature of the index offence, the prisoner’s offending history, the prisoner’s progress in prison, any statement made by the victim(s), reports by offender managers and prison officers, and all risk assessments provided. Before release is directed, the Parole Board will also satisfy itself that a comprehensive resettlement and risk management plan is in place.

Grouped Questions: 129423
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 23 February 2018
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners: Sexual Offences
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has made an assessment of the level of unmet need for specialist programmes to address sexual offending for men convicted of sexual violence who are serving sentences in prison; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 05 March 2018

We are absolutely committed to reducing reoffending and addressing the needs of those individuals convicted of a sexual offence.

A range of accredited programmes are available in custody for men who have been convicted of a sexual offence. Individual suitability for each of these programmes depends on the risk, need and responsivity of the individual. This is assessed locally in each establishment and individuals assessed as suitable and ready to engage with the programmes. Places are prioritised according to the individual’s tariff expiry or release date.

We continue to make every effort to maintain investment in sex offender treatment programmes and commission against offender need. Adjustments to the volume and type of sex offender treatment programmes delivered are agreed (between providers and commissioners) where evidence indicates a change in need.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Attorney General
Trials: Disclosure of Information
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what steps he is taking to improve the system of evidence disclosure in criminal justice cases.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Wright
Answered on: 07 March 2018

Towards the end of last year I launched a review of disclosure procedures in the criminal justice system. This followed a comprehensive joint inspection of disclosure in volume Crown Court cases by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary which concluded earlier in 2017, and the recommendations of the project to review our response to economic crime commissioned by the Prime Minister.

The scope of my review is wide, covering cases in the Magistrates’ Courts as well as more complex Crown Court cases and specialist types of cases, including economic crime and sexual offences. The review will examine existing Codes of Practice, Protocols, Guidelines and legislation as well as case management initiatives and capabilities across the criminal justice system, including how digital technology is used.

Alongside the review, on 26 January 2018 the Crown Prosecution Service and National Police Chiefs’ Council published their joint National Disclosure Improvement Plan, a package of measures to improve how the criminal justice system deals with disclosure. This joint plan sets out what they have already done to improve the disclosure process and the further steps they will take. The Government will continue to monitor progress, to ensure that the police and Crown Prosecution Service deliver on the actions they have committed to undertake.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution: Monitoring
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to extend the air pollution alert system to ensure that notifications about high pollution levels are disseminated as widely as possible.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 26 February 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Stockton North on 12 February 2018, PQ 126644 and 126645.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power: Seas and Oceans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the production of electricity from offshore wind.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The UK is providing more support for offshore wind than any other country in the world. The last Contracts for Difference auction, with results announced on 11 September 2017, will bring forward 3.2GW of new capacity in the UK. This is more than the Netherlands and Denmark will bring forward through their last five combined auctions.

As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government will improve the route to market for renewable technologies such as offshore wind through:

  • Up to £557 million for further Pot 2 Contract for Difference auctions with the next one planned for spring 2019;
  • Working with industry as they develop an ambitious Sector Deal for offshore wind, which could result in 10 gigawatts of new capacity, with the opportunity for additional deployment if this is cost effective, built in the 2020s.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Home Office
Doctors: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review the system for determining the number of points required for a certificate of sponsorship for overseas doctors seeking work in UK hospitals.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has determined that a number of doctors, including consultants specialising in clinical radiology and emergency medicine, are in national shortage and they appear on the published Shortage Occupation List (SOL) which sits under Tier 2, our main immigration route for non-EEA workers.

Applications for jobs on the SOL receive the highest priority – and the highest number of points – when allocating a Tier 2 (General) place.

The SOL is kept under regular review, with the most recent changes made to it last April.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: English Language
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers do not have access to free classes in English as a second language.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 21 February 2018

The Home Office recognises the importance of English language for refugee integration. Refugees are able to access English language classes through the Department for Education’s Adult Education Budget, in the same way as someone from the UK. An additional £10m was provided to provide more English language classes for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

Not all those who make their own way to the UK to seek asylum will be found to be refugees and nearly all will have travelled through other safe countries to get to the UK. This is why support towards integration is offered only when asylum seekers are granted refugee status.

The Home Office does not fund English classes for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers aged 19 or over become eligible for a 50% contribution to the costs of English language classes through the Adult Education Budget, when they have been legally in the UK for longer than six months and are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim or have failed in their claim but have been granted support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. No data is held nationally on the numbers of asylum seekers accessing free English classes. Those learning English as a second language, including asylum seekers and refugees, are individuals with different starting points of English language proficiency who will learn English at different rates, meaning the number of teaching hours to progress English language capability will vary considerably.

The level of English required to enable refugee integration will also vary by individual, however, the Home Office considers ESOL entry level three to be the standard to aim for, as employment opportunities are greater for those with this level of English language capability.

Grouped Questions: 127587 | 127588 | 127589
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: English Language
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have access to 10 hours a week of free classes in English as a second language.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 21 February 2018

The Home Office recognises the importance of English language for refugee integration. Refugees are able to access English language classes through the Department for Education’s Adult Education Budget, in the same way as someone from the UK. An additional £10m was provided to provide more English language classes for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

Not all those who make their own way to the UK to seek asylum will be found to be refugees and nearly all will have travelled through other safe countries to get to the UK. This is why support towards integration is offered only when asylum seekers are granted refugee status.

The Home Office does not fund English classes for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers aged 19 or over become eligible for a 50% contribution to the costs of English language classes through the Adult Education Budget, when they have been legally in the UK for longer than six months and are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim or have failed in their claim but have been granted support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. No data is held nationally on the numbers of asylum seekers accessing free English classes. Those learning English as a second language, including asylum seekers and refugees, are individuals with different starting points of English language proficiency who will learn English at different rates, meaning the number of teaching hours to progress English language capability will vary considerably.

The level of English required to enable refugee integration will also vary by individual, however, the Home Office considers ESOL entry level three to be the standard to aim for, as employment opportunities are greater for those with this level of English language capability.

Grouped Questions: 127586 | 127588 | 127589
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: English Language
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the minimum necessary standard of spoken and written English for a refugee to integrate in the UK.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 21 February 2018

The Home Office recognises the importance of English language for refugee integration. Refugees are able to access English language classes through the Department for Education’s Adult Education Budget, in the same way as someone from the UK. An additional £10m was provided to provide more English language classes for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

Not all those who make their own way to the UK to seek asylum will be found to be refugees and nearly all will have travelled through other safe countries to get to the UK. This is why support towards integration is offered only when asylum seekers are granted refugee status.

The Home Office does not fund English classes for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers aged 19 or over become eligible for a 50% contribution to the costs of English language classes through the Adult Education Budget, when they have been legally in the UK for longer than six months and are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim or have failed in their claim but have been granted support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. No data is held nationally on the numbers of asylum seekers accessing free English classes. Those learning English as a second language, including asylum seekers and refugees, are individuals with different starting points of English language proficiency who will learn English at different rates, meaning the number of teaching hours to progress English language capability will vary considerably.

The level of English required to enable refugee integration will also vary by individual, however, the Home Office considers ESOL entry level three to be the standard to aim for, as employment opportunities are greater for those with this level of English language capability.

Grouped Questions: 127586 | 127587 | 127589
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: English Language
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the minimum total teaching time in English as a second language that is required to allow asylum seekers to achieve adequate standards of spoken and written English.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 21 February 2018

The Home Office recognises the importance of English language for refugee integration. Refugees are able to access English language classes through the Department for Education’s Adult Education Budget, in the same way as someone from the UK. An additional £10m was provided to provide more English language classes for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

Not all those who make their own way to the UK to seek asylum will be found to be refugees and nearly all will have travelled through other safe countries to get to the UK. This is why support towards integration is offered only when asylum seekers are granted refugee status.

The Home Office does not fund English classes for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers aged 19 or over become eligible for a 50% contribution to the costs of English language classes through the Adult Education Budget, when they have been legally in the UK for longer than six months and are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim or have failed in their claim but have been granted support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. No data is held nationally on the numbers of asylum seekers accessing free English classes. Those learning English as a second language, including asylum seekers and refugees, are individuals with different starting points of English language proficiency who will learn English at different rates, meaning the number of teaching hours to progress English language capability will vary considerably.

The level of English required to enable refugee integration will also vary by individual, however, the Home Office considers ESOL entry level three to be the standard to aim for, as employment opportunities are greater for those with this level of English language capability.

Grouped Questions: 127586 | 127587 | 127588
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: 07 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the data held by her Department on the average length of time taken to make a decision on an asylum support application.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Home Office monitors closely the performance of asylum support application decision making and has a range of targets for processing support applications depending on the nature of the application being made. However information on processing times is not recorded in a format suitable for publication and there are no plans to publish such statistics at this time.

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: 07 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to publishing data on length of time taken for decisions to be made on applications for asylum support on a quarterly basis.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Home Office monitors closely the performance of asylum support application decision making and has a range of targets for processing support applications depending on the nature of the application being made. However information on processing times is not recorded in a format suitable for publication and there are no plans to publish such statistics at this time.

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: 07 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department collects on the length of stay in initial accommodation for people applying for Section 95, non-emergency, asylum support.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Home Office closely monitors the length of stay of asylum seekers in Initial Accommodation and aims to move people to Dispersed Accommodation within 19 days. However, some stay in Initial Accommodation for shorter or longer periods depending on their individual needs. Information on the length of stay of people in Initial Accommodation is not currently recorded in a format suitable for publication.

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: 08 February 2018
HM Treasury
Midas Financial Solutions (Scotland)
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the findings of the Financial Services Authority's investigation into Midas Financial Solutions (Scotland) Limited in October 2012.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The publication of findings following an investigation by the Financial Services Authority is a matter for their successor, the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA is an independent non-governmental body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry.

Given the FCA’s independence, it would not be appropriate for the government to comment further on this case.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Doctors: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review the minimum salary threshold for granting visas to overseas doctors with offers of employment in UK hospitals; and will she make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Tier 2 (General) minimum salary thresholds for overseas doctors were set following consultation with the independent Migration Advisory Committee and are based on pay scales published by the NHS – and have not been recently changed.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Health Professions: Vacancies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will add (a) consultant and (b) non-consultant, non-training and medical staff posts in (i) general medicine, (ii) pathology, (iii) psychiatry, (iv) surgery and (v) anaesthetics to the United Kingdom Shortage Occupation list.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

Consultants and non-consultant, non-training, medical staff posts in general medicine and old age psychiatry appear on the current Tier 2 (General) Shortage Occupation List (SOL). All grades in anaesthetics appear on the Scotland specific SOL.

The SOL is based on advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Offences against Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plans to take to ensure services which support children who have experienced sexual abuse receive adequate funding.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 20 February 2018

The Government is committed to ensuring that child victims of sexual abuse have the support that they need. We recognise that effective, timely support for victims is a matter of national importance. It is for this reason that Government has provided funding of £7 million for services supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence in each of the past three years, and will be doing so once more in 2018/19.

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: 08 February 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Social Security Benefits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2018 to question 121556, on Asylum, what steps her Department plans to take with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure refugees are not left destitute following a successful asylum application.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 20 February 2018

Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are provided with accommodation and a cash allowance to cover their other essential living needs.

If they are granted refugee status this support stops 28 days after they are given notice of the decision and provided with a Biometric Residence Permit, which is the evidence they need to prove that they are able to take employment or apply for mainstream benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The permit now contains their national insurance number.

The Home Office now has in place a scheme involving the Department for Work and Pensions which involves contacting the refugees at the point

when they are granted their 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.

This process is designed to ensure that refugees receive the first payment of any benefit they are entitled to before the 28 days period expires, either by full payment of the benefit or an advance payment of Universal Credit where this is needed.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 06 February 2018
HM Treasury
Bank Services: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government is taking steps to prevent people from incurring debt as a result of overdraft charges.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 12 February 2018

Decisions on overdraft fees and charges are a commercial matter for firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires firms to treat their customers fairly and has broad and robust powers to enforce breaches of its rules.

In its July 2017 review of high-cost credit, the FCA concluded that it had concerns about both arranged and unarranged overdrafts. On 31 January 2018 the FCA published an update on its review, confirming it had seen evidence of consumer harm and would be undertaking further analysis to identify the extent of that harm, and how it might be resolved. The FCA has committed to publishing the results of this analysis in May 2018. The FCA also confirmed that overdrafts would be considered as part of its wider Strategic Review of Retail Business Banking Models and that it would look to consult on any further remedies towards the end of 2018, taking into account the findings of the Strategic Review.

The Government supports the FCA’s work in this area and will continue to work with it to ensure that all consumers who use high-cost credit products are treated fairly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 February 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Charities: Non-domestic Rates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons the Government has not raised to 100 per cent the rate of business rate relief for charities on property with a rateable value of under £12,000; and if he will take steps to ensure that charities have 100 per cent such relief.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 08 February 2018

Properties used for charitable purposes are eligible for 80 per cent mandatory business rates relief, which can be topped up to 100 per cent at the discretion of the relevant local authority. This relief is significantly more generous than small business rate relief would be for most charities, given that the latter can generally only be claimed by ratepayers with just one property.

Business rate relief for charities was worth nearly £1.9 billion in 2016-17. Overall, the Government’s support for charities and their donors, including through tax reliefs, was worth over £5 billion in 2016-17.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ethiopia: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help bring about a peaceful resolution to the recent unrest in Ethiopia.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 07 February 2018

The British Government is concerned by recent clashes along the internal border between Somali Regional State and Oromia, especially where this has led to loss of life, displacement, or delayed the delivery of humanitarian assistance in response to drought. In recent bilateral dialogues with the Ethiopian Government, we have reinforced the need for all actors to resolve grievances peacefully rather than through violence, and for all security forces to exercise restraint. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will review her Department’s policy guidance on safe return reviews for refugees applying for settlement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 06 February 2018

There are no plans to review the safe return review policy.

Those who need protection are normally granted 5 years’ limited leave after which they are able to apply for permanent settlement. This policy has been in place since 2005 when automatic settlement for refugees was abolished.

All settlement applications are carefully considered on their individual merits and whilst we have always been clear that protection will be grated for as long as it is needed, we will assess whether there have been significant changes in country conditions or personal circumstances, which means that an individual no longer needs our protection.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Solar Power: Feed-in Tariffs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to re-evaluate the feed-in tariff for households with solar panels with an energy performance certificate of band C and lower.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 06 February 2018

The Government undertook a review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme in 2015. In 2016 revised tariffs were published, out to the end of March 2019. We have no plans to review these tariffs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Solar Power: Feed-in Tariffs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to vary the feed-in tariff for households with solar panels.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 06 February 2018

The Government undertook a review of the Feed-in Tariff scheme in 2015. In 2016 revised tariffs were published, out to the end of March 2019. We have no plans to review these tariffs.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 30 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the the procurement documents for the new Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 06 February 2018

All Home Office contracts are tendered in compliance with the EU Procurement Directives, which ensure that there is a transparent and equitable procurement process

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contracts details and procurement timescales are available at:
http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:461664-2017:TEXT:EN:HTML

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 15 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Homelessness: Personal Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, under what powers the property of a person who is street homeless can be confiscated.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 30 January 2018

There are no powers to confiscate the property of a person who is street homeless on the basis that they are sleeping rough.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Appeals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will examine the reasons for the number of asylum applications which are overturned on appeal; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 January 2018

UK Visas and Immigration reviews all asylum appeals allowed by the Tribunal and is committed to using this information to continue to improve performance.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on young autistic adults in further education of the implementation of universal credit.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The Department continues to evaluate Universal Credit as it is delivered.

The Universal Credit Evaluation is a comprehensive and multi-dimensional programme of analysis designed to assess the economic, social and behavioural impacts of the Universal Credit experience. Research and analysis is conducted to provide continuous tracking and inform the evaluation and expansion of Universal Credit, focusing specifically on the effects of Universal Credit on all claimants’ behaviours and outcomes.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 118830, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the Single European Market on the ability of UK touring musicians to tour the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 January 2018

We are working closely with the music industry to better understand the potential impacts for UK touring musicians after the UK leaves the European Union.

The department is also working closely with the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure that they are informed of our understanding of these issues.

We want to continue to build on the success of the live music scene by helping artists do business across the world.

Grouped Questions: 121658
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 118830, on Musicians: Free Movement of People, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of leaving the Customs Union on the ability of UK touring musicians to tour the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 17 January 2018

We are working closely with the music industry to better understand the potential impacts for UK touring musicians after the UK leaves the European Union.

The department is also working closely with the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Exiting the European Union to ensure that they are informed of our understanding of these issues.

We want to continue to build on the success of the live music scene by helping artists do business across the world.

Grouped Questions: 121657
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the likely effects of introducing warnings on alcoholic products at the point of sale on a link between alcohol and cancer and other health matters.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 17 January 2018

Public Health England’s evidence review on the public health burden of alcohol found that alcohol health warning labels on alcoholic products can raise awareness of the messages they contain. However, the evidence review did not identify any studies which considered the specific impact of warnings at the point of sale on the link between alcohol and cancer and other health harms. The review is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-public-health-burden-of-alcohol-evidence-review

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Clinical Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will consider the merits of introducing a national audit system for clinical trials; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 17 January 2018

All clinical trials of investigational medicinal products in the European Union are registered and information on the trial and a summary of results is made public in the EU clinical trials register, except for adult phase 1 trials which are considered commercially confidential.

Good clinical practice (GCP) is a set of internationally-recognised ethical and scientific quality requirements that must be followed when designing, conducting, recording and reporting clinical trials that involve people. To ensure compliance with GCP, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency carries out inspections in the United Kingdom of organisations that are involved in clinical trials.

The Government’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which is the country’s largest public funder of health research and trials, has implemented a number of initiatives on publication of research results. The NIHR is the world’s first health research funder to publish comprehensive accounts of its commissioned research within its own publicly and permanently available journal series. The NIHR Journals Library comprises a suite of five open access peer-reviewed journals reporting results from a range of health research areas. The reports provide a full account of the research project, including methods and a full description of the results, and complement shorter articles submitted for publication in other peer-review journals, which the NIHR actively encourages researchers to do as part of their dissemination strategy. In addition – contracts for NIHR funding include requirements on publication of the results from NIHR funded and supported research.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has plans to allow online applications for universal credit to be made without having to provide bank details.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 16 January 2018

People can already claim Universal Credit online without a bank account and instructions are provided on the bank account page itself.

Claimants can also use their relatives’ and appointees’ bank accounts in the short term. However, we would always recommend that claimants have and use their own bank accounts.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to add newly recognised refugees to the list of groups exempt from the seven day waiting period for universal credit.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 16 January 2018

From February 2018, newly recognised refugees, like all other claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the first day they claim it (subject to satisfying the conditions of entitlement), removing the seven days some households currently have to wait. The most vulnerable refugees such as those with serious illnesses are already exempt.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
English Language: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to publish a strategy for English as a Second Language provision in England.
A
Answered by: Rishi Sunak
Answered on: 16 January 2018

The manifesto committed the Government to bring forward a new integration strategy, which will include proposals to teach more people to speak English. We are working closely with other government Departments, including the Department for Education, in preparing the integration strategy, which we will publish for consultation shortly.

Grouped Questions: 121784
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support his Department provides to refugees to find employment; and if he will make it his Department’s policy to work with local authorities to increase such support.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Jobcentre Plus work coaches provide tailored support to claimants with complex needs, including refugees, to help them find employment. Refugees will have early access to the Work and Health Programme which will help people who face additional barriers find work. Partnership managers work with a range of stakeholders, including local authorities, to establish what support is available locally, to encourage partnership working and to ensure claimants are signposted appropriately.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Education
Schools: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance her Department provides to schools to support refugee and asylum seeker children.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 16 January 2018

The department does not currently provide schools with specific guidance on how to support refugee and asylum seeker children. Our policy position is that schools will take responsibility for ensuring that all of their pupils, regardless of their background, are engaged, challenged and attain to the best of their abilities. As such, it is for head teachers to determine how to deploy the school’s resources to best effect in meeting the particular needs of their pupils – including those who have refugee or asylum seeker status. Schools have flexibility over how they use their funding to support such pupils – including, where relevant, funding that is allocated for pupils for whom English is an additional language, and for those from financially deprived backgrounds.

If unaccompanied, asylum seeking children become looked-after by a local authority. The government is committed to ensuring that looked-after children, including those seeking asylum, are supported to succeed in education. Statutory guidance on ‘Promoting the Education of Looked-After Children’ and ‘The Roles and Responsibilities of Designated Teachers’ is available to support local authorities and schools in doing this. Revised versions of both documents, updated to include information on unaccompanied asylum seeking children, are due to be published on GOV.UK shortly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of removing legal aid from refugee family reunion cases on those refugees seeking family reunion; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 16 January 2018

Legal aid for family reunion cases may be available through the Exceptional Case Funding Scheme (ECF), subject to the statutory means and merits tests, where failure to provide legal aid would breach rights under the European Convention on Human Rights or EU law.

Changes to the availability of legal aid for civil legal cases were made in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). As part of the pre-legislative consultation process which preceded the passage of LASPO, the Government produced an impact and equality assessment which included the changes to the scope of civil legal cases.

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: 08 January 2018
Ministry of Justice
Refugees: Families
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications for exceptional case funding for refugee family reunion applications under part 11 of the Immigration Rules have been (a) received and (b) accepted in each financial year since 1 April 2013.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 January 2018
Holding answer received on 11 January 2018

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Jobcentre Plus: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to provide training to JobCentre staff to support refugees.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Jobcentre Plus staff are trained to consider a person's circumstances and to tailor support according to their individual needs. Staff complete claimant awareness training that covers a wide range of claimant circumstances including refugees. Staff also have access to information on services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants including refugees.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on ensuring that newly recognised refugees receive the first payment of universal credit within 28 days of their application.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 15 January 2018

DWP and the Home Office have recently introduced a supported handover process to assist newly recognised refugees needing assistance to claim benefits. This enables those participating in the process to access benefits by the end of the 28 day move on period, either through their claim to legacy benefits being processed by day 28, or through the offer of an advance payment of benefit that is made at their work-focused interview if they are being considered for Universal Credit. New claimants can already receive an advance of up to 50% of their estimated entitlement and this will increase to 100% later this month. Their repayment period may also move from six months to 12 months accordingly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: DNA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to reinstate Government funding for DNA testing when it is required for asylum applications.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum claimants and their dependants are not required to provide DNA evidence to support an asylum claim lodged in the UK.

Those applying for refugee family reunion are not required to provide DNA evidence to prove their family relationship and can rely on other evidence to support their application. Our guidance on considering family reunion applications highlights the challenges that applicants may face in obtaining documents to support their application and makes clear the types of evidence that can be provided. This is available on Gov.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-reunion-instruction.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Sponsorship
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to amend immigration legislation to allow adult refugees in the UK to sponsor any dependent relative.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

We already have a comprehensive framework for refugees and their families to be safely reunited in the UK. Our refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of those granted protection in the UK to reunite with them here. The family provisions in the immigration rules provide for relatives with protection in the UK to sponsor children when there are serious and compelling circumstances.

Our policy is also clear that where an application fails under the rules, we will consider whether there are exceptional reasons to grant leave outside the rules. In addition, refugees with family members in the UK may be eligible for resettlement under the Mandate and Gateway Scheme.

Our family reunion policy is designed to provide a safe and legal route for close, dependent family members to join their refugee family in the UK. This avoids the need for family members to make dangerous journeys in order to seek protection.

Grouped Questions: 121572
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees: Sponsorship
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to amend the immigration legislation to allow unaccompanied child refugees in the UK to sponsor their parents and siblings.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

We already have a comprehensive framework for refugees and their families to be safely reunited in the UK. Our refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of those granted protection in the UK to reunite with them here. The family provisions in the immigration rules provide for relatives with protection in the UK to sponsor children when there are serious and compelling circumstances.

Our policy is also clear that where an application fails under the rules, we will consider whether there are exceptional reasons to grant leave outside the rules. In addition, refugees with family members in the UK may be eligible for resettlement under the Mandate and Gateway Scheme.

Our family reunion policy is designed to provide a safe and legal route for close, dependent family members to join their refugee family in the UK. This avoids the need for family members to make dangerous journeys in order to seek protection.

Grouped Questions: 121571
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will allow asylum seekers to work while awaiting a decision on their application for refugee status.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK unless their claim has been outstanding for at least 12 months through no fault of their own. Those who are allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. This policy is designed to protect the resident labour market so that access to employment is prioritised for British citizens and lawful residents, including those granted refugees status. We have no plans to change this policy.

Asylum seekers do not need to work whilst their claim is considered – they are provided with accommodation and support to meet their essential living needs if they would otherwise be destitute.

Grouped Questions: 121582
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum: Employment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will remove the limitation that asylum seekers are only able to work in jobs on the shortage occupation list, when granted permission to work.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in the UK unless their claim has been outstanding for at least 12 months through no fault of their own. Those who are allowed to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. This policy is designed to protect the resident labour market so that access to employment is prioritised for British citizens and lawful residents, including those granted refugees status. We have no plans to change this policy.

Asylum seekers do not need to work whilst their claim is considered – they are provided with accommodation and support to meet their essential living needs if they would otherwise be destitute.

Grouped Questions: 121578
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 09 January 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payment: Tribunals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much public money has been spent on tribunals relating to Personal Independence Payments in 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 15 January 2018

As per the answer to PQs 107049 and 109256, the information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the reasons for the rise in the number of asylum applications in the last 12 momths that have failed to receive a decision within six months.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 15 January 2018

The Home Office has, for 39 months, met its Service Standard to make decisions on 98% of straight forward asylum claims within six months.

Notwithstanding this, we are aware that the number of older cases awaiting decision is increasing. As noted by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in his recent report on Asylum Intake and Casework, this is partly caused by issues relating to staff retention. We recruit high quality and highly skilled people to be asylum caseworkers and they are able to progress their careers quite quickly. However, plans are in place to address this and to reduce the number of older cases awaiting a decision.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Department for Education
English Language: Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to work with English as Second Language providers to ensure that refugee women with child caring responsibilities are able to access classes.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 12 January 2018

In 2016/17, the Department for Education supported 114,100 adult learners, including refugees, to improve their levels of English through fully and part-funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. 67% of these learners were women. These courses were funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), which also provides additional support for all learners, including refugee women, who face specific financial hardship, which can be used to cover childcare costs, for those aged 20 years or over on the first day of learning.

The government has made available £10 million for additional English language training and support for refugees resettled under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to help them integrate into British society. This is jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Home Office. A proportion of the additional ESOL funding (25%) can be used to increase ESOL infrastructure and future participation rates, including supporting activities that help overcome accessibility barriers, such as the provision of childcare facilities.

In addition, all families in England, including refugees, with children aged 3 and 4 are eligible for 15 hours a week of free early education. Since September 2017 working parents of 3 and 4-year olds, including refugee parents, are also eligible for an additional 15 hours of early education, provided they meet certain income criteria.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Police: Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which police forces own an international mobile subscriber identity catcher.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Police: Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police forces operate an International Mobile Subscriber Identifier Catcher.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

Grouped Questions: 121466
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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Electronic Surveillance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance the Government gives on the ownership and use of International Mobile Subscriber Identifier Catcher devices by (a) any agency or person and (b) police forces.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with the intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, without lawful authority.

Investigative activity by public authorities involving interference with property or wireless telegraphy is regulated by the Police Act 1997 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, which set out the high level of authorisation required before law enforcement or the security and intelligence agencies can undertake such activity. The covert surveillance and property interference code of practice provides guidance on the use of these powers.

In addition, the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 will regulate the interference with equipment for the purpose of obtaining communications, equipment data or any other information. These provisions will come into force later this year, and further guidance will be provided in a statutory code of practice.

The use of all covert investigatory powers is overseen by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Ownership and operation of such devices by police forces and other public authorities is an operational matter for them.

Grouped Questions: 121465
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will increase the period in which refugees continue to receive asylum support after receiving a positive decision on their asylum application to 50 days.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

There are no plans to increase the period to 50 days. We are working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that newly recognised refugees are provided with assistance to apply for any benefit to which they are entitled before their Home Office support comes to an end.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will reintroduce a programme of support to newly-recognised refugees similar to that provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service until 2010.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Government has been reviewing the available evidence on the main causes of poor integration and in the coming months will bring forward plans for tackling these issues through a new integration strategy.

This will set out how we will support people in more isolated communities, and assist women, into the workplace in particular, and teach more people to speak English. The strategy will be widely applicable and will include refugees. Refugees are currently given the same access to the labour market and benefits as UK residents, as well as access to English language training. There are no plans to reintroduce a programme of support similar to that previously provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service.

Grouped Questions: 121583
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: 08 January 2018
Department of Health
Health Services: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will publish guidance for healthcare professionals on the entitlements refugees have to NHS treatment.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Department has published extensive guidance on implementing the overseas visitor charging regulations. This guidance is for use by all frontline staff providing National Health Service funded services, as well as the providers and commissioners of those services. It is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-overseas-visitors-hospital-charging-regulations

This guidance, most recently refreshed in December 2017, is clear that refugees (those granted asylum, humanitarian protection or temporary protection under the immigration rules), and their dependents, are exempt from charges for NHS-funded services. They are therefore eligible for free NHS care in the same way as someone who is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. This guidance also sets out that any individual who has made a formal application with the Home Office to be granted asylum, temporary protection or humanitarian protection which has not yet been determined is also exempt from charges, as are their dependants, as part of the application.

Advice and guidance for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients, including refugees, was also published by Public Health England on 8 January 2018 and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide

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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will produce a National Refugee Integration Strategy.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Government has been reviewing the available evidence on the main causes of poor integration and in the coming months will bring forward plans for tackling these issues through a new integration strategy.

This will set out how we will support people in more isolated communities, and assist women, into the workplace in particular, and teach more people to speak English. The strategy will be widely applicable and will include refugees. Refugees are currently given the same access to the labour market and benefits as UK residents, as well as access to English language training. There are no plans to reintroduce a programme of support similar to that previously provided by the Refugee Integration and Employment Service.

Grouped Questions: 121557
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate her Department has made of the contribution of the childcare industry to the UK economy.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 08 January 2018

By 2019-20, the department will be spending around £6 billion on childcare support – a record amount. We have not recently undertaken an economic assessment of the contribution of the industry to the UK economy.

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: 20 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Occupational Pensions: Public Consultation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the outcome was of the Government's consultation entitled Defined Benefits Schemes: Security and Sustainability which ended on 14 May 2017; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 08 January 2018

The Government published a consultation entitled Security and Sustainability in Defined Benefit Schemes on 20 February 2017. The 12-week consultation closed on 14 May 2017. Over 800 responses were received from pension scheme members (active and deferred), pensioners, scheme trustees, employers and national pension associations. We are in the process of analysing these results and we will publish a white paper 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: 20 December 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Pensions: Uprating
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require all pension schemes to index according to inflation for pre-1997 components of defined benefit pensions.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 08 January 2018

If a pensioner’s pre-1997 defined benefit pension rights include a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) earned after April 1988, that element must be increased by inflation, capped at 3 per cent.

Defined benefit pensions accrued after 1997 are subject to statutory limited price indexation: inflation capped at 5 per cent for pensions accrued between April 1997 and April 2005 and inflation capped at 2.5 per cent for pensions accrued after April 2005.

We have no plans to change this.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Wood-burning Stoves
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has to discourage the use of wood-burning stoves.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Around 40% of the UK’s primary emissions of harmful particulate matter come from domestic burning of wood and coal.

To tackle this we are raising consumer awareness about the impact of burning wet wood on health and working with industry to help reduce harmful emissions by encouraging people to shift from using wet/unseasoned wood to dry wood, which can halve emissions of soot and smoke.

We have recently distributed an advice leaflet on open fires and wood burning stoves to all local authorities which includes advice on burning less and the benefits of quality fuels, modern appliances and regular servicing as a means to reduce environmental impact.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department of Health
Clinical Trials
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of whether the UK not being part of the Clinical Trials Regulation coming into effect in 2019 will be able to take part in such trials after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government values the strong collaborative partnerships that we have across the European Union in the areas of science, research and innovation, and as part of Exit negotiations is working to ensure that we have the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials and new medicines after we leave the EU.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, ethics services, National Institute for Health Research and National Health Service have been working towards implementation of the new European Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) since it was agreed in 2014. The application date of the CTR across the EU will be set by the European Commission. The current regulatory approval legislation will stay in place until such time as any changes are needed so there will be no interruption in UK clinical trials approval.

Grouped Questions: 119186
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 13 December 2017
Department of Health
Clinical Trials: EU Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the legislation that will be required in the UK to ensure that the UK becomes compatible with the EU Clinical Trials Regulation coming into force in 2019.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government values the strong collaborative partnerships that we have across the European Union in the areas of science, research and innovation, and as part of Exit negotiations is working to ensure that we have the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials and new medicines after we leave the EU.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Health Research Authority, ethics services, National Institute for Health Research and National Health Service have been working towards implementation of the new European Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR) since it was agreed in 2014. The application date of the CTR across the EU will be set by the European Commission. The current regulatory approval legislation will stay in place until such time as any changes are needed so there will be no interruption in UK clinical trials approval.

Grouped Questions: 119185
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 December 2017
Department of Health
Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing on alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government has made no assessment of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer or the number of cancer deaths. MUP and its effects will continue to remain under review pending the impact of its implementation in Scotland.

Grouped Questions: 119707
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 14 December 2017
Department of Health
Alcoholic Drinks: Minimum Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of minimum unit pricing of alcohol on the number of cancer deaths.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 21 December 2017

The Government has made no assessment of the potential effect of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol on reducing the incidence of cancer or the number of cancer deaths. MUP and its effects will continue to remain under review pending the impact of its implementation in Scotland.

Grouped Questions: 119705
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department of Health
Rare Diseases
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that researchers in the UK can continue to access pan-EU patient cohorts for rare disease and other special populations after the UK has withdrawn from the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 20 December 2017

The Government's policy paper, Collaboration on Science and Innovation: A Future Partnership Paper, emphasises the importance of continued collaboration with European partners to ensure that the United Kingdom remains one of the best places in the world for science and innovation. European Reference Networks for rare diseases were cited in the paper as an example of a partnership that the UK believes should continue.

A key principle for the Government is that patients should not be put at a disadvantage as a result of European Union-exit.

Q
(Bristol West)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Musicians: Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on (a) UK and (b) non-UK EU touring musicians.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 20 December 2017

Since the referendum we have held a series of ministerial meetings and roundtables with the creative industries on the impact and opportunities of the UK leaving the EU. These meetings have included input from the UK music industry on the impact of leaving the EU on touring musicians.

We are committed to supporting and promoting a thriving live music industry and ensuring the continued growth of this vital and vibrant sector.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of providers of 30 hours of funded childcare in Bristol West constituency.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 December 2017

I am sorry, but the department does not hold the data requested.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Education
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of children who are currently eligible for 30 hours free childcare in Bristol West constituency.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 19 December 2017

As of 6 September, 2010 codes were generated for eligible children in Bristol with 1,299 (64%) of these being validated by childcare providers. This figure continues to increase as per our latest management information release in October, which showed 90% of codes being validated across all local councils (compared to 70% in September).

On 19 December we will publish an experimental statistics release ’30 hours free childcare: Autumn term 2017’ which will include a local council breakdown of codes issued and validated.


Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Department for Education
Education: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information her Department holds on the assessment by UK National Recognition Information Centre that the International Certificate of Christian Education General Certificate is comparable to a Cambridge International Education O Level; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 13 December 2017

The UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) is the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from all over the world.

A benchmarking study by UK NARIC has confirmed that the International Certificate of Christian Education General and Advanced Certificates can be considered to be comparable to the overall Cambridge International O and A Level standards. UK NARIC uses the term ‘comparable’ rather than ‘equivalent’. ‘Comparable’ acknowledges that two qualifications may be of the same academic standing, without necessarily having the same aims, curriculum or structure.


Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 05 December 2017
Ministry of Justice
Offenders: Females
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, of 5 December 2017, Official Report, column 882, on Female Offender Management, when he plans to publish the strategy for women and justice.
A
Answered by: Dr Phillip Lee
Answered on: 12 December 2017

We are committed to doing all we can to address the issues around female offending so we can better protect the public and deliver more effective rehabilitation.

Considering how we can best address the needs of female offenders to improve outcomes for them, their families and their communities, is a complex issue that we want to get right.

We are working hard to develop the Female Offender Strategy and we will publish in due course.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Curriculum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of schools which follow an Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

No exact estimate is possible. Registered independent schools in England belonging to the Christian Education Europe group (as shown on the group’s website) are known to use elements of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum - although which elements they use, and how, varies from school to school. However, other independent schools may also use elements of the ACE curriculum.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Qualifications
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her policy is on requiring independent schools to offer qualifications that are recognised and accredited by Ofqual; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

Independent schools must comply with the Independent School Standards Regulations. However, these do not require such schools to offer qualifications. The schools are free to offer any qualification, whether or not they are recognised and accredited by Ofqual. It is for parents to decide whether the provision offered by a particular independent school meets the needs of their children.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Education
Private Education: Curriculum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the number of independent schools that are teaching a faith-based curriculum.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 07 December 2017

There is no estimate available for the number of independent schools that teach a faith-based curriculum.

Although independent schools may declare a religious ethos, and some also have a designation as being a school of religious character, this does not necessarily mean that the curriculum used by the school is significantly affected by the faith in question. There are also some independent schools that offer a faith-based curriculum without having a declared faith ethos or a designation.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for International Development
Developing Countries: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what guidance her Department provides to architects and contractors on the construction of health facilities which her Department funds or supports.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 December 2017

Where health facilities are constructed with DFID support, we expect implementing partners to work with architects and the Ministry of Health to ensure that basic quality standards set by local regulatory authorities are met. For example, in our Access to Health Care programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our implementing partners developed standard designs with the Ministry of Health and with the technical input of architects. This programme also systematically provides WASH infrastructure at health facilities, including toilets, water cisterns, and incinerators. DFID supports adherence to standards through technical advice and programme implementation, and through investments to strengthen health systems that will increase national and local capacity to improve and monitor the quality of health facilities.

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: 29 November 2017
Home Office
Airguns: Licensing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to announce the details and scope of her review of air gun licensing in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 04 December 2017

I announced recently my intention to review the regulation of air weapons, and details of the scope of this review, and how to participate, will be set out shortly. We will also be writing to a number of interested parties shortly, seeking their views on the issues that arise as part of this review.

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 November 2017
Home Office
Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received any formal complaints on the conduct of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 27 November 2017

We are aware of a formal complaint being made against the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner towards another organisation and we are taking the appropriate action.

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 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Work Capability Assessment: Autism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that training offered to those carrying out work capability assessments complies with statutory obligations under the Autism Act 2009.
A
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 20 November 2017

The Autism Act 2009 does not impose any specific statutory obligations on DWP or its Providers. The Department is, however, fully committed to improving the services it provides for people with autism. Part of the Department’s Autism Strategy Action Plan focuses on key areas for improvement, including promotion of the autism agenda to our Assessment Provider, Centre for Health and Disability Assessments. In order to improve the skills and knowledge of Healthcare Professionals that undertake Work Capability Assessments, the Department supported the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments in the development of condition specific training on autism which is quality assured by external reviewers.

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