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
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department for International Development
Bangladesh: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the sanitation levels in camps for displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh and the effect of those levels on living conditions.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 December 2017

DFID is one of the largest bilateral donors to the Rohingya crisis and we are already providing over £6m for water and sanitation support through our partners in Cox’s Bazar. This includes providing and maintaining toilets, and providing single cubicle shower facilities separated for men and women. Major challenges remain, however. Water sources are being contaminated, given the very crowded camps and because international standards on borehole drilling and placement of toilets in proximity to water sources are not always being followed. DFID is taking the lead on urgently tackling these public health concerns, pushing our partners to scale up their response and exploring how else we can help.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Sleeping Rough
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of rough sleeping in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 11 December 2017

This Government is determined to do more to reduce the number of people sleeping rough. We have established a new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Implementation Taskforce, chaired by the Secretary of State, which will drive forward the implementation of a cross-Government strategy to tackle this issue.

We have allocated over £1 billion up to 2020 to support these efforts including piloting a Housing First approach for the most entrenched rough sleepers in the 3 major areas of England – the West Midlands Combined Authority, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

From April 2018 we are implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act, the biggest change to homelessness legislation in decades, which will require councils to provide early support to people at risk of homelessness and rough sleeping.

DCLG publishes regular statistics on rough sleeping which are published at national, London and local authority level. The latest statistics can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 December 2017
Department of Health
Children: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to (a) health care and (b) social care for the families of disabled children.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 11 December 2017

Clinical commissioning groups must ensure that they secure health services to meet the needs of disabled children to a reasonable extent. The statutory framework introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014 requires clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to work together to support the needs of children with a special educational need and disability. Commissioners must publish a transparent ‘local offer’ of services available which has been developed for, and with, parents and young people. Since May 2016, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have been inspecting local areas on their effectiveness in fulfilling their new duties for children and young people with special educational needs. NHS England is leading work to improve outcomes from commissioning of wheelchairs, including the National Wheelchair Data Collection, and the publication in July 2017 of a new service specification for wheelchair services.

Children’s social care is the responsibility of the Department for Education. All disabled children are regarded as children ‘in need’ under the Children Act 1989 and may receive social care from the local authority. The Children and Families Act 2014 placed a duty on local authorities to assess whether a parent carer in their area has needs for support. A parent carer is defined as a person aged 18 or over who provides or intends to provide care for a disabled child for whom they have parental responsibility. An assessment must have regard to the parent carer’s well-being, must consider whether it is appropriate for the parent carer to continue to provide care for the disabled child in light of the parent carer’s needs for support, other needs and wishes, and must consider whether the parent carer has needs for support.

Local authorities also provide short break services for disabled children, sometimes known as respite care, which also give their families and carers time to do normal things and take rest from care responsibilities. In April 2011, the Government introduced a statutory duty for all local authorities to provide a range of short breaks services, to consider carers’ needs in the design of these services and to publicise them clearly. While responsibility for funding short breaks rests with local authorities, the Department for Education has offered support and challenge and continues to consider how it can best support local authorities who are working to deliver sustainable short breaks provision.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Housing: Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support improved energy-efficiency in (a) newbuild homes, and (b) existing properties.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 06 December 2017

The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, published in October 2017, sets out our ambitions for improving the energy performance of all buildings including new homes and existing properties.

Energy performance requirements for new homes in building regulations were most recently strengthened in 2010 and 2014. As a result of these changes home builders are required to deliver highly efficient homes that typically reduce energy bills by £200 a year, compared to homes built before 2010.

As part of this, and following the outcome of Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety, we will consult on improving energy requirements for new homes and existing properties where the evidence suggests that there are cost effective and affordable opportunities, and it is safe and practical to do.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Transplant Surgery: Stem Cells
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the provision of care and support available to patients following a stem cell transplant.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 06 December 2017

NHS England is responsible for commissioning and funding the transplant related care which takes place 30 days before transplant and continues until 100 days post-transplant. As outlined in the Manual, after 100 days post-transplant, commissioning responsibility for the routine follow-up of patients switches from NHS England to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The Manual for Prescribed Specialised Services describes which elements of specialised services are commissioned by NHS England and which are commissioned by CCGs is available at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/prescribed-specialised-services-manual-2.pdf

In the event that transplant patients experience serious complications post-transplant, elements of their care would likely continue to be planned, organised and funded by NHS England specialised commissioning. For example, if a patient requires Extracorporeal Photophersis which is a treatment for acute and chronic graft versus host disease following transplantation, NHS England commissions this care post-transplant.

NHS England’s work in supporting the roll out of the Recovery Package for cancer patients, including those who received blood and marrow transplants, helps ensure patients have more personal care and support from the point they are diagnosed and once treatment ends. For patients this means working with their care team to develop a comprehensive plan outlining not only their physical needs, but also additional support, such as help at home or financial advice. By 2020 NHS England wants all cancer patients to have access to the Recovery Package.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Leasehold: Unfair Practices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the results of his Department’s consultation on tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 05 December 2017

The Government’s consultation, Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market, considered a number of issues within the leasehold sector including the sale of new built leasehold houses, and onerous ground rents. The consultation also sought views on what further areas of leasehold reform should be prioritised and why.

The public consultation, which closed on 19 September, received around 6,000 replies. We are carefully analysing the responses, and will issue the Government response very shortly.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 24 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: West Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Israel on the proposed Jerusalem and its Daughters bill which seeks to annex the three major West Bank settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim/E-1, and Givat Ze’ev.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 December 2017

Our Ambassador to Israel raised concerns on the bill with the Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, on 26 October. While the proposed bill is still in the preliminary stages of legislation, we remain strongly opposed to any attempts to change the facts on the ground in East Jerusalem. A final determination of the status of Jerusalem should be sought as part of a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. It must ensure Jerusalem is a shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states, with access and religious rights of both peoples respected.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the severity of violence towards Rohingya people in Rakhine from the Burmese civilian population
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 01 December 2017

The Government has strong reason to believe​ that serious acts of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, have been carried out against the Rohingya. It is important that the international Fact-Finding Mission is able to investigate fully, including through access to Burma, so we can understand the full extent and nature of the violence. It is clear that the military have created the current situation in Rakhine, and bear primary responsibility for the suffering we have seen. But there is also credible evidence that civilians in Rakhine State have carried out acts of violence against Rohingya individuals and groups, and against their homes and property.

I underlined the UK's deep concern about the violence in Rakhine when I met Burma's Defence Minister on 20 November. I stressed the need for Burma's military and police to restore security, to allow an independent international investigation of what had happened, and to guarantee the safety of those Rohingya who wish to return to their homes.

This violence shows the importance of addressing the underlying issues in Rakhine, including inter-communal tension. The Rakhine Advisory Commission presented a range of good recommendations that could contribute to the longer term resolution of these problems. The UK has made clear it supports for these recommendations, and is ready to assist with their implementation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Travel Restrictions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with other EU Member States on formalised travel sanctions on Burmese military leaders.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 01 December 2017

​​The Foreign Secretary secured agreement at the 16 October Foreign Affairs Council to suspend all military visits to the EU and to review practical defence engagement, and a commitment to consider additional measures if the situation in Rakhine State did not improve. If the Burmese authorities do not heed the calls of the UN Security Council Presidential Statement of 6 November, the Foreign Secretary will use the December Foreign Affairs Council to discuss with counterparts what additional measures the EU should consider. The EU retains an arms embargo on Burma; the UK strongly supports this.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bangladesh: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made with the Government of Bangladesh on reiterating the principle of non-refoulement in relation to Rohingya refugees in that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 01 December 2017

The UK has been clear that an agreement on returning the Rohingya refugees to their homes in Burma must provide for voluntary, safe and dignified return. I made these points to the Bangladesh High Commissioner Nazmul Quaunine and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque when we ​met on 2 November. The principle of non-refoulement is also detailed in the United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement made on 6 November – a statement the UK was instrumental in achieving.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: West Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to raise the matter of the demolition of homes and structures in Area C of the West Bank at the United Nations Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of Israel, in January 2018
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 December 2017

​We are currently considering our recommendations ahead of the Universal Periodic Review of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in January 2018. We are gravely concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property by the Israeli authorities. We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our serious concern at the increase in demolitions of Palestinian properties in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and we call on the Government of Israel to cease the policy of demolitions and provide a transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what human rights issues his Department plans to raise at the Universal Periodic Review of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in January 2018?
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 December 2017

​The UK engages consistently and comprehensively in the Universal Periodic Review process. We have spoken at every session and on every country since the process began, and are committed to its improvement. During the second cycle we worked with other States to limit the number of recommendations made to States under review, and ensure that they were of good quality. We are currently considering our recommendations ahead of the Universal Periodic Review of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in January 2018.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: West Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the United Nations' conclusion that the 46 Palestinian communities in the central West Bank subject to a relocation plan by Israeli authorities are at high risk of forcible transfer.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 December 2017

​We have not made an assessment of the efficacy of the United Nations' conclusion that the 46 Palestinian communities in the central West Bank subject to a relocation plan by Israeli authorities are at high risk of forcible transfer. However, the UK is gravely concerned by Israeli proposals to relocate the Bedouin population from the E1 area. These plans could have a devastating impact on the communities concerned and will likely open the way for further settlement expansion – endangering the viability of the two-state solution. We have been clear about our grave concerns with the Israeli authorities and our Embassy in Tel Aviv most recently raised our concerns in a joint demarche with European Partners on 2 November 2017.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: West Bank
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with European Union Member States about drafting a joint letter to the Government of Israel demanding compensation for the demolition and confiscation of donor-funded structures in Area C of the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 01 December 2017

We have not had any recent discussions with EU member states about a joint letter to the Israeli authorities about compensation. We are, however, keeping the case for compensation under review. The UK is focused on preventing demolitions from happening in the first place through our funding to the Norwegian Refugee Council legal aid programme which helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Bournville Gardens Village
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what topics were discussed during the Minister of State for Health's visit to Bournville Care Village on Friday 24 November 2017; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 01 December 2017

I toured the College Green development in Bournville which, it is proposed, will be home to around 400 older people once it is complete next year.

It is also intended to house a state-of-the-art health and well-being centre, which will be a base for a number of general practitioner practices and a pharmacy providing a range of health services.

I also discussed the results of a study by Aston University of the impact of improved health and wellbeing of residents in care villages in Birmingham, like College Green, allowing elderly residents to enjoy independent living in a supportive environment with less need for National Health Service care.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 November 2017
Department of Health
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State plans to respond to the letter of 31 October from the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield on Premises Cost Directions and Bournville Gardens Health and Wellbeing Centre.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 01 December 2017

A response was sent by post and email on 29 November 2017.

NHS England has advised that the application to the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund is currently going through the approval processes and checks.

To avoid delays, additional funding has been provided to the clinical commissioning group (CCG) for the development of its Outline Business Case. The CCG is engaging with the Bournville Village Trust to progress the business case.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 24 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bangladesh: Non-governmental Organisations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Bangladesh on increasing the length of permits for NGOs to operate in that country.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 29 November 2017

I am aware of the limited length of formal permissions granted by Government of Bangladesh to NGOs operating as part of the Rohingya response, and of reports of the difficulty in obtaining these permissions. The International Development Secretary raised these specific concerns with the Government of Bangladesh during her visit to Bangladesh on 25-26 November. I raised our wider concerns regarding humanitarian access to Rohingya refugee camps with Bangladesh High Commissioner Quaunine and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque on 2 November, and with Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam during my visit to Dhaka, 28-29 September. The High Commission in Dhaka maintains a regular dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh on the issue of NGO access and the broader effort to support Rohingya refugees.

Bangladesh is playing a vital role in supporting the Rohingya refugees who have fled appalling violence in Burma. The UK has already​ committed £59 million to the Rohingya response to provide life-saving water, food, shelter and sanitation desperately needed by the Rohingya community in Bangladesh.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to encourage the Israeli Government to engage with the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review taking place in January 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The UK values the Universal Periodic Review, which allows an open and constructive dialogue on the key human rights concerns of all 193 UN member states. We encourage all UN member states to reap the benefits of such a dialogue by engaging fully with the Universal Periodic Review process.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to secure humanitarian access to northern Rakhine in Burma.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The Red Cross and the World Food Programme are currently the only aid organisations with permission to provide humanitarian support in Northern Rakhine. The UK has provided £2 million to the World Food Programme and £1 million to the Red Cross. We continue to urge the Burmese authorities to grant full access to UN and other agencies so that they can help meet the urgent need in Northern Rakhine. During my visit to Burma on 20-21 November, I met ​Burma's Minister of Defence Sein Win and the Deputy Foreign Minister U Kyaw Tin and pressed again the need for full humanitarian access.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: United Nations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the United Nations fact-finding mission in Rakhine State, Burma.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 28 November 2017

​The UK co-sponsored the resolution at the Human Rights Council in March 2017 which set up a Fact-Finding Mission to look into the human rights situation in Burma. We also supported the extension of its mandate until September 2018. We have repeatedly urged Burma to cooperate with the Fact-Finding Mission and grant it access to Rakhine State, and shall continue to do so. I look forward to meeting the members of the Fact-Finding Mission during their visit to London in December.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the documentation and investigation of sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls in Rakhine State, Burma.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 28 November 2017

​The UK has been clear about the need for the Burmese authorities to end all violence including gender-based violence in Rakhine. I urged an independent investigation of reports of atrocities and incidents of sexual violence when I met Burma's Minister for the Office of the State Counsellor on 20 November in Nay Pyi Daw​. The Foreign Secretary has raised his concerns about reports of sexual violence directly with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The UK Government has deployed two civilian experts to Bangladesh to conduct a capacity needs assessment on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence. This will provide recommendations for the UK Government to consider on support for evidence gathering: it is vital that any evidence or testimony gathered is collated in the proper way. The UK is also funding the provision of medical services, counselling and psychological support to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have either witnessed or are survivors of sexual violence. An FCO official recently travelled with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence to meet victims and witnesses of sexual violence in Bangladeshi refugee camps; the UK is supporting the Special Representative's proposal to brief the UN Security Council on her findings.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Department for International Development
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to encourage coordination between the International Organisation for Migration, the UN and foreign governments in response to the Rohingya crisis.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 November 2017

The Secretary of State for International Development recently returned from Bangladesh where she met the UN Resident Coordinator, IOM’s Chief of Mission, UNHCR’s Emergency Coordinator and representatives from other UN agencies and NGOs to discuss coordination and the next phase of the response. DFID funds the IOM-managed Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox’s Bazar. At the start of the crisis DFID convened a donor group that has been meeting weekly to discuss coordination of aid flows. DFID will be part of a new Senior Executive Group of UN, NGO and donor leads in Dhaka to improve coordination with the field. DFID has made clear to UN and NGO partners that they should work with the existing coordination groups, align with the humanitarian response plan, and comply with Bangladesh regulations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Department for International Development
Bangladesh: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure there are confidential spaces for Rohingya women and children refugees to report any abuse and sexual violence in Bangladesh
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 28 November 2017

We are committed to protecting vulnerable groups in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, and are providing support for survivors and addressing the risk of Gender Based Violence (GBV). DFID is supporting the establishment of Child Friendly Spaces and Women and Adolescent Friendly Spaces to provide protective services, and psychosocial and psychological support. Through UK funding to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UK support will reach over 10,000 women suffering from trauma, and over 2000 survivors of sexual violence, as part of the larger response to the risks. We are now planning to scale-up our GBV response.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Department for Education
Children: Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during the school Christmas holidays in 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 22 November 2017

The department has made no assessment of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school Christmas holidays in 2017.

We are currently giving full consideration to the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill, which considers this issue, and will be responding in due course.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Cosmetics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations her Department has (a) received on and (b) made to the United Nations on animal testing for cosmetic products.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The Home Office is the department responsible for the regulation of the use of animals in science. The Department has made no representation to, nor received any representation from, the United Nations on animal testing for cosmetic products.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Government of Burma on allegations of mass rape in Rohingya women and children in Rakhine State.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The Foreign Secretary has repeatedly been clear about the need for the Burmese authorities to end the violence in Rakhine. This includes sexual violence. He has made these calls in telephone conversations with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 7 and 17 September, and 21 October; and to the Burmese National Security Advisor and Deputy Foreign Minister at a meeting of foreign ministers he convened at the UN on 18 September.

I met Burma's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 20 September at the UN and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma on 27 September, and reiterated the same messages. Our Ambassador and Embassy officials in Rangoon have regularly raised concerns with Burmese Ministers, most recently with the Defence Minister on 31 October.

Lord Ahmad made a statement at the Human Rights Council on 11 September which made clear the UK strongly condemned the violence in Rakhine, and called on all parties to de-escalate tensions and address the humanitarian crisis.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what measures are in place to provide support and treatment to Rohingya women and children who are victims of or witness to sexual violence.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The British Government is funding the provision of medical services, counselling and psychological support to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have either witnessed or are survivors of sexual violence themselves. This support is being delivered through UN agencies and the NGO Action Against Hunger. The UK is also supporting UNICEF initiatives that help survivors of gender-based violence identify and access the support they need, and create 30 child-friendly spaces in the refugee camps. The UK is also funding the deployment of an official to coordinate the UN gender-based violence response in Cox's Bazar, and seeking ways to expand the gender-based violence response in coordination with aid agencies and other partners.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also sent two Deployable Civilian Experts to Bangladesh on 14 November, with support from the cross-Whitehall Stabilisation Unit. They will carry out an assessment of the extent of reported sexual violence, the current response to the needs of victims of gender based violence in Bangladesh, and identify gaps in service provision and provide recommendations for the UK. They will also conduct a thorough review of the investigation and documentation of sexual violence, through use of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict and make recommendations on possible UK support in this area.

In Burma the UK continues to press for greater humanitarian access to Northern Rakhine​.​​​

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Department for International Development
Yemen: Fuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of (a) the availability of diesel and petrol in Yemen, (b) how long supplies of diesel and petrol are expected to last there and (c) the effect of that availability on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The UK is deeply concerned by the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and calls on all parties to ensure immediate access for commercial and humanitarian supplies, particularly to Hodeidah port, to avert the threat of starvation and disease faced by millions of civilians.

Restrictions on imports have already reduced the availability of fuel, and led to price increases of up to 160%, according to UN reports. As of November 12, the UN assessed that unless imports resume, diesel stocks in the north of the country would deplete in 20 days, and petrol stocks would deplete in 10 days.

Fuel is crucial for the delivery of aid and medical supplies, the functioning of clinics and hospitals, as well as other essential public infrastructure, such as water supply systems and waste water treatment plants.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fireworks: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of existing legislation regulating the sale of fireworks.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 November 2017

The Government takes the safety of fireworks very seriously. Regulations are currently in place which control the sale of fireworks to both consumers and professional display operators. Experience has shown that the current regulations strike the right balance between the enjoyment of fireworks by the public and restricting the sale and use of fireworks for public safety reasons.

Certain dangerous items are already banned for sale in the UK. These include bangers and jumping jacks, among others. Such items are prohibited regardless of whether they are approved for sale in other EU countries. This removes from sale higher risk fireworks which could lead to injury.

We will continue to focus on reducing accidents and nuisance by encouraging industry, retailers and others to promote the responsible sale and use of fireworks through guidance and public education.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Department for International Development: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he was made aware of meetings in Israel held by the Secretary of State for International Development in August 2017; and what information he has since been given about what was discussed at those meetings.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 November 2017

It is longstanding practice under successive Governments that we do not routinely disclose information relating to internal discussion and advice. My right hon. Friend the member for Witham (Ms Patel) resigned as Secretary of State for International Development on 8 November. I refer the Hon Member to the exchange of letters between my right hon. Friend and the Prime Minister on her resignation; and to the statement issued by my right hon. Friend on 6 November, a copy of which is available on the gov.uk website.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 November 2017
Department for International Development
Department for International Development: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will list the meetings she held in Israel during August 2017; who was present at those meetings; and what was discussed at each of those meetings.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 13 November 2017

My Rt Hon Friend the member for Witham (Ms Patel) resigned as Secretary of State for International Development on 8 November. I refer the Hon Gentleman to the exchange of letters between my Rt Hon Friend and my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister on her resignation; and to the statement issued by my Rt Hon Friend on 6 November:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-international-development-secretary-priti-patel

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 November 2017
Prime Minister
Department for International Development: Israel
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, when she was made aware of meetings in Israel held by the Secretary of State for International Development in August 2017; and what information she has since been given about what was discussed at those meetings.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 13 November 2017

My right hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Ms Patel) resigned as Secretary of State for International Development on 8 November. I refer the hon. Member to the exchange of letters between my right hon. Friend and me on her resignation; and to the statement issued by my right hon. Friend on 6 November, a copy of which is available on the gov.uk website.

Grouped Questions: 111894 | 111983 | 112065
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 November 2017
Prime Minister
Israel: Visits Abroad
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, if she will ask the Cabinet Secretary to investigate the circumstances surrounding meetings held by the Secretary of State for International Development in Israel in August 2017.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 13 November 2017

My right hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Ms Patel) resigned as Secretary of State for International Development on 8 November. I refer the hon. Member to the exchange of letters between my right hon. Friend and me on her resignation; and to the statement issued by my right hon. Friend on 6 November, a copy of which is available on the gov.uk website.

Grouped Questions: 111362 | 111983 | 112065
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department funds human rights organisations in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 10 November 2017

The Government supports a range of organisations and projects in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories focussed on human rights, dialogue and coexistence, in line with our policy objective of supporting a two-state solution.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 02 November 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Reconstruction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism and the effect of the Israeli Government's dual-use list on reconstruction.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 09 November 2017

The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) has been successful in importing construction materials to facilitate the reconstruction of buildings damaged during the 2014 conflict. Over 170,000 people have been able to carry out repairs and over 14,000 fully or partially damaged homes have been rebuilt. UN reports assess that the GRM has been less successful in facilitating the import of other “dual-use” materials; and that it is critical that the import of more “dual-use” items is simplified and expedited in order to facilitate larger infrastructure projects. A more comprehensive lifting of restrictions on materials entering Gaza, as part of a political agreement, is the only long-term solution.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Immigration Controls
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of Israel's border restrictions and permit system on urgent medical care for patients in the West Bank and Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 08 November 2017

While we have not raised this specific issue, we have consistently called on the Israeli Government to ease movement and access restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are supporting the UN Access Coordination Unit who work with the Israeli Government, Palestinian Authority and aid agencies to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian goods including medical equipment and supplies.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 01 November 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the electricity crisis in Gaza on healthcare services.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 November 2017

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), lifesaving services are being run on generators in Gaza as a result of electricity shortages, with many vital health, water and sanitation facilities being provided with emergency UN fuel to continue operating. The UK is supporting approximately 1 million Gazans by addressing critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza, including basic health care. The UK will continue to urge all the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to improve condition, including restoring the availability of electricity as a matter of urgency.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 02 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterparts on the US Administration's plans for peace in the Middle East.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 07 November 2017

The Foreign Secretary has discussed plans for peace in the Middle East with figures from the US Administration on many occasions. He has welcomed President Trump's interest in working for a peace deal that meets the requirements of both parties, and the UK's view remains that the two state solution is the best option to achieve that.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 02 November 2017
Department for Transport
Aviation: Lasers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will introduce legislative proposals to address the shining of lasers at aircraft and other vehicles.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 07 November 2017

After considerable work with the UK Laser working group and across Whitehall, the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill contained clauses making it an offence to shine or direct a laser at a vehicle, designed to strengthen existing legislation to address the risk of lasers being used maliciously against aircraft and other vehicles.

Unfortunately the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill fell upon prorogation. To provide further certainty to pilots and the wider public, the Department for Transport is continuing to look at other legislative vehicles to strengthen existing legislation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 01 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Egypt
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Egyptian counterpart on opening the Rafah crossing to the Gaza Strip.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 06 November 2017
Holding answer received on 06 November 2017

Officials from our Embassy in Cairo last discussed the Rafah Crossing with the Egyptian government in October 2017. We continue to urge Egypt to show maximum flexibility in opening the Rafah crossing.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 18 October 2017
Department for International Development
United Nations: Secondment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2017 to Question 105728, on United Nations: secondment, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the United Nations Junior Professional Officer programme; and when she plans to publish her Department's (a) review of the three year pilot phase and (b) 2017 annual review of that programme.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 October 2017

Following consideration of the strategic impact of the Junior Professional Officer programme, I have decided to terminate the programme, as it no longer meets the UK Government’s strategic priorities for international secondments, nor does it continue to represent the best value for money for UK taxpayers. A programme completion report will be made available in early 2018 in the usual way through DFID’s development tracker.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Transport
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the options under consideration in the European Commission's consultation on the REFIT review of Directive 2009/103/EC on motor insurance; and what representations he is making to the (a) European Commission and (b) his EU counterparts on that matter.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 20 October 2017

The Department’s priority for the REFIT review is the correction of the scope of the Directive following the Vnuk judgment, such that it only applies to motor vehicles used in traffic. We collaborated with like-minded Member States to write a letter to the Commissioner putting forward this view.

The Department continue to encourage UK stakeholders to talk with their counterparts in Europe.

The Department is otherwise broadly content with how the Directive works but have made minor suggestions for improvement.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 October 2017
Department for International Development
Occupied Territories: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2017 to Question 106502, what process she used in reviewing aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and on what evidence she made decisions on which programmes to close and which to continue.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 20 October 2017

The Secretary of State’s decisions on which programmes to close and which to continue were based on alignment to UK Government objectives on the Middle East Peace Process, performance and impact, value for money and the safeguarding of UK taxpayers’ funds. This has resulted in a portfolio with a stronger focus on delivering essential services to the most vulnerable Palestinians and Palestinian refugees. Evidence was gathered from individual programme annual reviews and considered alongside advice from officials.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 October 2017
Department for International Development
Occupied Territories: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2017 to Question 106502, what (a) bilateral and (b) centrally managed programmes have been closed or discontinued as a result of the examination of her Department's programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 20 October 2017

As a result of the full examination of DFID’s programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), the OPTs components of the following programmes are being discontinued: i) Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund, ii) Gender and Adolescents Global Evidence research programme, iii) a Development Impact Bonds pilot and, iv) evaluation work through the humanitarian educational accelerator. The Secretary of State also decided not to pursue other new bilateral programmes which were being considered. These decisions ensure that aid to the OPTs is being used in the most effective way and provides the best value for money to the UK taxpayer. The UK remains committed to supporting the Palestinian people and the viability of a two-state solution.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Animal Welfare and Antibiotics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the (a) use of cage systems for farm animals and (b) routine preventative use of antibiotics in farms.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 19 October 2017
  1. There are no plans to change the current legislation on colony cages for laying hens. However, we are preparing a new statutory laying hen code which will provide up to date guidance on how to comply with the legislation.

  2. We have made it very clear that we do not support the routine preventative use of antibiotics, or the use of antibiotics to compensate for poor animal husbandry. This is reflected in the revised “Responsible use of animal medicines on the farm” guidelines published in December 2014. We continue to work with the UK veterinary profession and livestock industry to:

  • develop and agree sector-specific reduction targets for antibiotic use;
  • support the development of prescribing and responsible use guidelines to encourage the adoption of best practice.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 October 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has responded to the appeal from humanitarian agencies for a global fund of $25 million for humanitarian funding for life-saving interventions in the Gaza Strip.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 18 October 2017

The UK will provide £1.9 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Gaza to address critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs, benefitting approximately 1 million people. UNICEF performs a unique role in supporting vulnerable people in the most complex settings and is committed to taking forwards the UK’s ambitious UN reform agenda.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 13 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department plans to review the implementation of the recommendations in the Children in Military Custody report, which was funded and published by his Department in 2012.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 18 October 2017

We remain extremely concerned about the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons. We funded and facilitated the independent report on Children in Military Custody by leading British lawyers. Ministers and our Ambassador to Israel have strongly urged Israel to implement the recommendations it made. I again raised our concerns over the issue of children in detention with the Israeli authorities during my recent visit between 22-23 August.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dogs: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of puppies being smuggled illegally into the UK.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 17 October 2017

We take the issue of illegal trafficking of puppies very seriously, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are gathering intelligence to help us understand the size of the problem regarding puppy smuggling.

Defra and APHA work constructively with other government agencies and charities to share intelligence on illegal movements of pet animals. APHA has established an intelligence team which will gather data, intelligence and information on illegal movement of dogs and puppies and, as appropriate, share with enforcement bodies.

APHA works in partnership with the Dogs Trust and Kent County Council to identify and seize dogs and puppies which were not compliant with the requirements as part of a pilot project at Dover responding to intelligence on potential non-compliance. Approximately 600 puppies have been seized and taken into quarantine since the initiative began in December 2015.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of restrictions to work on asylum seekers whose applications take longer than six months to process.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 16 October 2017

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. The 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.

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.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much aid the Government provided to Gaza in financial year (a) 2013-14, (b) 2014-15, (c) 2015-16 and (d) 2016-17; and what proportion of the sum her Department plans to provide to the Occupied Palestinian Territories for financial year 2017-18 will be used to support the people of Gaza.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 October 2017

Data for all DFID’s spend is available on the Statistics for International Development (SID) website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-on-international-development. SID does not differentiate between DFID’s spend in the West Bank and Gaza.

The UK provided more than £17 million in immediate humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014. In October 2014, the UK pledged a further £20 million in early recovery assistance at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo, including support for cash assistance to Palestinian refugees, mine removal and medical treatment. The UK has disbursed this pledge in its entirety. Since then the UK has provided additional support to Gaza, including supporting basic service delivery, such as health and education, through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), supporting humanitarian access, enabling reconstruction efforts and investing in job creation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what effect the electricity crisis has had on recipients of support from the UK's Palestinian Market Development Programme in Gaza; and whether those recipients have experienced a decrease in the viability and productivity of their businesses due to that crisis.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 October 2017

Through the Palestinian Market Development Programme (PMDP) DFID has supported 264 businesses in Gaza to recover from the 2014 Gaza war. As a result of electricity shortages some PMDP beneficiaries have had to cease operations and others have responded by taking actions such as adjusting working hours, operating below capacity and using more expensive sources of electricity such as generators. We urge all the parties to find a sustainable solution to increase electricity supply.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for International Development
Gaza: Electricity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the (a) effect of the ongoing electricity crisis on food security in the Gaza Strip and (b) long-term implications of the electricity crisis of agricultural production in the Gaza Strip.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 16 October 2017

According to the Food Security Sector (FSS) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), direct damages to agricultural produce as a result of electricity shortages are estimated at approximately 78,000 tons of vegetables, equivalent to 78 million New Israeli Shekels (£16.25 million) of lost revenues to agricultural workers. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has indicated that electricity shortages are creating increasingly unsustainable conditions for most of the agricultural production sector with significant loss of revenues for agricultural workers.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Department for International Development
United Nations: Secondment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding from the public purse will be disbursed for each post on the UN Junior Professional Officer programme by location and UN organisation in each of the next five years.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 13 October 2017

The funding due to be disbursed for each post on the United Nations Junior Professional Officer programme has been outlined below. The costs include an annual salary at UN grade P2/3, together with other relevant costs. There is no future funding planned beyond 2017.

2017

Agency

Duty Station

Funding (£)

UNDP

UNDP Headquarters

40,889.15

UNDP

UNDP Headquarters

42,083.78

UNDP

UNDP Headquarters

47,748.16

UNDP

UNDP Headquarters

30,337.46

UNDP

Pakistan

41,731.94

UNFPA

Nepal

36,425.88

UNFPA

Sudan

20,383.22

UNFPA

Bangladesh

6,997.05

UNFPA

Afghanistan

6,997.05

WHO

Occupied Palestinian Territory

37,152.36

WHO

WHO Headquarters

49,824.44

WHO

Congo, Republic of

39,044.26

UNICEF

Nepal

91,508.54

UNICEF

Ethiopia

67,258.56

UNICEF

Nepal

80,109.11

Total

638,490.94

Please note, the funding agreement the UK has with the UN is in US dollars so the below figures have been exchanged to GBP at today’s exchange rate (10/10/2017) to take account of payments still to be processed prior to 31 December 2017.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Gratuities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the results from his Department's consultation on Tips, gratuities, cover and service charges; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 12 October 2017

The Government is currently considering next steps in light of responses to the consultation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 October 2017
Department for International Development
Occupied Territories: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, when she plans to publish the review of her Department's aid programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 12 October 2017

The Secretary of State has concluded a full examination of DFID’s programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The outcomes of the examination are reflected in DFID’s published country profile for the Occupied Palestinian Territories which can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfid-occupied-palestinian-territories-profile-july-2017.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 12 September 2017
Ministry of Justice
Prison and Probation Service: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much has been spent by HM Prison and Probation Service on recruitment in each month since September 2016.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 09 October 2017

Period

Recruitment costs* (£)

September 2016

129,357

October 2016

219,450

November 2016

301,913

December 2016

563,028

January 2017

338,803

February 2017

76,497

March 2017

1,176,080

April 2017

1,109,430

May 2017

227,939

June 2017

438,487

July 2017

1,097,571

August 2017

1,181,421

Recruitment costs provided only include spend on advertising and recruitment through external suppliers and does not account for recruitment-associated costs of any HMPPS staff working on resourcing initiatives or any other miscellaneous costs of recruiting staff (this data is not readily available within centrally held records). Figures include advertising costs in respect of recruitment and various media campaigns for prison officers, probation officers and the Unlocked Graduates scheme.

*The figure provided has been drawn from our central accounting system and although care is taken when processing data, this may be subject to the inaccuracies and input errors inherent in any large scale recording system.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for International Development
United Nations: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many UN Junior Professional Officer posts have been funded by the Government in (a) 2015, (b) 2016 and (c) 2017 to date; in what location each of those posts was filled; and for which UN organisation those posts were funded.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 09 October 2017

DFID has supported 18 UK Junior Professional Officers since 2015, who have helped to strengthen the UN's capability in priority areas. I have outlined below the positions DFID have funded.

2015

Agency

Duty Station

UNDESA

Ethiopia

2016

Agency

Duty Station

UNDP

UNDP HQ

UNDP

UNDP HQ

UNDP

UNDP HQ

UNDP

UNDP HQ

UNDP

Pakistan

UNDP

Ethiopia

UNFPA

Nepal

UNFPA

Sudan

UNFPA

Bangladesh

UNFPA

Afghanistan

WHO

Occupied Palestinian Territory

WHO

WHO HQ

WHO

Congo, Republic of

WHO

WHO HQ

UNICEF

Nepal

UNICEF

Ethiopia

UNICEF

Nepal

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 18 July 2017
Department of Health
NHS: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2017 to Question 4557, when he plans to reach an agreement with NHS England on the revisions to NHS England Premises Costs Directions.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 05 September 2017

Changes to premises costs directions are currently being negotiated between the Department, NHS England and the General Practitioners’ Committee of the British Medical Association. It is anticipated that the new directions will be agreed shortly.

No fully approved schemes are being held up or are at risk of delivery by the delay in finalising the premises cost direction changes. However, there are a large number of improvements to existing premises and new builds which are dependent on the revisions we have been negotiating (up to 627 schemes).

Grouped Questions: 5728
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 18 July 2017
Department of Health
NHS: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2017 to Question 4557, how many projects, for which investment has been approved in principle under the NHS Estates Technology and Transformation Fund require a revision of the Premises Costs Directions to be agreed by his Department before they can receive final approval.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 05 September 2017

Changes to premises costs directions are currently being negotiated between the Department, NHS England and the General Practitioners’ Committee of the British Medical Association. It is anticipated that the new directions will be agreed shortly.

No fully approved schemes are being held up or are at risk of delivery by the delay in finalising the premises cost direction changes. However, there are a large number of improvements to existing premises and new builds which are dependent on the revisions we have been negotiating (up to 627 schemes).

Grouped Questions: 5726
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Travellers: Caravan Sites
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of powers available to local authorities to deal with illegal traveller encampments in (a) England and (b) Birmingham.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The Government recognises the issue of unauthorised encampments and the effect they can have on local communities. Local authorities and the police have a range of powers which enable them to take action and the Government wants to see them working together to address this issue. A summary of the powers available to deal with unauthorised encampments has been published on the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dealing-with-illegal-and-unauthorised-encampments

We will consider whether these powers are adequate.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Home Office
Travellers: Caravan Sites
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of powers available to the police to deal with illegal traveller encampments in (a) England and (b) Birmingham.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 20 July 2017

There are a range of existing powers available for both the police and local authorities to tackle unauthorised encampments. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides specific powers to the police to move travellers from unauthorised encampments if certain criteria are met. The Home Office work closely with the police to ensure these powers are effective. However, the decision on whether to use these powers and remove travellers from a site is an independent decision to be made by the police.

A summary of the powers available to deal with unauthorised encampments has been published on the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dealing-with-illegal-and-unauthorised-encampments

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 17 July 2017
Home Office
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letters of 5 July 2016, 19 July 2016, and 17 February 2017 from the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield regarding a constituent's immigration case.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 20 July 2017

The letters of 5 and 19 July 2016 and 17 February 2017, were responded to on 26 July 2016 and 31 March 2017 respectively.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 12 July 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Council Tax: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department hold data on the number of councils who have credit card charges in place for payment of council tax by credit card.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 17 July 2017

That information is not held by the Department.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 12 July 2017
Department of Health
Health Centres: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Health and Wellbeing Centre in College Green, Birmingham, which has been approved for investment from the NHS Estates Technology and Transformation Fund is completed on schedule.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 17 July 2017

NHS England has advised that the building of the new Health and Wellbeing Medical Centre is supported in principle for funding through the Estates and Technology Transformation Fund, subject to due diligence checks, including a value for money exercise.

NHS England is working closely with Birmingham Cross City Clinical Commissioning Group and remains fully committed to keeping this scheme on track, subject to satisfactory completion of checks. To support the progress of the scheme, NHS England has provided funding to assist the development of the Outline Business Case for the project.

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