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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Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Attorney General
Prosecutions: South Yorkshire
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what the average number of days taken from the date of offence to a decision to charge an individual in South Yorkshire in each year since 2010 was.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) works closely with the Police to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated before charges are brought. There has been an increase in the complexity of cases investigated by the police, with investigations often involving large amounts of electronic material (social media, emails, text messages, video and photographs) which needs to be reviewed by prosecutors before a charging decision can be made. This impacts on the average number of consultations and length of time taken for prosecutors to reach a charging decision.

The CPS does not maintain a record of the average number of days taken from offence through to a decision to charge. However, data is held on the average number of days from submission of a case by the police to the CPS to the date of the CPS decision to charge.

Data relating to to all cases in South Yorkshire, summary only cases in South Yorkshire, and indictable only cases in South Yorkshire is shown in Annex A.

The data in Annex A relating to summary only cases provides figures for only a minority of summary only cases. This is because the CPS is only responsible for charging a small minority of summary only matters, with the majority charged by the police. In 2017-18 the police charged 75% of all summary only matters with only 25% charged by CPS, while for indicatable only offences the CPS charged 95% of these cases.

There are a number of reasons for the steady increase in the average number of days and average number of consultations per case since 2010/11. Police are now more regularly encouraged to seek ‘early investigative advice’ to help determine what evidence is required for a charge. Early investigative advice helps to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated and the evidence to be brought before the court is strong. As a result, the CPS is more often involved at an earlier stage in proceedings which impacts on the average number of consultations and overall timeliness.

Annex A (Word Document, 16.31 KB)
Grouped Questions: 266095 | 266096
Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Attorney General
Prosecutions: South Yorkshire
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what the average number of days taken from the date of an offence to a decision to charge and individual for summary offences in South Yorkshire in each year since 2010 was.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) works closely with the Police to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated before charges are brought. There has been an increase in the complexity of cases investigated by the police, with investigations often involving large amounts of electronic material (social media, emails, text messages, video and photographs) which needs to be reviewed by prosecutors before a charging decision can be made. This impacts on the average number of consultations and length of time taken for prosecutors to reach a charging decision.

The CPS does not maintain a record of the average number of days taken from offence through to a decision to charge. However, data is held on the average number of days from submission of a case by the police to the CPS to the date of the CPS decision to charge.

Data relating to to all cases in South Yorkshire, summary only cases in South Yorkshire, and indictable only cases in South Yorkshire is shown in Annex A.

The data in Annex A relating to summary only cases provides figures for only a minority of summary only cases. This is because the CPS is only responsible for charging a small minority of summary only matters, with the majority charged by the police. In 2017-18 the police charged 75% of all summary only matters with only 25% charged by CPS, while for indicatable only offences the CPS charged 95% of these cases.

There are a number of reasons for the steady increase in the average number of days and average number of consultations per case since 2010/11. Police are now more regularly encouraged to seek ‘early investigative advice’ to help determine what evidence is required for a charge. Early investigative advice helps to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated and the evidence to be brought before the court is strong. As a result, the CPS is more often involved at an earlier stage in proceedings which impacts on the average number of consultations and overall timeliness.

Annex A (Word Document, 16.31 KB)
Grouped Questions: 266094 | 266096
Q
Asked by John Healey
(Wentworth and Dearne)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Attorney General
Prosecutions: South Yorkshire
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what the average number of days taken from the date of an offence to a decision to charge an individual for an indictable offence in South Yorkshire in each year since 2010 was.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) works closely with the Police to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated before charges are brought. There has been an increase in the complexity of cases investigated by the police, with investigations often involving large amounts of electronic material (social media, emails, text messages, video and photographs) which needs to be reviewed by prosecutors before a charging decision can be made. This impacts on the average number of consultations and length of time taken for prosecutors to reach a charging decision.

The CPS does not maintain a record of the average number of days taken from offence through to a decision to charge. However, data is held on the average number of days from submission of a case by the police to the CPS to the date of the CPS decision to charge.

Data relating to to all cases in South Yorkshire, summary only cases in South Yorkshire, and indictable only cases in South Yorkshire is shown in Annex A.

The data in Annex A relating to summary only cases provides figures for only a minority of summary only cases. This is because the CPS is only responsible for charging a small minority of summary only matters, with the majority charged by the police. In 2017-18 the police charged 75% of all summary only matters with only 25% charged by CPS, while for indicatable only offences the CPS charged 95% of these cases.

There are a number of reasons for the steady increase in the average number of days and average number of consultations per case since 2010/11. Police are now more regularly encouraged to seek ‘early investigative advice’ to help determine what evidence is required for a charge. Early investigative advice helps to ensure that cases are thoroughly investigated and the evidence to be brought before the court is strong. As a result, the CPS is more often involved at an earlier stage in proceedings which impacts on the average number of consultations and overall timeliness.

Annex A (Word Document, 16.31 KB)
Grouped Questions: 266094 | 266095
Q
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sudan: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department is taking to encourage the Transitional Military Council in Sudan to resume negotiations with protesters in that country.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 June 2019

On 3 June, the Foreign Secretary condemned the attack on protestors by Sudanese security forces, and held the Transitional Military Council (TMC) fully responsible. We also expressed serious concern over TMC's announcement that it would cease negotiations and called for an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led government. Our Embassy in Khartoum has called on the TMC to take the steps needed to improve the situation in Sudan, including the release of all political detainees.

The TMC now need to take appropriate steps to provide confidence for protestors and create the conditions necessary for the resumption of dialogue, which includes an investigation into the 3 June attack and Freedom of Media and blockages to the internet ceasing, and free media being allowed. We have said that the TMC must re-engage in the political process with the protestors and opposition to ensure an agreed transfer of power to a civilian-led authority, as demanded by the Sudanese people, in a swift, orderly and peaceful manner. The UK will continue to engage with all sides to support a settlement that works for all Sudanese people.

Q
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mali: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of ethnic tension in Mali.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 June 2019

I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Mali, and particularly the recent and continuing violence between communities in the central Mopti region, which has included attacks on children and civilians. I have and will continue to call for perpetrators to be brought to justice and for the cycle of violence to end. It is essential that the Government of Mali puts in place and implements a comprehensive strategy to address the insecurity and the lack of dialogue between communities in conflict. The UK is increasing support to help address the complex challenges faced by Mali, including developing programmes to address the long-term drivers of instability and conflict in the region.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU with no deal on his Department’s ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 in the UK.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 26 June 2019

Leaving the European Union, with or without a deal, will not affect our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. We remain committed to supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, both domestically and internationally.

Q
(Leicester South)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Debts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to NHS Improvement’s publication entitled Quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector: quarter 4 2018-19, for what reasons the underlying deficit of the NHS provider sector has grown to £5.0 billion; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 26 June 2019

We have seen an improvement in the provider deficit from £991 million in 2017-18 to £827 million.

We recognise that it is important that the provider sector balances and there is still much more to do. The National Health Service has committed to returning the provider sector to balance, as well as all providers, as part of its NHS Long Term Plan, supported by the new cash terms funding commitment of £33.9 billion by 2023-24.

It is misleading to infer the financial health of the provider sector from changes in the reported underlying deficit. The purpose of calculating of an underlying deficit is to use as a baseline for planning purposes for individual trusts. Adjustments made to construct this figure include the removal of funding that is recurrent in the national NHS budget (but not for individual trusts), for example the Provider Sustainability Fund, which grew from £1.8 billion in 2017-18 to £2.45 billion in 2018-19. The growth in the underlying deficit simply reflects a growth in this recurrent income stream.

Q
Asked by Jeff Smith
(Manchester, Withington)
Asked on: 18 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Nurses: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to achieve the target in the NHS Long Term Plan of recruiting 40,000 extra nurses in the next five years.
A
Answered by: Stephen Hammond
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The interim People Plan published on 3 June 2019 sets out some of the steps needed to ensure the National Health Service have the staff they need to deliver high quality care, including growing our nursing workforce by 40,000 in the next five years.

The interim People Plan commits to providing funding for an additional 5,000 clinical placements for pre-registration nurse training places each year, as well as reducing attrition from training courses and expanding the international recruitment of nurses. To support this commitment NHS Improvement and NHS England are currently delivering a rapid clinical placement expansion programme, working with NHS trust directors of nursing to provide targeted support and resource to increase placement capacity for the September 2019 student intake. NHS Improvement and NHS England have also committed to undertake a comprehensive review of clinical placement activity to increase expansion and student intakes in future years.

The interim People Plan stresses the importance of improving the retention of our existing nursing workforce. To that effect NHS Improvement and NHS Employers have been working in partnership to deliver a national programme to support NHS trusts improve the retention of their nursing and clinical workforce focusing on key issues such as flexible working, development and career planning.

The interim People Plan also outlines the need to support more nurses to return to practice. NHS Improvement has committed to launch a new return to practice campaign, alongside a new marketing campaign, to highlight the opportunities and support available.

A full People Plan will be published soon after the conclusion of the Spending Review when there is further clarity on NHS education and training budgets.

Q
Asked by Scott Mann
(North Cornwall)
Asked on: 19 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Spain: Taiwan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Spanish counterpart on the extradition of 94 Taiwanese citizens to China.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2019

Her Majesty’s Government has not raised this issue with Spain. Spain is party to the European Convention on Human Rights and this is a matter for the Spanish courts. It would not be appropriate for us to comment.

Q
(Preston)
Asked on: 19 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representation to the French Government on protecting the human rights of refugees based at (a) Calais and (b) Dunkirk.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2019

This is a Home Office policy area and so I have not spoken to my French colleagues on this matter. The British government is committed to working closely with our French partners at all levels of their government to jointly manage our shared border at Calais and Dunkirk. We have close bilateral cooperation and a regular dialogue with French officials on migration matters

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 20 June 2019
Department for International Trade
Politics and Government: Hong Kong
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of reduced legal certainty in Hong Kong on UK trade and investment with China.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The protests in Hong Kong have shown the strength of feeling among its people. It is vital that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy is respected, including the rule of law. As a strong supporter of the “One country, two systems” principle, we have a high level of ambition for our trade and investment relationship with China and Hong Kong. We are determined to work with both China and Hong Kong to further improve our trade relationship to increase trade and investment flows.

Q
(Motherwell and Wishaw)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of paying parents using the collect and pay service have paid some child maintenance in each quarter of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The latest statistics on the number of paying parents and the proportion of those parents using the Collect & Pay service, who have paid some child maintenance in each quarter in the last three years are published in Table 7 of the Child Maintenance Service Statistics: Paying Parents Compliance.

It is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-august-2013-to-december-2018-experimental

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his (a) Dutch and (b) Russian counterparts on supporting the enforcement of the warrants issued for those charged with shooting down flight MH17.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2019

​As envisaged by UN Security Council Resolution 2166, HMG and UK law enforcement officials are in close contact with their Dutch counterparts and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) into the shooting down of flight MH17.

The execution of any individual warrants is a matter for the UK's independent police services.

On 19 June the MH17 JIT and the Dutch National Prosecutor announced they were charging four suspects with the murder of 298 people and causing the crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine. In his statement that day, the Foreign Secretary, called on Russia to cooperate fully in the investigation. This would include assisting with the arrest of the suspects, facilitating their questioning by Dutch investigators and the JIT, facilitating their presence at trial, and if necessary, enforcing any sentences.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support he is providing to the families of the victims of the shooting down of flight MH17 now that suspects have been charged.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2019

​All families of British nationals who died in the MH17 crash were provided with consular assistance. This assistance included referrals to victim support organisations, advice on repatriation, updates on the investigation, and the deployment of a Family Liaison Officer (for those based in the UK). We recognise that the upcoming trial process may be distressing for the bereaved families and we have contacted them either via the UK Police or directly to offer further assistance at this time.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Attorney General
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of cases of suspected rape were given a No Further Action as a result of insufficient evidence to proceed in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 26 June 2019

Rape and serious sexual offences are devastating crimes that have a profound impact on victims, and are some of the most challenging and complex cases that the CPS deals with. Where evidence submitted by the Police is sufficient to bring charges, the CPS will not hesitate to prosecute these horrific crimes.

The CPS maintains a central record to show the overall number of charging decisions where a decision has been made to take No Further Action in cases recorded as rape on the system. The data is shown below broken down by financial year:

  • In 2015-16, 31.5% of cases of suspected rape were not prosecuted due to evidential issues (2,162 cases)

  • In 2016-17, 31.2% of cases of suspected rape were not prosecuted due to evidential issues (2,061 cases)

  • In 2017-18, 29.7% of cases of suspected rape were not prosecuted due to evidential issues (1,786 cases)

Q
(Motherwell and Wishaw)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many parents were paying child maintenance using a deduction from earnings request under the child maintenance service in each quarter of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The number of Paying Parents who were paying child maintenance using a Deduction from Earnings request under the Child Maintenance Service in each quarter of the last three years are outlined in the tables below. These figures count all Paying Parents due to pay maintenance via Deduction from Earnings request, regardless of whether any maintenance had been paid in that quarter.

Calendar Year 2018

Quarter ending

March 2018

June 2018

September 2018

December 2018

Number of paying parents with a Deduction from earnings request

480

580

590

570

Calendar Year 2017

Quarter ending

March 2017

June 2017

September 2017

December 2017

Number of paying parents with a Deduction from earnings request

290

320

330

380

Calendar Year 2016

Quarter ending

March 2016

June 2016

September 2016

December 2016

Number of paying parents with a Deduction from earnings request

210

230

250

270

Please note that figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Q
(South Northamptonshire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the recommendations of the Inter Ministerial Group on early years family support have been agreed by her Department; and what further steps she has taken to improve early years family support.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 26 June 2019

The Early Years Family Support Ministerial Group is considering how the Government can improve the coordination and cost-effectiveness of early years (conception to age 2) family support and identify gaps in available provision. The group has now made recommendations to Secretaries of State.

Q
Asked by Lord Scriven
Asked on: 04 June 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gulf States: Overseas Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the allocated budget for the Gulf Integrated Activity Fund for the 2019/20 financial year; and which countries will receive support from that Fund.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Corrected on: 25 June 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 18 June 2019.
The correct answer should have been:

The allocated budget for the Gulf Integrated Activity Fund (IAF) for the 2019/20 financial year is £20m. The IAF will fund activity in all seven six Gulf Cooperation Council States including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. and Yemen.

A
Answered on: 18 June 2019

The allocated budget for the Gulf Integrated Activity Fund (IAF) for the 2019/20 financial year is £20m. The IAF will fund activity in all seven six Gulf Cooperation Council States including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. and Yemen.

Asked on: 04 June 2019
Home Office
Terrorism
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 24 May (HL15688), whether they will now answer the question put, namely what assessment they have made of the impact of the ban on direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh on the current UK terrorist threat level.
Answered on: 25 June 2019

I refer the noble Lord to my previous response.

The threat level to the UK from international terrorism is kept under constant review by the independent Joint Terrorist Analysis Centre, whose judgements about the threat level are made on the basis of the very latest reporting and intelligence. This can change at any time as different information becomes available.

The current threat level from international terrorism is judged to be SEVERE, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Q
(Ashfield)
[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 June 2019
Ministry of Justice
Legal Aid Scheme: Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many legal aid applications for domestic violence have been made in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 25 June 2019

Police recorded domestic abuse crimes have increased by over 60% in the last three years, demonstrating increased victim confidence to report and better police recording of these crimes. Overall, prosecutions and convictions for domestic abuse are both up since 2010 – by 20 per cent and 28 per cent respectively, with 76% of all prosecutions resulting in successful convictions, the highest proportion since 2010. However, the CPS are working closely with the police locally and nationally to ensure appropriate referrals are made by the police and to address any fall in referrals where needed. In November last year, MHCLG awarded £22 million for domestic abuse projects across the country. This is helping to provide over 2,200 new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation, as well as access to education and tailored employment and life skills guidance. MHCLG are also consulting on potential measure for sustainable delivery of support for victims and their children in accommodation-based services for domestic abuse across England. The Consultation ends on 2 August. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse-in-safe-accommodation The figures below relate to legal aid at the Civil Representation level. Legal aid for these matters is also available by way of initial advice and assistance under the Legal Help scheme. Application and percentage data is not held for Legal Help matters, as the decision on whether to grant funding is devolved to the solicitor in question.

Financial Year

Domestic Violence Applications

Granted

Proportion Granted

2010-11

19,951

17,995

90%

2011-12

17,652

16,187

92%

2012-13

17,406

15,812

91%

2013-14

16,925

15,306

90%

2014-15

15,662

14,114

90%

2015-16

14,748

13,574

92%

2016-17

14,092

13,349

95%

2017-18

14,188

13,446

95%

2018-19*

10,200

9,499

93%

Financial Year

Injunction Applications

Granted

Proportion Granted

2010-11

19,951

17,995

90%

2011-12

17,647

16,182

92%

2012-13

17,395

15,802

91%

2013-14

16,925

15,306

90%

2014-15

15,661

14,114

90%

2015-16

14,746

13,572

92%

2016-17

14,090

13,349

95%

2017-18

14,188

13,446

95%

2018-19

10,200

9,499

93%

*(Apr to Dec 2018) Please note that injunction figures, although being separately reported on here, are included as part of the ‘Domestic Violence’ category volumes displayed in the first table.
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